CHAPTER FIVE: Dark Clouds Over Tortuga
Haldir: *After a while, Haldir could find no more tasks for him to do in the cabin. He heard the sounds of the sails in the wind, and began longing for a bit of fresh air again. Maybe he could go up on deck, even if he was not in the company of Jack? How dangrous could it be? Straightening his clothes as best he could, Haldir mustered his courage and walked out of the cabin, closing the door after him, and went topside. As he emerged, he stopped, watching the activities on deck with great interest.*
Gibbs: *Jack was at the wheel of the ship, looking intently at his compass as if to chart his way and he did not noticed Haldir slip up on deck. The deck was a mass of activity as the crew tightened ropes and made repairs, but one man, whose job it was to oversee everything, did spot him. Joshamee Gibbs moved across the deck toward Haldir and placed his hand on the elf's shoulder.* Not a place for you lad. Come away from the rigging at least, so's ye not bumped into or in the way of a line.
Haldir: *Haldir watched the face of the man in front of him intently. It was a face worn by age and hardships, but his eyes were honest, and Haldir understood the importance of what he said. Without a word, he nodded and followed the man over to the side of the deck.* Who are you? *he said quietly when they got away from the chaos*
Gibbs: *Gibbs was indeed a good honest man and his heart belonged to Jack. Not in a romantic way, though on a drunken night, the pair had occationally made pleasure in one another's company.. it was more the typical one of captain and first mate. Jack had pulled Gibbs from an early grave and given him purpose again.. and Gibbs would die for him because of it. He was thrilled to have the elf's ear now and smiled, striking out his hand.* Name's Joshamee.. but everyone calls me Gibbs. I help Jack keep the Pearl running smooth as silk. 'n you're Haldir, if Im not mistaken? Jack's very protective of you.. though probably rightly so.
Haldir: You are Jack's trusted man? That is good enough for me, *Haldir said and took the proffered hand with a smile. For a moment he was ancious that the wind would blow his hair to the side and reveal his ears, but fortunately it did not happen.* I am pleased to meet you, Gibbs. How is it like, this life on the seas? Jack seems to enjoy it very much.
Gibbs: Tis no other way for me to live. And life under Jack is a fair one, though he can become a bit odd at times, he is a kind captain with a good manner about him for a pirate. *Gibbs smiles and turns, looking out over the ocean as he leans against the railing.* It can be a mite dangerous, as you saw. But the crews loyal for the most part and we'll help you to learn the ways of the sea, if you think you'll be stayin with us.
Haldir: Yes, that man Murphy did indeed seem dangerous, *Haldir agreed, following Gibbs' example and leaning against the railing. The cool sea air felt wonderful in his chest and he drew a deep breath.* will probably stay on board for a while, until I find a way to return to my ship, *the elf began slowly.* I'm very grateful for your support so I can get accustomed to this life. Jack said I could do well as an outlook and archer. What do you think of that?
Gibbs: If Jack said it, then it must be true. He has a natural sense about people when he meets'em. *Gibbs looked Haldir over a bit and smiled.* You're a good lookin kid. I would be suspectin that Jack sees more in you then just an archer.
Haldir: *Haldir certainly had not expected this turn of the conversation, and could not help his thoughts from drifting to what had happened below earlier. A pale pink colour began forming on his cheeks, and he turned his head away to hide it from the man.* Do you think so? Does he usuall...uhm.... like goodlooking kids? *The elf couldn't help his eyes from darting over the men on the deck, looking for any handsome young lads.*
Gibbs: *Gibbs seemed worried that he had suddenly said too much and busied himself with a rope and line.* Naw.. He just seems to be stickin close to ye is all. Not like Jack to put alot of effort into keeping someone else safe. It's a good thing lad. If you have Captain Sparrow's loyalty, ye be a lucky person indeed.
Haldir: *These words make Haldir's ear warm up and his stomach to feel tingly, but he did not let it show.* Jack has promised me to help me with finding the ship I fell from during the storm. He has really been very helpful, and that makes me very grateful. Jack Sparrow is a remarkable man. *Haldir turned to Gibbs and gave him a smile, showing flawless white teeth.* You seem to be one too, Gibbs.
Gibbs: *Looking up from his work, Gibbs smiles.* You seem like an honest soul. No reason not to treat you fair. If anyone can find yer ship, the captain can. Stick by him, he won't stear you wrong. *Gibbs looks over at Jack.. and goes alittle pale.* AH.. I think maybe ye best go to him lad. He looks a bit curious as to why yer topside.
