Lost at SeaBY: Jay Kayelle
Lieutenant Gillette watched as the Black Pearl dropped anchor just out
of hailing distance of where the Dauntless sat tucked into the
comforting arms of a small isle, far from prying eyes. He had his doubts
about this meeting but he was under orders... A lump formed in his
throat at the reason for this meeting. His vision blurred momentarily
and he quickly swiped at his eyes, glancing over his shoulder to see if
anyone had noticed. If any one of the crew had seen they weren't letting
on. There wasn't a man aboard the Dauntless who did not hold similar
feelings on this occasion; he knew that for a fact.
Gillette turned his attention to the longboat being lowered over the
side of the Pearl, and the dark figure climbing into it. The sun glared
off the bright blue water making it difficult to pick out details. He
searched through the brightness for the colourful clothing that had
become so familiar over the last year and a half, needing to fix on
something normal. A chuckle surprised him by bubbling up in his throat.
That Jack Sparrow's gaudy outfit could be considered normal... He pushed
such thoughts from his mind as he waited for the pirate to reach and
board the Dauntless.
Finally, the slender man clambered over the side and now stood in front
of him on the deck. Their eyes met - Sparrow's lined with kohl as usual
and Gillette's feeling rather gritty. Gillette could not read the dark
depths of Sparrow's eyes and it made him angry that there was no obvious
sorrow to be seen.
"Welcome aboard, Sparrow," he said stiffly.
"That's Captain Sparrow, mate," came the expected reply but it was said
without his usual demand for respect.
Gillette turned away. "This way."
"Wait." Sparrow touched his arm, stopping him in his tracks. When
Gillette faced him again the pirate seemed at a loss for words, the
first time in Gillette's recollection. The pirate's mouth worked under
the thin moustache. Sparrow stood for a moment staring at the deck under
his feet. When he finally lifted his gaze, the depth of emotion that
momentarily flared there stunned Gillette. It was gone just as quickly
and the dark face settled into a serious mask again. He shook his head
once, setting the beads and trinkets in his hair to tinkling.
Then he nodded.
Gillette understood that Sparrow was ready and led the way to the cabin.
He stopped at the entrance.
"He refused to let us make for port. Said there was no point."
"Aye. Ever practical is our Commodore."
"Go ahead. He'll want to see you alone, I imagine." Gillette opened the
door for him and Sparrow went inside.
The door closed behind him. Jack's eyes went directly to the man in the
bed on the other side of the room. His heart beat so fast he thought it
might falter from the strain. He strode forward, removing his sword as
he went and dropping it on a table. When he reached the bed he climbed
up on it to sit closely by the side of the man who lay sleeping, the
blankets pulled up over his chest. Jack picked up the hand that was
nearest him and held it. The flesh was cool to the touch and for a
moment he thought he was too late. Then James stirred, opening his eyes
to look around in confusion.
"Oh god, Jamie," he whispered hoarsely.
The green eyes had lost most of their colour and now resembled shallow
seawater rather than sparkling emeralds. The beautiful face that he
loved so much was whiter than the sands of their favourite beach, and
the dark hair lying across his brow was damp with sweat. Jack rubbed
James's hand between his palms trying to warm it, to bring some life to
it. The fingers slowly curled around his and he clung to them, bending
his head to press a kiss to them. He remained that way for a few minutes
listening to the laboured breathing, his own inhalations becoming
arduous as he tried to breathe for him.
A trembling touch to his hair made him straighten up, and the fingers
trailed over his cheek as he did so. Without letting go of the right
hand he grabbed the left and held it against his face, presenting a
shaky smile to the other man.
"James Louis Norrington, what have you gone and done t'yerself?" he
asked in a mockingly stern tone.
One corner of James's mouth turned up. "I let a pirate run me through.
Terribly clumsy of me."
"I - I hear 'twere Ironhook Sam that did it. Hope you finished him off
good an' proper."
"Damn right! Gutted him like a fish!" The declaration caused a fit of
coughing that frightened Jack and brought Gillette running into the
quarters. It was apparent that he had been hovering just outside the
door. The Lieutenant reached the pitcher of water beside the bed and
poured some in a glass before Jack could make himself move. Gillette
held the glass to James's dry lips while Jack pointedly assisted his
lover in sitting up. He slipped behind him, pulling Jamie back to rest
against his chest after he finished drinking the water. Jack met
Gillette's angry look over Jamie's shoulder. He wrapped his arms around
his love and lightly rubbed his chest to help ease the discomfort.
Gillette continued to glare, but then something within him seemed to
give and he visibly relented.
