Pairing: JackSparrow/JamesNorrington
Rating: NC-17, m/m slash, UST-angstyschmoop-nekkid!Jj
Archive: Yes, help yourself. Please include ALL chapters. Ta!
Disclaimer: The Mouse/Bruckheimer Productions owns them, except for Jack Sparrow who belongs to J.Depp. ;-)
Crossover: Mild content references to 'Swashbuckler', my favorite pirate movie since '75.
Beta: Moonsalt, viva_gloria
Author's Note: This is for KJ, who was ill and needed comfort. Comfort!fic, in fact. :) May the heat and the sun warm you, dearling.
A/N2: Thanks to hija_paloma for the mental jewelry
And to sarspasm for the label UST-angstyschmoop-nekkid!Jj! This smut scene is for you. ;)
And to yakkorat- Julie-Rae: part of the scene is for you. ;)
And to hija_paloma: the very End. :D
Thank You: To Everyone, for without your comfort, kindness, wisdom and support I never would have so quickly recovered from Evil and been able to continue writing. My eternal gratitude to each and every one of you for your candor and your love. *tries to throw her arms around the world* *settles for throwing them around her Fandom instead*

Summary: 'Keep one's friends close, but one's enemies closer.'
Commodore Norrington finds himself in a difficult position. Jack helps him come to terms with it, despite being the instigator responsible.


Chapter 2 - Silver and Gold

By Webcrowmancer

Norrington opened the door to the guest room that Sparrow had deserted three nights ago, and stood in the doorway with his hand on the doorknob, wondering why the room felt so much emptier than he would have expected.

He'd not dared to go to this room until this morning; the pain had been too sharp in the wake of Sparrow's departure to attempt it until now.

Then he realized it was he himself who felt empty, reflecting the absence of the pirate from the bed he'd occupied for several days.

Several long days and nights, the passage of which Norrington had marked with frustration and despair.

At first, all he'd wanted was for Sparrow to recover and leave. Then there had been that very inadvisable morning when he'd been awakened by Sparrow's moans in his delirium. The great mistake he'd made in taking care of the man in his fever. The mistake of- of touching him, and pulling him closer, to enjoy the surreptitious and most unexpected pleasure of caring for the man even as Sparrow had shivered in his arms.

He had very quickly grown accustomed to believing he had weeks, if not longer, to get to know the pirate better. He now knew that belief to be utter folly, based upon the hope of getting to know the man too well, encouraged by the base and crude temptations of the flesh. Which he still found most disturbing, considering the object that inspired them.

Norrington stepped into the room and went to stand by the bedside, looking out the window.

Oh, joy. Sparkling, bright morning, mocking him with its gaiety and light. He glanced down. An empty bed. Freshly-made, and the maid had cleaned the sheets so he doubted the insane but curious impulse he had to lay his head upon the pillows, to catch any lingering scent of Jack there, would yield any satisfaction.

With a ripple of anger and self-loathing, Norrington jerked his gaze away to stare out the window. The Dauntless was visible far-off in the harbor, and he contemplated the wisdom of allowing Jack Sparrow to enjoy the relative safety of William Turner's protection, for surely that was the first place Jack would have gone upon leaving this house.

He allowed himself a measure of smug contentment at knowing exactly where Jack had fled to, and wondered if it might not have been for the best. After all, to have the temptation removed was far better than having to battle nightly desires to sin. Having the pirate out from under his roof, so close at hand, had allowed him to finally find some hours of nightly sleep.

But he closed his eyes against the swift ache at the remembrance of holding Jack close for that brief spell, even as Jack had melted back into his embrace, willingly, and the little murmurs he'd made. Even the memory of touching Jack's hair, feeling it surprisingly silky-soft, the long and dark strands between his fingers, raised a conflagration anew that spilt fire upon his cheeks even now. Touching that face, the curve of those sensuous, pouting lips…

Norrington gulped, swallowing hard against the heat and the longing.

The guilt and shame he'd felt at taking such pleasure in seeing Jack tidied up for once, not a drunken, disorderly and dirty vagabond but coaxing out the natural allure of the pirate's sharp features, feline and graceful, had been overwhelming. But in the end, worth it. He wondered again at Jack Sparrow's past, and his ancestry. There was something foreign in the man's blood, Spanish or Indian, or perhaps a bit of both, for all his British affectations and incessant complaints about the French. The effect had been surprising, a curious mingling of a gentlemanly lord and a vulnerable, much younger-looking man -

Norrington sucked in a breath. Those eyes, those damnable, dark, deep eyes that begged too much and asked for more than any man had any right to. Dangerous eyes, that without the smudged whore's lines of black beneath them had caught more than simple fancy, and had cost Norrington his dignity, his composure and his sense that night. Dear God, he'd all but spelled it out for the man, practically throwing himself upon Jack Sparrow's whim. He'd been ready to beg, simply to know what it might be like, to press his mouth to the other man's, if only for an instant.

He felt the shame in his face anew, at the recollection.

Laurens had been hanged and then placed beside several of his shipmates at Gallow's Point yesterday morning; he'd half-expected to see Jack Sparrow lurking amongst the small crowd, but then practical sense had returned and he knew Jack was not such a great fool as to risk venturing into the Fort merely to watch his enemy and contemporary die.

Norrington glowered afresh at the beautiful morning bursting over Port Royal with silver clouds and golden light. He'd found himself in a most foul temper daily, after Jack's departure, and nightly he had steadfastly refused to allow himself to give in to the temptation to indulge in self-pollution to find release from the desire that still burned in his veins. He could control this lust. This unnatural, undesirable lust for a man who really was most undeserving of such regard, those enchanting features notwithstanding.

Well, really; the man was a pirate, and Norrington had at first put down the heated response within himself towards Jack upon their each encounter as simple anger, but now the need to seize hold of the man bodily had been revealed as a far more complex and dangerous impulse. One he still did not fully know how to account for. Jack Sparrow was hardly a suitable candidate to take as a lover. The absurdity of it was beyond belief. It was a sin; an unnatural and entirely distasteful, reproachful and inherently dangerous desire. It was a most unwanted attraction and he could not comprehend how it had come about. He'd mostly found himself bored and repulsed by Sparrow, at first. Or so he'd told himself.

He would control it, eventually. And eradicate it. Norrington's eyes narrowed as he considered the Dauntless anchored far off near the Point.

He would do well to hunt down the Black Pearl and see it done at last.

In fact, he realized now that it was entirely wrong to believe that there was anything positive or useful in allowing such a man to continue to enjoy the freedom Norrington had so graciously allowed him thus far.

Norrington had turned a blind eye to the Black Pearl's continued presence in the Caribbean, and now that he knew the very real, personal and disturbing motive he'd been acting from in doing so, he could not in all conscience allow such continued leniency.

The Black Pearl was a pirate ship, captained by a pirate, regardless of any moral or ethical issues some people might insist upon, regarding the man's questionable virtues, such as the ones Miss Swann and the gullibly impressionable blacksmith had consistently raised.

No, it was a menace - and Sparrow was a menace - and it was time he dealt with both. A pirate threat, indeed. Jack had asked him how he meant to nullify him. The answer was simple. Hanging.

Norrington knew he could not afford to allow Jack such latitude anymore. If the pirate captain did not have the sense to leave while he could, Norrington would have no choice but to hunt him down.

He could afford to give the man a sporting chance, however. He would allow Jack the chance to return to his ship, at least. He suspected the Black Pearl must have been dry-docked on some island somewhere, probably to be cleaned after years of neglect under Sparrow's former undead crew. Else why would Jack have been foolish enough to end up getting himself captured in that scuffle with Mathieux Laurens?

The vicarious thrill he'd felt in knowing that Laurens had captured Sparrow had brought an answering hardness and heaviness in his groin that had been all too burdensome of late. But it mirrored his own daydreams he'd suffered, of wanting to catch the pirate and hold him aboard his own ship.

And he was unable to lie to himself. He didn't just desire Jack's body; in truth, he suspected that all he really wanted was the luxury of holding him in his arms again, if even just for a moment. The return of that hot anguish crept back into his heart momentarily, and Norrington bit his lip against it.

With a sigh, Norrington wondered if it would be possible to even attempt to harden his heart against feeling mercy or pity for Jack Sparrow when they brought him in at the last, after capturing the Black Pearl. It was unlikely, considering the longing he felt merely to see the man again, to hold him close and -

Norrington viciously halted these thoughts and angrily turned from the window to stalk out of the room, refusing to allow himself to continue to pine uselessly after the undeserving wretch.

All this torment; over a pirate, no less. What had he been thinking? Jack didn't return his feelings, that much was clear. If anything, he'd made himself the butt of amusement and mockery.

He could no longer afford to allow his personal confusion regarding Sparrow to cloud his judgment.

But even as he left the room behind and went downstairs, trying to fill his mind with the practical affairs of the day, such as the necessary security surrounding the Governor's trip back to Port Antonio later in the morning, knowing he could not spare First Lieutenant Gillette but that Officer Groves would be ideal for such a task, Norrington had to admit there was a secret corner of his heart that mourned.

