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Drabbles and Ficlets

by Linaelyn

   
 

Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG    Pairing: Pintel/Ragetti    Full Header   Heathen Gods

 
 
“Hold up,” Ragetti’s hand clutched at Pintel’s coattails. The gold jingled heavy in his pouch, as he stood over the beggar’s outstretched hand.

A coin dropped, ponderous, and the hand dipped. “What’s this?” The supplicant’s two empty sockets tilted up, parody of vision.

“Buy yourself an eye what’s made of glass,” offered Ragetti.

“Bloody sentimental git,” Pintel chided.

“Could’a been me...” the one-eyed pirate explained.

Pintel shook his head. “Could’a been you what got the glass eye, mate”

*******
“That’s him!” Pintel’s finger stabbed across the plaza, nearly a year later.

The eyeless beggar spoke first. “Took you long enough,” and he spit in his hand, and offered up the wet, yellow circle for them to take. “I’ve held your devil’s swag long enough.”

“Oh. Thank you,” said Ragetti.

And they didn’t need to redden their knives in Blindbeggar Sands’ belly, after all.
 
 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: G    Pairing: Will/Elizabeth    Full Header  
  fear and worry

He began the journey to find his father, a worried young man. Could he find his only remaining blood kin? Was he truly alone in the world? How does one find a merchant sailor on the wide, wide sea?

Abruptly, the explosions, and the young not-quite-a-man was most intently concerned with pure survival.

But the the sharp eyes of a young girl of noble caste, came to his succor. There's a boy! A boy in the water! Hauled aboard the Dauntless, taken in and aided, not for the first time, nor for the last.

I'm watching over you, Will Turner.

**********

pride and hope

It was his blade, his craftsmanship, his art that he passed to The Governor.

Impressive, he heard, and thought "An Impressive Turner Blade, made for a Commodore, at the Behest of the Governor."

His chest swelled, a young cockerel on the scratch-floor, nearly at full display.

She appeared, and his breath was taken.

The game of names was played, as it was always played before her father; The familiar motions of that pavane were stepped out.

His eyes and his heart followed her, as the carriage pulled away, with the clank and the clatter that he heard none of.

Elizabeth.
 
 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: R    Pairing: James/Jack/Will/Elizabeth    Full Header  
  Birds of a Feather

Elizabeth, starched and curled and dressed for travel in corset and brocade and jacquard, gave her husband a firm buss, full on the lips. "Bless you, darling. I'll be back before you know it. Behave while I'm gone?"

Will leaned forward in the bed, to chase her departing lips. "I'll miss you terribly, darling. How long will you be visiting your cousins in Kingston? Tell me again; I've forgotten."

"Only a short fortnight."

"An eternity, my love." Will gazed after her, watching the departing skirts sway and shimmy over his beautiful wife's hidden treasures.

He would be missing her. Truly.

~~~~~~

The closed chaise wended its way through the muddy streets of Port Royal, scattering fowl and folk in its wake.

The commodore's eyes were closed in the gloomy interior of the small carriage. He focused only on delicious sensation, that of tongue stroking up his bare thigh.

Sparrow's beard and mustache were speckled with the droplets of James' pleasure; Jack grinned and gave a last, gentle nip to the flaccid member James had just expended explosively.

Norrington tugged his breeches up, and long practice made quick work of the rebuttoning.

"Adieu." Jack gave a cat-leap from the still-moving chaise.

~~~~~~

The windowsill creaked sooner than Will expected it to, less than ten minutes after Elizabeth's departure.

A mud-speckled pirate flipped himself to the wooden floor of the second-story bedroom in the residence above the smithy.

"Aren't you cutting it rather close?" Will remained in the bed, awaiting Jack.

"Watched her leave, mate. No worries." Jack finished disrobing and climbed under the linens. Leaning in to kiss the other man, Jack was surprised by Will's recoil.

"Bloody Hell!" Will cursed, "You still smell like him!"

"Close your eyes and pretend, then," Jack glinted.