Jack felt his own anger dissipate. Now was not the time for rivalry. He
and Jamie had been lovers for nearly a year -- sneaking aboard the
Dauntless or the Pearl in the dark of night, setting up trysts with the
help of Will and Elizabeth Turner, and Jack had climbed the trellis
outside Jamie's bedroom in Port Royal so often he could do it with his
eyes closed and, in fact, had done so drunk once or twice. During their
times on the Dauntless he had become aware that Gillette harboured some
strong feelings for his Commodore. The green-eyed monster of jealousy
had reared its ugly head more than once, but Gillette was too much of a
well-trained Royal Navy man to let it get out of control. Now was the
time for peace. He lifted an enquiring brow at the lieutenant.
"Aye." Gillette reached without hesitation across the man in the bed and
clasped Jack's hand.
"Finally," James breathed. "Took...you two...long enough."
Jack laughed softly and tightened his hold around the shoulders. "Ah,
Jamie. Not much gets past you."
Tears prickled Jack's eyes. His lover had to work hard to speak somewhat
normally. He knew trying to shush him would do no good, and so he let
him participate in the talk as much as he was able. It was all for his
benefit anyway to make this unbearable situation as normal as possible.
Jack placed a hand on James's fevered brow and brushed the dark hair
back again and again, his movements gentle and soothing.
"I could make you feel even better, love." Jack put as much lewdness
into his voice as he could manage. It brought a sound like a chuckle
into Jamie's voice.
"'Fraid 'm not up to it... Wish I could...experi...ence loving you...one
"Me too, darling Jamie." Jack kissed his beloved's cheek and then the
top of his head, the dark hair like silk under his lips. He glanced up
and noted the crimson flush on Gillette's face. "But I'll always hold
the mem'ries of our time together in my heart."
"Love you...Jack." The words were uttered as if a sigh and Jack felt the
life fade out of his lover's body with the last breath.
"Love you too, Jamie." The silence that fell in the room was broken once
by a gasp from Gillette. Jack tasted salt in the corner of his mouth and
realized he was crying; the tears slid off his chin into Jamie's hair.
He tipped his head down so that he could rest his forehead where the
tears fell, and clutched the man in his arms tighter. He stayed like
that for a long while, totally unaware when Gillette left the room.
Jack emerged from the Commodore's quarters, his steps heavy and slow. He
blinked in the bright sunlight and looked without understanding at the
marines and officers gathered on deck, all of them watching him closely.
He turned to Gillette whose eyes were reddened and sorrowful.
"Thank ye, lad, for sending word when ye did. It meant a lot t' 'im and
"Just honouring one of the Commodore's last wishes," Gillette spoke
gruffly but his eyes betrayed him, giving away his true feelings. Jack
nodded and moved towards the side where his longboat was tied up. "He
wanted a burial at sea. Will you not wait until we get him ready?"
Jack shook his head. "Nay. He's already gone t' me. I..." He swallowed
hard, unable to finish the thought.
"Next time we meet the rules will have changed," Gillette reminded him.
"Aye. I know. Till then."
Gibbs and Anamaria were there to help him clamber back aboard the Pearl.
Neither of them seemed to know what to say to him. Gibbs settled for
clapping a supportive hand on his shoulder. Jack turned into the touch
and patted Gibbs's hand in thanks. After a year, the crews of both ships
knew about the affair between him and Jamie. They'd taken care to keep
it a secret for a while, but soon found out that neither he nor Jamie
was good at hiding their blossoming love.
He felt a sharp pang in his chest. He missed Jamie already. They'd been
apart nearly a month this time, planning to meet next week in Tortuga.
There would be no more assignations, no more trellises to climb. No more
Jamie. He swallowed the lump in his throat.
"Do y'want us underway, Jack?" Anamaria asked.
"Nay. Not yet." He leaned on the rail and looked across to the
Dauntless. There was some activity over there, but no sign of them
setting sail yet either.
Anamaria walked slowly away but Gibbs remained at his side.
"Burial at sea?" he asked.
Jack nodded. "Anytime now."
"You didn't stay." This was not a question.
"Already said my goodbyes."
The two men fell silent for a time. When, at last, the marines lined up
in twos and a shroud wrapped body was brought out, Jack tensed at the
sight. He found his fingers gripping the rail until his knuckles lost
all colour. He stayed like that throughout the short ceremony. Some
fluke of the wind carried some of the words over to the Pearl faint but
"- gathered here to pay tribute to Commodore James L. Norrington of His
Majesty's Royal Navy." The squawks of a flock of gulls flying overhead
made it impossible to hear very much of what was said next, and then
they heard Gillette say, "We commit him to the sea he loved."
The sailors tipped the board downward and Jamie's body slid off hitting
the water with a small splash. Jack followed him down with his eyes, his
knees giving out until Gibbs's hands under his arms were all that held
him up. After a moment of respectful silence from both crews, Gibbs
"C'mon, Cap'n. A stiff drink o' rum and some sleep will help."
