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A Friendly Wager

by Melusina


Fandom: PoTC    Rating: NC-17    Pairing: Jack/Norrington    Full Header


James had somehow squared himself with the idea that he'd taken a man -- a pirate -- for a lover. It was easy, really; he simply walled off those stolen moments from the rest of his life. When James was away from Jack, it all seemed like a fevered dream (albeit one that he found himself recollecting with an unseemly longing). And when he was with Jack, James felt like it was the rest of his life that was unreal, as if he were an actor who'd taken off his costume and stepped offstage.

They never made appointments -- that wouldn’t have suited Jack at all, and it would have been too much like an acknowledgment of what was between them for James' tastes. Jack came when it pleased him, sometimes twice in a week, other times not for two or three months. James never knew when to expect Jack or even if he would return.

On this particular occasion, Jack found James on a deserted stretch of beach, where he often went to walk and reflect. James had seen the small light out on the water at dusk, and had hoped (idly, without any anticipation of fulfillment) that it was Jack. It was full dark when the boat landed on the beach and Jack stepped out, with all the aplomb of a stage-magician. James wasn't aware that he'd moved, yet he was suddenly ankle deep in the water, embracing Jack fiercely, kissing him as if it had been years, rather than weeks since he'd last seen him. The power of it shook him and he stumbled back, fighting for some semblance of control.

Jack laughed and his eyes glittered in the moonlight. "Nice to see you too, love."

James clenched his fist, suspicious that he was being mocked. But Jack smiled openly, and James felt the tight set of his shoulders relax. He laughed too, and grasped Jack's hand, pulling him up onto the shore. "There's a cave further down the beach. It might be more. . .private."

The mouth of the cave quickly narrowed into a cramped passage with a low ceiling. James had to duck his head, and presently, Jack too had to stoop over, but he followed faithfully behind James until they came to the larger cavern. Jack set the lantern down, and it cast odd shadows on the damp walls. The flickering light distorted Jack's features into a garish mask.

James toed off his wet boots and set them together at the side of the cave -- they looked absurdly as if they were waiting for James' man to come along and blacken them. Stockings and garters followed, rolled neatly into his boots. Taking off his hat, he carefully unpinned his wig and put both pins and wig in the hat.

He set it atop his boots, and started to shrug out of his coat, but Jack stayed his hands. "Let me."

The coat fell in an untidy heap on the ground, rapidly followed by James' waistcoat and cravat. With deliberate slowness, Jack ran his hands through James' cropped hair and kissed him, lightly at first, and then deeper. The length of Jack's body pressed against James, pushing him into the cave-wall, and James wound his fingers into Jack's elflocks. The damp-animal smell of Jack's hair mingled with the musky scent of his skin, familiar and intoxicating, and his leg rubbed insistently against James' cock. That too was familiar, and James had a fleeting sense of disquiet at just how accustomed he'd become to Jack. Then the thought skittered away as Jack shifted his weight, and, never breaking their kiss, began unbuttoning James' breeches. With a swift jerk, he shoved them down below James' knees, and James kicked them off easily.

The stone was cold behind James, and Jack's clothed figure seemed to radiate heat. His mouth was on James' neck, and his hands were cupping James' hips, pulling him against Jack and rubbing their pricks together. Distantly, James heard himself moan, and at that moment, Jack's finger insinuated itself into the cleft of his arse.

James pulled away, shaking his head impatiently. "Jack."

Jack tsked reproachfully. "I'm not gonna make you do anything you don't want to do." He paused thoughtfully, one finger at the corner of his mouth and a devious gleam in his eyes. "But what if I could make you want to do it?"

James cocked a skeptical eyebrow. "How do you propose to go about that?"

A secret smile, all cat and canary. "That's for me to know and you to find out, innit?"

James felt a small stir of curiosity. He'd never had any desire to be on the receiving end of this business, for all that Jack seemed to enjoy it well enough, but he couldn't help but wonder what sorts of inducements Jack might offer.

Jack held up his hands and made a show of concern. "No worries mate -- if you're not adventurous enough to try something new, far be it from me to push you."

"You're not suggesting I'm shy of it, are you?"

"Your word, not mine." Jack waved a hand magnanimously. "Not every man is as bold in the bedroom as he is in the field of battle."

James bristled, even as he knew he was being provoked. "Very well then, if you think you can persuade me, do your worst. How long do you propose for this little game?"

"One hour. And if I can make you want it, then I get to be the one doing the fucking for a change."

"And if you can't?"

