7, Bargaining and Walking the Plank
AN: Okay, first things first, I'm taking the hiatus off this. For now. Because I realized I had one chapter still to post. I'll try to finish the story but the main problem I'm having with it is that I had some sort of wicked cool twist planned for the end. And I can't remember what it was for the life of me. So there. I hope I'll remember when I get back into the swing of things. If not, you'll either never get the rest of a twist-free rest. 7, Bargaining And Walking The Plank
After the mast had fallen it were only seconds before Barbossa’s crew had taken the Interceptor and made its crew prisoners. They also had the medallion.
Jack swallowed hard, not even listening to the threats of the Black Pearl’s crew. His eyes were fixed on the burning ship only a few hundred feet away, still holding Buffy.
Buffy who he had tattooed on his forearm.
Buffy who, after six years of being out of reach, had kissed him only minutes ago.
Buffy who he had never confessed his undying love to.
He would have cried if he hadn’t felt so numb. Elisabeth did, she cried silently beside him, while Will was raging against the undead pirates holding him. Barbossa turned to his captives just as something moved behind him, catching Jack’s eye.
It was Buffy.
Soaking wet and breathing hard, but very-much-alive-Buffy. Captain Sparrow breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe they would get out of this in the end and he would get his dramatic sundown scene with the slayer after all.
“Hi there, Dead Meat.”
Barbossa shot around like a speeding bullet to face the newcomer, slightly thrown. Using the moment of surprise Buffy jumped onto deck and grabbed Jack’s pistol, aiming it at the Captain.
“Listen, Will, Elisabeth and Jack go free. Now. Got that?”
“What’s in your head, girl?”
“Lot’s of thing you don’t want to know. Will, Elisabeth and Jack go free. And the crew are not to be harmed, savvy?”
Barbossa laughed, “Who do you think you are girl, we can’t die and you’ve only got one shot.”
Buffy didn’t flinch. “My name’s Eliza Turner, and I can die.”
Turning the pistol she aimed it at her own head. Barbossa went very still while Jack closed his eyes tightly. He had been prepared for something heroic from Buffy, but not simple self sacrifice. He stifled the urge to jump forward and try to talk her out of it, knowing that she would never let anything happen to her brother. Even if that meant that she would die. Will was her top priority and always would be, Jack knew that all too well.
Will and not him, not them, and sure as hell not herself.
Will didn’t feel much better; he understood now why Buffy had made him promise not to show himself. Silently his bound hands searched for and found Elisabeth’s, looking for strength he didn’t have.
Finally Barbossa seemed to shake himself out of his stupor. “Name your terms Ms. Turner.”
“Hello, where have you dumb dead guys been? I told you: Will, Jack and Elisabeth go free and the crew are not to be harmed.”
“Agreed. Put down the pistol.”
Without a word Buffy let herself be put in chains, waiting for whatever was going to happen now. It was only when Barbossa announced that Will, Jack and Elisabeth were to walk the plank that she spoke again, her voice pure venom, “You lying bastard. You goddamned corpse, you....”
Her words were cut off by a gag being shoved into her mouth, and the last thing Jack saw of her were her eyes, searing holes into him, telling him how sorry she was, for having him marooned and for not being able to do all those things she had promised him in only one kiss.
Then she was gone and Jack found himself bargaining with his former first mate. All he got out of his efforts was his pistol and a good shove into the ocean below.
When Jack finally reached the island and shook off his chains Will and Elisabeth were already pacing the beach, tired and frustrated. Suddenly Elisabeth turned toward the pirate, fast enough to startle him out of his brooding and make him jump a solid foot.
“You were marooned on this island before, weren’t you? So we can escape the same way you did back then!”
Jack shook his head, with a grim bitterness and quite a bit of anger. “To what point and purpose, young Missy? The Black Pearl is gone and unless you have a sail and a lot of oars hidden in that bodice – unlikely - Buffy is long dead before we ever reach her.”
He turned and started towards the palm trees, hoping for some shade, calm and a lot of rum to drown himself in. She followed him.
“But you’re Captain Jack Sparrow. You vanished from under the eyes of seven agents of the East India Trading Company. You sacked Nassau Port without even firing a shot. Are you the pirate I’ve read about or not? How did you escape the last time?”
Frustrated, not only because he couldn’t find the rum cellar again he snarled at her, “How did I escape? I got lucky, been here a grand total of three days. And I wouldn’t care if I were the Commodore himself, so go and find your boy to annoy, although I highly doubt that he will be any happier to listen to you than I am!”
He turned again, this time walking towards the beach, hoping to lose her there. She let herself fall into the sand, sighing in helpless frustration and finally throwing a hand full of sand at him. It was Will who stopped her from throwing again, by taking her hand in his and leading her away from the pirate.
“Let him be, Elisabeth.”
