|Another installment from piratechallenge
||[Aug. 7th, 2006|04:02 pm]
Goddess help me, I only ever get to Chapter Three
|||||Joan Baez- Joe Hill||]|
Title: Victory of the Slain
Pairing/Characters: Barbossa (minor Jack)
Word Count: 777 (up the road from the Beast ^_^)
Rating: Well, not G, but not really PG material either.
Summary: A little fleshing out (pardon the pun) on what went through Captain Barbossa’s head in those final terrible moments of the first film (You know I wept).
Disclaimer: Mouse owns, I only lust.
Spoilers: Only to those who haven't yet 'got around' to seeing the films. To whom I say: 'move yer bloomin' arse!'
Notes: I hope I’ve done what I wanted to in this- I pretty much just built up a scenario around one expression and the information given during his dinner with Elizabeth.
I always loved a good swordfight. Obviously I preferred the better ones, the less skilled always fell to soon, even when I was lax with them. Sparrow was a good swordsman, I can give him that, though his fashion seems to revolve more around evading the cut until your enemy is spent rather than going in for the slaughter. I never calculated that he’d steal a piece of Cortez’ treasure in those moments and in doing so protect his mortality against my blade, and I never thought he’d put himself on the line for a strumpet and her lad. But there we were, two old enemies straining for each other's blood, slipping about on more swag that the king himself could ever dream about.
I had laughed at him when he fired. “Ten years you’ve carried that pistol,” I said to him, “And now you waste your shot.” Sparrow eyed me with a mixed expression, while the lad behind me informed me of the truth of it all. He didn’t waste it.
Clear as the sky after a storm my memory of it is- the cold, cruel and magnificent sound of gold against gold as those final bloodstained medallions hit their target. The chest was full, the sacrifice paid. I felt a ripple of ice go through me in that very instant- I felt the cave’s cold salty air against the back of my neck, the uneven pressure of coins and jewels under my boots. Jack Sparrow bearing down on me, sword in one hand, spent pistol in the other. I felt the sharp warmth spread in my heart, and dampness against my breast. Looking down, I saw what the deed had done.
My blood, my precious blood, after who knows how many years of living with the blessed curse of never spilling crimson, was now spreading like ink in water, clouding the fabric of my torn shirt. What it was to feel that day after so long I cannot possibly communicate. No one but my undead sea mates could possibly conceive in their minds the weightless horror that is unquenchable desire. It crushes you in your waking hours, presses against your senses even while you sleep- if you can sleep. It drags on your guts like a hook in a fish’s mouth. Always pounding against your skull-the wanting, wanting, wanting. So terrible was it’s nature, so glorious was the leaving of it that even a clean swift hole in the heart from a pistol was a joy akin to a taste of an apple from Heaven itself.
On the day we had loaded our hold with the treasure of Cortez, a curse fell upon us. We had heeded the legends not; we had been made deaf by the call of the shine. But desire rewarded, sensations and feelings- those are the true treasures of existence, and without them it is all but a long sad sorry course between the birthing of your body and the final touch of death. I once told a young Sparrow -just before I took his ship- that not all treasure is gold, and I stand by that to this day. Precious is the touch of woman, the swelling of a stomach after dinner, the silk of your throat from a tankard of ale. What point is there to gold when the things it buys you satisfy not? What point to life if you cannot lay back and think ‘I have had my fill?’ Happiness is the desire for nothing more than what you have, and for too long, I was filled with the desire for more than I could have.
On the day Sparrow planted that bullet in my heart, he was under the impression he had won. To the contrary my boy, to the contrary. It was I who took the trophy that day, for even as I fell against the glinting gathered piles of spoil, I had won. Against Sparrow and Cortez, against the curse, against death- Aye even against death, for I had ties to a witch in the swamp lands who would retrieve me from the cradling arms of the reaper, and it’s from her bed that I tell this tale to you now.
It must have been strange to them, looking down at my dead figure. I was gone to the world, yet on my face was the soft sheen of a man content. Perhaps they understood, perhaps they didn’t care, but of that day it could never be said that Captain Hector Barbossa lost out against the hand of a Sparrow. Though the victory of battle was his, the victory of existence was mine.