Will was dumbfounded, briefly.

Then, Jack was pinned.

~~~~~

Peering out from the drape on the chaise, James saw his target approaching. Two sharp raps signalled the driver to halt before her.

"Mrs. Turner! What a delight to see you here," the commodore spoke solicitously. "Could I provide you with conveyance to your destination?"

"Commodore Norrington!" Elizabeth simpered, "Sir, you are too kind. Were it not for the dreadful condition of the roads, I would surely refuse your over-generous offer."

"Nonsense." James replied. "You must come along with me."

Once ensconced within, Elizabeth whispered into his ear.

"Do you think he knows?"

"Some people never learn," was Norrington's reply.
 
 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG-13    Pairing: Jack Sparrow/James Norrington Jack/Rum    Full Header  
  3 Drabbles and Morning

Blessed Absence of Memory

Gods. I need Rum. No brew strong enough in these isles. Gibbs's working on a distillery, but it takes time, and time seems perilously short to me these days. Stuff they make from those roots? Just...vile. I've tasted worse, but still. Cotton's the only man of us to relish the stuff.

Time no longer seems a limitless quantity, not since I left Port Royal, in a flourish of dramatic denoument. And never a shot fired. They'll not soon forget Captain Jack Sparrow, not in a hundred, nay, in a thousand years.

Would but that I could forget James.

And Rum.

**************
But Why Is Jack Gone?

I miss his warm mouth, his lips, the way he'd take me betwixt them, swallow me down.

He never really said goodbye.

I suppose he tried to take me with him, but there wasn't enough of me, others always wanting some of me. The rest of the crew finished me, as surely as if they'd stuck a knife in my belly and twisted.

And now I'm gone.

He misses me, I'm sure of it. Not as much as he misses James, but I helped him there.

While I could. For a while. Until the last drop of me was gone.
*****************
Wondering in the Rain

Why does this rain make me recall him? It explodes from these skies in sheets that make even the hurricanes of the Carib Sea seem a friendly drizzle. These storms, monsoons they say...warm and wet and...ah.

That's it.

'Twas the thought came to me, in those delicious days of decadence, when commandeering my dear Commodore. As he kissed and licked and lapped his way down to the dragon lying coiled in the small of my back.

It will not be easy to relinquish this warm, wet, wandering worship...

Sometimes, I hate being right.

What reminds him of me, I wonder?
******************
Morning

Morning's not my favorite time of day, no. Whenever given a choice, I absolutely prefer the night. The stars in the firmament and the breeze up. I'm very fond of an evening, with its little lapping waves and the way the Sea speaks to the Pearl then. Afternoon's certainly not bad, not bad at all. Easiest to see which way to land and fresh water, when the gulls overhead turn towards the shore.

But morning? Very nice. Not my favorite.

Morning's the denoument of night. It means the joy and passions of the dark have passed on by, waiting another time, as it wanders 'round the edge of the world. If my sight were poorer, the dark of night a debility, I could see wishing it away, and finding the arrival of light a relief. P'raps those of colder climes than this seek the cessation of the nightly chill. Some folks find great pleasure in a sunrise, in a new beginning that way. Some, but generally, not me.

But this morning? Sometimes. Sometimes a dawn can be glorious.

Sometimes the golden orb's appearance over that curve of distant sky-meet-sea is like to grab your heart from within your chest and rend it, still beating, from its bodily attachment to you. Sometimes the ululations of the seabirds as they hunt, the scent of the surf and of the flora and fauna beneath it, makes fair to wrench out your soul. The water's gradual spectral shift from ash to slate to deep blue to teal to turquoise...to that green that seems to only come in the sea at dawn and in certain persons' eyes.

A Certain Person's Eyes.

And then the blazing, firey eye that watches above leaps up over the edge and makes the water all gold in a flash like cannonfire, and takes the green away from me. Or takes me away from the green, hard to say which.

Best to just avoid the dawn.
 

 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG    Pairing: Ampersand, various   Full Header  Hurt Comfort  
 
Stillborn

Jack's arm draped over Anamaria's shoulder, as the shuddering continued.

"I should've..." she choked out, "I should've..."

"Nay, ye shouldn't an' ye couldn't so ye didn't," Jack murmured in her tangled hair.

"But," her breath hitched painfully as she sought to control her sobs, "the babe..."