Haldir: *Haldir's eyes dart instantly over to Jack, and then back to Gibbs.* I will go and talk to him now; I don't want to make him worry. Thank you for your advices, Gibbs. I can see that Jack is doing right when trusting you. You are a good man. *The elf turns away from the sailor, making his way towards Jack by the wheel. Just as he turns, a gust of wind blows his hair away from the side of his head closest to Gibbs, and his tapered ear is plainly visible for a moment before Haldir lifts his hand to pull his hair back down. His stomach knots with fear of how much of his ear was visible, but he doesn't dare to look back at the man. Gibbs seems decent... he wouldn't use it against me, Haldir tells himself as he approaches his new pirate captain friend.*
Gibbs: *Gibbs had seen the pointed ear and for a moment he cocked his head and sent a look of 'what are you hidding from us, Jack?' to his captain. Jack just flashed a smile. He was unaware of what had happened though, too intent on getting himself in between his crew and the elf. Gibbs rubbed his chin, going back to his work slowly. He would keep quiet for now. Haldir really did seem like a good kid.. though superstitions ran amuck in the older shipman's head.
Jack: Across the deck, Jack moved aside of the Pearl's wheel and let Haldir fit himself in.* Take it lad. Time you earn your keep. *Jack winked and moved to one side.* Ever sail the ship you were on?
Haldir: *Haldir could not help but grin when Jack let him take the wheel. He greatly enjoyed being out on deck and feeling the fresh, salty air around him; his sea longing having been triggered fully back when he sailed out of the Grey Havens, but he had not for a moment thought he would be allowed to steer a ship. Cirdan had been adamant at the wheel of the swan ship, both day and night, and not let anybody else even touch the wheel, so when Jack simply stepped aside, Haldir could almost not believe it.* No, the captain preferred to sail himself at all times, *he explained.* My job was to do what he ordered, be it climbing the rigging or securing the cargo. I have never held a wheel before, Jack.
Jack: Ahh then tis high time you did. Not all captains like their crew to have so much control, but I let a select few. Find it keeps em happy and gives me a break.. so in the long run, it keeps ME happy. * Coming up along behind Haldir, Jack slides his hands down the elf's arms, starting at his shoulders and moving under, then along to his elbows and finally hands.* Now.. let me show you.. Ye see the peg whot has a line of brass around it? That's to mark the top. Tends to get hard to tell at times in a storm or while you're shouting orders, so that always marks where you are on the wheel.
Haldir: *It seemed like Jack's words were dampened in a thick layer of cotton, the way Haldir's head began to swim when Jack snuck up behind him like that. The slow movement of the man's hands down his arms made Haldir shiver, and for just a fraction of a moment he held his breath and closed his eyes, enjoying the feeling of being wrapped in Jack's arms. Clearing his throat, he snapped himself out of it after a couple of seconds, and brought his attention back to what Jack was saying... although the heat of the captain's body all along his back was rather distracting.* I think I understand, *he nodded finally* When the wheel is at the top, the ship goes straight forwards?
Jack: *The rest of the crew had become more curious about Haldir after he had been called away from Gibbs. There were a good many of them whispering amongst one another and when Jack made such an obvious display of affection, coin started passing from one hand to another in exchange for lost and won bets. Gibbs smiled, watching Jack. He knew his captain had been searching for something. Everyone had thought it was gold or diamonds. Seemed to the first mate, that maybe it was something alittle more warm. Jack kept his body pressed close to Haldir's. He lay his head lightly on Haldir's shoulder, watching what the other did.* Aye. and it don't take much to turn her, so mind how quickly you change the wheel. Watch yer sails... keep em full. Pearl will tell ye when you're off course and when you arent sure, theres stars or the compass.
Haldir: Yes... I can feel it. She responds to my touches... *Haldir was beginning to get the feel of the ship under his hands, and how he needed to adjust the wheel slightly every time the waves tried to push it up against the wind. If the Pearl came too high up in the wind, the sails would start flapping, and then he had to bring her down again until they filled. The ship and the waves were like living creatures in his hands and he felt an immense joy in his heart - a feeling of endless freedom. Suddenly he felt Jack's head on his shoulder...a gentle, affectionate touch... and his blood began to boil again. What was going on among the crew was very far from his mind.*
Jack: *The Pearl seemed to like the elf and did as he asked without the usual bicker she might have given Cotton or Gibbs. Jack noticed it and smiled, for it only make things more solid in his mind that Haldir belonged with them. With him. A dolphin came rushing in from deeper waters and raced along the Pearl's hull, daring her to go faster. Jack let his hands fall from Haldir's but they did not stray far, finding a new home on the elf's slender hips. He was only pulled away from that perfect moment when one of his crew shouted back.* Capt'n! Dark clouds over Tortuga... *Looking up, Jack saw that a storm was indeed wrecking havoc on the small town. Putting port into there would be difficult.* We can manage. All hands! Prepare for unsettled seas! *Jack nuzzled Haldir's ear* Best let me have her lad. You'll have more time again soon.
