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His internal clock told him that dawn had arrived and he should get out of bed, but his head hurt and for once in his life, James Norrington decided to take advantage of being a Commodore in the British Navy. He'd arise when his head stopped throbbing and not a moment earlier.

He sighed as the voice of duty that always insistently nagged in the back of his head reminded him that officers had a responsibility to set an appropriate example for their men. Lollygagging in bed as the sun rose was not proper behavior.

But oh… the bed was quite comfortably warm, the temperature counteracting the pain in his head. Mrs. Worthy must have put on new sheets, as the material under his bare back was decadently silky feeling. He hadn't known any of his plain white cotton sheets felt so nice.

Wait a moment - bare back? Why did he go to bed without a nightshirt? His circumstances forced themselves through the throbbing in his head, and James began to realize other aspects of his environment were skewed.

The bed was rocking, signaling he was on a ship. But he hadn't been on a ship yesterday. He'd been at the fort and therefore should be sleeping in his house in town. And if he was on a ship, then he would be sleeping in a hammock, not a nice sturdy bed. The sheets meant a bed but the swaying meant a ship… and trying to reconcile those two facts aggravated the pain in his head.

Even more disconcerting, it appeared the heat originated from more than the silky sheets and the pile of blankets on top of him. A warm body was curled into his own, a head with odd feeling hair resting on his chest. Her hair must be matted from sleep and he could feel pieces of jewelry in it, digging into his chest.

Elizabeth? No, he hadn't married Elizabeth Swann, the woman he'd watched grow from a curious child to a beautiful charming adult. Will Turner, that earnest pup of a blacksmith, had that privilege, and had been the one to impregnate her, blessing her with the radiant glow of a happy future mother.

Damnation, had he bedded one of the town's whores? And then fallen asleep with her? James Norrington simply didn't commit such grievous indiscretions. Duty came first, always, and indiscriminate passion endangered both his career and the respect accorded to him as a naval officer. His few sexual couplings had been swift and perfunctory, performed to satisfy curiosity and bodily need. He hadn't indulged with any professionals after discovering that the act ultimately left him feeling empty and cold.

Never one to shirk from taking responsibility for his own follies - limited though they might be - James accepted that it was time to open his eyes, learn her identity, and cope with the embarrassment of escaping from wherever he'd fallen asleep.

Blearily, he opened his green eyes to see… Jack Sparrow's gleaming brown ones.

"Hello luv," the pirate said cheerily. "I wondered when y'were going to admit it's mornin'."

"Argh!" He yelped and leaped out of bed, realizing that not only was he indeed fully naked as the day he was born, but Sparrow was quite likely also completely undressed, as the covers slipped down to reveal Jack's body to his waist. "What are you doing here?"

"Havin' a nice mornin' cuddle." Sparrow patted the empty space by him. "C'mon back and join me."

"Join you?" Did Jack Sparrow seriously imagine that James Norrington would crawl into bed with him? Apparently there was no limit to the man's presumption, but James would make his position crystal clear. "I have no intention of joining you. You, Captain Sparrow, are under arrest."

"Under arrest, am I? Well, like that I do. Fine thanks for all I've done for you."

"All that you've done for me?"

"Last night and all." Sparrow stretched like a well-satisfied cat, arms over his head, the bend of one knee lifting the covers, causing them to slip further down his body, stopping perilously above his groin. James found himself staring at his skin, tanned to an even gold color and marked by more tattoos and wounds than he'd imagined. In response to James' visual inspection, the pirate asked, "Like what y'see? "T'was rather dark last night. Feel free to enjoy the view as it were."

"No I certainly do not like the view," James snapped, looking away toward his dresser. Only it wasn't there, because it wasn't his cabin. He'd never seen this cabin but from the extravagant collection of beautiful but mismatched furniture, it was not on a naval ship at all. Damnation, if only the throbbing in his brain would let him concentrate for a moment. Resolutely ignoring the very naked man in the bed, he focused on his immediate concern, getting dressed. The rest of this farce with Jack Sparrow could wait. Fortunately, his clothes were present, folded on a chair with his wig lying on top. He flipped the pile over to find the breeches underneath, stepping into the legs and pulling them up to his hips.

