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No Sense in Remembering

by Linaelyn

 

Fandom: PoTC    Rating: R    Pairing: Jack/Barbossa    Full Header

 


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 sense in...

...remembering.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

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 jest.

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 tender embrace.

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 rush this?"

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?"

"Captain?"

"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 reply.

"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 beads.

Barbossa moaned.

Jack wondered why certain folk sounded absolutely bereft as they enjoyed a lover's attentions.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

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 very deceased.

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 sought.

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 purposes."

Twigg called out, "You're sayin' the Captain forced you to wear that, through witchcraft?"

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 group.

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.
 

 

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