He still mourned the loss of that silver and gold smile that had filled his heart whenever he saw it. And he mourned the necessity of hunting down the owner of that smile, when all he wanted was to have it turned upon his own self at least one more time.


Governor Weatherby Swann's breakfast had been quite alarming. Not that the food had been less than delicious, or that the fresh-brewed coffee had tasted anything else but fortifying. But Elizabeth had seemed agitated, more so than usual.

Upon repeated queries as to whether or not she was quite all right, she'd insisted she was fine, with that expression she seemed to have inherited from her mother. The one that told him all was not well and that things would most probably develop into a full-blown henpecking at some point.

Sure enough, she'd begun twittering on about how he should postpone his trip to Port Antonio.

He sighed as he prepared for his journey to speak with the Mayor of that port town. He had other, larger concerns than the continued distress over his daughter's happiness and well-being and frankly, he was growing tired of worrying about her. He'd hoped that upon getting her engaged, even to the unlikely blacksmith, she might settle down a little.

By the time he'd dressed and left to approach the carriage, Weatherby noticed Elizabeth following him out to it. He turned. "Elizabeth, really. There's no need to fuss."

"Do be careful, Father," she urged, and then stopped short as she caught sight of the driver of the carriage. Who ducked his head and grimaced. "Mr. Gibbs?" she exclaimed. She turned back to Weatherby in perfectly frantic tones now. "Father, please, please reconsider leaving, especially now. You can't go. You simply can't."

"Why ever not?"

"I fear something terrible might happen to you."

Weatherby stared at his daughter in puzzlement. "What on Earth are you talking about?"

She glanced at the carriage again where the driver appeared to be making himself as small and hunched as possible. "Pirates. They may take it into their heads to start conducting raids farther inland."

Weatherby let out an exasperated breath. "Elizabeth. How many times must I explain to you; the Mayor is expecting me to return with some sort of assurance from the Crown that the situation will be redressed. I can't simply cancel my trip over your paranoid fantasies about pirates operating inland."

"But," she started.

And he held up a hand. "I'm well-aware of the distress that whole business surrounding your kidnapping last year has caused you, but you brought that upon your own head, to be hoarding away that boy's medallion. The danger is well past, I'd say. I do hope you'll start taking things a little more seriously, now that you're engaged."

"Father, I fear something untoward may befall you," she insisted.

"Elizabeth," he intoned, "I'm traveling over land, not by sea. It's most unlikely that we'll be raided and pillaged en route through the countryside. Pirates don't bring their ships inland - they tend to do better out on the water."

She gave him a disgusted look. "Fine," she said, "but don't say I didn't warn you," and she turned on her heel, flouncing away.

Tutting, he turned with a sigh towards the carriage. Norrington's 2nd Lieutenant, Mister Groves, held the door open for him. "Good morning, Governor. The Commodore sent me to assure you that we'll be quite safe from the dangerous predations of highwaymen, sea-going or not."

"A good thing, considering my daughter's fears," he replied, amiably. "I honestly don't know where she comes up with these notions."

"Well, never mind, Sir," Groves said seriously, with a dry tone of what might have been amusement. "They'll think twice before attacking a carriage escorted by the Royal Navy."

Weatherby glanced at the uniformed driver and footsoldiers accompanying their carriage. "Yes, quite." He climbed into the carriage, to be met with the sight of a lady and a gentleman already seated within. Seating himself, he said, "Well, let's be off, shall we?"

Officer Groves came in and sat beside him.

The lady looked familiar, and she held up her fan, fluttering it before her. With a bit of a giggle, she said, "Well, now, we are traveling with style. How nice to see you again, Governor Swann."

Weatherby smiled graciously at the young woman. Hm. In point of fact, she wasn't quite the spring chicken he'd thought at first. "How nice, Miss-" he paused. "Ah. I'm most dreadfully sorry, I'm afraid we weren't properly introduced."

The carriage lurched as she reached out a hand and Weatherby found himself holding the lady's hand as she fluttered her lashes at him most outrageously. "Miss Augustine Willard, Governor, and it is an honor to be riding with you this morning."

"Oh yes," Weatherby said, placing her now. "Delighted, I'm sure. And how is Commodore Norrington?"

She gave a look of ladylike despair; it didn't quite suit her ostrich neck or figure. "Oh, that one," she said in a note of indignation and reproach. She gave Groves a look of condescension. "He insisted on paying for my ride to Port Antonio to visit my dear sister."

With a slight smile, Weatherby commented, "How generous of the Commodore."

Mister Groves was watching the gentleman sitting opposite him, to Miss Willard's left. "And you, Sir? What is your business in Port Antonio?"

The carriage jostled them all momentarily, as the wheels beneath went over a pothole in the muddy road. They were already moving through the town, and would reach the outskirts of Port Royal in minutes.

The fellow leaned forward and offered his hand to Groves, inclining his head. He was dressed in black, with a fine white shirt, with an understated air, and had a cane with a silver handle in the shape of wolf. "Jonathan Smith, at your service, if you please," the fellow said with a bit of a smile. "I'm not bound for Port Antonio, though, I'm afraid. I'll be getting off along the coast."

Raising his brows, Weatherby remarked, "You may have a bit of a walk on foot ahead of you then, my good man. We're going straight there and will not be deviating from the main road."

Mister Smith merely smiled a little enigmatically and regarded Mister Groves once more. "Oh, you needn't trouble yourself over it," he observed. "I'm to rendezvous with some mates of mine along the way. It's all arranged."

"Mister Smith here is in shipping," Miss Willard mentioned, taking the liberty of informing them. "He's been in Port Royal visiting Commodore Norrington."

Her strident voice was beginning to grate on Weatherby's ears. Now he realized why both Elizabeth and Mister William Turner had complained about this female.

"Have you indeed, sir?" Weatherby directed at Smith, genially. "And how do you know the Commodore?"

Mister Smith flicked a glance at Mister Groves again, and said, "It's all very simple, really. I was in Port Royal on business, and as my business is shipping, it happened to coincide with Norrington's business, who happens to oversee the business of shipping, although that is not to say his business is shipping, at all. The military aspect of overseeing shipping in this lovely region is all his, to be sure, and he was most helpful in offering military protection for my shipping interests. Fine man, Norrington. Fine man."

Groves frowned. "And what sort of goods do you ship, Mister Smith?"

"All sorts, really," Smith replied, vaguely. "See, it's not so much the goods that matter, so much as the shipping itself."

Groves looked confused at this but decided to drop it.

They had already left the town and were making good way along the road through the cultivated green fields dotted with African workers.

Miss Willard was staring at Weatherby with an intent look in her expression that quite made him shudder inwardly. Surely the female wasn't…giving him the eye? Dear God. He raised a brow and looked out the window.

Unfortunately, Miss Willard appeared to take interest now, and leaned forward to look in the same direction, asking, "It's a lovely day, innit, Governor?"

"Very lovely," Weatherby agreed.

Miss Willard frowned. "Those poor men, working those crops in the heat."

Weatherby found himself regarding her with some surprise. "I take it you disagree with slavery, my dear?"

"Well, look at them," she complained. "The least that they could do is work out of sight so gentle folk don't have to be subjected to sight of such abject misery from the road."

"It's been said," Mister Smith spoke up, slowly, "that black slaves make the best lovers."

Weatherby blinked at the man. Groves sounded shocked as he asked, "I beg your pardon?"

Miss Willard seemed to perk right up at this observation. "Indeed, Mister Smith?"

With a sly smile, Jonathan Smith's unshaven face appeared to take on a rather mischievous expression. "A very good friend of mine dedicated a limerick to just such a formidable gent. Come to think of it, he was a bit of an African, himself."

Weatherby found himself completely bemused as to what the fellow was getting at. "Is this sort of topic entirely suitable for present company, Mister Smith?" He indicated Miss Willard sitting beside Smith.

Mister Smith for his part turned to Miss Willard and asked, "Is this distressing you, love? Shall I forgo the limerick and stick to comments about the weather?"

Miss Willard giggled behind her now-fluttering fan. "Oh, no, I'd very much like to hear it. Where was your friend from?"

"Dublin," he informed her. And he chuckled under his breath. "D'you want to hear it then?"

"Oo, yes," Miss Willard cooed at him.

He smiled, and began to recite. "There was a young lady named Starky, who had an affair with a darkie. The results of her sins were quadruplets, not twins: one white, one black, and two khaki."

Mister Groves laughed out loud and quickly stifled his amusement with a fearful glance in Weatherby's direction.

Miss Willard's mouth fell open. Then she giggled. "You are a naughty one, Mister Smith."

With an affected look of innocence, Smith raised his brows at her. "I can assure you, madam, t'was my friend's wit that was wholly responsible for that one; I'm only the messenger, as it were."