"Y'have a most lovely backside, James. All sleek and muscley."

Whatever had happened last night… whyever it had happened… not that anything *truly* had… comments like that weren't going to be allowed. In his driest voice, he stated, "I do not appreciate comments of that nature. And my name is Commodore Norrington to you."

"Don't appreciate comments of that nature? I never knew you could sound like an outraged lady of virtue, James."

Bare feet on the wooden deck made no noise, but James could tell from Jack's voice that he was approaching. Determined to get more of his body covered, he pulled the shirt from under his coat and put it on. Sparrow's hands were there before his, buttoning up the front. Refusing to appear intimidated by indulging in a childish display of slapping at the intruding hands, James straightened his spine and glared down his nose at the pirate. Sparrow flashed him a smile, lingering over each button. "I luv these fancy buttons, James. Had fun undoing them last night, I did." He looked different naked, the lack of bandana showing his forehead and hairline for once, the exposure of his skin making him appear more vulnerable than his normal swaggering self.

But no less cocky, James decided sourly, as Sparrow began tucking his shirt into his breeches. No - cocky was a bad word to think, very bad - don't think of looking down and seeing how very cocky Sparrow truly was - "Thank you, I can manage," he said brusquely, stepping away from Sparrow's insinuating hands to finish the job himself, willing to risk the appearance of petulance.

"I like the hair too. I fancied you'd wear it long under that wig, not all short. Feels nice in my hands, it does. Just enough to hold on but not enough t'get in the way."

For every battle there was a time to stand and fight, and a time to retreat. When Jack Sparrow made flattering comments and insinuations about bedtime activities, it was time for a strategic withdrawal. "Your opinion of my hair does not concern me in the least. And now if you will excuse me, I will take my leave of your company." He fled out the cabin door, without socks, shoes, hat or wig, willing to leave them behind because he had to escape Jack's presence and already had the dreadful sinking idea of where he was and that he wouldn't be needing those things in the immediate future anyway.

Stepping out onto the deck immediately confirmed his suspicions. He was on the Black Pearl, Captain Jack Sparrow's pirate ship. Surrounded by a pirate crew with a naked pirate captain in his cabin.

On the ocean.

With no land in sight.

James Norrington was a man who was almost always right in his life. He was sure of his purpose and his position. But once in a while, in extremely odd and unique circumstances, he wished he could be wrong.

This was one of those times.

 

Pirates, at least this crew, were not an overly friendly or chatty group. Other than a few baleful glares, they'd stayed well away from him as he walked the Pearl's deck and climbed into the rigging. Most of them knew when to leave a man alone anyway, James decided, watching Jack Sparrow climb the rigging toward him. He'd been sitting on the mast's cross piece in the ropes for several hours now, at first frustrated by his lack of memory and concerned for what might have happened last night, before it occurred to him that Jack Sparrow had been… simply too teasing. Sparrow had played with him, and James had taken the bait like a greedy fish. Trust a pirate to take advantage of an opportunity to make fun of him, he thought sourly. With that realization he stopped worrying about last night. Surprisingly, as time passed, he found himself enjoying the sensation of wind in his face and hair and the sweet dancing motion of a fast well-trimmed ship skimming over the ocean, all without any demands on his time or attention.

Until now.

Sparrow reached him, hooking one leg over the cross piece, his bare foot twining in the rope. "Rum Commodore?"

The headache was mostly gone, settled to a dull lethargy, and his throat was dry. James accepted the leather flask and took a goodly swallow of the potent alcohol, appreciating the warmth tingling through his veins. "You drink better rum than I would have expected, Captain."

"I appreciate the finer things in life, James. Good rum, a good ship… a good man." He started to reach toward James - perhaps merely to reclaim his flask - but James caught his hand before Jack could decide where it would land.

"Do not even pretend that we spent a night in reckless passion, Captain Jack Sparrow. I know myself. And I know what I would and would not do." He flung Jack's warm hand away from him.

"Ah, but you don't know me. Or what I might drive y'to do."

"You would drive me to hang you."

