The Chase

This ficlet is dedicated to Seph, per request ^^
Mind, I've never attempted PotC before >_O; forgive OOCness

    "I hope it's worth it."
    He turned at the voice, frowning as he tried to pick out the shape in the darkness. The slumped figure in the cell shifted slightly, giving away its position. The moonlight filtering through the high barred window was not enough to illuminate the dungeon. The only source of real light was the lantern set on the crude table now occupied by the visitor and the bored guard. The light pooled over the papers and leftover dinner on top of its stained, worn surface. The guard was picking his teeth with the knife he'd just used to saw at the meat on his plate. He did not look pleased at his current predicament. Mid-shift guard duty, watching someone as mouthy as the current prisoner... Commodore Norrington couldn't really blame the man. He himself was here only because he was awaiting the appearance of the bounty hunter who had contacted him a week ago and had him taking the first ship out to this pathetic little town.
    "Well?" The lazy, accented drawl emitted from the man in the cell once more. "Is it?"
    The guard made a half-hearted attempt to lug his weight off the chair to do something about the noise. Norrington watched him for a moment before walking over to the cage door himself. He stood, legs slightly apart, hands clasped behind his back, and gazed with cool eyes at the shadowed figure. His eyes began to adjust to the dim light, and he could see his captive more clearly where he squatted in a corner.
    Jack Sparrow looked as dirty and untrustworthy as he had the day Norrington had first clapped eyes on him. His eyes were still stained with kohl, his clothing the ragged and colorful decor of a pirate. His gaudy assortment of rings and necklaces were missing-- probably confiscated upon capture. The scent of salt still clung to him from months at sea, and the slight pallor to his skin hinted at a recent recovery from some illness. But his eyes, slanted towards Norrington, glittered with familiar mischieviousness and mockery.
    Norrington lifted his chin a little, emanating all the authority and righteousness his position gave him. "Stay quiet," he snapped. "I told you things would be different if we met again."
    "So you're the one who sicced ol' donkey breath on me, eh?" Jack chuckled. After a moment he lurched to his feet and staggered over to the door. He hit it hard, having misjudged the distance, and gripped the bars in calloused hands, putting his face between them to grin out at his warden. The stench of rum rolled off of him in waves; Norrington took a reflexive step back, wrinkling his nose in distaste. Well, that explained his capture. He'd probably been too drunk to even see the bounty hunter until too late.
    "Commodore Norrington," he said, slowly and with false awe. The drunken slur ruined the effect. "Making a name for yourself, are you? Nice of you to drop by and check on me. Don't worry, I've got a room with a view. 'S quite nice." He stuck his arms through the bars and held himself up with them, cocking his head to grin teasingly at the other man. "But despite this lovely chat, I notice you've failed to answer my question."
    "I don't hold conversations with pirates," Norrington said tartly, eyes narrowing. "Hold your tongue before you get yourself into more trouble."
    Jack interrupted, waving a hand distractedly. "Trouble, yes. That's m' point..." He paused, blinking, then emitted a rum-scented burp. "'Scuse me. What was I sayin'? Oh yes. Trouble. All the trouble it took to find a fearsome, legendary pirate such as meself... was it worth it?"
    Norrington felt his lip curl as he glared at the man in triumphant disgust. "Trouble? Hardly. You leave a path as wide as your ship's bow behind you. You pick fights with the wrong people wherever you go. I should have known you wouldn't change. You're still the worst pirate I've ever seen."
    Jack opened his mouth to protest, but Norrington bulled on in a crisp voice. "You'll be coming back with me to Port Royal where you will be hanged. And I wouldn't count on any rescue if I were you. Turner is away on business, and his wife has gone with him. This time, you will hang for your crimes."
    "Wife?" Jack blinked, then grinned in sudden realization. "That would be Miss Elizabeth, then? Pretty little bird. You know I was always rooting for you."
    Norrington seized the momentary flash of pain and slammed it into the back of his subconscious where it belonged. Will and Elizabeth had been married nearly five months, and still the sting of rejection and defeat hounded him. It made it easier if he referred to her as "Mr. Turner's wife" and thought no further than that. But Jack's casual use of her name only threatened to bring memories rushing in of the chaos Jack himself had brought with him when he'd landed in Port Royal almost a year ago and held a chain around Elizabeth's pale throat. Back then, when she had been his...
    He shook his head sharply to clear his head, and turned his back on the man in the cell. "Be silent, or I'll have you gagged," he commanded.
    "Tell you what," Jack called out. "How about one for old time's sake? You don't have to do much to get your soft little hands dirty. Just a little twist o' the key, you can even leave the room for say.. ten minutes..."
    Norrington spun on his heel and took two quick strides back to the cell. He reached through the bars before Jack could register what was happening and seized him by his collar, yanking him up close. Jack managed to turn his head in time to prevent a banged-up nose, but winced as the side of his face smashed into the unyielding bars. Norrington put his face right in front of Jack's, tightening his grip. "I said silence! Don't speak to me as if you know me, you filthy--"
    He felt it too late: the light touch by his hip, the sudden tug.
