Author: Kat Lee
Dedicated To: My beloved Captain who never gets enough of Wick, Johnny Depp, Pirates, OR Jimmy Buffet, my beloved Drew -- Happy Birthday, darling!!!
Fandom: Pirates of the Caribbean
Challenge/Prompt: I had this idea already, but it didn't get flowing until this prompt from sharpiesgal at comment_fic: Any, any, A Pirate Looks at Fifty (Jimmy Buffett)
Word Count: 1,023
Date Written: 9 January 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
He didn’t think he’d ever make it here, but he has. He has seen so many friends and allies die, so many grand adventures, so many horrible disasters. It seems a wonder that he should still be alive some forty odd years after he first awoke and found himself lost at sea. He still doesn’t remember much about his earlier years. There are some vague recollections about his father, vaguer still about his mother’s gentle hands, but nothing more.
For a long time, Jack thought he needed something more. He thought he needed a family, a place to belong. He thought he needed the Pearl and tracked after her for years. He’s gone through dimensions. He’s travelled through time. He’s fought things in which most people will never believe, endured things that even some Pirates, despite being the superstitious lot they are, refuse to believe.
And yet here he is, still surviving, still alone, and finally ready to make the grandest sacrifice, and achieve his ultimate dream, at last. “Are ye sure, boy?”
“Jack, think about what ye’re doing! This is a final deal!”
“It’s not like I’m selling me soul to the Devil,” he says, “an’ I’m not a boy any more.”
Barbossa smirks at him. “Ye’re still a lad, but a lad wit’out a ship, wit’out yer home,” he teases him, knowing damn well what the Pearl has always meant to him.
“That’s where you’re wrong,” Jack returns. Despite everything, he’s calm. He’s been planning this for years, after all, and it had taken him almost as long to make the decision to go through with his plans as it had for Barbossa to crawl back out from Davy Jones’ locker yet again. The three Pirates turn together to look at the Pearl. She’s grand and beautiful, her sails billowing out like huge, dark clouds. “I’m sure,” he insists. “Hell, ye can even have th’ hat.” He takes his Captain’s hat off of his head and pauses for a moment, feeling naked, before plopping it unceremoniously onto Barbossa’s. “I’m done with that life. It’s not th’ life I need.”
He saunters off down the dock, feeling Barbossa’s and Gibbs’ eyes trailing after him. Cotton’s parrot squawks and ruffles his feathers. “Loony,” the bird calls, but Jack doesn’t look back. He doesn’t need anything they can possibly offer him. There’s only one thing he needs now, and it is within his grasp at long last now that he’s finally made amends with Barbossa.
His greatest treasure to his greatest foe. Jack smirks as a salty breeze waves over his tired face, reminding him of the Sea Witch who had cursed him and the deal he had made to get back what was always meant to be his or, rather, who. Reaching the end of the dock, he slips a hand into his soiled, once-white blouse and pulls out the bottle he’s kept for years right close to his heart. He can see teeny figures scurrying around inside the bottle, but he can’t make out who they are or what they’re doing.
One seems to be waving at him, but Jack barely glances at the flurry of motion. What’s done is done, and his mind is made up. He’s getting what’s his, today, on his fiftieth birthday. He’s lived for half a century, and he’s finally going to know what truly being loved feels like again. This time, he prays to any god who might care to take pity upon him, will be longer than the last time.
He slings the bottle, with its ship and crew, out onto the sea. An explosion rocks the dock and surrounding ships. Men yell and curse. Women scream, and babies wail. The water churns, rising high directly above Jack and turning green, yellow, pink, purple, blood red, and green once again. “Jack Sparrow,” the voice of the Sea Witch he’d hoped never to hear again calls out, “you have given of your heart so that you may finally have your heart again. Your curse is over.”
His heart leaps with hope. The water stills, and the Flying Dutchman stands before him. Pirates, now alive again after so many centuries lost at sea, holler out in jubilation. There are faces he knows and some he’s sent to Hell himself, but there’s only one for which he’s looking. The Captain walks down the gangplank heading for him with a smile.
“I didn’t think you’d do it,” Will admits as he comes to a stop directly before him, looking every bit as fine as Jack remembers when him at his best. Despite his admission, he’s smiling, his rich, brown eyes twinkling.
“Of course I did it. I just had t’ wait th’ blasted years th’ Witch cursed me to. Otherwise,” he says, grabbing Will’s handsome, smiling face in his hands, “we would’ve been together long ago.”
“Happy Birthday, Jack,” Will remembers and barely has time to say before Jack’s lips are on his, drinking deeply of his sea and fulfilling his every need at last. This wonderful man he now holds in his arms and against his heart is all he’s ever really needed!
Behind them, Jack hears applause start. He knows Gibbs is the first to clap. Cotton’s parrot whistle is followed by Marty’s. The only surprise comes when Barbossa lifts a bottle of rum and cries out in happy approval. “Here, here!”
But why should he be surprised? Jack thinks. After all, he’s given Barbossa the treasure they fought over for years, but he doesn’t need the Pearl any more. The man in his arms is the only treasure, the only family, and the only home he’ll ever really need. He breaks their kiss just long enough to gasp, “I love you!”, and hears Will call the words back to him before they return to ravishing one another and making up for all their lost time. Thirteen years was a long time to wait, but his life isn’t half over. With this man in his arms, and soon to wear the ring in his pocket, his life is only just beginning, and it’s going to be beautiful!