Summary: The Flying Dutchman releases a deadly strike on the Black Pearl. Can Jack escape before it's too late? What about his crew? 10-15 years post DMTNT, inspired by its end credits scene. One-shot. References to Rob Kidd's books and The Price of Freedom.
Old But Gold
The Flying Dutchman's triple guns fired again, landing more fatal blows to the ship they pursued. Smoke filled the air. The tentacled captain, Davy Jones, knew it wouldn't be long before the battle ended. Before he got his revenge on his prey.
"Cap'n! She's sinkin'!" Shouted Scrum, a crew member aboard the Black Pearl.
"How fast?" The ship's captain, an aged Jack Sparrow, called back. His once black dreadlocks were silver. His voice, cracked with age, held a hint of stress and concern over the status of his ship.
"Mighty fast, sir! No time to patch it!"
"They're boardin'!" Another man cried.
"Cap'n, sails off the starboard side!" Gibbs, first mate of the pirate ship, warned.
The Pearl's captain glanced over in the direction of the newcomers, spotting a ship with white sails. They weren't flying any colors, but would soon be within range to swing over. He sighed, turning back to the ship on the leeward side; to their attackers.
"Forget them!" Jack told the man. "Focus on the Dutchman's crew!"
"We can only hope the other ship's friendly. Maybe some of us can make it out o' 'ere alive."
Barnacled creatures swung across the gap between the two ships, all sorts of sharp weapons in their crusty hands; it was the Dutchman's crew.
What happened next was a blur to Jack.
As he fought for his ship, he could hear the cries and screams of his crew. He thought he glimpsed Gibbs fall to the deck, a deep gash across his chest. At one point, the limp form of Scrum was hurled at him. The body knocked him over and he had to shove the dead weight off of him. He could feel the man's blood on his hands.
Something exploded near the Pearl's captain, and he was thrown across the deck, into a mast. By the time he got up, bleeding and exhausted, the fighting had ceased. His eyes travelled across the deck. The bodies of his crew were strewn across it, among the fire and debris. He looked up at the crew of the Dutchman, who stood in wait. The ship was low in the water; it wouldn't be long before it started seeping up onto the deck.
It was just him and every member of the Dutchman's crew aboard a sinking ship. And he couldn't swim as far as he once had been able to. He frowned worriedly, knowing the chances of getting out of this were slim. But then he heard a voice, coming from the starboard side of the sinking ship.
"Jack!" The familiar voice called.
The pirate captain turned to see who it was. His jaw hung open at the sight of Will Turner, aboard the ship that Gibbs had said was coming up on them.
But the barnacled men saw him too. And they recognized him for who he was; the man who had killed their captain. They moved forward, hungry for blood.
Jack wasn't going to have it.
"Oi! Get back!" He snarled, drawing his sword again and launching himself in front of the opposing crew to block their path.
The cursed men paused, seeming hesitant to attack him. One- the bosun- boldly drew his sword. Jack dueled him briefly, their swords clashing above the sounds of the sinking Pearl. But the pirate captain's aged body wasn't as fast as it used to be, nor his blows as powerful as they had been in his prime.
As a result, the bosun's sword slipped past Jack's, impaling itself through the latter's lower right ribs. A sound halfway between a yowl and a grunt escaped the older pirate before he could stop himself. Someone aboard the Turners' ship shouted his name in horror.
But Jack wasn't about to give up. As soon as the sword had withdrawn, he pressed his hand against the entry wound in his stomach to stem the warm blood seeping from it, and he raised his own weapon once more.
A Scottish-accented voice halted any more bloodshed. "I told ye to leave Sparrow to me!"
"Oh, don't worry, mate. I'm still 'ere." Jack assured his longtime enemy. His voice had an undertone of frailty to it after the confrontation with the cursed crew.
The captain of said crew shouldered his way through the men, pushing the bosun aside before he was face-to-face with the Pearl's captain.
"Sparrow." Davy Jones spat.
"Jones." Jack acknowledged. "Ye look great for bein' dead, really."
Green tentacles twitched in irritation before the cursed captain ordered his crew back to the Dutchman. He held his foe's gaze all the while.
"I should have dealt with ye long ago." Jones growled.