    He tried to jerk back, instinctively reaching down to snag the clever hand, but it had slithered in and out of the bars quick as a snake.
    Jack's other hand, brown and scarred, shot out and wrapped around Norrington's throat, wringing out a strangled shout of surprise from the Commodore. Something hard and cold pressed against his temple, just above his eye, and the crack of a hammer being pulled back made his heart leap into his throat. By the wall, a chair clattered over as the startled guard jumped to his feet.
    "Look at what I found," Jack murmured in a singsong voice, grinning like a demon right in Norrington's face. "I believe this is yours." His grip on Norrington's throat tightened threateningly. "Don't get all excited, now," he called to the unsure guard. "Wouldn't want me to make a mistake here, would you? I think I'm a little drunk. Shaky hands and all that, you know how it is."
    The guard hesitated, hand wavering near the sword at his hip as he gaped at the two of them. Norrington gritted his teeth until his skull ached. "What will you do if you kill me, Sparrow?" he demanded. "You'll still be locked in that cell, and I'll just one more murder added to your list of crimes when they hang you."
    Jack acted as if he hadn't even spoken, directing his attention to the uncertain guard. "I would suggest that you be so kind as to open this door. It would put you in a bad light, as it were, if you were to be responsible for the death of the 'onorable Commodore Norrington. Savvy?"


    Within the span of twenty minutes Jack was free of the dungeon and making his way hastily through the empty streets, hostage in tow. Norrington, gun pressed to his jaw just below his ear, had no choice but to let the other man drag him by the elbow. A shout would bring soldiers running, but would earn him a bullet to the head. So would an attempt at escape. So he tethered his indignant sense of justice and righteousness and let himself be dragged along.
    A shadow in a nearby alley moved suddenly towards them. For one wild instant Norrington thought it might be a soldier-- perhaps even the bounty hunter he'd hired to find Jack in the first place.
    But no. It was a woman, dark-skinned, pretty... and dressed as a pirate. Norrington suppressed a groaned curse.
    Jack noticed her belatedly and jerked his captive to a halt, offering the newcomer a winning smile. "Anamaria," he greeted cheerfully.
    "Idiot," she hissed, seizing a fistful of dark hair and yanking his face close to hers so she could glare right into his eyes. "Gotten yourself caught again? We wondered where you'd gone when you didn't return to the ship."
    Jack winced at the painful tug, but kept his grin in place. The gun muzzle at Norrington's chin wavered unsteadily, then planted itself more firmly against his temple. "Well, see, funny story, what happened. You see--"
    Anamaria released him with a snort of disgust. "Never you mind. You can laud us with your stupidity later.. Captain," she added with a touch of scorn. "First we need to get you back to your ship." She glanced around warily. Despite her ranting, there was an undertone of worry to her voice. "Did they hurt you? Is anyone following?"
    "Not as of yet," Jack drawled, giving Norrington's elbow a little wiggle to bring him to attention. "This would be what you call leverage. The great Commodore Norrington."
    Anamaria's eyes were full of distrust as she took in the older man. "Aye, I know of this one. I say you blow his brains out and leave him in the alley. He'll only come after you again."
    Parley, Norrington thought, but bit his tongue to keep the word from escaping. No. Never. He would not be so cowardly as to beg for a truce from miscreants such as these. Sparrow had been of aid once, and only once, in the rescue of Eliza-- of Mrs. Turner and her husband. That did not wipe clear his list of black deeds.
    "He is rather slow..." Jack mused, looking at his indignant prisoner thoughtfully.
    "Do it and be done with it. Wait." Anamaria produced a wicked looking dagger from her waist sash. "The noise will bring the soldiers. Use this."
    Jack released Norrington's elbow to reach for the dagger, and the gun wavered. Norrington saw his chance. With a shout of defiance he threw his weight into the other man. Anamaria yelped in surprise and jumped out of the way, fumbling instinctively for the weapon she had already handed over and was now clattering on the dirty cobblestones.
    Jack slammed into the alley wall with a grunt of surprise and pain, and Norrington seized his wrist, trying to wrestle the gun away. Jack got over his shock quickly. He wriggled and twisted, gave the wall a hard push-- good lord, he moved like a cat-!
    A hard hand seized him by the throat, heaved him around-- Within seconds Norrington found himself slammed against the wall and pinned there by Jack's body, a hand wrapped around his throat, and the gun wavering dangerously close to his head. He managed to keep his desperate grip on Jack's wrist; the only thing keeping the barrel from aligning perfectly with his head for a killing shot.
    He gasped for breath, filled with adrenaline and sudden fear, heart pounding in his ears. Apparently, drunk or not, Jack was stronger and faster than he looked. It would certainly explain how he had survived so long, back when they'd first met and he'd had naught but a knife and a pistol with one round to protect himself.