My god, the man was pouting. Pouting. It was quite astounding how wounded the scourge of the Caribbean could look. "After all we've meant to each other?"

"We. Haven't. Meant. Anything. To. Each. Other."

"All my best efforts, gone to waste for lack of memory," Jack mourned.

"When the Dauntless finds us, I shall capture you and flog the truth out of you. That nothing happened."

"Really James - "

"Commodore Norrington," he said, enunciating every syllable.

Sparrow was incorrigible, beginning again with, "James, James me love - "

"How do you know my name?"

"You told me last night, James. While you were kissin' me."

"I did not kiss you last night. And I am certainly not your love."

"If you say so, James me love," Sparrow said very agreeably, as if he was a devoted lover tolerating his beloved's eccentric notions.

James sighed, staring toward the horizon. This conversation was pointless. He rather fancied that Jack was enjoying teasing him. Even worse, he was enjoying being teased, a rather novel experience for him. His men didn't tease him. The Governor didn't tease him. The wealthy families of Port Royal didn't tease him. Everyone in his life treated him with the utmost respect, admiration of his fine character and dignity plain in their every conversation.

But not Jack. Jack didn't admire him - well, perhaps he admired James' body - he wanted to tease and play with him, a trait that was dangerously tempting, and one that should be quashed, immediately and ruthlessly. Trying to drag this ridiculous conversation to an end, he asked, "Very well, Captain Sparrow. What do you want in exchange for the truth of how I came to be here and what happened last night?"

"What do I want?"

"You're a pirate, Sparrow. Pirates always want something. What do you want from me?"

"Ah James my love… I want a kiss."

"You claim to have had a kiss last night."

"But you don't remember it, luv. I want y'to give me a kiss that you'll remember. A kiss that neither one of us will ever forget."

The pirate seemed surprisingly sincere in his request, making James frown as worry nagging again. *Had* he done something indiscreet last night? He needed to know. If he refused to kiss Jack, they undoubtedly would engage in more pointless teasing conversation. Jack could keep the conversation going interminably because really, there was nothing Norrington could do to stop him. They both knew that on Jack's ship, he was at Jack's mercy.

Or he could learn the truth by calling Jack's bluff. "Very well. I accept the bargain."

Jack looked thrown for a second, but only a second before he recovered. "Oh goody," he said, scooting toward James.

"But we agree on the terms first."

"The truth, the whole truth, n' nothing but the truth so help me…" Jack's rambling stopped, as he tried to think of something to swear on. God apparently wasn't sufficient.

"So help you, on the masts of the Black Pearl."

"The truth, the whole truth, n' nothing but the truth so help me, on the masts of the Black Pearl. The truth of how the fine Commodore came to be an occupant of the Black Pearl in exchange for a kiss from said Commodore's lips." Jack finished with a flourish, then closed his eyes and leaned forward, lips pursed, leaving James to contemplate his next decision.

What kind of kiss? A light peck? Then Jack would claim it wasn't a real kiss and they'd indulge in another round of silly bickering. No, James wanted the truth and Jack wanted a kiss. James would give him one, the best, most passionate kiss that he could offer, one that Jack could remember forever. Jack would have no opportunity to accuse James of reneging on a deal.

Feeling an odd tingling in his stomach, a new tingling not motivated by the rum, James realized that he was anticipating this kiss was something other than revulsion. He was considering this kiss with interest and a determination to do it right. He would impress this pirate with a real kiss, praying to god he did it well enough that said pirate didn't realize how few kisses he had bestowed in his life.

"Erm…I'm waitin'."

At the prompt, James scooted forward, his legs touching Jack's, tucking the flask into the back of his breeches to get it out of the way. "Release your foot," he instructed and Jack did, letting James pull him closer, so that Jack's legs were spread wide, resting on top of James' legs as they straddled the wood cross piece. What came next in kissing? Get the body close. Legs… now arms. James took Jack into his arms, his arms around Jack's slender body. Jack's head tilted back and a little to the side, eyes still closed, waiting.