"Probably." Jack agreed, a small smirk coming upon his face as he remembered how old he had been when he had first met the Dutchman's captain. He'd been sixteen, captain of the Barnacle then. Jones had been after Fitzwilliam P. Dalton III's (an old crewmember) watch, which could turn stop time.
Then there was the issue with the rogue pirates when Jack was twenty, back in Shipwreck Cove. The Court of Inquiry had summoned him to identify a ship, to confirm if it was one that had sent countless ships to the depths.
Five years after that, when Cutler Beckett sent the Black Pearl- then the Wicked Wench- to the depths. Jack had summoned Jones himself, made a deal. His own soul a lifetime of service aboard the Dutchman in thirteen years, in exchange for the Pearl risen.
And then, once again, they met after the thirteen years were up. Jack promised one-hundred souls in exchange for his own. Of course, he and his crew headed for the chest that contained Jones's heart instead, which had resulted in Jack's own death.
The last time he had seen Davy Jones had been during the maelstrom battle, after he was rescued from the Locker. Will Turner had been fatally wounded. Jack had given him the heart, so he could live, and to end Jones's reign.
Jones had been dead.
But then, twenty-one years after Will became the Dutchman's captain, the curse was broken. But they had forgotten that the Dutchman must always have a captain. And now here Jones was, out for revenge and in control of his ship once again.
It had been quite a few years since the Jones had been released upon the living again; Jack had aged. The chances of winning- no, the chances of surviving were much lower than they had been all those years ago, during the maelstrom.
Jack let up the pressure on his wound, bringing his left hand to grip his sword as well. He'd need all the strength he could get. "It's a cat an' mouse game, innit? Neither of us can stay dead long, nor can ye stop findin' me. A fight of the ages, eh?"
But Jones wasn't in the mood for talking- he never was. He swung his sword, and yet another battle between them began.
The cursed captain's sword slashed upward, but his opponent countered the attack. He swung low, but the other sword intercepted it. They traded blow after blow, Jack's wounds and age forcing him mostly to defense. He was struggling, as much as he hated to admit it. He was just managing to parry Jones's attacks.
As their duel took them across the deck of the Pearl, Jack's feet slipped. He stumbled over himself and found himself thrown to the ground, his sword out of reach. To his horror, just as he got Jones back in his sight, the tentacled captain swung his sword at him. Without a weapon, Jack instinctively threw his right arm up, as if it were a sword. In the same moment that his enemy's blade cut deeply into the flesh of his forearm, he kicked his legs out.
While Jones tumbled toward the deck, the Pearl's captain snatched his opponent's sword and hurried to his feet. When the tentacled monster looked back up at him, it was with Jack pointing a sword at his throat.
"I'm still better than ye." Jack taunted with a smirk.
Jones gave a final snarl and vanished through the Pearl's deck. The ship's captain sighed, knowing he should've remembered that the other man could do that trick. He could hear him bark orders to his cursed crew.
Jack's gaze travelled over the deck, over the bodies of his own crew. Dead; every single one of them. He gave a sad nod, not allowing their deaths burden him. He silently thanked them for their years of hard labor.
"I'm too bloody old for this." He muttered, glancing at the torn, red stained sleeve that covered his right arm.
A sudden cannon blast from the Dutchman made Jack's head snap up in alarm. He didn't have any time to move before the cannonball slammed into the deck beside him. With a surprised yelp, he was thrown into the air. He landed on his back beside the mainmast, groaning painfully. Shards of debris had cut him and most of his strength had been sapped away.
He couldn't hear his name being called from aboard the Turners' ship, for more cannon blasts went off almost simultaneously.
A sickening crunch came from the mast beside him. He saw that a cannon shot had weakened the base and it was splintering, falling towards him. He began to scramble backwards as quickly as he could. But luck was against him.
Just as he thought he was safe of the mast's reach, another cannonball slammed into it and redirected it at him. He tried to move aside, but his left leg didn't quite make it. A deafening boom echoed through the air as the mast collided with the deck; and Jack's leg. He cried out through gritted teeth, body jerking painfully.
His ears rang and his vision was edged with black. His breath came in gasps. His leg throbbed like never before.
The only good thing about the situation was that the mast now acted as a barrier, separating Jack from the Dutchman and its crew.