Weatherby found himself wondering if Mister Smith was not the most vulgar creature. Uncomfortably, Weatherby shifted in his seat. "I'm not entirely sure your friend's wit was very refined, Mister Smith."

"Sharp as his blade, actually," Smith informed him.

Groves gave him a look. "Was he a military man, then?"

"In a manner of speaking," Smith grinned at him, revealing that he'd long since lost several teeth to the effects of eating raw sugar. Gold and silver both glinted most gruesomely.

Weatherby glanced away with a frown. He'd always attempted to ensure his own diet would not suffer the fate of what had become all the rage in London before he'd left for this tropical island paradise: eating cubes of raw cane sugar. Many of the high society folk had suffered extremely poor dental work because of it. It was most unsightly for nobles and royalty to be seen with gap-toothed grins, looking for all the world like commoners and street beggars.

And Mister Smith was beginning to fall in his estimation most rapidly.

Miss Willard did not appear to share his reservations, for she now put a hand upon Mister Smith's elbow. "I don't understand, sir. You said your friend was a dark fellow; surely he'd come from Africa, and not Dublin? Last I heard, the Irish weren't as dark as all that."

"Very true, madam," Smith agreed. "'M from Dublin meself, originally, although I've probably spent more time in Africa than the Old World. Better food, better people, better lovers all around. Come to think of it, you're right. My friend was African. T'was his friend who was from Dublin. My apologies. But they were best mates, you see, shipmates together, and they shared everything."

Miss Willard giggled. "Everything?"

Mister Smith grinned that gilt grin again. "Everything," he drawled, meaningfully.

Weatherby gave a sigh and wondered why he'd allowed himself to be talked into letting these passengers ride with him en route to Port Antonio. The last trip had been so much more pleasant. He'd slept a lot, and had thought maybe to have company would help the time pass pleasanter, but so far it was turning out to be dismal, indeed.


Jack was beginning to wonder if any of the folks in Port Royal got bedded at all. The least they could do was bed each other, and not leap upon unsuspecting visitors.

Miss Willard kept taking his arm, and Mister Groves apparently could not help watching him as though he was the most fascinating invention since the discovery of Greek poetry. Then again, these Navy fellows were a repressed bunch, all told.

He kept an eye on the passing countryside outside, as their carriage made good time along the road towards the coast. No one else had noticed anything was amiss, and Gibbs, Anamaria, Marty and Tearlach above had done well to commandeer the horses and carriage earlier.

Gibbs had nearly fallen over when he'd taken in Jack's new appearance, as he'd approached the carriage before they'd gone to collect Governor Swann. "Jesus, Mary and Joseph," he'd said. "What in God's name have you done to yourself, Jack?"

"Wasn't me who did it, for starters," Jack had growled. "An' what the bloody hell are you doing here, mate? I told you, keep to the Code! D'you never do as you're told, 'ey?"

Gibbs had merely chuckled at him though. "When Will told me you were changed, I didn't know the lad wasn't exaggerating, Capn'. You look like one of those fancy gentlemen. Thought you'd gone over the edge, to be sayin' we'd be safe enough on this harebrained plan o' yours. But now I think we might just stand a chance of gettin' through this in one piece."

Testily, Jack had given him a sour look. Gruffly, he'd rounded on Gibbs, saying, "An' just what are you doing here, after I gave specific instructions not to be coming after me, 'ey?"

Gibbs had merely grinned back him. "Well, sir, we heard word you'd been captured by the Frenchman, Laurens. He's known for bein' a bit of a raving loony. We figured in this case it might well be a matter of rules rather than guidelines, seein' as the Code is quite specific. Especially when it comes to a pirate captain and crew takin' one's own captain prisoner. The rest of the crew was unanimous on this one, Jack. Said you deserved better than being deserted with a French fop. That's no way for any self-respecting pirate to end up."

Jack had grimaced. "So half me Pearl is careened and the other half is still covered with barnacles, is that right?"

Gibbs had flinched. "Well, she lists a bit to port but we'll manage."

Jack caught Mister Groves giving him the eye again, and noticed how even with the man's fine tan, he flushed darkly beneath it. Jack grinned more to himself at this, than the other man, but he let it go, knowing that the good Lieutenant was probably best kept on good terms, what with the fact he was going to be needed soon.

Sure enough, their carriage made the turn along the road to the right, edging closer to the sandy beach. Through the trees, Jack could see the Pearl anchored beyond, and Cotton and several of his crew waiting near the jolly boat moored in the sand.

The carriage rolled to a halt as Gibbs and Anamaria stopped the horses.

"Ah, we've arrived," Jack said, cheerfully. He got up and opened the carriage door. "Miss Willard, if you'd be so kind as to stay seated? Thanks, love." He smiled at the woman, who seemed quite taken aback.

Jack drew out the pistol Will had lent him and pointed it at Groves who now sat in utter consternation, and quickly drew his sword. Unfortunately, he was still seated and the hilt struck the inside of the carriage above him, as there wasn't enough headroom to draw it out of its scabbard.

Chuckling at him, Jack said, "No, no, no. Hands off, mate." He motioned with the pistol and said, "Governor, why don't you climb out and join us out here by the boat. The excellent Mister Groves will be taking back a message for the Commodore. Miss Willard, I'm afraid your sister will have to wait a bit longer."

Governor Swann looked pale and anxious, as well as apoplectic. "What - but - How dare you! You can't do this!"

"I already have," Jack informed him. "Now hurry it up, 'ey? Get out. Anamaria, if you'd be so kind as to assist the Governor?"

Anamaria, dressed still in the red uniform, opened the other carriage door and brandished her own pistol at Governor Swann threateningly.

Groves looked furiously at Jack. "Whoever you are, you won't get away with this."

Jack leaned in towards him and said, "Listen closely, mate. You go back and you tell the Commodore that the Governor is enjoying the hospitality of Captain Jack Sparrow aboard the Black Pearl, and we'll be waiting just around the edge of the bay here for him. Give him this," and Jack withdrew the letter he'd penned earlier, handing it to Groves. Then he grinned. "Ta."

Groves held the letter and then stared at Jack. "It can't be," he began.

"It can," Jack said to him. "It is." He gave a little bow to Miss Willard. "Good day, madam."

"Wait, oh wait!" She gasped. "You're that pirate!" She edged closer to the carriage door. "Oh, take me hostage also, won't you? I won't be no trouble, I promise!"

Jack winced. "Tempting, but no, I'm afraid not. I very much doubt I'd be able to save you from the dastardly intentions of me crew, miss."

Eagerly, she suggested, "You could save me for yourself, and keep me aboard as your prisoner, in your own cabin."

Anamaria snorted resoundingly as she passed him, herding the protesting and spluttering Governor before her toward the boat where Cotton and the others awaited them.

"Perhaps next time," Jack said to Miss Willard. He waved the pistol at Groves. "Sit still, mate, you're making me nervous, jumping about all twitchy like that."

"But - the Commodore, what - what am I to tell him; what are your demands?" Groves demanded in agitation as he watched Governor Swann being pulled into the boat amongst the pirates.

"It's all in the letter," Jack said. "It'll all make much more sense later on, don't trouble your head over it. And think of it," he added, brightly, "you'll all have something exciting to worry about. I give you my word he'll not be harmed. Just see that Norrington gets that letter, 'ey?"

Groves looked back at him, unwaveringly now. "He'll be coming for you, you realize."

Jack threw him a grin. "I'm counting on it, mate."


Norrington paced on deck aboard the Dauntless, as they sailed northwards to rendezvous with Sparrow's ship. He considered the contents of the letter Groves had delivered to him. Governor Swann would be held hostage aboard the Black Pearl until such time as Norrington showed in person, flying white colors and willing to negotiate peaceably for the Governor's safe return. He cursed himself for a fool for allowing Sparrow to leave Port Royal in the first place.

Jack had gone too far this time. The letter had demanded Norrington agree to meet Jack aboard the Black Pearl to discuss the ransom of the Governor, and that the Dauntless must be unescorted by any other ships. At first sight of any sails, the Pearl would weigh anchor with the Governor aboard.

Norrington could not account for it, however. There was nothing he could imagine that Sparrow might want in exchange for the Governor. But the letter stated specifically that Jack would only negotiate with Norrington himself, in person. And that he was expected to join them aboard the Black Pearl unaccompanied.

He worried though, that Jack might have taken offense at something specific during his stay in Port Royal recently. He couldn't trust his own feelings in this matter, either, for they were in turmoil. He felt the most burning anger at Jack's latest caper, daring to kidnap the Governor himself, and repaying their hospitality and Norrington's own protection and care with this worrisome and criminal activity.

But he also felt shame at knowing that Jack was very well aware of his attraction to him. Which made him angrier yet.

And of course there was the matter of the shave and haircut that Jack did seem to have taken the greatest offense at. But surely…the pirate was not so unhinged that he'd seek revenge upon Norrington for something so slight in the grander scheme of things, as to actually risk the Governor of Jamaica as well as his own pirate ship over it?