"...now has a chance to go 'roun' the circle again, luv. Mayhap with a better roll of the dice, nex' time." Jack's hand stroked her gently, shoulder to elbow, over and over.

"But...Therésa..." she doubled over again at the thought of her sister's loss.

"Aye, that's it." Jack held tight. "Cry for the mama."

**********
Just a Splash of Cold Water
"Are you injured?" Lt. Groves extended his hand to Lt. Gillette, who lay stunned on the quarterdeck of the newly comissioned Interceptor. "This brig's got to have the lowest spanker-boom I've ever seen, on vessel this size."

"My wig cushioned the worst of the blow, I believe," he said calmly, readjusting said item on his brow. His fingers came away red. "AUGH! AUGH!"

"It's just a little split, Harold! You're fine!" Groves reassured.

"MY NEW WIG!" Gillette shrieked "RUINED!"

"No, no. Here," Ellis lifted, deftly removing a few pins to ease its passage. "It's fine. Cold water. Come right out."

**********
King George Himself
"Allow me, sir" Seaman Gibbs passed a grimy kerchief to the Governor-elect.

Swann took the cloth, dabbed his mouth, then leaned and retched again, over the rail of the Dauntless.

"S'no shame in it, sir. Happens to the best."

Swann was unable to reply. Only Gibbs' support held him sufficiently upright to clear the decking with his spew.

"Why, I once heard tell o'King George 'imself, 'board a ship o'the line..." Shoulders shuddered before him again, and the elaborate brown coiffure nearly tumbled into the sea.

Strong hand shot out, grabbed, and retrieved.

"Bless you," came the garbled, husky mumble.

**********
 
   
  Fandom: Shrek    Rating: G    Pairing: Dragon & Fiona    Full Header  
  Girls' Night Out

"Girls' night out: a fabulous idea, Dragon." Fiona sat before the campfire, sticky-fingered, skewer and chocolate in her hand. "We should have done this ages ago."

Dragon made an agreeable purring, and continued to guzzle ale directly from the keg's bunghole.

"Next time, I think I'll bring a bigger cask, though!" Fiona chuckled, her ogrish-green roly-polies jiggling in amusement, "Leave me a sip, would ya?"

Dragon merely grinned, and daintily placed one marshmallow on each daggerlong canine.

Dragon burped.

Flame gouted.

Dragon sneezed.

Each marshmallow landed on its intended graham cracker.

Fiona sighed. "No one makes s'mores quite like you..."

 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG    Pairing: Will/Elizabeth Will/Jack    Full Header  
  Sea Road

"Hey, boy! Where be Jack?" Gibbs demanded.

"Jack? Jack Sparrow?" Elizabeth's eyes flashed back and forth between them.

"He fell behind." Will watched warily, as the old sailor made the ship ready to disembark. Gibbs wouldn't be stopping this, then. Will's decision was final; he was really leaving Jack to die in Barbossa's clutches.

Will placed a hand on Elizabeth's milk-smooth elbow and remembered the sensation of the scarred and tattooed pirate, hot and wet and.... No honor among thieves. If Gibbs, who clearly had been a close acquaintance of Jack for many years, was glad to turn the ship away and leave Jack to his dire fate, who was he to do any different?

Compare and contrast. That's what Master Brown had taught him, and Captain Norrington, in his fencing lessons as well. Choose the way ahead that leads to one's goal. Parry and riposte; hammer and quench. Keep focus on the final outcome, always. Only in this way lies the path to perfection.

Will chose a life beside a beautiful woman, and he the husband, the captain, the king.

Will stepped away from a life beside a beautiful Pirate, and forever in the shadow of someone else's greatness.
 

 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: G    Pairing: Jack    Full Header  
  Hands of a Pirate

Most thought there were many rings, but t'was only that the hands moved so quick as to make them seem many-ringed. Jack Sparrow wore only the one gaudy emerald, but there was also the wrap of leather thong 'round thumb and middle finger, for holding in place his sailor's palm.

Rings left callouses. Callouses peeled in salt water, made a site for infection and pain. Rings could be removed from a drunken man easily. Rings could be dropped, could be lost, could catch in the rigging or the hair of a lover.

Jack kept all his gold in his teeth.
 

 

  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: G    Pairing: None    Full Header  
  Mascot

“Hell’s Bells!” Jack exclaimed. “What in Hades is that thing?

“Isn’t he a beauty, Captain?” Gibbs declared proudly, stroking the creature’s throat. “I won him in a hand of whist.”

“Well, you’re not bringing it aboard the Pearl, mate.”

“Yes, I am.”

“No, you’re not.”

“He’s the best mouser in all of Tortuga!”

“This ship has no mice, Joshamee. Only rats.”

“He’s tidy and affectionate and he’s even housebroken!”

“Answer’s still no.”

Gibbs played his final trump. “I’ll let you name him…”