And James kissed him. Kissed him using everything he'd read or heard. The soft tasting of lips before coaxing Jack's mouth to open, sealing their mouths together as his tongue invaded. He explored Jack's mouth, the warm flexible tongue, the different texture of the gold-capped teeth, searching for Jack's unique flavor blended with fine rum.

More importantly than the physical touch, he kissed Jack with longing and lust intermingled, as if the kiss was shouting, 'You are the one person in this world for me.' He poured himself into the kiss in the way that he had hoped to kiss Elizabeth, the way that he'd never been able to kiss the ladies of polite society or the whores on the docks. The way he would kiss a lover who could tease him, caring more for the man than the title.

Jack's body was lean muscle and angular bones in his arms, and his goatee and mustache scratched on the skin of James' face, but the sensations didn't deter James from his kiss as he slipped into the fantasy that he'd finally found the love of his life, the one who would meet him fully and always be at his side.

So caught up in his own dream and the feel of Jack in his arms, James forgot to breath. Lack of air forced him to stop the kiss as he panted for breath, his eyes meeting Jack's wide dark ones. James wasn't sure what Jack was thinking, only that he was very surprised. Was that enough of a kiss? Should he kiss him some more? Undecided, James leaned backward, putting his hands behind him on the cross piece, waiting to see Jack's reaction.

Jack opened his mouth to speak, but his words turned into a drawn out yell as he fell backwards, off James' lap. James grabbed for him, catching him only by the heels, as Jack scrabbled more successfully for one of the ropes, his body twisting away from James' hold. The pirate swung into a wide arch, out over the ocean as he slid down the rope and back onto the deck, looking up at the Commodore who had kissed him so thoroughly and passionately.

Leaving James sitting in the rigging, wondering if he really did know himself.

 

"I kidnapped you."

"Excuse me?"

Jack Sparrow weaved a little on his feet, then gestured with his hands, as if he thought signs would assist James' deficient hearing. Waving at himself, "**I**", making a grabbing motion "… kidnapped …", then waving at James, "**you**."

"Yes, I understood that part. For God's sake, why?"

Stepping rather grandly across his cabin, Jack explained, "I stopped by t'see the fair Turners n' offer good wishes on the upcomin' birth of a no doubt beautiful baby boy, who undoubtedly should be called Jack, and I bespied you," stopping by the Commodore's chair, he poked him in the chest, "leavin' the premises, looking all glum n' depressed. Savvy?"

"And you thought kidnapping me would cheer me up?"

"A change o' scenery always makes things brighter, doesn't it? Besides y'saw me n' seemed inclined to call for t'watch, which I really couldn't be havin', now could I?"

"I knew you had more concerns than my happiness. So we fought and then what happened?"

"I banged you on the head with the hilt of my sword, then I borrowed Will's mule… I don't think that wretched beast likes me, because he threw you off a couple of times… and brought you back to the Pearl." Sparrow opened his arms wide, as if he'd accomplished a stupendous feat.

"Then my loss of memory comes from the multiple assaults on my head."

Jack winced. "There were a few of them, I'm afraid."

"Why didn't you leave me where you knocked me out?

"We'd made a bit of noise at that point. If anyone found you unconscious, they'd start looking for your assailant wouldn't they? But if they didn't find you, they wouldn't know what the noise was about. Savvy?"

Except, of course, Jack could have fled much quicker without the Commodore's unconscious body on a resisting mule, but James supposed it was irrational to expect logic from a pirate as addled as Jack. "And my nakedness?"

"You were still unconscious, so Mr. Gibbs said y'needed to be watched to be sure y'recovered. Unfortunately, no one in me fine crew wanted to be responsible. I think they rather wanted your demise. So we put you in here. N' I couldn't have you in my bed with clothes on, could I?"

"No, of course not." He waited to see if Jack would say more, but the pirate merely looked expectantly at him. "Is any of this ridiculous nonsense true?"

"It's all true, mate. Promised it on the Pearl, didn't I?"

"Yes, you did. And since I upheld my end of my bargain, you are upholding yours?"

"Yes, n' a very nice kiss it was indeed."

A bit indignant at that description after all the passion that James had poured into the kiss, he had to ask, "Nice?"