Certainly the best way to make Norrington take notice and go chasing after Sparrow was to threaten Jamaica's own representative of the British Crown. But surely he wouldn't do so over such a personal matter? The problem was, the very real threat of blackmail still existed, and he would much prefer to conduct such business aboard Jack's ship after all, considering the sensitive and damaging nature of their disagreements during Jack's stay with him, during Jack's recuperation. Norrington could see possibly horrific repercussions upon his reputation and even his career should any specifics be revealed. He could only hope that Jack would not reveal as much to the Governor himself.

And Jack had to be aware of his concerns, hence the success of the letter as the Dauntless sailed north along the Jamaican coast to the bay Jack had specified.

Norrington glumly considered that Jack knew all too well Norrington could not afford to ignore his summons. Perhaps the entire thing was a point Sparrow was making, with himself taking the fall in such a way that Sparrow could feel he'd somehow ended up on top - after the ignominy of being found captive aboard the French pirate ship. A way to save face, at the expense of Norrington himself, considering the additional fever and loss of his hair…Yes, that made more sense than anything else.

With time and tide with them rather than against, the Dauntless finally approached the designated inlet along the coast in the late afternoon, and as instructed, considering the safety of Governor Swann aboard the Black Pearl was of paramount importance, the white flag was raised, and Norrington resignedly ordered for the guns and all arms to remain standing down, except in the event of sudden attack.

Jack had specifically stated the Dauntless was not to come alongside either, as the temptation to break truce and fire might prove too great for a Navy and pirate vessel to sit abreast of each other in such close proximity.

As Norrington climbed aboard the rowboat with the coxswain and a detachment of marines, he noticed that the few crewmembers they could see aboard the Black Pearl were watching them most closely.

But despite the tension aboard both ships, there was an unnerving silence that was only broken by the loud calls of birds from the nearby jungle surrounding the inside of the bay's sandy shoreline.

Norrington instructed them to wait for their return, then climbed aboard the Black Pearl once they'd come alongside her, up the jacob's ladder that was lowered for him. Once aboard, Norrington stalked towards the greatcabin, as the pirate captain had instructed his crew to see to it Norrington was directed there once he boarded.

Inside, Norrington was greeted by the sight of Governor Swann sitting with Jack Sparrow at a large wooden table, drinking tea from a cup and saucer.

"Ah, Commodore. At last. Good of you to come," Governor Swann said, by way of greeting. "We've been waiting for your arrival for most of the day."

Norrington's face hardened. "I take it you've not been mistreated, Governor?"

The Governor waved a hand. "No, no; we've passed the time most pleasantly, have no fear. But Captain Sparrow here seems to have decided that the terms of his remaining in the Caribbean must be determined. He's insisting upon conducting the negotiations with you, I'm afraid. And seeing as it's really a matter between the Navy and himself, even if I were to extend any sort of political favor, such as awarding him with a Letter of Marque, which he's refused by the way, there would still be the matter of your orders to hunt down his ship." Governor Swann glanced at Sparrow with a measure of irony in his expression. "And I cannot offer any such entitlements without claiming his services in a naval capacity, so it really comes down to you, Norrington."

Aghast, Norrington said, "Governor, this is highly irregular. And I daresay that we are not currently at war with anyone, so there'd be very little point in awarding any such Letter. We've no need to hire the services of a privateer."

"To be sure," Jack put in. "Let's get to the point, shall we? The only reason he's here is to get you here, and now that you're here, he can go about his business, while we conduct our business. Savvy?"

Norrington stared from Jack to the Governor and back again. Slowly, with rising fury at this wild goose-chase, Norrington asked, "Am I to believe, then, that this entire incident was merely a ruse to get me out here to speak with you, Sparrow?"

Jack looked taken aback. "Why, I'm hurt, Commodore, that you think I'd arrange all this just on a whim. I can assure you, mate, this is worth the trouble, every bit of it."

Norrington glared at him. "You cannot simply kidnap people and take them hostage when the fancy takes you. And it is a most serious matter, to rouse the British Navy to go haring after you like this. It's tantamount to an act of war, to hold myself and the Governor for ransom."

Jack shook his head and clucked his tongue. "There you go again, Commodore; always taking such a gloomy view on matters. I'm not holding you for ransom, I'm trying to conduct a little business. It's a simple exchange, really. You, for the Governor here. I could hardly expect you to take me seriously without creating a situation grave enough to deserve your attention. And I needed a hostage of importance that you wouldn't simply fire upon my ship as soon as your little cannons were in range, 'ey?"

Swallowing down the rage that threatened to choke him at this…this outrageous folly Sparrow was engaged in, Norrington said in a low voice, "Very well. Governor, if you'll return with my men to the Dauntless, Lieutenant Gillette will see to it that you are taken on to Port Antonio to conduct your meeting with the Mayor, albeit slightly delayed."

Jack looked remarkably unconcerned, looking between the both of them.

Governor Swann stood and stretched and said, "Well, Captain, good luck. I daresay you'll need it. As I said, Commodore Norrington here isn't a man to be trifled with."

Jack grinned at Norrington, showing far too much gold and silver for Norrington's comfort. "An' well do I know that. Good day to you, Governor."

"So I'm to be your hostage?" Norrington directed at Jack. "For how long?"

"That depends on you, really," Jack replied, as Governor Swann left through the doors, leaving them alone. He glanced at them in the Governor's wake, and added, "Although, I would prefer to call you my guest. 'Hostage' sounds so very hostile, and not very hospitable at all. Thought you could do with a bit of a break, really, from all that nancing about in your Fort and in that sad, persnickety little town. So, we'll be out to sea for a while, just to air you out, 'ey? My crew's got orders to make way, once he's returned to your ship."

Norrington stood with his jaw clenched, and leaned with both hands upon the table. "Unbelievable," he muttered bitterly, staring down at the wooden surface without seeing it. "You've arranged all of this just for my health, then?"

Jack regarded him, leaning back in his chair and putting his boots up on the table. "Aye, Commodore. Your physical, emotional and mental health. Must say, the Governor there seemed to agree you were in need of a little airing out. He says you've not been out for a good long while, suffering the attentions of Miss Willard and the like for far too long. Said it tends to stretch your temper. In fact, he's of the opinion this will do you a world of good, and get you out of his daughter's hair for a bit, as well." Jack gave him a meaningful look.

Norrington straightened and went to sit in the chair recently vacated by Governor Swann. He took off his hat and put it on the table. "You are mad. Quite mad," he observed.

Jack grinned at him. "Not as mad as some. Nor as angry, I reckon."

Norrington threw him a dark look. And then realized that he was sitting in the one place he'd never thought to ever be: in Jack's territory, aboard Jack's own ship…far from his own men or relative safety.

Jack Sparrow was dressed once more in his usual garments, even wearing the red scarf, although his noticeably shorter-length dark hair did not fall even to beyond the sharp line of his jaw. And the pirate was already neglecting to shave, giving him a rather rascally appearance.

Norrington discovered he missed the more vulnerable look on Jack. The pirate was back, and the hint of the younger man as Jack must have appeared in his youth was quite gone, although Norrington was now aware that Jack was a scoundrel and a brigand through and through, and all he'd seen was a glimpse of an echo of Jack's past.

Certainly Jack's shrewd, dark gaze was scrutinizing him warily, at odds with the congenial and easy manner he'd adopted, slouched there so comfortably in his seat.

He wondered how much danger he was in, considering that Jack Sparrow, as he'd conveniently put out of his mind until nearing the Black Pearl in this little bay, was capable of holding a grudge against men who tried to kill him, for nigh on ten years or more…And he abruptly recalled the fact that if it had not been for Turner's cleverly thrown sword that day, Jack would have swung from that noose as intended.

Norrington swallowed in a throat that had gone quite dry. Surely…Jack wouldn't use this opportunity to visit some form of revenge upon him? Sparrow was not a violent sort of pirate, but he knew he could ill-afford to forget that he was still, in fact, a pirate.

He'd let Jack go, that day… and then once again. He'd even nursed the man back to health…Norrington was unprepared for the sudden rush of disconcerting arousal at the remembrance of seeing Jack clad only in that nightshirt, his slim and lithe figure lent a further innocence somehow, by the white, and the vulnerability of his fever. How the forlorn look of his illness had been tempered with the fever-flush in his cheeks against the pallor of his skin, following his time aboard Laurens' ship.

The silence between them grew weighty and pendulous across the table. Jack brushed his nails across his chest briefly, buffing them, then held them up to casually examine them.

Mildly, he asked, "I take it, from the very pretty look of terror you're wearing, you've reached the part where it sinks in; just exactly where it is you are?"

Norrington inhaled silently, considering Jack carefully. "Let me guess, Mister Sparrow: you intend to hold me aboard your ship for an indefinite period of time, during which I'll be subjected to the most painful rhetorical monologues." He gave Jack a look askance, as if bored. "Delivered, of course, in cryptic pirate lingo designed to wear down the most patient of men." Norrington kept his tone light but scathing, congratulating himself on delivering this in a tone that betrayed none of his reservations or anxiety.

