Fandoms: Torchwood/Pirates Of The Caribbean
Pairing: Captain Jack Harkness/Captain Jack Sparrow
Challenge/Prompt: crossovers100, 079. Desert
Prompt: Written for silver_fic. I really don’t know if this is what she wanted, but what the hell.
Rating: PG (some swearing)
Word Count: 2346
Timelines: Set during End of Days for Torchwood, and At World’s End for POTC.
Summary: The Captains discuss teeth, tentacles and teammates.
Author’s Notes: I was trying to work out if I could make these guys meet, then thought… well, why not set the whole thing in the purgatory that is Davy Jones’ Locker? If anyone’s out of character, blame it on the fact I haven’t really written with Jack Sparrow since I was 13! I also managed to get in the phrase “kohl-rimmed eyes”, which makes me all shades of happy since Jack Sparrow is exactly why my RL journal is called kohlrimmedeye.
The sky is a depressingly neutral shade of grey, not the it’s-Cardiff-and-it’s-destined-to-piss-d
When he finally feels like he can get to his feet without falling over and crumbling into his composite molecules, Jack stands up, swaying a little on shaky legs. He squints around him, unable to get used to the horribly intense light, and tries to figure out where he’s ended up. For as far as he can see, the ground is depressingly flat and grey, the sky is a watery sort of neutral colour, the light is blindingly white, and the only features are small, oval-shaped grey rocks littered randomly about.
“Okay…” he murmurs, shucking off his heavy and too hot coat. The last thing he can remember is Abadon sucking the life out of his body (much as he’d rather not remember it)… and now he is here. This place is weird, even by his usual standards.
Somewhere in the distance, Jack thinks he can hear the sea, the soft crashing of waves. It should be sort of restful – Tosh has a whole load of mp3 files of ocean sounds for when she’s shot something and needs to calm down again – but this isn’t at all peaceful, it’s more… malevolent, making Jack feel slightly nauseous. He fumbles his Webley out of its holster, and starts walking towards the sound. Somewhere, there’s got to be a clue as to where he is and, possible even more importantly, why he’s here. There’s got to be a way out around here too; there’s always a back way in or out.
Behind Jack, there’s a skittering sort of sound, and when he turns, there are a few too many pebbles lying around behind him.
“If you’re following me,” he warns the rocks, “You will regret it.”
Talking to stones. Fucking brilliant. He hasn’t been in this place an hour yet, and he’s already cracking. He keeps walking, but this time there’s no skittering sound, so he presumes that, out of his mind or not, the message has got through.
A shape on the horizon draws his attention, a large black shape, so he changes direction and begins to walk towards it. A few minutes later, and he can make out a mast. It looks like a ship, an old-fashioned Earth ship. This is very, very strange, even to Jack, and he’s seen some pretty weird shit in his time.
The ship is getting closer too fast, Jack isn’t going to pretend to know all or even half of the laws of physics – unintentionally breaking them tends to be more his domain – but he’s fairly certain that the world shouldn’t be moving around him like this. He wonders if maybe he’s somewhere where the gravity is different, where the atoms are less fixed, but he’s clutching at straws. He almost wishes Tosh or Suzie were here, not that they’d know either, but they could be confused together. The Doctor undoubtedly knows, but he’s abandoned Jack to his fate, and it’s easier to just not remember.
The ship looks tired and a little wrecked, beached miles away from the sea. Jack can hear someone shouting up on the deck, footsteps running up and down. There’s a rope hanging down, and so he tucks his gun back into its holster, drops his coat to the ground, and climbs up, boots braced against the salt-split wood.
The man on the deck hears him climb over the side, and pulls an incredibly old-fashion pistol from a scarf tied around his waist. Jack is an equally quick draw, and his Webley is in his hand in seconds. He knows this situation off by heart; the stand-off, and it’s all a case of who can move fastest. He hopes it’ll be him, when it comes down to it, but it doesn’t actually matter either way any more, does it?
“Who are you?” the other man demands. He’s sunburnt and ingrained with dirt (Jack has a sudden mental image of Ianto rushing off for disinfectant, a pained look on his face, and suppresses the crazy urge to laugh), dressed in what basically amounts to an assortment of brightly coloured rags, with dark hair twisted into ratty dreadlocks. He looks a mess, and Jack wonders how long he’s been here.