~~~~~~~~~

And that is how the Black Pearl became home to the ugliest lizard to ever be called “Hector.”
 

 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: G    Pairing: Elizabeth    Full Header  
  Never Said

I never said I loved you, James. I said you were a fine man. You still are.

I never said I would be a good daughter, Father. I tried, honestly I did. But I cannot be someone who fits in your world.

I never said I would stay with you, Will. I thought that was what I wanted, but I never spoke those words to you. You spoke them to me, often enough. I said that it was you I wanted, and it was true... for a time.

I never said much to Jack Sparrow. I like it that way.
 

 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG    Pairing: Elizabeth and the men in her life    Full Header  
  On the Beach

My father loves me. He brings me a new dress, and it is a beautiful one, though far too tight across the chest. He wishes my body were still a girl's. He knew how to manage me when I was a girl. I am a woman now, and will not be managed.

Will loves me. Will wears his heart on his sleeve, and I know exactly what he is thinking. He looks at my mouth when he speaks to me, and he thinks of kisses. Long, deep kisses. Will is innocent.

James loves me. James is not innocent, but he is honourable. He glances at my breasts, and then glances away, for propriety's sake. He stumbles over his words, and though he seeks to guard my honour, his heart is quite apparent.

Jack does not love me. Jack finds me attractive.

I find Jack repulsive, a hairy, scarred, unmanageable pirate.

but...

A pirate.

A Pirate.

Perhaps if I...

Could I cause a pirate to love me? How would one go about seducing the heart of a pirate? What keys unlock a pirate's soul? What manner of a man would a pirate be?

My goodness, how much rum have I taken?
 

 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG    Pairing: none    Full Header  
  God's Truth

"There's a luv, you're fine, you're fine," Gibbs' gravelly voice reassured.

"I ain't your love, nor aught else to you." Prone on the surgery table belowdecks, Anamaria's teeth gritted and her eyes watered. The grapple was lodged between her rib and shoulderblade.

Gibbs still used the gentlest of motions to gradually ease the barbed point loose. Bloody metal scraped against the bone, and Anamaria's breath caught.

Mercifully, she fainted from the pain.

"You're more than naught, luv. Far more than naught to every each'n'ev'ry one of us on the Pearl," Gibbs whispered.

From the doorway, Captain Jack said, "Aye. S'truth."
 

 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG-13    Pairing: Gibbs/Jenny    Full Header  
  The Language of Flowers

"What's that, Josh?" Jenny's brother leaned over his shoulder to peer at the tawny wood in the burly farm boy's hand.

"Jes' a bit o' headboard for the cradle, Liam," Gibbs didn't look up from his carving. "Don't say nothin' to Jen, mind. It's t'be a surprise."

