Barbossa examined the young Miss Turner with an appraising eye. There was
something not quite right about this girl's story. "Maid or not... it suits
you." She carried herself with an air of one accustomed to comfort and
luxury. No doubt she was something other than maid in the Governor's
household. Swann must prefer them quite young, for this one to be accustomed
to her privilege already.
"Dare I ask the fate of its previous owner?" Elizabeth's voice burned
Captain Barbossa's ears.
"Oooh, now. None of that." After all, that was years past. There would be no
The first time had been purely accidental.
They had stopped for resupply in San Juan. Strolling over the adoquine
cobbles of the open-air market before the Alcaldia, Captain Sparrow had made
a flippant comment about the color of the slag-fired blue paving stones
bringing out the sea-tones in his first mate's "limpid pools."
"Shall I wear blue for you more often, Captain?" Barbossa had returned the
Sparrow swept the nearest piece of azure fabric from a cart of woven goods
and clothing, and held it appraisingly before Hector's shoulder. He glanced
up and down at the sight of his slender first mate in the lace-edged,
indigo-dyed chemise. In the heat of the Caribbean forenoon, a trickle of
sweat ran down Jack's temple. His eyes dilated. His breath quickened.
Hector leaned closer to his captain.
"Ahhh. Could it be you fancy me like that then, Jack?" His rasping whisper
barely carried above the babble of the mercado. The cooing pigeons at their
feet burst into the air, buffeting them with dusty, feather-smelling wind.
"Cuánto?" Barbossa queried the merchant.
Before he could answer, Jack countered, "We'll take it."
Hector smiled like a bloody pirate.
It was the first of many dresses.
Jack lay back in the cot. More comfortable than most he'd experienced in
this sort of establishment. The sheets actually seemed fresh...ish. The room
was clear of visible vermin. Not much straw poked through the ticking, so
his bare arse was no more itchy than usual.
He scratched it anyhow and called, "You're takin' your sweet time with your
toilette, love. Come out, come out, wherever you are."
"Good things come to those who wait, Jack." Barbossa's voice was relaxed and
husky with desire.
Hector ran his hands over his own chest appreciatively. When he wore the
clothes of a woman, Jack looked at him with such joy, such wonder, it made
him shiver. The power that the dress gave him over his captain brought him
full-hard, but there was something else as well. The gentle touch. The
Hector did not think the word "love." Men together was not unknown, but it
had nothing to do with that word reserved for romantic engagement with a
woman. Men rutted, and sometimes they were with each other when it occurred.
"I'm not a man noted for my patience," Jack called. "Some have even called
me hasty, on occasion."
"Ah, but I've known you longer than most, Captain. I know it for truth that
"hasty" is one thing you'll never be accused of in the boudoir. You're more
a molasses than a rum, sweet and slow and..."
"My balls are beggin' to differ, here!"
There was a long silence. Hector meticulously buffed his nails with a scrap
of clean rag. Jack had requested that he keep them long. Jack said he liked
it when he had a few claw-marks to show for his efforts. "Do you want to
Jack pondered. "I suppose not."
"Then shut your gob," Barbossa replied.
Jack stood barely a step behind the helm, in his favored position with
Barbossa, who steered the Pearl on her quest for Cortez's legendary
treasure. Sparrow flipped the compass closed again. They were deep in the
blue Caribbean, and charting a course to an Island named Death, tacking
against the westerlies. The prevailing winds had made their journey one of
slow, battling weeks; it had been 23 days since they'd left the port where
Jack had found that dress that fit Hector so well.
"One more point to starboard, if you please," Jack ordered, though he made
it sound like a request. "Oh, and Hector?"
"I require you in my quarters later," and the request was made to seem an
order. Jack took another slug of rum. His voice dropped an octave and gold
glinted in his teeth, "You know what to wear."