“Could ask you the same thing,” Jack can’t help pointing out.
“Ah, but you’re trespassing on my ship,” the man tells him, pulling back the hammer on his gun.
“I’m Jack,” Jack tells him.
“Oh, bugger.” The man sighs, returning his gun to his waist. “Not another one.”
With the immediate danger of being shot gone, Jack willingly puts his Webley away.
“Another what?” he asks. Maybe, if there are lots of people like him, they could organise some kind of… liberation party or something.
“Another me,” the man explains, flinging an arm around, managing to encompass the entire deck of the ship, and the distinct abundance of nobody on it. “Like this lot.” He turns, and glares at someone that only he can see.
“I’m… not seeing anyone,” Jack says carefully.
“Lucky you.” The man replies, grimacing slightly. “You’re, you know, a manifestation of my sub…” he trails off.
“Subconscious?” Jack suggests.
“Just what I said.” The man gives him a casually rakish smile.
“I’m not a representation of your subconscious,” Jack assures him.
The man frowns.
“Well, for one thing, I’ve got far better dental work than you,” Jack can’t help pointing out, offering a bright grin of his own.
“Shiny,” the man agrees, looking at the rows of glowing white teeth. He has a mangled mouthful of gold and generally awful real teeth, and even without the accent Jack would know the man was English just from the state of them. “If you’re not me, then who are you?”
“Captain Jack Harkness,” he says.
This is apparently not a good thing to say, as this makes the guy get his gun out again.
“Off my ship,” he orders. His voice has a manic edge, but the hand holding the weapon is perfectly steady. “I got the Pearl fair and square… well, I got her anyway, and you’re not having her now.”
“I don’t want your boat,” Jack says quickly. “Really. I just want to know what the hell is going on.”
The other man narrows kohl-smeared eyes at him, and Jack does his best to adopt an innocent expression. He hasn’t had to use an innocent expression in years, so he suspects that he’s not pulling it off.
“She’s not a boat,” the other man says finally, in an offended sort of tone, lowering the pistol. “She’s a ship, and she’s mine, all right?”
Jack nods. “Ok, fine. Your ship. Got it.” It’s unbearably hot and bright and he wonders if maybe this is actually hell. Doomed to an eternity of bickering in a dustbowl. Maybe he deserves it, though Jack can’t help thinking he’d have to do something really fucking bad to get this as a punishment. “You got a name?” he adds, deciding he might as well try and make this situation a little easier.
“Captain Jack Sparrow.”
Ah, well, that at least explains some of it.
“Where are we?” Jack asks, daring to take one step closer to Sparrow, now names have been exchanged and there’s no immediate threat of violence.
“You don’t know?” Sparrow looks amused. “You’re in Davy Jones’ Locker, mate.”
Jack has no idea how he got here, and says as much.
“I remember exactly how I got here,” Sparrow tells him. “I got killed by an evil sea beastie.” He shrugs, and his tone becomes conversational. “Have you ever been eaten by a giant monster?”
Jack considers this. “Actually, yes.” Only the once, and Jesus, it wasn’t fun. “That wasn’t what happened this time around, though.”
“Are you sure?” Sparrow asks. “Rows of teeth, scaly skin, smell like something died… that sort of thing?”
That does actually vaguely describe Abadon, so Jack shrugs.
“I guess so.”
Sparrow nods, sitting down on a barrel.
“Did yours have tentacles?” he enquires, in the tone of a man trying to work out if his death was more painful than Jack’s. It always comes down to that kind of pissing contest, always. “Mine had tentacles, bloody big ones.”
“No tentacles,” Jack tells him. “I’m pretty sure I’d remember tentacles.”
Sparrow smiles again, the twisted smile of a man no longer friends with his sanity.
“How long have you been here?” Jack asks, not sure that he actually wants to know the answer.
“Dunno,” Sparrow says. “The stones aren’t stones, you know.”
“I know,” Jack replies. There’s a pause. “I guess you’ve been here long enough to go mad, anyway.”
“Oh, I’ve always been mad, mate,” Sparrow tells him, golden teeth winking in the hideous white lighting. “Saved a lot of time.”