"Och, aye," Liam smiled to himself. His sister had this fellow wrapped 'round her little finger, and the banns only just been read. Not that it was unusual for Jen to have a man (or three) following her heels like a loyal dog, no. But this one...

Not many a man would choose to make a woman his wife, one who was already full of seed from another man's prick.

"Liam?" Joshamee called after his brother-in-law to be. "Wha'd'ye think Jenny would like better, roses or poppies?"

Pennyroyal Liam muttered under his breath, and some tansy and rue as well. Jenny'd never be handfasted to this simpleton if she weren't carrying a married man's bastard in her belly. "Best the poppies. Roses're for remembrance."

"Ah," Josh replied. "Not roses, then, no. Poppies be for death and passion? Best make it Holly, for a happy home."

Mayhap he weren't as simple as he looked.

 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG    Pairing: Gibbs/Norrington    Full Header  
  The Hare

The rigging sang and the canvas hummed along, perhaps because it didn’t know the words.

Lieutenant Norrington, officer of the watch, looked up into yards as the topmen furled the royals, their bodies speck-small against the sky. The wind had freshened over the deep Atlantic; although it remained a piercing azure overhead, the horizon was dark with cloud.

Glancing at the speed with which the cumulus were growing, Norrington leaned toward Mr. Hayes the bo’sun and said, “The mains as well, if you please. Topsails and jibs alone shall suffice.” The bo’sun’s bellow passed the order aloft to the crew. Four strides took James to the wheel.

“Looks like she’ll be a pretty blow, aye Leftenant?” said the helmsman.

“Nothing the Dauntless cannot weather, Mr. Gibbs. A point closer to the wind would give us an additional knot or two, wouldn’t you say?”

“Aye-aye, sir,” Gibbs grinned and nodded. “I’d dearly love t’see ‘er make fourteen knots. The Cap’n, bless ‘is soul, is always one for staying the course, sure an’ steady.”

“Well, the Tortoise did win the race, Mr. Gibbs.”

“Aye, but I’ve ne’er known a Hare what could make fourteen knots at sea.”

The silence stretched between them. Gibbs watched him for it, and saw the decision. Norrington gave a tiny, decisive nod.

“Hands aloft at the fore and mizzen, Mr. Hayes. I’d like those mains free again.”

Gibbs suppressed a chuckle. This one had been worth the effort, aye.
 

 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG-13    Pairing: Jack/Gibbs    Full Header  
 

Why Not?

Jack looked out over the waves, the sea where Gibbs swam, pale skin in dark water. Warm cheek in warm sea.

He recalled, pleasantly, the last time his own face lay aside that cheek, breathing hard and deep, after satiating his partner one last time for the night.

He wasn't Joshamee's favorite, no, nor was the fellow his own. But of a night's convenience...

Aye, a comfortable sharing of an experience.

Jack's smile curled in reminiscence.

And the fellow was devilishly creative with his use of his tongue. No one else had ever done that delicious thing to him, driven him quite that mad in that particular way.

Aye, a quartermaster worth keeping aboard the Pearl, now that they understood each other. Each of their hearts belonged elsewhere. But of an evening...

Why not?
 

 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG-13    Pairing: Bo'sun/Barbossa    Full Header  
 

Feet of Clay

Bo'sun carried the white clay from the riverbank. Bo'sun carved the red marks that made the Lion. Bo'sun pushed brown fingers over pink skin, spreading, smoothing, molding the man into Lion form.

~~~~~~~~

The clay was like a benediction. It cooled the skin when it struck the wounds.

Then the burn would come.

Bo'sun knew well the sensation. The manhood rites were not so very long ago that he could forget.

Captain had asked after his marks. Captain had been shown.

Bo'sun had seen the fear in Captain's eye. No ritual in his people. No true path to show he was the leader except to hurt; no way to be the Mane-Lion, even after becoming the Lion who led the Pride, even after driving away that other beaded, bearded Lion to a lonely, naked shore.

Captain had no understanding of the difference between Lion and Leopard.

Bo'sun carried the white clay from the riverbank. Bo'sun carved the red marks that made the Lion. Bo'sun pushed brown fingers over pink skin: spreading, smoothing.

Bo'sun molded the Man into Lion form.