Jack seemed genuinely amused by this. "If by that pretty little speech you mean I'll be holding you here aboard me ship, in my very own bunk for hours on end while whispering sweet nothings - in words the likes of which you've probably never heard - you're right, Commodore." Jack grinned widely. "James."

Norrington felt the heat creep into his face despite his best efforts to control himself, and was suddenly assailed with panic and hope in equally savage helpings. He swallowed again, this time refusing to look over at the man.

And abruptly the anger he still felt rustling about within him, at this indignation he was being subjected to in the wake of Governor Swann's departure, was joined by the shame and yearning he'd been striving so stubbornly to keep at bay upon arriving aboard Jack's ship.

In a low voice, he stated resolutely, "You'll have no more sport with me on that account, Sparrow, I can assure you." Yet even as he uttered the words, thankful that his voice held steady and unstrained as he spoke, his heart quailed within him and he had to close his eyes briefly against the vertigo that threatened him.

"Have you changed your mind, then? Pity, for t'was no sport intended, truly." And Jack's quiet, low, honeyed voice, damn it all, sounded oh-so-sincere.

Norrington half-believed him. But Jack was watching him; he could tell, even though he most studiously did not look over to return Jack's gaze. And it was as though no time at all had passed, and he was still sitting at Jack's bedside, trying not to stare too long or be caught lingering on his eyes or lips… Trying not to betray the conflagration that just being near this man stirred within him; hoping that Jack would not see how his nerves were frayed from the inner battle to control himself, to contain the pure need

God help me, he thought faintly. But Heaven hardly smiled upon sinners. And he wasn't even sure what he wanted help with more; to resist the temptation, the siren's lure of Jack's sensuous charisma and devil's ways, or to have Jack make it easier upon him, and allow him even one taste of that warmth again. To feel him in his arms again; this time not unawares and delirious, half-asleep, but responding in kind.

He opened his mouth to speak, and found thought had deserted him. No words came, and he shut it again, pressing his lips together firmly, angrily, wondering where all his courage had fled.

He'd faced down undead skeletal pirates, cursed men who could not be killed or vanquished until strange Aztec charms had been removed with blood and moonlight, yet here he was, dithering like a virginal maid who'd never known the touch of a man… Ah, there was the rub, he thought with sudden customary drollery. He'd never yet known the touch of another man, and he'd be a fool to believe that this man, this pirate, was any sort of an appropriate contender for the role.

But Jack removed his boots from the table and stood, stretching, saying, "The last time, a touch of liquor helped loosen your tongue, Commodore. I was rather hoping we wouldn't have to resort to such methods again, however. But if you're feeling peaked, let it not be said that Captain Jack Sparrow shirked in his hospitality. You were most generous with your rum, I do recall. Shall I return the favor?"

"No," Norrington managed. "Thank you. I'm sure we can conduct our negotiations without your ubiquitous rum."

Jack came around the table to stand not far from him, lifting a brow at this. "I've no demands, James, other than you tell me what it is you want."

Norrington stared at him, frowning now in puzzlement. "What I want?"

"From me," Jack explained.

Norrington blinked at him. "What- Why would you think I want anything from you?"

With a look of exasperation, Jack let out a growl. "Let's get to the bloody point, mate! Duty or not, you've been very clear that you don't want me dead, 'ey?"

But Norrington felt his expression stiffen at this, and that watery heat and hurt flooded his chest even as he remembered the way that Jack had turned his words against him that night.

"On the contrary, Mister Sparrow," he managed, coldly, "I'm sure you already have a very good idea of what I want. Implicitly. The real question is, why would you go to such great length to get me out here, aboard your ship, on your terms… and what do you intend to do with me now that you have me here?"

And he met Jack's eyes after his outburst, wondering why it hurt so much all over again to feel no anger upon looking at him, merely dizzy want and warmth and longing. He nearly gasped from it, and had to master his reaction, glad again for the ability to merely school his expression. To not lose his composure entirely. As he had before.

But Jack, the cheating bastard and knave that he was, stepped closer to him, slowly, too slowly; silently sliding, swaying, sidling too close by far, to look down at him. Norrington found himself uncomfortably looking up at him. Quietly, Jack asked, "Would it be presumptuous of me, d'you think, if I told you that it's really up to you?"

Norrington found himself holding his breath, frowning a little in curiosity, searching Jack's face for any hint of- of mockery or amusement, and finding none. Merely a quiet and grave expression of patience, with those deep brown eyes holding a trace of that vulnerability that pleaded for far too much from him.

In self-conscious indecision, Norrington stared up at him, stammering, "I- I- well- that- that would depend."

"On?" Jack asked meaningfully, not stepping away, still trapping his gaze.

And Norrington found himself trembling at Jack's nearness, and could feel the last of his strength crumbling like a sandcastle dashed by the onslaught of encroaching waves. "O-On you," he managed, hating himself for succumbing so quickly to a state of near-begging.

Too close - oh God, too close…mere inches away, standing far too close to him to be able to resist, and it was all he could do not to reach out and pull Jack to him. He dared not look down, look away from Jack's eyes, lest he find himself overwhelmed with having nothing else in his vision, in his world, but Jack's body.

Without warning, Norrington found himself the recipient of that rare silver and golden smile, the one he'd mourned the loss of, even that very morning. And Jack leaned both hands upon his shoulders, on either side of him, and murmured, "Give the word, James. Jus' remember: I'm more than the good man you want me to be. Savvy?"

It was hard to think with Jack looking into his eyes so earnestly, and both hands burning him through the brocade, through the coat of his officer's uniform. Norrington realized that 'pirate' was not what Jack had in mind at all, but the word 'freedom'.

Licking his lips, he asked, hollowly, "Did you believe I was trying to cage you?"

Jack tilted his head a little, and narrowed his eyes. "Let's just say it was very apparent you were trying to clip me wings."

Norrington found himself breathing easier. He could well understand Jack's point. There was only one obstacle now, for he had no interest in a painful repetition of his mistake he'd made with Elizabeth Swann. "Very well. I'll give you my word I'll not attempt such a thing again, if you'll give me yours that…" He hesitated, finding the heat and intensity of having Jack's face so near his own, that dark gaze unflinchingly directed right at him, was choking him.

Jack made an inquiring little expression, and smiled again. "That I want this as much as you do, 'ey?"

"E-Exactly. Precisely," Norrington said, abruptly feeling the world tilting, and he had to shut his eyes and draw a breath.

Jack straightened and held out a hand. "Shall we?" And he motioned with his head in the direction of the captain's cabin…Jack's cabin. And Norrington felt a new stirring of sensation within him, rising up to obliterate anything else. Anticipation.

"What…Now?" he asked, startled.

Jack smirked at him, at this. "We've been circling around it for a while now, mate." At Norrington's glance at the greatcabin's double doors, Jack grinned wider. "No worries, 'ey? Told 'em to give us a bit of room. Just while we work out our terms."

Norrington reached out a hand swiftly now, however, and took Jack's hand in his. He was momentarily distracted by how…hot it was, in his own, and strong, and yet…so elegant. He remembered the first time he'd taken Jack's hand, and was disoriented to realize how long it had taken him to come to this moment.

He glanced back up at Jack, and quickly said, "Now, hold on, I-" He paused and took a breath. "I need to know that this does mean as much to you, Jack."

Jack moved closer to him again, where he still sat, then leaned down and pressed his mouth to Norrington's. Warm, close, sweetness, to have this touch at last, this…intimacy.

All too briefly, too, for Jack pulled back a little, and murmured, "Aye, upon my word. As much, and more."

And as he straightened again, Norrington didn't let him move away, but pulled on his hand, drawing Jack closer, to wrap his arms around those narrow hips, leaning his face into Jack's belly, above the sash where it was wound around that slender waist.

He felt Jack's fingers pluck at his wig and toss it beside them on the table, moving to his hair to run those elegant fingers through it, and he sighed, pressing his face closer against Jack, not letting him move away.

A part of him wanted to cry, yet another part wanted to exclaim with joy, at long last. He did neither, merely clasped Jack to himself, hearing the pounding of Jack's heart even from where his head was laid against him, as it mirrored the rather heavy, rapid beats of his own heart, thudding through him.

Oh, God…to hold him at last. And now he felt an answering tremble go through Jack, as he hugged him tight, and he realized his left arm was encircled lower about him, down below the sash, over the top of the swell of that pert backside he'd so admired beneath that ridiculously inadequate, indecent nightshirt.

He grew aware too, now, of the hardness of Jack's arousal against him, making him note that he'd been hard for quite some time himself, as well. He'd been only vaguely aware of it in the periphery of his thoughts, due to the rather shockingly frank discussion. To have this now, though; and to know that for all practical purposes, Jack…was his. Freeman or not; Norrington had finally caught him.