The Pearl continued to shake under the fire of the cannon blasts, even if her captain couldn't hear them. The water had risen above deck level by a few inches now. Jack shifted so that his free leg was against the mast. He planted his foot on it and pushed. It didn't budge. It occurred to him that he'd have to wait until the mast had fully been submerged by the sea to try to move it. I'm gonna bloody drown if that doesn't work. Reckon I'm dead either way though…
"Hate to say it, but please sink faster." He begged the Pearl, despite being unable to hear his own voice.
By the time the water level began to cover the top of the mast, he was coughing and choking on the smoke in the air. He could see a tint of red in the water surrounding him, the worst of his wounds refusing to stop bleeding. He hoped there were no sharks nearby.
As Jack waited for the last couple inches of the mast to submerge, he cast a glance over to the Turners' ship. He could see them watching helplessly from their starboard rail. He met Will's gaze, giving his friend a nod to tell him he'd be fine.
When he looked back to the Pearl's mainmast, it was a couple inches under the water. The liquid was reaching his neck. He took a deep breath and dove under the surface. He pushed his weight against the mast and it easily moved away, freeing his trapped limb.
He pushed off the deck of his beloved ship, swimming towards his friends' own ship; to safety. This wasn't his first time swimming with a broken limb, but combined with age, it was difficult. His lungs burned for air, but he didn't let himself go to the surface. He couldn't risk Jones's men seeing his escape. If they did, he'd die for certain.
The ringing in his ears slowly subsided, replaced by the sound of the water moving past him and the sound of cannon fire taking out whatever was left of the Pearl that remained above water. He turned to look at his ship. He could see chunks of wood and pieces of torn sail floating near the surface, everything else sinking down, down, down; deep into the sea; never to sail again. He silently thanked her for years of smooth sailing. Then he offered both the Black Pearl and his crew a quiet goodbye.
Then he continued his journey to the Turners' ship.
It wasn't long before Jack reached the vessel. He popped up to the surface, taking deep breaths of fresh air. He swam along to the ropes along the side of the ship, where Will, Elizabeth, and Henry were waiting for him. They assisted him up to the deck, where he leaned on the railing and kept his left foot from touching the wooden planks beneath him. None of them had said a word up until that point.
"Where's your crew?" Will asked him.
"With the Pearl." Jack managed to say, his voice strained.
"But the Pearl just sank." Henry pointed out, clearly confused.
"Aye, that she did." The pirate captain agreed, heaving a sigh.
He turned back to the debris of his ship, the silence of his companions telling him that they'd realized the meaning of his words.
"Are you alright?" Elizabeth asked him quietly, coming up on his left to gaze at his face.
"I'll be fine." Jack cleared his throat. "Not the first time I've broken a leg."
"Jack, your leg was crushed by a mast." She told him, an incredulous look on her face.
"Yep. Might take a year or longer, but it'll heal." He replied, seeming almost amused by her.
A cannon blast went off, indicating Jones had spotted their ship. Jack and the Turners paled.
"Oh no." Will managed.
Jack, noticing the others seemed frozen, snapped into captain mode. "Full sail!"
Using the railing to assist him, he made his way for the stairs to the helm, hopping on one foot. He reached the stairs, bracing his arms and swinging his legs forward. He landed precariously and moved his arms up the rail again before repeating the process several more times.
"Move." He ordered the helmsman, who moved aside at his command.
The experienced pirate captain took the wheel in his own hands, turning the ship to starboard, away from the Dutchman, as fast as he could. The ship followed his movements with swiftness and ease. It was almost like a newer version of the Pearl. He couldn't believe it. He glanced over his shoulder at the pursuing ship, which was already falling behind. It wasn't turning nearly as fast as this one. He smirked, turning to face forward.
"Oi." Jack called to the helmsman, who came back to his side. "Keep course straight ahead till the Dutchman's out of sight. If ye manage that, we'll be jus' fine."
"Aye, sir." The crewman saluted, taking the wheel.
Jack made his way down to the main deck, feeling his wounds and blood loss weighing down on him. Henry had gone up to assist with loosening the sails and wasn't yet back down. Elizabeth and Will also seemed to have snapped out of their daze and were waiting for him.
"That was quick thinking." Will commented.
Jack shrugged. "I'm notorious for that, am I not?"
The younger man merely nodded in agreement.
"How are you feeling?" Elizabeth asked the pirate.
"Like I'm 'bout to pass out." He huffed.
And blackness filled his vision as he fell to the deck.