"Then you can fuck me."

"As usual? That hardly seems like much of a forfeit."

"Tit for tat, love. Maybe I've decided to stop being so free and easy with my charms."

"Cut off your nose to spite your face, will you Jack?"

With a shrug, Jack relented. "And I'll throw in a cask of that eau de vie you like so well."

"Fair enough." James felt a thrill of anticipation. He pulled off his shirt and tossed it on the pile of clothes at his feet, grinning confidently. "Lay on MacDuff."

Jack returned the smile, just as smugly. "'And damned be he that first cries, 'Hold, enough'?" He paused, clearly assessing the situation, and then dug through James' clothes until he found his cravat. He slid it slowly through his fingers. "Turn around."

James obediently turned and placed his hands against the cave-wall. The cravat slipped over his eyes and Jack pulled it snug. In the dimly lit cave, this was enough to plunge James into utter darkness.

"How the devil am I meant to know when it's been an hour?"

"I'll tell you."

James snorted derisively. As if Jack could be trusted to play timekeeper when it was to his advantage to let the game go on until he won!

"Don't you trust me?"


Jack's breath was hot against James' ear. "You keep time then - surely a seasoned sailor like yourself is capable of tracking the passage of an hour without a clock?" He tweaked James' nipple deftly. "But if you call time before an hour's up, then I'll take it as an admission of defeat."

"And if you allow the game to go on too long?"

"If you catch me cheating, you can have the brandy and some very fine sherry I. . .acquired recently."

"And you."

"Any way you like me," Jack agreed, grinding himself against James' bare arse.

James nodded curtly.

Jack chuckled and licked the back of James' neck before blowing on it lightly. James shivered. More kisses followed, wet and lingering, tracing a leisurely path down his spine. Jack's hands grazed James' front, dancing over his ribs, pinching nipples and occasionally gliding over his cock in a teasing way. Then Jack was licking eagerly at the top of James' cleft, and his hands were pulling apart the cheeks of James' arse, allowing his tongue passage.

James opened his mouth to protest, then shut it abruptly. What else had he expected in the way of persuasion? He wouldn't be the one to cry hold.

Lower and lower still the flickering tongue went, until it was circling James' opening. It was like nothing he'd ever experienced -- unexpected, knee-buckling pleasure, combined with a kind of dark shame. He felt exposed in some inchoate way, and the very wrongness of it made the pleasure more piercing.

Jack's tongue darted into James' body with an oddly delicate strength. James squirmed, wanting to pull away from the overwhelming sensation and never wanting it to stop, all at the same time.

With a guttural groan, he reached for his aching prick.

Jack stood, leaving James curiously bereft. "Hands on the wall, if you please. Unless you're conceding victory?"

James stopped mid-stroke and reluctantly returned his hand to the wall. There was movement behind him and a rustling sound. Was Jack undressing? James wondered how much time had passed. Perhaps a quarter of an hour? No more surely. He drew a deep, shuddering breath and tried to distract himself by thinking of gunnery maneuvers. No -- long, hard cannons, explosions -- perhaps not the best choice. . .

His thoughts were interrupted by Jack moving closer again. As James had guessed, Jack had shed some of his clothes, although he could feel the worn linen of Jack's shirt against his back, and the scratch of his breeches. A bare foot kicked James' feet further apart, and then Jack's slick finger was invading the territory so recently explored by his tongue. The rhythm was the same and the oil eased the entrance; where James had expected discomfort there was only that same strange feeling of opening and fullness. Jack's finger crooked and brushed against something inside James. A wave of pleasure washed over him and he cried out in surprise.

Jack made a pleased sound. "Didn't expect that, did you?" He bit the lobe of James' ear before he continued, "Thought you knew it all, didn't you, Commodore?" His finger twisted and brushed against that spot again and then slipped out, leaving James whimpering.

"Don't worry, I'm not stopping."

James might have resented the knowing laugh, if a second finger hadn't joined the first, spreading him open further.

Blood thrummed in James' ears and he tried to keep count of the beats of his heart, but every time Jack returned to that spot, he lost count. Five minutes, or perhaps ten, passed while Jack fucked James with his fingers, licking and sucking at the skin on his neck. There would be marks, James thought distractedly, then relaxed again as he realized that Jack was concentrating on the area that would be covered by James' cravat.

Again Jack removed his fingers (James bit his arm in frustration, willing himself not to protest), and fumbled noisily behind James. Jack braced one hand on James' shoulder, and something cold and hard pressed against James' arse. Whatever it was, it had been doused with a liberal application of oil and with one push, it slid easily into James' body. He shuddered at the chill and the pressure.

