Title: Resurrectio (1/?)
Rating: Not over K+ at the moment but who knows.
Disclaimer: Aye, Disney doesn't let us make a profit but we're not tryin' to make a profit, are we?
Summary: Post AWE. A pirate walks into a bar. What is this? Some kind of joke? Two old friends or maybe enemies meet again. 1500 (more or less) words inspired by the prompt "rumors of my death" at Black Pearl Sails.
High morning sunlight drifted through glittering dust motes, painting window-shaped stripes across the grimy floor of the tavern. The mistress of the house, having thrown open the shutters to let out the stale air, was bustling about repairing the ravages of the previous night's carouse before the next nocturnal revels could begin.
Even at this hour the establishment was not without its patrons. One peacefully somnolent sot lay where he had fallen, his stentorian snores stirring patterns in the packed dirt. Another slept head down on his chest in a corner. Three-toed Jimmy and Olaudah were already perched at the counter engaged in their never-ending quest to drink each other under the table before noon. The persistent goat joined them, picking its dainty way among the rolling bottles and broken glass on the counter surface, nibbling occasionally at a scrap discarded by former diners.
In the gloom of the farthest back corner, untouched by any ray of light, slouched the figure of her most faithful patron. The weary woman considered him with displeasure. She really ought to have had him tossed out long ago. The steady stream of rum that had flowed his direction all night appeared to have tapered off, leaving him slumped next to his last long-nursed drink. Having spent his entire meager fortune on rum, the customer had progressed from collaring dubious friends to hailing not-quite-enemies to picking pockets with fumbling, rum-benumbed fingers in the effort to pay his tab. Since he'd only succeeded in lightening the purses of those drunker than he, his face was considerably the worse for having several unlearned lessons inscribed on it by outraged fists. The last few rounds he'd been punting on tick. She wasn't sure why she'd relaxed her religiously held principles about handouts except that she had a certain unaccountable and unprofitable fondness for the pestilential rapscallion. And he always had been one of her better customers when his pockets weren't completely to let.
A shadow suddenly dimmed the light in the squalid room. Mistress Ann turned to see who had entered the front door. Her first impression was "pirate captain." The rakish, plumed hat, wide skirts of the great coat, embroidered waistcoat belted with leather and silver and silk, and the high boots might have spoken the gentleman, but the cutlass and daggers and brace of pistols forming the visible arsenal about the man suggested otherwise. Moreover, one didn't see a person of that dusky colouring possessing either such sartorial splendour or such an air of arrogant assurance if piracy wasn't in the mixture.
Bustling up to welcome the customer, Mistress Ann received a shock when the face and figure of her pirate proved to be that of a young mulatto woman. Nevertheless, she had not become the keeper of the most profitable tavern by the docks by asking awkward questions of her often-questionable patrons. Smoothly she inquired, "May I help you?"
The pirate woman, her eyes still adjusting to the darkness of the room, shrugged. "I'm looking for a man—or what's left of him."
"Aren't we all?" Mistress Ann said wryly. "I have an assortment of partial men for you to choose from. Take your pick." Her expansive wave encompassed the various figures occupying the tavern.
One corner of the newcomer's mouth turned up. "But I already have a particular one in mind." She scrutinized the motley collection of human flotsam until her gaze alighted on the man in the back corner.
There wasn't much to see of him, folded over next to his tankard as he was, but what she saw appeared to be familiar.
"I'll just take a look at that one, if you don't mind." She waved a hand on which gold glinted.
"Be my guest," Mistress Ann said. "I don't know if that one'll wake up without you set off a cannon under 'im."
"Oh, he'll wake soon enough." The young woman said, danger striking sparks in her eyes like the flare of a flintlock. She strode purposefully across the room, avoiding the worst of the effluvia on the floor and the one body without seeming to glance down.
Fetching up at her destination, the pirate woman frowned for a moment at the somnolent tangle of hair and cloth and trinkets sprawled on the table. Then she deliberately picked up the half-full tankard and upended it over the unresponsive mass. The pile stirred, shook itself and grudgingly began to lift. A pair of dark, bleary eyes squinted up through the strands in injured outrage.
"Jack Sparrow." The woman glared at her inebriated quarry. "I'd heard you'd come back from the dead, but I see reports have been greatly exaggerated."
"Anamaria." Jack sighed resignedly, disappearing again under his hair like a disturbed hermit crab. "I might've known," he mumbled into the tabletop.
"You've lost the Black Pearl again, haven't you?" Anamaria said disapprovingly to the back of his head.
The eyes reappeared, slightly brighter now. "I'll get her back."
At Anamaria's deliberate and scornful perusal of his debilitation, he protested, "'S just a matter of time."
She gave a delicate and disbelieving snort.
"I'll have you know," Jack Sparrow grew more animated if not more coordinated, "that I have a very good plan." He attempted to stand, tripped over his own boots and resumed his seat with a thud.
Jack endeavored to look as though his return to the bench had been part of the aforementioned plan. "I just need to find a good boat . . ." his voice trailed off, and he eyed Anamaria speculatively. "You know, love, you look a mite dry. Have a seat here," he patted the bench next to him invitingly, "and tell ol' Jack what you've been doing with yourself this last year or two." Attempting to offer her the remains of his drink, Jack seemed startled to discover his tankard was empty. After upending it and shaking it to make sure, he turned and sought out the figure of the tavern keeper who had returned to her cleaning. "A tankard of rum for the lady, Mistress!" he called.
Mistress Ann, having assessed the prosperity of the pirate woman's accoutrements to the nearest farthing, produced the requested beverage promptly.
Anamaria ignored both the drink and the invitation. "If you think I'm going to let you get me too drunk to know better, Jack Sparrow, you've lost what's left of your mind."
She met Jack's attempt to look innocently beguiling with a withering stare.
"Now lass," he began placatingly, only to be interrupted.
"This time when you steal my boat to go after your ship, you scurvy varmint . . ." Anamaria grabbed the collar of his coat and hauled him upright with an admonitory shake, ". . . you are damn well going to take me with you."
Jack winced as if she had dropped a mast on his head but nevertheless contrived to flash her his fallen angel grin. "Wouldn't dream of doing otherwise, love."