“Why should I? We have to save Buffy! He is no help.”
Looking long and hard at the Captain’s back the blacksmith finally made up his mind. “If he knew how, he would help us, believe me. He cares for Buffy at least as much as we do, if not more. Please stop fighting with him.”
Looking at her childhood friend for long moments Elisabeth decided that she liked him all mature and taking responsibility. And asking things of her. He was hot when he went into brood mode.
Licking her lips unconsciously she agreed to let the pirate be.
Elisabeth was a woman of her word and so she didn’t pick another fight with Jack, but left him to drown in his rum. Will soon joined the pirate, desperate because of the pictures of his sister’s death that were already dancing in front of his mind’s eye.
But being a woman and having been friends with one Buffy Turner for eight long years, Elisabeth didn’t think about giving up.
By the time the men woke, hung over and cranky, the palm trees, the rum and the cooling shade were already going skywards in smoke and flames. Elisabeth might not have liked the Commodore much, mostly because he was male and as such of questionable reliability – also something she had learned from the ever cynical behavior of her best friend - but she was confident that he would notice an over a thousand feet high signal.
And then he would save them from this god forsaken island and they, in turn could save Buffy.
She told the two hung over men all that, while marveling at the effect rum had on a respectable man and Jack. They listened, wide eyed, open mouthed and still slightly tipsy and by the time she finished they only had one question left.
“But why is the rum gone?”
With the rum and the shade gone the men sobered up pretty fast. The prospect of the Royal Navy sacking him helped Jack to think clearly again, too. Whatever the reasons, by the time Norrington, Elisabeth’s father and a whole shipload of sailors flooded the island everyone was sober once more and cranky still.
“But we’ve got to save Buffy!”
“No. You’re safe now. We will return to Port Royal immediately, not go gallivanting after pirates!”
“Then we condemn her to death.”
“The girl’s fate is regrettable, but then, so was her decision to engage in piracy.” At that the Governor sent an unhappy glare in Will’s direction. Jack patted the young blacksmith on the back as if to say ‘welcome to piracy’. Will didn’t look happy; actually he was more on the frustrated and very pissed off side of things. His sister had just sealed her fate to save not only him and Jack but Elisabeth as well and her father thanked her for it by denying her the rescue mission that was probably her only, and very slim at that, chance to survive this adventure. An adventure that they had only engaged in to save the Governor’s daughter in the first place. Will was beginning to understand why a man like Jack would choose to live outside society. Oh, how he wanted to punch that arrogant wig in the face!
It was Elisabeth who stopped that idea before it ever took form, “To rescue me. To prevent anything from happening to me.”
Jack couldn’t keep from interfering either, “If I may be so bold as to inject my personal opinion. How many times in the past has it been Miss Turner whose appearance has stopped strange things from happening? How many of the people in Port Royal will testify having been saved by her one time or another? Do you not think someone like her deserves to be rescued from the very pirates that kidnapped your lovely daughter and tried to sacrifice her? Also, the black Pearl would be a great prize, wouldn’t she? Think about it, the last really dangerous ship in the Caribbean. How can you pass that up?”
Norrington pinned Jack with an ice cold stare that entirely failed to impress the pirate after years in the slayer’s company, “By remembering that I serve others, Mr. Sparrow, not only myself.”
Jack, seeing a flaw in the other man’s logic shook his head wildly and pointed a finger at the Commodore’s chest, “Aye, but, in saving Ms. Turner you would, without a doubt, serve the population of Port Royal. Honestly.”
The Commodore still looked dubious, when Elisabeth sighed and stepped forward, “Father, please, in all the years you have known Buffy, has she ever given you a reason not to trust you? She did what she did only to save me and for that she doesn’t deserve to die.”
Will was the only one close enough to Jack to hear his muttered, “Not like this, no.”
Of its own volition, his hand moved to rest on the pirate’s shoulder. If there was one thing in the whole world the two men agreed on perfectly, it was that they would do anything
within their power to keep Buffy alive for as long as possible because a world without the slayer would an unhappy one for both of them. All of them.
Whether it was the two men’s sorrowful eyes, Elisabeth’s loud protests or simple common sense that told the Commodore that to lose Buffy would be worse than saving her, no-one would ever know but suddenly the man stopped his cold scrutiny of the rag tag group before him and nodded at Jack. “You, pirate, you know where the island lies? Then go to the helm and…”
He didn’t get a chance to finish his order as Jack had already grabbed the baboons ordered to keep watch on him and was dragging them to the helm, muttering under his breath about directions and the weather. The amused and confused looks he was on the receiving end of were completely ignored. He had a lass to save!
ETA: Years later... I set this story on 'completed' because it's as complete as it's ever going to get. Barring divine intervention, this story will never be finished. Sorry about that, but that's how it is. Cheers.