Some part of his mind -- the part that was fighting for control and still desperately attempting to count the minutes that passed -- puzzled over what it could be and flinched at the notion of being used in this way, but that tiny bit of rational thought was overwhelmed by the surge of desire that was threatening to sweep James away. His breath was hard and ragged and he exhaled Jack's name pleadingly.

"Like that, do you? What'd I tell you?" Jack was working to sound unaffected, but James could hear the excitement in his voice. Tangled braids and beads brushed against James' shoulder -- Jack leaning his head down to watch.

He slowly slid the object further into James' body and James spread his legs to accommodate it. The smooth weight pressed there and he thought he would spend himself right then. The world had narrowed to this, the cold stone beneath his hands, and the slow in-and-out glide.

"Can you guess what it is?" Jack twisted it cleverly and groaned at what he saw. When James didn't reply, he said, "It's the handle of my little knife. . .It fits inside you like a hand in a glove, like you were made for it." His nails bit into James' shoulder and he pushed the handle deep into James, until the guard rested against his arse.

James could picture the knife in his mind's eye; the tapering handle fit neatly in Jack's hand, and he used it often. The thought of it -- of the grip disappearing into James' body, of Jack's hand controlling it, further of Jack carrying the knife with him, and later using it again, for some mundane task -- drove all thoughts of time or games or forfeits from James' mind.

"More. . ." he pleaded, "I need you to. . ."

"Fuck you into next year?" Jack must have taken off his breeches, for his bare cock pressed hot and hard against James' hip. "So I win?"

"Yes," James cried, with a hysterical laugh. "Yes, dammit, you win, now would you just get on with it?"

Jack pulled the knife handle from James' body and threw it to the ground. Anticipation made James' breath catch in his throat and he gripped the wall harder.

Nothing happened. There was no sound but James' desperate breathing.

Through gritted teeth, he begged, "Please?"

Jack hummed thoughtfully. "No."

"No?" James spun around and pulled the blindfold from his eyes. The lantern-light dazzled him and he blinked before he grabbed Jack's bare shoulders and shook him. "No?"

Jack grinned triumphantly. James would never know if Jack was teasing or if he truly intended to leave James unfulfilled, for he shoved Jack to the ground and, holding him down, impaled himself on Jack's cock.

They both gasped and Jack thrust up, hard and mindless of James' comfort. But James was more than ready for this and the burning stretch subsided quickly. He rocked tentatively, finding a rhythm; Jack, with visible effort, allowed James to control the pace. James leaned down to kiss him and Jack grasped James' prick and stroked it roughly. It was too much, after all that had come before, and he was calling out incoherently, spurting helplessly into Jack's hand.

James returned to himself still rocking hard on Jack's cock. Jack's control was slipping, and when James took Jack's hand and cleaned the seed off it with his tongue, Jack began thrusting hard, holding tightly to James' hips. As he spent himself, he choked out, "Told you I could make you want it."

James had recovered sufficiently to reply, "Hush, Jack, did nobody ever tell you that no one likes a know-it-all?"

Jack merely chuckled in reply, James rolled off him and, curled together on the ground, they slept.

James awoke stiff and sore in a new, and not entirely unpleasant, way. As they dressed, he caught Jack grinning at his careful movements.

James made a jesting scowl. "You never mentioned the after-effects."

"You never asked." Jack adjusted the angle of his hat to a rakish tilt. "Never fear, it passes quickly. You should be able to sit down in a day or two."

James sputtered a bit at this, imagining himself standing through dinner with the governor. He devoutly hoped that Jack was exaggerating.

In search of his cravat, James peered into the corner of the cave and spotted the golden gleam of Jack's watch. Passing it to Jack, he asked casually, "By the way, how far short did I fall?"

Jack looked sidelong, "Not far. . ."

A suspicious thought occurred to James. "It did take less than an hour, didn't it, Jack?"

Jack tried, unsuccessfully, to look guileless.


He smirked and spread his hands wide. "It was your idea -- I did try to stop you."

"How long?"

"Sixty-five minutes." At James' raised eyebrows he amended, "At least, that's the point when I stopped paying any attention to the watch."

"You. . .you. . .cheat!"

"Never claimed to be anything else, mate. I'll make good on the brandy and the sherry though."

"You'd better! And what of the rest?"

Jack swayed towards James enticingly. "Same time tomorrow night?"


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