Barbossa's anger smoldered. It was one thing to share the captain's bed
onshore, far from the prying eyes of others. But the captain had lost all
reason when he'd learned of the Aztec gold hidden on that island. Sparrow
felt himself above any decency and thought nothing of flaunting their sexual
congress before the crew. Hector's cheek burned at the memory of walking
before the men, garbed in that rustling burgundy-black taffeta. Jack had
inflamed desire and denied satisfaction. Jack had requested, then insisted.
Men were hanged for less in the Navy. Sparrow was captain, de facto king of
his ship at sea. Danger lurked in every dark alley in Tortuga, though;
Hector feared being stripped, tied to a horse and dragged naked through the
streets. Flayed, mutilated, desecrated... Hector feared.
Jack thought he could live openly like this in his little kingdom on the
sea. But the crew, they knew and Hector knew that they knew.
No location, land nor sea, would ever again be safe for Hector Barbossa. Not
as long as a single one of these men lived. He had been marked as one who
had taken a man as woman does, and no-one suffered a sodomite. Not unless he
were the captain on his own little kingdom on the sea.
He would make Sparrow pay for his shame. Each sly smirk and lewd chuckle
from the crew would be taken into accounting. Any who opposed him and sided
with the Captain would be painted with the same nancy-brush.
There would be mutiny.
In the shadows of the entryway to the captain's quarters. Barbossa struggled
out of his breeches and shirt as quickly as possible. The heavy wooden doors
would mask his surreptitious actions from Jack, who preferred he walk the
length of deck in that infernal dress. Throwing his arms quickly through the
tight sleeves to drop it over his nakedness, Hector struggled and missed the
neck-hole with his head somehow. The waving fabric made a semaphore, drawing
the attention of the duty-watch. So much for stealth.
Bo'sun's deep, heavily accented voice rumbled in his ear, "Would you like me
to give you a hand with that, sir?"
"I believe I'll manage it on my own, somehow," Barbossa snarled at Bo'sun in
"Very good, sir," although Hector could not see the toothy leer as he turned
away, he knew it was there.
"Never again," muttered the first mate. "Never, ever again." He pulled open
the door to the captain's cabin, and entered for the final time as a member
of the crew. The next time he passed through this portal, the quarters would
be his own. His very own, and none to ever gainsay his will again.
Jack sighed with pleasure at the sight of him, causing Hector to remember
himself and school his features into a more pleasing countenance.
"I dreamt of you last night, you know," Sparrow said. "I dreamed we were on
an island together, a beautiful little island, all clear sand and waving
palms. But somehow you had to leave, and I had to stay behind. When you
left, you took that dress with you, and I was so sad, so very sad." Hector
studied the captain's well-muscled torso as Jack approached him, wearing no
more than the beads and bangles that never left his hair. Jack continued,
"I'm the most fortunate captain in the world to have a first mate such as
yourself. I don't know how I'd manage without you as my right hand."
"This hand?" Hector took up Jack's sword hand, well-calloused despite its
usual attire of a sailor's palm. After planting a gentle, tongue-laving kiss
in the center of the sensitive area, he said, "There is no place I would
rather be this night, Captain."
"No?" Jack licked his lips.
Barbossa hiked his skirts up in the front, showing a pale leg. With the
other hand still grasping Jack's wrist, he pulled the other man to him,
forcing him to encase his urgent firmness with freshly dampened palm.
Jack grinned and stroked, "You're terribly eager tonight, Hector. I like
that in you."
"You have no idea how eager I can be when pressed to it, Captain."
"Well, then, I think it's about time you educate me on the subject." Jack
dropped to his knees, and threw the skirts up and over his head. The dark
fabric's rhythmic rustling made a counterpoint to the jingle of Jack's
Jack wondered why certain folk sounded absolutely bereft as they enjoyed a
Sparrow slept, sated. Barbossa crept out of the captain's cabin, shrouded
one last time in that burgundy dress.
One last time. The tightness in his chest and throat must surely be from
anticipation. All must go exactly as he'd planned, or he could find himself
If he didn't go through with this, he'd be a dead man anyway. A knife in the
ribs in an alley was all it took, simple and anonymous. No code to keep to,
when killing a pouf.