Jack sighs, removing his braces and untucking his shirt. If he’s going to be here for the long haul, then he might as well be comfortable. Sparrow is watching him in an assessing sort of way, kohl-rimmed eyes capable of a surprisingly hard stare, given that he sounds constantly drunk.
“Have you got anything to drink around here?” Jack asks hopefully.
“Nah.” Sparrow tilts his hat a little further over his face. “Nothing to eat, nothing to drink…”
“Nothing?” Jack repeats. He’s starved to death before, and ooh, that was all kinds of no fucking fun at all.
“I had a peanut once,” Sparrow says, in a wistful sort of voice. “I killed myself for it.”
Jack walks to the side of the beached ship that’s tilted upwards a little, providing a meagre amount of shade. He sits down, resting his back against the sun-bleached wood, closing his eyes. He’s done some crazy, crazy things the last couple of centuries, but he’s never wound up in a fictional sort of purgatory before. That’s a special kind of messed-up.
“So what did you do to get on Jonesy-boy’s bad side?” Sparrow says eventually, coming to sit down beside Jack.
“I don’t think I did,” Jack replies. “What did you do?”
“Sold him my soul,” Sparrow tells him, leaning forward a little, a small smile playing around his mouth.
“And how did that work out for you?”
Sparrow makes an expression of vague annoyance. “I’m here.”
They sit in silence for a while, though Sparrow keeps twitching in a distinctly not-quite-normal way, and Jack wonders exactly how long he’s going to be here.
“Is anyone going to come and rescue you?” Jack asks eventually, and not without hope. His people won’t know he’s here, but Sparrow might have… a crew or something.
“…No.” Sparrow sighs. “I had a whole crew, but they killed me.”
Jack knows that song. Owen’s hands on that gun, and no one tried to stop him. “My team killed me,” he says.
Sparrow laughs, raises his hand in an imaginary toast. “Here’s to ungrateful bastards.”
Jack raises his own hand, knocks their knuckles together. “Here’s to hoping they feel really bad around now.”
They both seem to realise at the same time that they’re about to attempt to get drunk on alcohol that isn’t there, but then they’re surrounded by rocks that aren’t rocks in a world that shouldn’t exist, and no one’s going to come and get them out, so they really don’t have a whole lot of choice.
“I’ve never come here before,” Jack says. “I’ve died, you know, a lot, but I’ve never come here.”
Sparrow isn’t listening, he’s looking into his empty cupped hand in a dejected sort of way.
“The rum’s always gone,” he mumbles to himself, and Jack decides that Sparrow is officially batshit crazy. Though he has no doubt that after a while here, he’ll be in much the same position.
“Look,” Jack begins a little desperately. “There’s got to be some way out of here. Really.”
“Feel free to look, mate,” Sparrow says, flinging a casual arm out. “Walk as far as you like. The Pearl’s the only thing here.”
“I can hear waves,” Jack says. “I could hear waves, anyway.”
“That’s to help you go mad,” Sparrow explains. “Believe me, there’s no way out of here except the way you came.”
“But I don’t know how I got here!” Jack tells him. Maybe it’s a side-effect of getting killed by Abadon, maybe it’s just the universe toying with him again.
“Then you’re fucked, Captain,” Sparrow replies, matter-of-fact. “Just as fucked as I am.”
“But you’re trapped on a ship in the middle of nowhere, crewed by hallucinations of yourself, with no food or drink, no other people, and…” Skittering sounds fill the air, and Jack begins to suspect that the rocks are moving again, “…and you’re surrounded by stones that aren’t stones at all!”
Sparrow doesn’t look all that perturbed by this assessment of his situation. “Welcome to Davy Jones’ Locker, love.”
Jack isn’t amused and gives Sparrow the best glower he can muster. Sparrow responds by giving him another one of those frustrating grins, the type that makes you forget that he is covered in a worrying amount of dirt and wearing clothes that have never, never seen detergent (Ianto would faint if he could see him). And Jack remembers, belatedly, that he can make any place at least mildly hospitable if he puts in a little effort.
He stretches his legs out in front of him, getting a little more comfortable on the rough wooden planks.
“So, what do you do for fun around here?”
Sparrow just looks at him and laughs, and Jack decides that although it would be very difficult for his situation to get any worse, maybe it’s not so bad after all.