Haldir: *Haldir laughed with joy when the dolphin raced them. He had never seen such a fish before, but found it beautiful and impressive, and instantly loved it. Jack's gentle touches on him were unobtrusive and welcome, and for a short time Haldir was happy. Nothing existed but him, Jack, the ship, the sea and the dolphin at this moment - and that was completely enough. Unfortunately, their moment ended quickly when somebody shouted about an approaching storm, bringing them brutally back to reality.* What do you wish me to do, captain. Where can I help? *Haldir asked, more anxiously than he had intended. Unbidden memories of how he had been washed off his ship flooded him, and not even Jack's touch to his ear could help him shake them.* Will it be dangerous?
Jack: *Jack flashed his golden smile and placed one hand on Haldir's shoulder as he took the wheel with the other.* Don't worry lad. Ole Jack's sailed through far worse. Tis just a bit of a blow up. Ye might get wet, but I don't think you need to get down below. Just stay here beside me for now, savvy? If it gets too rough, Gibbs will bring ye to my bed....room. Bedroom. *ANother smile was quick as the wind picked up and the sails snapped.* GET THAT SHEET MATES! *Jack's voice told the difference between the gentleman who caressed Haldir's hip, and the fierce captain who had managed to out run and outwit the entire British navy.*
Haldir: I don't mind getting wet, as long as I don't fall off yet another ship. I'm beginning to like it onboard this one - even the bedroom, *Haldir replied, although his joking tone was a little strained. He stepped aside and watched Jack take the wheel, noticing how the man somehow looked taller and more fierce. The storm was visible on the sea as a dark shadow of rippling water, rapidly approaching, and in less than a minute it was upon them. Rain lashed down, almost sideways in the strong wind, and the crew worked frantically on reducing the amount of sails. Haldir had a good grip on a tight rope from the nearby rigging, his wet hair whipping around his face. The elf's natural grace and balance made it easy for him to keep his footing on the heaving deck, and he did not take his eyes off Jack and the strong aura he emitted.*
Jack: *Jack's hair whipped around his face, but the pirate kept a strong hand and narrowed eye, never once taking his mind off of what he was doing. He had finally gotten a crew in which he felt great confidence in and they did as was needed without much proding. They were close to shore now and as they came into the harbor, the wind and rain lessened as the land protected them. Line and chain were hauled free and the anchor heaved. The last of the sail was down and Jack smiled when he felt a gentle tug from the line as the barbs of the anchor dug into the coral below. He threw on two ties, which kept the wheel straight when not in use, and offered his arm to Haldir.* Come below? Yer a bit wet. The crew will be goin ashore and so we will we, for a bit of dinner, if you are willing.
Haldir: Dinner sounds good, *Haldir smiled, taking Jack's arm with a side glance to the crew. Luckily they seemed too busy to notice their captain's obvious caress. The elf had a feeling that perhaps not everybody would take lightly to how close he seemed to have gotten with their captain after such a short time onboard, but this was a problem he would rather discuss with Jack when he was warm and dry. Both he and Jack were dripping wet, and Haldir wondered briefly how he would ever manage to get all this salt out of his hair.* Do you think there will be a chance for a good bath, somewhere in the town? I could do with a wash in fresh water.
Jack: *The crew all seemed busy enough, scurrying about as they prepared to leave the Pearl for a good long night of drinking and playing in Tortuga. Generally Jack assigned someone to remain behind but for tonight he elected to let them all go. A part of him hoped that he and Haldir might have some alone time that way. Once they were inside, Jack closed the doors to his quarters and began pulling off his wet clothing.* aye. At the very least we can bathe here, though the taverns all have rooms with real plumbin.