Jack turned away and as he did he noticed Gillette watching him from the
Dauntless. Jack tossed him a jaunty salute but his hand fell away with
the spark of good humour. He let Gibbs guide him to his cabin.
Rest did not come to Jack. His senses were numbed by grief, dulled
beyond feeling and thinking. He lay on his bed with one arm over his
eyes. The fingers of his other hand gripped the soft blanket and
released it, repeating it over and over. Several images burned
themselves on his mind. Jamie leaning in to kiss him as they loved one
another. The milky skin, soft as silk, under Jack's mouth, the rosy
erection twitching as he licked his way from top to bottom and back down
again. Jamie's face as he grew more and more aroused, finally reaching
climax with a low moan and a whimper as he spurted semen into Jack's
willing mouth. The taste of Jamie - he was hot and salty like the
sun-warmed sea they both loved.
He remembered the taste as if it were in his mouth now. He remembered
the surprising strength of his lover wrestling him to the mattress the
first time they made love. Memories of each and every time they had been
together, even before they admitted their mutual attraction, rushed
through his mind, awakening his sleeping senses, overloading him with
emotions and overwhelming his nerve-endings.
Jack sat bolt upright. His shirt clung to his back and sweat ran down
his sides. He clutched his chest, hunching over until his forehead
rested on his upraised knees. With shaking shoulders, his pent up
feelings spilled out in soundless, gasping sobs. The grief wrenched out
of him, ripping his soul from his body and casting it aside. He sat
like that until he could no longer breathe, and then he drew in a
lungful of air and another, finally falling back against the pillows.
Exhausted, he slept.
The Pearl kept pace with the Dauntless for the rest of the day. Gillette
was not certain whether Sparrow was taking his ship back to Port Royal
or if he was merely headed in the same general direction. He kept an eye
on it just the same.
Just at dusk he was about to go to dinner - not that he had an appetite
- when he saw someone moving about on the deck of the pirate ship,
separate from the others, hidden from view of the helm. The man rubbed
his hand in reverence along the railing and then patted it before
climbing up to stand on it. The hair on the back of Gillette's neck
stood on end. He recognized who that was and had a sickening feeling he
knew what the man intended to do. Even so he stood helplessly mute,
unable to raise a cry or indeed do anything to stop what was going to
The man - Sparrow, for that was who it was - poised on the rail as if
merely balancing there, and then he dropped his hands to his sides, bent
his knees and into the waves, the darkening sea swallowing him up.
Finally finding his voice, Gillette raced to the bell and rang it as
hard as he could.
"Man overboard! Man overboard! Ahoy on the Pearl! Man overboard!" His
cries stirred his own crew as well as catching the attention of those on
the Black Pearl. Gillette saw the man he knew as Gibbs look across and
he pointed to the water below. "Sparrow jumped!"
Gibbs reacted by hollering orders and the Pearl's anchor was dropped,
dragging her to a swift stop. Pirates leapt into the water, diving under
again and again, searching for their captain.
The Dauntless also dropped anchor and Gillette ordered some of his men
out in long boats to help. They all stayed out until well past dark with
only the light of the full moon to aid their search. By that time they
knew they were searching for a body rather than a man. They did not find
Gillette scrubbed his face and gave the order to stop the hunt. When the
last boat returned he took it over to the Black Pearl and climbed
aboard. His arrival was allowed as easily as if it was something he did
everyday. Gibbs lent him a hand and soon he stood on the deck of the
Pirate ship, the ship that Jack Sparrow had fought to regain. It was the
one thing in the world he loved as much as he did James Norrington.
"Lieutenant." Gibbs waited patiently for him to have his say.
"I wish...I wish to convey my condolences on the loss of Captain
Sparrow. I became better acquainted with him during his visits to the
Dauntless. It took me until today to acknowledge that he...he was a good
man. I regret my tardiness in doing so." He drew a breath. "I'm not
certain why I'm telling you this except perhaps that it needed to be
said aloud to someone who knew him well."
Gibbs heaved a sigh. "Well, tis the truth y'be sayin' exceptin' the
part about me knowing the Cap'n. I reckon the only one who knew him was
your late Commodore and possibly Jack knew him like no other."
Gillette nodded in silent agreement. There was no more to be said. He
turned to go. Gibbs stopped him.
"Thank ye, Lieutenant. It means a lot to me and the crew to hear this
"Neither man can be replaced. It feels as if an era has ended here today."
"Aye. Two good men are gone -- never be the same."
Gillette took his leave then and rowed back to the Dauntless. The Navy
had a job to do. There were still pirates roaming free and it was his
duty to rid the seas of them.