He'd seen it many times before. He'd been but a boy of six or seven, when
his father had taken him to view the sundered body of the fellow who stood
at street corner mostly on Sabbath's eve. "That happens to those who fling
offal on God's law," his father had said, and made sure that young Hector
understood exactly which bits had been cut away, and why.
Hector quietly passed the word to a few trusted members of the crew: all
hands to the forecastle deck for a secret meeting about the gold they
Barbossa stood waiting, brazenly still clothed in the gown. There were
titters from a few of the men, but his stony face gave no evidence he'd
heard them. Hector let the tension build for a few moments, until he was
sure each had noticed his state of dress and taken an opportunity to comment
to his neighbor.
"Look well, ye scurvy swabs. Look well and laugh long," Barbossa's voice was
low and intent. "Look well, and wonder, what if it had been one of you
on whom the Warlock Sparrow had turned his attentions? What unnatural acts
might Sparrow force upon each and every member of this crew, if this is how
he violates his own first mate?"
Stunned silence greeted his words. Only a bit of friction from uncomfortable
realization betrayed the men's temper.
"Ah. You thought me a willing participant, did ye? You expected no
better of me?" Barbossa scorned them. "Nay, I no more wanted this any one of
you would. This frock might have decked out any of ye, and it was mere
chance that Jack chose me as the most handy to abuse for his diabolical
Twigg called out, "You're sayin' the Captain forced you to wear that,
Barbossa leaned in to Twigg's face and breathed, "I'm sayin' he made me
grovel before him in a depraved blood-ritual, I'm sayin' he called up
licentious demons, and I'm sayin' that he forced his will upon me... even so
far as to desecrate me with his very body in vile ways." The first mate
pulled back to address the entire company, "What man would admit such a
thing had been done? But I broke free from his snares through the sheer
force of my own powerful will, to preserve all of you from a similar fate.
We must stop him before he calls up his demons again!"
"But what about the treasure of Cortez?" Pintel called from the back of the
Barbossa reached into his tightly-laced bodice, and withdrew a folded
document. "I've taken the liberty of relieving Sparrow of this burdensome
parchment, writ by his own hand: one with the bearings to Isla de Muerta
clearly marked upon it." He glared at the crew. "We must set this unnatural
captain aside, and make our way to the abandoned gold that should be claimed
by honest pirates such as ourselves! Who is with me?"
Barbossa heard universal acclaim.
"Witchcraft? Demons? That don't sound nothin' like the Captain Jack Sparrow
I know," grumbled Bootstrap.
Rage and remorse warred within Jack, as he watched the last sail of the
Black Pearl sink beyond the horizon. He'd been a fool. He'd trusted
Hector with everything, with his very life, and his first mate had betrayed
him as deeply as anyone possibly could.
The deepest circle of hell was too good for Barbossa. Jack hated Hector with
every fiber of his being. He wished to see Hector destroyed. In his mind's
eye he imagined his first mate stripped, tied to a horse and dragged naked
through the streets. Flayed, mutilated, desecrated...
At that moment, he hated Hector almost as much as he hated himself.
The island wasn't very big. The sun had barely shifted in the sky as he was
stepping in his own footprints again. A few trees for shade and a coconut or
three, but no fresh water. Sparrow knew himself a dead man.
It took nearly two days for Jack to decide that his one last shot belonged
in Hector's heart and not in his own.
Fortunately for Jack, due to a spate of particularly humid weather, it took
a full three days for his powder to dry from its dunking in the sea.
"All these years you carry that shot, and now you waste it," Hector sneered.
"He didn't waste it." Will dropped two bloodied golden coins and a chain
into the stone chest.
A red flower blossomed under Barbossa's ghost-white linen shirt. "I feel...
cold." The green of the apple's skin glinted as bright as the gold; it
rolled away, unbitten.
Jack looked down at his erstwhile first mate, dead by his own hand at last.
Cold... had Hector always been cold? Where could Jack have changed course
and avoided this?
That was years past. There would be no sense in remembering.