There's Always Got to Be a Captain
: There's Always Got to Be a CaptainAuthor
: Jedi ButtercupRating
: B:tVS, PotC. Jack wasn't the only man ever to make a bargain with the wrong devil.
: The words are mine; the worlds are not. I claim nothing but the plot.Spoilers
: B:tVS post-"Chosen"; through "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" (2007)Notes
: Another piece of the "Daughters of Charon" 'verse, written for the 2013 August Fic-a-Day. Because it fit a TTHFFA pair, and to move the plot of that one forward a bit, finally ....
"Turns out they can only undo you as far as you think you deserve to be undone."
--Lindsey McDonald, Angel 5.17 "Underneath"
"Giacomo," Buffy said, looking up at the sign over the door of the hardware store with a frown. Then she corrected herself, glancing over at him. "Jack? What are we doing here?"
He might still wear expensive Italian clothes and trim his goatee to the current fashion, but he really didn't look like a Giacomo anymore; there was something just that little bit wilder about him these days. Something looser in his walk, lazier in his smile-- and darker around the eyes, as if he'd started filching kohl out of her makeup drawer.
She had some idea of what her boyfriend's answer might be, of course-- despite his cagey behavior, it would have been hard not to guess why he might stop to pick up a "guest" on their way to "pay ol' William a visit like he asked," but she had no idea why he might think he could find someone willing and capable of taking over her ancestor's role in a place called Deerfield's in a little town in backcountry Oklahoma.
And that was before even taking into account whether or not William Turner would want to stop
captaining the Dutchman
in the first place. He'd been serving Calypso for several hundred years; what if he preferred that life to trying to start fresh ashore in a world unfamiliar to him? Even when his wife had been alive he'd never really fought the curse, according to his stories. It had only kept him from setting foot ashore, after all, and the last Pirate King had spent a great deal of her time on the water.
"I'm not the only man ever to make a bargain with the wrong devil," Jack replied, meeting her gaze with a rakish grin. "I heard through a friend of a friend about a man who was nearly murdered by your
devil, in fact; a man who'd do anything to avoid the fate he's duly earned, but isn't of the inclination to use said anything
to run roughshod over innocents, once he's done it. That's a rarer combination than you might expect. An opportunity not to be missed."
"By mine? What do you-- oh
." Buffy made a face. There was only one man in her past that could be described as a 'devil' who'd ever really been in a position to make powerful bargains, but she liked to forget that whole Wolfram and Hart phase he'd gone through. Neither of them-- or Jack, for that matter-- had shown to their best advantage over the course of that year. A lot of good people had died. Some of them his. Some who might not've, if she'd trusted him enough to answer his calls. "He's one of Angel's?"
"Was, luv. Was. And I think they'd both quibble over the possessiveness of that label," he said. Then he turned to the door and pulled it open to the tinkle of an old-fashioned bell.
The man behind the counter was dressed like he belonged there, in blue jeans with a big silver buckle at the waist and a plaid shirt, but the minute he lifted wary blue eyes to look at the newest guests in his store, Buffy could see the mileage on him. She didn't recognize him... but he definitely recognized her
, and from the way his spine stiffened and he tossed shoulder-length brown hair back over his shoulder, he didn't think she was necessarily one of the good guys.
"Well, if it isn't the Slayer," he said, curling his lip. "I expected Angel to track me down eventually, but I didn't expect him to send his ex. Should I be flattered that he thinks me that much of a threat?"
"Sorry to burst your bubble, mate," Jack said, stepping between them to break the man's line of sight, "but your Angel's got no idea we're here. Doubt he even knows you were faking when his man left you for dead."
"Yeah? Then why is she here? And who're you?"
"Someone who wants to offer you an opportunity, Mister McDonald; so perhaps you'd better look after your manners, savvy? You might know me as the Immortal-- though that's not strictly the case, any more."
Mr. McDonald stiffened at the reference to Jack's former title in Rome, finally switching his attention fully away from Buffy. She wasn't sure whether to be flattered by that, or not. "What kind of opportunity? And how am I supposed to believe you are who you say you are, if you're not?"
Jack chuckled. "Hot and cold running everything gets a bit stale after a while, I've found," he replied. "But I suppose you won't believe that 'til you've had a chance to try it for yourself, eh? How d'you feel about a hundred years before the mast? A hundred years, minimum, 'til your former employers have a chance to activate that fancy clause in your contract?"
"I thought you worked with
Wolfram and Hart, not against them."
"Only when it suited me, mate. Only when it suited me. I'm Captain Jack Sparrow, or has the world forgot that name so easily?" Jack bared his teeth at the man in a feral grin, and Buffy could almost see the shadow of a tricorn hat on his head and the sparkle of gold in his smile.
Mr. McDonald sucked in a breath at that; apparently, he did
know the name. "I'm listening," he said.