The expression in Jack's brown eyes faded into pleasant memory. "T'passion was lovely, truly lovely. I knew there was a man of fire under all that fancy uniform n' stiff back."

James was unsure if he wanted to pursue this conversation, but 'nice' was too unflattering a word to accept without further explanation. Besides, he'd rather hear this pirate's opinion then embarrass himself with inadequacy in front of the love of his life that he still hoped to find. "But?"

"T'technique, James. You do need to work on y'technique."

"My technique."

"There is a technique for kissin'. It's like sailin'. It's all very fine to love the sea and your ship, but y'have to know how to tie a good knot, savvy?"

Icily, James noted, "My technique was good enough to knock the great Captain Jack Sparrow off the crossbar."

"I have to admit, luv, that wasn't quite y'technique. More like surprise that y'lived up t' your end of the bargain. I don't expect Commodores to keep their promises to pirates."

"And what precisely is wrong with my technique?"

"Well… hard to describe, exactly. It's just not quite as good as mine, is it?"

Feeling goaded by both Jack's lack of appreciation for his kiss and faith in an officer of the British navy, James taunted, "So your technique is the best in the world, is it Captain? I couldn't agree with that assessment, as I don't know how you kiss, Captain Sparrow. You didn't kiss back."

As if waiting for that invitation, Jack smiled mischievously. "We must remedy that lack then, mustn't we?" Before James could decide if he wanted to say, 'No, we mustn't,' Jack tucked his knees on each side of James' legs on the chair, sinking down to sit on his lap. Brushing his hands through James' short dark hair, he cupped his head and tilted it to one side, just as he'd done when waiting for James' kiss.

And then Jack kissed James. And ohh… James instantly understood what Jack had meant about technique and passion. For Jack Sparrow was a captain of kissing, a veritable master of the art. He knew how to use his mouth, how to express passion and encourage reciprocation, how to make James feel desired and desirable.

With just a kiss. What could he do with the rest of his body?

James whimpered in his throat, disconcerted to realize he was holding Jack's hips, unconsciously thrusting his own at the pirate, hard and wanting, thinking thoughts that should never occur to a respectable man. And not breathing.

"You gotta stop forgetting t'breathe, mate," Jack said fondly as James gasped. "That's what your very fine nose is for. If I didn't know better, I'd say you'd not been kissed often, James me love." He tapped the bridge of James' nose, slid his finger the length and to James' lips, tracing the top lip as James' breath softened. Daringly, James flicked his tongue at Jack's finger, tasting the salt of his skin.

"So tell me," Jack asked conversationally, "how did a fine man such as yourself escape multiple pillaging?"

"I've been at sea most of my life." Damnation, had he just unwittingly confirmed Jack's suspicion? He should have bluffed, should have pretended that any lack on his part was from the distaste he experienced kissing a pirate. Why did he have to be so honest?

"So 'ave I."

"Not in the British Navy, you haven't." Or had he? Pirates didn't spring full blown from the sea. Where had Jack learned to sail? The more time he spent with Jack, the more questions he wanted answered. What had made Jack such a unique man? How much of his bizarre behavior was real and how much was pretense to fool enemies into underestimating him?

"'N you're tellin' me nothing of an illicit nature goes on below decks? I find that a mite hard to believe."

In for a penny, in for a pound. Jack knew the truth now so he might as well discuss it. "Not for officers. Particularly not for officers who intend to be Captain. Sodomy is a hanging offense, in case you weren't aware."

"'N y'always intended to be a Captain, did you?"

"Since before I can remember. I knew I wanted to command the first time my father took me to the London docks and I saw my first ship."

"So y'poured everythin' into duty, did you? That, my fine James, has been a waste."

Incensed at the statement, James rose abruptly, dumping Jack from his lap. "I don't consider my life wasted. I have served my country well and with distinction."

"Y'know… you have got t'stop being so sensitive, luv. I didn't say your life was wasted. Your life has been all fine and good I'm sure. But oh…" Jack reached up to cup one hand over the front of James' breeches, where the traitorous organ promptly swelled to fill his palm. "That this hasn't gotten more use… now that is a waste."