Norrington gasped into him, his hot breath muffled against Jack's clothes, and Jack's strained but amused voice reached down, "Best take this next door, I think, else things are going to get very interesting out here."

Norrington couldn't bring himself to let go, however. Clutching him tight, Norrington murmured desperately against Jack, "I missed you."

He couldn't allow himself to continue, for fear of falling victim to the surge of emotion that threatened his composure. It was more than relief, but the relief alone was almost enough to pull him under. And he was a little horrified at the need and hope in his voice.

Jack's hands were on his head and now reached down to cup his face, gently pulling him back a little, so that Jack could meet his eyes. Looking down at him, Jack quietly replied, "I missed you as well." And he smiled. "Steady on, love. Let's shift ourselves." And he stepped out of Norrington's grasp, to snag his left hand and pull him after, around the table in the direction of his cabin.

Norrington moved as if he were sleep-walking, wondering at this unexpected turn of events. After struggling so hard, for so long, against this temptation, he found himself awarded with far more than he knew how to deal with.

And as Jack opened the door to his cabin and urged him within, Norrington licked his lips in nervous agitation. It was one thing to dream about holding another, let alone another man…It was altogether indiscreet to actually accompany him into a private room and commence with- with the act of love.

If he had been with a woman, he felt he might know how to proceed, but he actually had no idea how one went about the act of -

Jack had shut the door behind them, and now came up behind Norrington to reach around him with both hands, undoing his buttons and the front of his coat, stripping it back over his shoulders and pulling it off of him. It was all happening…too quickly. He drew a breath and found himself holding it, then let it out in a rush, not sure what to say.

"Relax, mate," Jack said, stepping around him and beginning to undo his sash. He flicked a glance at Norrington, and added reassuringly, "This won't be difficult, I promise."

Easy for him to say, Norrington thought. "Have you any idea," he slowly asked, "how much I've wanted you?" He almost winced inwardly at the needy sound of it, but he no longer cared. He was already committed to this, and knew that whatever the cost, he was too far down this path to turn around now.

Jack paused at this, however, and drew himself up a little, as if brought up short by his words. With uncustomary awkwardness, Jack made a small face with a gesture of defensiveness, saying, "Aye, some idea." He met Norrington's eye now with an expression of repentance. "I know it wasn't easy for you, back there. And, well, let's just say it was a bit of a surprise to find you offering comfort rather than death, 'ey?" He looked like he was trying to make light of something.

Norrington considered him with a slight frown, wondering what he was worried about. "Well, I do take your point, Jack. But what are you trying to say?"

Jack let out a breath and turned to face him. "I'm sorry, alright?" And now he appeared more than defensive, at which Norrington abruptly found himself grinning, because it was an adorable look on him. "Sorry - for hurting you. T'was never my intention. Truly."

He stepped close to Jack and pulled him firmly against himself, and smiled down at him. "I'll forgive you, you rascal, if you'll forgive me for cutting your hair. Honestly," he carried on, casually, "you're as vain as a peacock, Jack. I don't think I could have captured your attention in a more successful fashion."

Jack's eyes narrowed as he looked up into Norrington's face. "Considering the fashion you did thrust upon me, you can hardly be surprised, mate. You really ought to make up your mind, whether you want me as angel, or devil."

Norrington swallowed against the wave of heat that had begun to wash over him at having Jack in his arms, in this close space. "You're neither," Norrington reminded. "You're a man."

Jack smirked and lifted his brow at him. "Is that still troubling you, then?"

"Most alarmingly," Norrington assured him, unable to suppress the desire any more, and bent to press his lips to Jack's, hard, nearly bending Jack backwards with the force of it.

Oh. Oh, God. Those full, wicked lips, so often curved in deviltry and amusement, for once at a loss and unable to speak, silenced by his own, parting under his in the sweetest gesture of yielding to him, to this kiss. His. His, Norrington's mind exclaimed. Even as his body thrilled in it, and his heart shouted.

To drown. With him. Here.

He'd closed his eyes instinctively, and stood in absolute, breathless bliss, lost to anything but the rapture of having caught such a willful, sensual creature at last. The growth on Jack's face, against his own skin, was a reminder of the masculine nature of this…this pirate that he clasped to himself, yet the thrill of feeling Jack surrendering to his mouth was somehow familiar. Natural. It didn't feel sinful or wicked at all, he noticed with some puzzlement. Kissing him was more beautiful than he'd expected. He'd thought it would be fire and sparks and angry lust returned. But Jack's lips upon his were drowning warmth, friendly, and giving.

Then Jack's lips parted and the flick of a wet tongue-tip darted against his lips, and Norrington nearly gasped against him at the heat that surged through his very core at it. Jack took advantage of this, and slid his tongue between Norrington's lips to meet him.

It felt like a dam breaking, like permission given, like a signal flare, and the sliding caress of Jack's tongue along his was all at once a balm upon his loneliness, as well as unspeakably erotic. The intimate release of letting it happen in slow moments crawling with undulating pleasure caused a shudder to go through him, settling heavily between his legs.

Odd; he'd always thought it would be lewd and a little nauseating, in all the years he'd heard of men comporting themselves thusly, in such bestial and sexual nature together, and yet here and now, he was illuminated by the complete and total abandon that his body seemed to enter at the simple stroking of Jack's mouth against his. It was easy. It was deliciously easy. And wonderful, another part of him proclaimed. He rather suspected it was his heart.

With a muffled groan against Jack, Norrington returned the kiss harder, happily reflecting Jack's intentions by slipping his tongue within those lush lips, finding the curious taste of silver and gold within. He'd not expected to find treasure, this day. Certainly not earlier in the morning, having resigned himself to loss and solitude.

Jack pulled away now, panting somewhat. "Must say, Commodore, I pride meself on bein' a good swimmer, but I'm very flattered you think I've the lung capacity of a Tahitian diver. Which I don't."

Norrington felt his face split with the grin of a tiger at this. "Well, well. The famous pirate captain, actually acknowledging he has limits. I never thought I'd see the day."

Jack let out one low laugh at this, and retorted, "Rather think it's your limits we're exploring here, 'ey? Or are you wanting to do this standing up, so as you won't have to show a bit of skin?"

At any other time, in similar circumstances, Norrington might have taken offense, mostly because he was admittedly feeling a little off-balance at finding himself so avidly and wantonly encouraging their impending…debauchment. Instead, he found he was amused at Jack's obvious dismay, however well hidden, at his taking the initiative. He rather liked the look on him, and decided he was going to have the upper hand in this first tryst of theirs, regardless of the cost to his pride.

He stepped back, still smiling, and without taking his eyes from Jack's, even for a moment, he began to quickly undo the buttons of his shirt, and stripped it off, only to begin undoing his breeches, enjoying the way Jack's eyes flickered at this.

There was a little smirk lingering around Jack's mouth, and he didn't say anything, merely followed suit, removing his own clothes. Yet, there was now a steely response in those dark, half-lidded eyes.

Norrington removed his shoes, and noticed Jack was doing the same with his boots, but he resolved not to look away from Jack, enjoying the act of watching him, catching those dark, dark eyes and holding them.

The intensity of staring back at Jack, trying not to be the first one to break their locked gazes, even as the most alluring marks and nakedness were soon revealed below, was causing Norrington astonishing reactions in his groin. His shaft was harder than he could ever recall, standing up stiffly like a blade in proud salute.

For the last, Jack pulled off the red scarf, and Norrington was momentarily distracted in noticing the curious blend of gentleman and pirate in the overall effect, a slight return of that vulnerable young man even as Jack's eyes still held his in amused concentration.

At the sight of Jack's tongue running over his lips though, he lost focus and Norrington's eyes couldn't help but drop, watching the tip of that pink tongue darting over them.

Even at Jack's low, amused chuckle at having caused him to break their stare, Norrington advanced briskly, closing the distance between them again to pull Jack's now-nude body against his own, luxuriating in the feel of that hot skin sliding against his. He bent once more, kissing Jack hard, ravaging that winsome mouth again, and swallowed Jack's moan as their members connected below in a promising rush of pleasure.

But he couldn't sustain this for as long, this time, and broke away from Jack with a gasp, hearing Jack's panting breaths echoing his, and he managed, "On the- on your bunk, now."

In a voice that betrayed to Norrington that Jack was far too much in control of his senses, Jack said, "Hold that thought, love…Are you giving the orders here, then?"

"I am," Norrington said, claiming his lips again, possessively. Oh God, if he didn't have him soon, he'd spend where he stood. Far - too - hot, each kiss, each moment of losing himself in this man. Sin, sin, sin…and it was more sublime than he'd ever imagined it could be.

He lifted his head to say, "You can have the privilege next time, Captain. But I'll not be denied; not after having to wait on you this long." In a sudden rush, he bit out, "Damn it all, Jack; I had to wait for you for days and nights on end, with you lying there under my very roof. It was torture, waiting for you to recover." There was desperation in his voice as well as desire, but he didn't care.