~~~~~~~~

Barbossa never showed his scars to anyone else.

Barbossa never needed to show, only to command.

Lion leads.

~~~~~~~~

Leopard bides his time.
 

 
   
  Fandom: Firefly    Rating: PG    Pairing: Zoe/Wash, Jayne    Full Header  
  Can't Blame a Feller

Jayne:
Hey.
Zoe: Hey?
Jayne: So, you and Wash. Ya'll happy and stuff?
Zoe: Why is that any of your business, Jayne?
Jayne: Well, y'know...
Zoe: No. I don't know.
Jayne: Crew morale, an' gou shi like that.
Zoe: Crew. Morale.
Jayne: Yeah. Like, say, if'n you and Wash was havin' say, *cough* marital difficulties.
Zoe: It would not affect our performance on the crew. Period.
Jayne: Well, like, if you ever needed sumthin' more than some softie, blondie-boy to keep your chassis in fighting trim.
Zoe: Jayne?
Jayne: Yes'm.
Zoe: Ni ta ma de.
Jayne: Anytime, Zoe.
Zoe: No. UNEQUIVICALLY NO.
Jayne: Can't blame a gorram feller for tryin'.
Wash: [FROM THE DOORWAY] Yes. I can.
Jayne: Tzao gao.
Zoe: *chuckles*
 
 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG-13    Pairing: Jack/Will   Full Header  
  Tang and Tangibility

It was exactly like he'd imagined.

Will threw his arms around him, and in sudden impulse (like in all his envisionings of this moment) slammed his mouth against the other man's, ran his tongue over Jack's.

It had been a long... a very long three years since they'd been together. Since they'd been in the same location, that is. No telling yet if they'd... be together.

Jack's beard was a little thicker, his hair perhaps a touch longer... on the left side only? Perhaps trimming the other side to keep it clear of his sword arm?

Will wanted. Would Jack?

~~~~~~~

It was nothing like he'd imagined.

Because he'd not given it much thought. Will had been a moment's amuse, a tumble when no other was handy. Bit of a stick and had to have every step of the dance spelled out for him in advance, but a pleasant memory all the same. Lovely shoulders. Nice hat.

Grown more handsome with maturity, surely. A bit more of the muscle a blacksmith should heft, aye. Not a bad bit of arse, at that.

Oooh, and he'd learned a trick or two with the tongue, in the intervening years.

Jack wanted. Would Will?
 
 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG-13    Pairing: Gibbs/OFC (Jenny)   Full Header  
  Red

His hands left a trail of red on the rig for a fortnight. Fourteen days of scabbed palms and aches in places he'd not known could hurt so, simply from a day's hard work. Climbing the ratlines was like scaling a roof to shingle it, only the whole of the house was a-tilt in the sea and no steady hold came to hand.

The lines were salt-crusted; salt burned in his wounds, but salt kept the fester away.

But naught could keep the fester away from his heart. If he'd only run faster, or fought harder...

My Dearest Darling Jenny-bird,
 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG-13    Pairing: Gibbs/OFC(Jenny)    Full Header  
  Yellow

The yellowed parchment trembled in Jenny's hands. She could not read the crabbed script, but her brothers had brought a man who could. He had given her the words, three times through, and she clearly recalled each one.

She knew he lived. She knew he loved her still.

The babe kicked in her belly and her throat closed, sealing in her fear. She knew him for a fool.

He hoped she'd refuse marriage to John White. The letter had called him "that villainous cad" and begged her remain unwed.

She must think of Joshamee Gibbs as dead, and go on.
 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG-13    Pairing: Gibbs/OFC (Jenny)    Full Header  
  Green

In a hurricane the sea turns green. All the old salts said so. He'd always pictured it being the color of grass, not the bottle green that hung over the water's surface now.