James shuddered and sat back down, stunned by his body's easy response to this pirate. "I'm not a libertine."

"So what have y'done, James my love? When y'let yourself indulge?"

The pirate's hand was clever in its caresses, making James want to answer every question and accede to his every request. But a lifetime of dignity and discretion doesn't vanish in a second, no matter how great the temptation. "That's none of your business."

The rebuke didn't faze Jack. "I'll just have to guess then, won't I? Let me see, a fine English officer… I bet y'haven't watched a man strip for his lover."

"Certainly not!"

"Oh goody. That's something we can remedy easily."

Jack sprung to his feet and James watched helplessly - and with a certain fascination - as Jack begun to do as he promised, stripping in front of him as if the Commodore was a lover he wanted to arouse. Gracefully, fluidly, he shucked his clothes, first the shirt then boots and breeches, brushing his fingers seductively against his own golden skin as if to say, 'Look here's my nipples. Here's my feet, elegant and long. See? My belly button. Now pay attention as my pants drop…' revealing that yes, Jack was very cocky indeed. The bandana was the last to go, exposing the high forehead before his hair fell forward, leaving Jack wearing only the bangles in his hair and goatee.

"Now y'see? You've seen a man strip. What else would y'like to learn?"

Sitting on James' lap again, Jack claimed his lips in another kiss, and James kissed him back, his mind swamped by his emotions careening out of control. Duty… lust… duty… lust…Why did he let a pirate undress in front of him? Why didn't he leave the cabin? Why was he letting Jack touch him this way?

What else would Jack do if he asked him?

"I never said I wanted to see a man strip," James responded, standing again.

From the floor, Jack sighed. "Y'have to stop droppin' me, James me love. My backside's goin' to get bruises." He rolled over, twisting his head to look at himself and presenting James with a view of his back and buttocks, all sleek and muscled, just as Jack had described James. Jack rubbed himself and James sunk back to the chair, groaning, and buried his face in his hands until he felt Jack's soft lips kissing his fingers, his warm tongue darting between them to lick his face. "Give over, luv. Give over. No one's goin' to know."

"I'll know," James whispered, frightened by how much he did want to know.

"And you'll know so much more than you do now. Won't that be good?" Prying James' hands away from his face, Jack coaxed him over to the bed, sitting him on the edge.

"Why are you doing this?" James asked, even as he let Jack unbutton his shirt and take it off him.

"I'm a pirate, love. Pirates go after what they want."

"And you want me? Why? For the entertainment value of seducing an English officer?"

"I thought you'd have a higher opinion of yourself."

"My track record hasn't exactly been sterling," James admitted, even as he let Jack push him onto his back and obligingly lifted his hips so Jack could remove his breeches. "The one woman I asked to marry me picked a blacksmith instead." His tone expressed more bitterness than he thought he'd felt at Elizabeth's rejection.

"The fair Elizabeth is young n' the young make bad decisions. Now me," Jack swung James' legs onto the bed, waggling his eyebrows, "I'm older n' wiser n' make excellent decisions." His eyes roamed James' naked body. "I know a fine man when I see him. You are a very fine man, James my love."

Unwillingly blushing with embarrassment, James started to move his hands in front of his manhood, intending to shield himself. He stopped, wondering how ridiculous he would look at this juncture. Seeming to divine his intention, Jack captured his hands, raising them over his head, and lowering himself onto James as they laid on the bed, touching the entire length of their bare bodies.

Then Jack kissed him again… and oh god, how Jack could kiss. And kiss. And kiss. James remembered to breath and followed Jack's lead, allowing complete access to his mouth and attempting to duplicate Jack's technique. The smooth glide of his tongue there… a tickling motion here… a subtle increase of contact until the kiss was ferocious and devouring, then softening to beautiful romantic gentleness… Jack's lips disappeared and James moaned for their loss.

But he didn't lose Jack's lips, they simply moved to places that James didn't know one man would kiss another… to his neck, his chest, his nipples… James shuddered and groaned as bolts of energy, like white-hit jagged lightning striking a black sea, arced from the pebbled nubs, through his body and down to his aroused shaft.