    He glared furiously into darkly amused eyes, still panting for air. Anamaria stood poised a few feet away, ready to help if needed, eyes flitting towards the street nervously to see if anyone had heard the tussle.
    Jack chuckled. "Got a bit of fight in you, do you, Commodore?" he murmured, right in Norrington's face. "Aren't we full of surprises." He turned his head slightly to address his crew member. "Ana, be a dear and fetch us some rope."
    "We don't have time for this, Captain," she hissed.
    "We shall have less time if we stand here and argue about it all night," Jack pointed out helpfully. "Rope would be nice."
    Anamaria glared at him helplessly for a moment, then stormed off, muttering curses under her breath.
    "Now then..." Jack returned his unwanted attention to the man pinned between him and the wall. "I ask you again: Is this really worth it?"
    Norrington blinked, caught a little off guard. His eyes narrowed. "What are you--"
    "The chase. I would think being outsmarted by a pirate would be cause for some embarassment," Jack pointed out solemnly. "Especially seeing how it happens so often nowadays. And now you've put yourself in harm's way, coming out to fetch me back all by yourself. Is the thought of seeing me dead really worth all the aggravation, Commodore?"
    Norrington flushed at the words, frustrated and angry, but managed to keep his voice low, though his tone was acid. "I will see you hang, Sparrow. Nothing you do to me will change my conviction."
    Jack stared at him for a long moment. Norrington stared back boldly, half expecting the pistol to go off any second and kill him on the spot.
    Abruptly Jack smiled. "Right. Just so we understand one another..." He started to lower the pistol and back away, then seemed to remember something. He pressed the muzzle to Norrington's head and leaned in once more, grinning wickedly. "Oh. As for your embarassment at the hands of Captain Jack Sparrow..."
    Now what? The childish buffoon. Did the idiot plan on making him run naked through the streets or someth--
    Hard lips claimed his in a hard, bruising kiss. Norrington stiffened, mouth opening instinctively to yell. Jack took it as an invitation; his lips moved more surely, and a hot slick tongue slid past teeth and inserted itself into the mouth of the great and honorable Commodore Norrington.
    "Hnnh-!" Norrington instinctively tried to retreat, but only pressed himself more firmly against the wall. Everything suddenly seemed too loud, too close, too unreal. His breaths, fast and desperate, through his nose as shock took over. The wet sound of lips, the hand on his neck sliding around to seize the back of his skull. A strong, tough body pushed up against his own. Hard fingers digging into his hair, tilting his head, teeth nipping at his mouth... and that tongue moving inside his mouth like a snake, across his own tongue, sweeping the sides of his cheeks, his teeth. Then Jack was moving, doing another twist like he had when he'd wriggled free of Norrington's grasp, only this time only his hips were moving--
    Rough, merciless friction against his groin as hips rolled against his, too much-- the tongue, the hips, too much... Norrington gasped against Jack's mouth as something inside him that he'd thought dead reared its ugly head in sudden carnal interest.
    Then suddenly it was over. Jack pulled away as quickly as he'd come close, taking his tongue (should have bitten it, a voice in the back of Norrington's head pointed out a little dazedly), hands, and evil hips with him. Norrington was left practically sagging against the wall, breathing hard, hair disheaveled as he stared wildly at the man smirking at him, gun aimed at his chest.
    "If I didn't know any better," Jack practically purred, "I'd think you enjoyed that, Commodore."
    Norrington's mouth opened and shut a few times, but his vocal cords seemed to have gone on temporary hiatus.
    Anamaria came running up, holding out a length of rope. "Found it," she declared triumphantly. She stopped and peered curiously at their captive. "What's wrong with him?"
    "Nothing." Jack accepted the rope and handed her the gun. Norrington was quickly beginning to gather up the tattered remains of dignity and sense, and a blush of humiliation and rage was burning his face. He opened his mouth again, this time to shout, but Jack, who had been playing with the rope with nimble fingers, stepped forward then and held up his creation.
    A noose.
    It was over his head in a trice, then with a sharp tug, it was tightened. Norrington gasped, hands flying up to seize the rope, but it got no tighter. Jack was leering at him, leaning in close, and Norrington froze, staring into his dark eyes.
    "Something to remember me by, James Norrington," Jack murmured, giving the end of the rope a meaningful little twitch. "Until we meet again."
    He pulled away and was off, Anamaria right on his heels. Norrington, left in the alley, stood rooted to the spot, staring after them. His heart was still thumping with shock and.. something else, but his anger ebbed slightly as the two pirates disappeared in the fog.
    They'd let him live. A small frown twitched at his lips. Certainly not something to be expected from pirates...
    He reached up and touched his mouth with the back of his hand, feeling his face heat up once more. The aftertaste of rum still lingered.
    Not something to be expected, indeed. But then, one never knew what to expect when dealing with Captain Jack Sparrow.

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