"Oh. All right," Jack replied, simply and mildly, and returned his kiss with equal passion, demonstrating an uncannily ability to imitate an octopus, his arms now everywhere at once; those hot, demanding hands pulling him against Jack's body as Jack walked them somewhat unsteadily in the direction of the captain's bed.

"Want you, I want you, I want this," he found himself chanting in a low, urgent tone, catching Jack's face in both his hands now, to plant his mouth on Jack's with a need that was severe.

Jack returned the kiss with fervor, then pulled away a little to mutter, "There's no doubt of that, James. But what say you we do this properly, and we'll take the edge off for you?" And Jack drew him down, as Norrington moved to lie atop him on the covers.

Burnt orange and gold of the late sun descending in the sky outside, as the Pearl left the coast behind and carried them out into the sunset waves, shone in from the window, giving Jack's naked skin a burnished look.

Norrington regarded him, noting the quiet sense of contentment and satisfaction settling inside of him, despite the roiling, aching need to lose himself upon him. With an ability to speak, that he was most proud of retaining despite the total discomfiture of lying atop a most naked and warm, shifting pirate, he asked, "What do you have in mind?"

With a swift grin, Jack said, "Turn a bit, ey? On your back."

As Norrington did so, scooting over to give Jack room, he was not prepared for the sight of Jack rising up over him to settle between his knees, parting his legs further and running his hands down Norrington's chest; hot, sure fingers, down his belly, to his hips, to grab with one firm hand at the base of his erect organ, and give Norrington a look from beneath his lashes that nearly undid him at sight of him, if not from his touch.

With a significant, slight toss of his head, and a truly impish leer, Jack informed him, "I'll be going down on you now, James, so you might want to hold onto something in the meantime." At Norrington's lifted brows at this, Jack added, "I know it's been a while for you, is all."

"It - I - well. Very well, then," Norrington managed, looking back at him with a sensation of helpless entreaty to have it done to him wheeling through him and over and around him.

And then found himself keening out loud as Jack bent and promptly licked with the flat of his tongue, all the way up his length, to swirl over his over-sensitized head. Exquisite pleasure shot with almost painful intensity through him, centered on his shaft, radiating out through his bloodstream and filling him with the need to thrust upwards into that melting heat.

He realized his eyes had rolled back up, and he blinked, gasping, to glance down at the cause of this extreme sensation. The very real vision of Jack Sparrow's mouth swallowing him in, those lips stretched over his hardness, was enough to rob his mind of any last vestiges of reason.

He bucked upwards, unable to help himself, glad for Jack's weight holding him to the bed beneath, and that other hand suddenly releasing him to drift lower to his bollocks, handling him with a certainty and surety that reminded him this was no woman touching him so.

Jack's mouth continued to play upon him, and moments stretched into minutes, time flowing like sand through an hourglass as precious pleasure was drawn and lengthened. The unexpected granting of his aching desire in this way was a revelation, for all the sinful nature of this union, or the sweet lewdness of what Jack was doing to him.

And still that long, hot tongue was doing unspeakable fluttering, lashing things to his most stimulated organ, and Norrington felt the desire and desperation and anguish and longing all suddenly given free rein, as it curled and coiled deep in him, only to shoot out of him with a hoarse shout, torn from him.

He realized his hands had fisted the covers beneath, and he could not help arching up off the bed into Jack's mouth, as he spent in the surrounds of liquid fire, again and again and again.

Oh, God…Jack, and then he realized he'd breathed it aloud, and the purring hum that Jack emitted, as he swallowed his issue without batting an eye at the amount of it all, thrummed through Norrington's body with a satisfying vibration.

The shreds of his awareness were broken with intermittent sighs and pleasures that swirled behind his eyes as they faded out, and the glow of aftershocks resonated inside of him, even as Jack continued to suckle at him. The raw and all-too-inescapable physical touch of that warm, wet tongue refusing to abandon him grew too much, and he gasped, "E-Enough… it's enough."

Rising up, Jack was licking his lips, and he crawled up along Norrington's body with the expression of the proverbial cat that'd got the cream, to settle upon him with laced fingers over his chest, beneath Norrington's chin. Jack wriggled slightly atop him, making himself comfortable. Jack's own desire was still apparent, pressing against him, trapped between their bodies, but Jack didn't seem to be eager to seek his own pleasure yet, for he smiled.

Norrington smiled back at him, feeling curiously free of everything. He let go the bed and let his fingers go through Jack's hair, enjoying the luxury of touching him. "My thanks."

"Oh, I can assure you, the pleasure was all mine," Jack grinned at him, with another lick of his lips.

Then he inched his way bodily up Norrington even further, to press a kiss to his mouth, and Norrington was surprised to find it sensual rather than dismaying, to receive the faint, enduring taste of himself on Jack's lips.

He put one arm around Jack now, the other still in his hair, and enjoyed the feel of Jack's body against his, and wondered at the strangeness of finally being able…to hold him, as he'd wanted.

The lovely weight of Jack upon him, even as he moved to wrap his legs around Jack's in a twining manner, reminded him that he would be reversing their positions as soon as he was able again.

Uncannily, or perhaps not so surprisingly, Jack seemed to divine his intent. "Aye, we're neither of us as young as we used to be, 'ey?"

"Speak for yourself," Norrington countered, lazily, catching Jack's suddenly petulant lips with his own.

When he released him, Jack chuckled against his lips, "Comm-…mm, Commodore, you've had your fun; now it's my turn, aye?"

Norrington considered this. "Not really."

"Ah," Jack acknowledged, his smile turning slyer. "Perhaps you'll tell me what you've got planned, then?"

Norrington grinned. "What, are you worried?"

Jack gave a little shrug. "When a man's been denying himself as long as you have, one must ask what manner of wickedness you've in mind, 'ey?"

Norrington found himself blinking at the assumption he'd been carrying: that Jack Sparrow, pirate, thief and debaucher would be no stranger to all forms of decadence. Abruptly, he recollected Jack's words from that last conversation over their shared bottle of rum. He wondered how much of the pirate's flirtatious act was for show.

Slowly, he asked, "Does it bother you, that I want to have you?"

Jack was grinning fatuously at him, as if he hadn't heard him.

Norrington wrinkled his brow. "What? What is it?"

Jack shook his head a little, saying, "It's a good look on you, is all." At Norrington's further querying expression, Jack added meaningfully, "Happiness. It suits you, really."

Norrington grinned back at him, and ran his hand down Jack's back, noting the thin traces of…his past. Bypassing that interesting reminder of who and what was so engagingly draped over him, Norrington experimentally squeezed one shapely buttock - and was rewarded with a most interesting intake of breath.

"That is very nice, indeed," Norrington commented, doing it again, and enjoying the way Jack writhed against him, at it.

"You don't say," Jack breathed, then nearly took Norrington's breath away by grinding himself against him most lusciously, in a motion that would have seemed helpless - if it weren't for Jack's salacious expression.

Jack drew up a little more, bringing his thighs up to straddle him, and Norrington abruptly found himself being ridden, a look of near-pain on Jack's face as he continued to squirm into him.

Norrington reached down to trace his hands over Jack's hips, over that lean waist, trailing down to those supple, gorgeous thighs. Marveling, he said, "I can still hardly believe this. I don't want to leave you wanting, Jack." And with that, he took Jack's silky shaft in hand, and began to palm him, squeezing him in a parody of how he usually handled himself.

The deep, throaty squeak this elicited was followed by Jack's gasped exclamation, "Oo, Christ-" Then he said, hoarsely, "In answer to your question, my dear James, it wouldn't bother me in the slightest if you decided you had to have me, after all the abstention you've put yourself through."

Dryly, Norrington smirked, "If that's permission, then thank you." Jack's member seemed to leap a little in his hand, as if in response, and Norrington's eyes narrowed. He was beginning to suspect that Jack didn't mind being 'taken in hand' in the least.

He rubbed his thumb over the leaking slit and Jack emitted a stifled whimper. The sensation of satisfied power this gave Norrington, in knowing that just with the touch of his hand he could coax this sort of response from Jack, was most heady indeed.

Conversationally, Norrington informed him, "My Lieutenant, Mister Groves, was most put out that he had to accompany Miss Willard back to Port Royal by himself. He said if it hadn't been for the fact he'd found it necessary to drive the carriage, he'd have been stuck inside it with her…and he blames you for the whole incident."

"Are you suggesting," Jack managed, with another shimmy of his hips atop him, "that I find a way to make it up to him? I'm sure he and I could come to an arrangement. Seemed quite unable to take his eyes off me, on our way out."

Norrington was appalled at the swiftness and vehemence of the possessive jealousy that swept over him at this suggestion.

But Jack stared at him, and said, in an impressed tone, "Well, now. That look suits you too. Goes with your green eyes."

Norrington had now had more than enough, and he seized Jack above both elbows, bringing him atop him roughly and turning, so that Jack ended up on his left side, albeit slightly trapped under him. Firmly, Norrington informed him, "There will be no seducing any of the men under my command."