"My you are sensitive there, aren't you James my love?"

"That's indecent." Gloriously indecent.

"Indecently wicked, that you might have married the fair Elizabeth n' never known such pleasure."

James wanted to protest, he did, for surely nothing was better than the marriage bed, but Jack had cupped his shaft and it was even better than through his breeches. He'd known his own hand numerous times in his life, but Jack's was much better, his touch more talented, more arousing. Unable to say anything that might stop Jack from doing what he was doing, but still clinging to a shred of his civilized notions, he asked in protest, "What makes you think I wouldn't have known such pleasure with Elizabeth? She's a beautiful woman. A fine woman."

"And would 'ave come to your bed in her nightshirt n' never taken it off. Fine young ladies don't know what I know… they can't do what I can do…" Jack's mouth joined in the task of driving James wild with sensation, forcing James to concede to himself the likely truth of that assertion. Surely no gentlewoman would ever suck on the head of James' shaft like Jack Sparrow, so greedily, hungrily, all while caressing the length, teasing with a sharp flick of nails, making him twitch and writhe with amazement.

James looked down at Jack's head, bobbing over his organ, that ridiculous ivory bone and colorful trinkets twisted in the wild mass of black hair, and couldn't protest any more. There was nothing perfunctory about Jack's attentions, no pretense for a few coins. Nothing in his life had ever felt so good. He didn't want Jack to stop. No one had touched him with such knowledge, such abandon, such dedication… and James let him, feeling more cherished and lusted after than he could ever recall.

Twisting his hands into Jack's hair, careful to avoid the ivory bone, James began to thrust his hips, riding the cresting wave of Jack's sensual devotion, the ecstasy ripping through his body, higher and higher like a ship sailing in a storm, riding on the white waves, plunging down, rising back up… surrounded by darkness and barely able to hang on until he surged over the final powerful wave, yelling out Jack's name before blanking out as he sailed into calm blue seas.

Jack's body was moving on the bed, crawling up to lie alongside James' limp form. Hands began to turn him over and a spear of alarm shot through James' lethargy, causing him to protest, "Jack, I don't know - "

"Shhh… James my love. Nothing worryin'. Just let me use my imagination?"

The plea reassured James, and he relaxed his tense muscles, allowing Jack to tip him on his side and cuddle up to him, Jack's rather substantial shaft angling downward and tucking between the checks of James' arse. "What a nice channel, luv. So very nice… " Jack rolled his hips lazily, "…the best channel I've ever been in."

Feeling a bit peevish at the acknowledgement that Jack Sparrow had pleasured many other lovers before him, James sniped, "You're not in it. And you're not going to be."

"It's nice, just like this, very nice…" Jack's hands stole around James' chest, finding a nipple, plucking gently, his voice chuckling at James' gasp. "Y'are so very sensitive there, James my love."

"Just… get on with it." Even as he growled the words, James took hold of Jack's hand, bringing it to his lips. Dare he? Yes, he dared, because to be honest, he owed Jack at least a small measure of participation. He could not lie unmoving and pretend to think of England, not after Jack had given him such pleasure so unselfishly. Hoping that a symbolic gesture would satisfy the pirate, he covered Jack's middle finger with his mouth, curled his tongue around it and sucked hard.

Jack's whimper was such a gratifying reaction that James took his efforts a step further, tucking the foot on his upper leg behind Jack's ankle, using the leverage to pull the pirate forward, his shaft nestling more firmly into James' arse. He clenched his muscles, squeezing Jack's shaft between them, then releasing again so Jack's hips could move back. They developed an even rhythm together, Jack thrusting back and forth, James clenching harder and harder, the tempo quickening as their long, lean bodies moved in unison. Jack's breathing becoming harsher and more labored until his entire body quaked against James' and wetness shot between James' legs.

"Very nice, James my love. Very nice."

It was indeed very nice, the emotional satisfaction that Jack had enjoyed his body, and that he'd repaid a small portion of the pleasure Jack had given him. "Jack?"

"Yes?"

"Go to sleep."

A pleased mumble was the answer to his demand. Closing his eyes to the sunlight shining through the porthole, James fell asleep too.