This blow looked to be the worst he'd seen, and Gibbs wondered if this would be when he went down to the emerald depths with the shards of a ship around him.

Hail Mary, full of grace... he prayed his Aves and his Pater Nosters, and then ended the way all his prayers did, ...and preserve her life and fill her with surety of my love, Amen.
 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG-13    Pairing: Gibbs/OFC (Jenny)    Full Header  
  Blue

Blue ribbon held her copper curls. Blue, too, was the voluminous dress that covered her. Blue always made her think of Josh's eyes.

The banns had been read and the vows exchanged; the feast had been held and the babe would be born with a name.

The skin on her arms was not blue; it was pale peach, decorated with green and purple. The marks on her thighs were still darker reddish-black. John White was a violent man when the drink was on him; that much Joshamee had been right about.

But the babe would be born with a name.
 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG    Pairing: Gibbs/OFC, implied Gibbs/Cotton    Full Header  
  Purple

Dawn had a lavender cast to it here on the Caribbean Sea. First light always made the mists thicker, where full dark hid the humidity. Gibbs missed the honest night-fogs of London, subtle and grayed. A man could descry little in the night yet see clearly in the day. This was as it should be.

The tropics were all askew, in this as in every other thing.

Here on warm ocean a man might forget his heart. Here on the southern sea a man might glance at a fellow sailor and have a thought of... something not to be spoken.
 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG    Pairing: Gibbs/OFC, implied Gibbs/Cotton    Full Header  
  Black

"How did you learn your letters, John?" Gibbs asked, as Cotton made ready the ink and quill and pounce and parchment.

"Mum taught me, and all my brothers as well. Said it would serve, no matter what we 'prenticed," Cotton snorted a quick laugh. "Not much call for fine script in a sailor's life, though. She'd hoped I'd clark or keep shop."

"If'n you hadn't learnt, I'd be spendin' all my wage on the scriveners, aye?"

"Aye, and then you'd have less coin to stand me a round, come to time," Cotton licked his blackened fingertips, and dipped the pen.
 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG    Pairing: Gibbs/OFC, implied Gibbs/Cotton    Full Header  
  White

She had planned to wear lily-white on the day they were wed, though the swell of her belly would have given lie to the color she wore. He loved her. He would have married her, even though he knew she carried another man's child.

Jenny loved Joshamee for the safety he'd offered her.

But her plans had come to nothing.

She wore lily-white when they laid her out in her coffin. She had buried two husbands by then, neither of them as brave nor as strong as the lad taken away to sea.

Gibbs' letters still came for years after.
 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG    Pairing: Gibbs/OFC, implied Gibbs/Cotton    Full Header  
  Colourless

The old sailor's hands were gnarled and his colourless skin hung in deep creases all around his jowls. His chest rose and fell without rhythm and his eyelids trembled with the effort of holding together body and soul. Kneeling over his bedstead, the young priest took a deep breath and composed himself for the Last Rites he'd been called to give.

"Have you anything to confess, my son?" It felt strange to call one old enough to be his grandsire by a child-name.

Gibbs acknowledged the only sin that mattered: "I loved a woman. I loved her more than God."
 
   
  Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG    Pairing: James/everyone    Full Header  
  Insomnia

James lay back in the fresh crisp sheets, remembering a long life of experience.

Able Seaman Gibbs had tasted of tar and honest sweat.

Andrew was wig powder and starched cotton and ponce and copper coins. Theodore was musky like some small, untamed animal.

William tasted of coal smoke and oiled steel.

Sparrow was made of seawater and lightning.

Elizabeth he had never tasted, but her smell... it was like a ripened lime. Sweet and bitter and mouthwatering and made one need strong drink.

James lay back, remembering.

Weatherby.

Brandy. Riding leathers. Crushed velvet.

James sighed and rolled over again.
 
     
 

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