"Will there not?" Jack smiled up at him, obviously enjoying being the primary recipient of this attention.

Norrington stared down at the infuriating man. And decided the best punishment for such insolence was the immediate application of kisses. From the purring that resulted, Norrington realized he'd given Jack exactly what he'd been after in the first place.

As he lifted his head once more for air, Jack said, "There's a very useful jar of oil over there."

As the significance of this sank into Norrington's mind, he said intelligently, "Oh? Really. That's…handy. Quite."

"Aye," Jack nodded, watching him. Then he urged, "Well, go on. Rather think we'll need it if you're going to have your way with me, 'ey?"

Crawling up off him, Norrington hurriedly searched in the direction Jack indicated, and found the oil sitting beside the lamp. As he turned, he saw Jack had turned and laid facedown upon the bunk, his backside in the air, the bare and slim globes of his buttocks causing a fresh roll of heat and lust to slide over Norrington, reducing his composure to a puddle. As he knelt by him, Norrington said, "I've been dreaming about this. About you."

"You won't have to dream anymore," Jack promised him, even as he dipped his fingers in the oil. Norrington anointed his stiff member, hard at the mere thought of being inside of his beautiful man. This same man who had somehow commandeered his heart as well as his senses.

"You know what you're doing?" Jack asked, a note of concern residing ever so slightly in his voice.

Norrington smiled absently, and murmured, "Trust me."

The scent of the oil was roses. He'd never be able to smell roses again without thinking of this, their first tryst together. Aboard a pirate ship, no less. The irony was not lost on Norrington.

"You've not done this before," Jack said, suddenly, his voice slightly muffled by the bedcovers. "Not with a man."

Norrington grinned. "It's alright. I'll go easy on you." And he knelt between Jack's legs, pushing them slowly apart with his knees. Sliding two oiled fingers down the valley of Jack's tight, hard buttocks, he parted those golden cheeks and then allowed the jar to tip, dribbling enough oil onto him that Jack hissed with the cold. "Sorry," Norrington apologized, still grinning and not sorry at all, for watching Jack's arse move and shift under the cool droplets was most…inflaming. He began to knead Jack's flesh, enjoying the way the skin was slippery and seemed to darken under his harder pinches.

He used more of the oil to reapply it to his stiff organ, and then put the jar aside, to contentedly slide down atop Jack's waiting body, causing a quiver to go through the pirate. Angling the tip of his erection against Jack's slickened arse, he found the tight rosebud hole there, and then slid into him…just enough to surround the flared crown of his shaft with the tightest, sweetest heat he could ever recall pushing into. He punctuated this with a kiss upon Jack's neck, just beneath his hair. He felt Jack pushing back against him and he took this as a sign to continue.

Sliding into him was easy, past the ring of tightened muscle, and the groan that Jack gave was music in his ears. He wondered briefly if he were indeed dreaming, or if it was real. But there was no mistaking it; he really did have a handful of pirate writhing under him as he speared him upon his hard cock.

To have dreamed about this, for so long, never truly sure that he'd ever see his beloved again… It was all at once miraculous and surreal. And he slid deeper into him, enjoying the way Jack's body simply - gave way, under his, allowing his shaft to sink harder, deeper, and Norrington could feel his heart going out of him along with it. He stopped as he felt the last inch sink into Jack's arse, and whispered, stilling all movement, "Are you alright? Does it hurt?"

"A moment," Jack's strained reply reached him, "if you please."

Norrington lifted up a little, and regarded Jack as he lay with his face to one side. Jack's expression was priceless. He looked stricken, his mouth parted as if in wonder. Hunger, need, love and lust swept over Norrington in that moment, blazing a trail through not just his chest but his whole being. Like a wildfire, it seared his brain and rendered him incapable of thought or speech. It made him reckless. He eased himself into him until he was fully inside of Jack up to the hilt.

"Jack," he whispered, against his neck, unable to contain the sweetness of being wrapped inside and above and around the warmth and melting loveliness of taking him.

"God's blood, man; move, move!" Jack gasped.

Norrington began a slight rocking motion, simply undulating atop him, not attempting to ride him hard, just letting him get used to the feeling of it, the rhythm. Sure enough, Jack's entire body responded, surrendering to him. Oh God, to be taking Jack Sparrow's body - it was too good; it was glorious. He felt humbled, even. He wanted eternity with him. Time was passing too quickly.

"Want you," he said, kissing Jack's neck mindlessly now. "Always."

He kept rocking, letting his hips thrust a little harder and enjoyed the way Jack arched helplessly under him with it.

Jack was whispering a loose stream of curses. Finally he said, "For God's sake, fuck me harder, James. Please."

"I don't want to hurt you-"

"I need it," Jack interrupted him. "Harder! Oh God, harder…"

Norrington began to oblige, letting himself fall into the sweet, wild abandon of letting loose. "Jack, oh Jack," he said, hoarsely, panting.

"Harder," Jack groaned, his entreaty getting desperate.

At the pleading tone, Norrington felt released, and finally stopped caring about making this a pleasant, smooth ride and concentrated on letting loose a volley of stabbing thrusts, enjoying the fact that even as his hearing started to go with the thundering of his blood rushing in his ears, and his own cries were drowning him out, Jack's yelps and moans were growing louder and louder.

Oh sweet mother of God at last - to make love to this tight, tender man under him -

Abruptly, Jack shuddered under him, wildly, and cried out, even as he punished his tight, slippery, clenching depths over and over.

Norrington cried out, reaching that core of pleasure that burned inside, a sweet, barely-remembered and forgotten taste of happiness, like fireworks in his brain, covering them with sweat and heat and love -

He came inside of him, sheathed within the hot body of the man he'd finally achieved, and whom he'd never imagined he'd finally hold. Sobbing his name, Norrington spurted the last of his heart and soul into his prey, his prisoner, his very own pirate, and collapsed upon Jack's heaving body as it shuddered and shook beneath him. He remembered, all too late, that he hadn't helped Jack to climax, either with his hand or mouth, and promptly smiled, panting, knowing he could make it up to him afterward.

Resting his forehead against Jack's slim back, he whispered, fiercely, "Mine; you're mine."

Jack breathed a sigh beneath him and murmured, "As you say. And you're mine." Jack squirmed beneath him, this time more playfully.

He lay draped over Jack, and refused to move.

Jack shifted a little, and with a grin, Norrington kissed him on the cheek. Then on the mouth, licking at his lips. "That was very interesting," Norrington stated. "I may have to do it again."

"A fait accompli'," Jack informed him.

"Ah, yes. Naturally." Norrington said, nodding. He felt slow on the uptake. Must be the rush of the humors in his blood after such an explosive climax, due to the release of the tension, and the pinnacle of having actually got his pirate captain. "You're right. We need to do this again."

"I intend to do it to you repeatedly, until you beg me to stop," Jack promised, with a lewd motion of his hips against Norrington.

Norrington responded by kissing him. And promptly forgot what he might have said in response, lost instantly in the wonderful novelty of being able to do so whenever he wished.

He was quiet; as was Jack. Finally, he whispered, "So you accept my apology then?"

"If you accept mine," Jack seemed cautious. Almost as if he was regretting becoming serious once more.

But Norrington smiled and kissed him again. "Of course. Besides, it was very good. You may have to make it up to me by taking me back home, to Port Royal. By tomorrow morning will do."

"I refuse."

"You can't."

"I just did."

"Fine. You'll have to make it up to me; I'm afraid I must insist on having you in my own bed before the week is out."

"My pleasure," Jack replied, the amusement in his voice belying his wry response. "Commodore."

Norrington chuckled at him. And settled in with a sigh of contentment. They had the rest of their lives, after all. He wondered at the strangeness of fate, at the way destiny had taken him upon this course. Well, naturally; now that he'd got him, he'd never let him go. Never. A most solemn promise to himself. He'd be a fool indeed, to let this sort of happiness ever leave.

He never would have thought that his original loss would turn out to be his greatest victory. It was with a heart-felt and heart-healed satisfaction that he responded as Jack moved against him again, this time with silent but unmistakable purpose.

Slowly, he murmured, "I forgive you for being a pirate."

"Ah. And I'll forgive you for being one of the most sarcastic officers of His Majesty's Navy as I've ever encountered," Jack replied, mildly.

Norrington pressed his face to Jack's, and whispered, "So long as you don't forget I outrank you."

Jack didn't rise to this, merely grinned and kissed him.

Norrington kissed him back. And didn't let go until morning.


When Jack awoke, it was to the comforting sway of the Pearl's movement through the ocean waves, and in his arms, the even, peaceful breathing of an armful of Commodore.

There was a cooing noise, however, that intruded softly in the quiet morning light.

Jack lifted his head with a frown, and then smiled as he caught sight of the creature responsible.

A white dove was sitting on the outside ledge of the window. A harbinger of peace, he thought, and glanced down at his sleeping James. An omen, indeed. And with a sigh of contentment, he lay his head back down to enjoy the sunlight a while longer.


~ Fini

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