 

"Cap'n! Cap'n!" If there was any less pleasant noise to wake up from a nap than Mr. Gibbs' voice, James couldn't think of it. Well, perhaps cannon fire. But Mr. Gibbs came a very close second, particularly when his body was so deliciously sated. "Cap'n!"

Jack scrabbled over him, pulling on the clothes he'd discarded on the floor, yelling, "I'm awake, you scurvy dog!"

Following his example, James began dressing in his breeches as Mr. Gibbs yelled, "It's the Dauntless, Cap'n!"

Both men froze a second before resuming, needing covering to face this surprise. "Well… y'mates caught up quicker than I would 'ave expected."

Though he felt obliged to note the fact, the words sounded hollow. "They're good men. The cream of the British Navy."

"You're t'cream of the British Navy, James my love," Jack said, and from the gleam in his eyes, and the grin that flashed a view of his gold teeth, James knew he was remembering the things they'd done… things James knew he wished they could do again, even if he should never have allowed them in the first place.

"How close are they?" He yelled to Mr. Gibbs, tightening the lacings on his breeches.

"Close!"

James turned away from Jack, leaving the room without another word, Jack following him. The Dauntless was easily visible, approaching her target quickly.

"What be your orders, Cap'n?"

Not waiting to hear what Jack would answer, James clipped out, "Raise a white flag of truce, Mr. Gibbs. I'll be transferring over."

The stocky pirate looked to Sparrow, silently questioning the order and James' right to give it.

Jack's voice was rough as he confirmed the instruction. "You didn't want him on board anyway, did you? Raise the flag."

The pirates' faces were impassive as they obeyed, raising the flag high and beginning to lower the sails. James left them to their business, returning to the Captain's cabin to finish dressing. He faced Jack as he put on his shirt, wishing that he could ask Jack to do the buttons again, then sat down to don the silk socks and shoes, unnerved by Jack's silent regard but determined to make him speak first.

"So just leavin' me, are you?"

"I didn't ask to be here in the first place."

"No… but I rather thought y'were enjoyin' your visit."

"Your crew obviously don't appreciate my presence or the Dauntless wouldn’t have gotten so close before we were awakened. The Pearl is the fastest ship in these waters."

"I'm still the Captain here."

In the words James knew there was an offer, an offer to run fast and far away from the naval pursuit, damned the other pirates and the risks such flight posed if unsuccessful. "And I'm still the Commodore." The wig felt heavy on his head, the jacket stiff and confining. "I am a British officer, Jack. I will always be a British officer."

"Of course, mate. If that's the way it has to be. We all lie in our own beds."

Stalking toward Jack, James spoke, "I am a British officer and you are a disreputable pirate. The last remaining danger in these waters. If we ever meet again, with our crews present, I will take you prisoner and hang you." He backed Jack to the wall, seizing him by the waist, kissing him hard and deep, hoping his technique was doing sufficient justice to his passion. "So the next time you catch me, the Dauntless had better be far away. And stay far away."

The hope and surprise in Jack's dark eyes was perhaps the most satisfying moment of the day. "Want some more time with me, d'you James my love?"

Knowing it was insanity but surrendering to his innate honesty, James said, "Yes. After all, you never did tell me how you learned my name."

"That wasn't part of our bargain, James my love."

"Then we'll make another one," James demanded. "More kisses… more…" not able to say the words of what he wanted, he kissed Jack again, passionately, hoping he was bruising the pirate's lips in his forcefulness, needing to leave some tangible sign of his presence.

"N' how am I suppose to arrange this miraculous feat, gettin' us together without our crews near?"

"Preferably without more banging on my head. Other than that, I expect you to work it out with your usual aplomb." James adjusted his shirtsleeves and jacket, making sure he looked properly attired. "After all, as you are so fond of telling me, you are Captain Jack Sparrow."

To stave off the temptation to say more, James turned on his heel and departed the cabin, letting the door swing shut behind him.

Back to the Dauntless and his duty, back to his position and his responsibility…

Waiting for the day when Jack Sparrow would reappear in his life.

~ the end ~