Haldir: *Haldir flopped his soaked shirt to the floor, and let his borrowed pants go the same way, leaving him naked. Unconcerned about his nudity, he picked the wet clothes up, looking around him.* Where do you keep clothes for drying? *His eyes darted over Jack's body, widening slightly as he saw his captain undress, gradually revealing his slender body.*
Jack: *Jack was very accustomed to seeing men in the nude, for on a ship, no matter how big the Pearl was compared to others, things tended to get cramp. However, he'd never seen a body quite like Haldir's. All muscle and pale as snow with barely a blemish. There were a few small scars and Jack found himself wondering about them, but his own body was riddled with those. When Haldir turned, Jack smiled and reached above his head to pull down a retractable line, which he attached to the other end of the room.* Toss em over that, luv. I'll see whot I've got that's going to fit you. * He tugged on a loose fiting pair of britches and did not bother with a shirt.*
Haldir: *Haldir did as he was told, and hung both his own and Jack's clothes over the line. All the while, he kept watching Jack's body. The amount of scars told stories of many years of fights against both sharp and blunt weapons, but still, the man's body was handsome - for a man. The scant body hairs were surprising; never had he seen a Man with less hair, not much more than elves. Even his pubic area looked tidy and not at all the bushy mess Haldir sometimes had seen when he had been near Men. Struggling to rid himself of these thoughts before they would become visible on his body, Haldir turned from Jack and tried to comb his tangled hair with his fingers.*
Jack: *Jack was very good at not looking like he was looking, when indeed he was. He had raised the lid of his clothing trunk and was rustling around in it, 'looking' for something for Haldir to wear. He did find some tan colored britches which were actually too but on him, but would probably fit perfectly on the more muscled elf. Playfully, he closed the lid without taking them out.* Sorry mate. Out of luck. Got nothing all that will fit ye.
Haldir: *Haldir adjusted his shirt slighlty on the clothes line and lowered his arms, looking at Jack.* You mean to tell me that you have no more leggings than that you are wearing, and I have to walk naked in town? Bringing shame over both the ship and crew? *He raised an eyebrow and gave Jack a glare, although the left corner of his mouth was twitching as if he had problems keeping from smiling.* And you call yourself a captain? Let me have a look in there or I will confiscate those you are wearing! *Still naked, he strolled over to Jack and tried to open the lid.*
Jack: *Jack did not hide his joy that the elf was stroking over. He beamed from under his moustache and curled one side devilishly.* Are you saying you do not believe me, master elf?
Haldir: *This time, Haldir's left cheek did definetely twich, and his eyes glimmered as he eyed the pirate up and down.* I am saying that if you REALLY want me to believe you do not own more clothes in this world, you would not be afraid to open that chest, master Sparrow! Otherwise, I may start to believe that you do not want me dressed.
Jack: *Jack sat on the chest, arms folded and looking very smug.* Well, it could be a bit of both. *Haldir stalked close, looking almost feral and Jack started to get slightly nervous in an excited way.* You'll have to persuade me to move, elf.
Haldir: Persuade you? *Haldir snorted.* All I need to do is to push you off, and you will fall down on your puny little ass and give me free access to your precious chest. *He walked around the chest and did a sudden sidewards feint towards Jack, grabbing some of his multiple beaded locks.* Now, are you moving over willingly?
Jack: *Jack wasn't ready for the feinted dodge and found himself caught by the hair but a very crafty elf.* Not bad.. Not bad at all. But there is something you've forgotten. *He waited for Haldir's look of questioning, and then leaned forward, his fingers lightly curling around the slightly firm cock between the elf's legs.* You are naked, friend.
Haldir: *Haldir gasped by the unexpected touch and jerked away, but not before he had given Jack's hair a rather hard tug.* That was below the belt, litterally! You play foul, mister Bird! *The next moment he pounced on Jack, tearing him down to the floor with him. The elf was a well trained and dexterious fighter, and it didn't take him many seconds to get Jack stuck under him.* You will also be naked when I take your leggings!
Jack: *Jack yelped and tried to retain the leggings, but found himself laughing too hard to put up a serious fight. He eventually lay back, realizing he didnt WANT to fight.. and lifted one leg over Haldir's shoulder.* If you confiscate them, you will have to walk around with me nude. Are you sure you are wanting that sort of experience?
Haldir: Two nudes are better than one, wouldn't you say? With two younger brothers, I have LOTS of experience at undressing unwilling elflings! *Haldir grinned playfully and peeled the offending garment off, not without difficulty. Even with the leggings in his hand he still didn't rise, but remained kneeling behind Jack's ass, letting himself get stuck with Jack's leg over his shoulder. Their playful tone and the similarity of brotherly taunts, distracted him from the rather compromising position they found themselves in, although a faint blush crept up over Haldir's cheekbones when he got such a nice view of Jack's inviting crack so close to his own groin.*
Jack: We could just stay in.. *Jack was a bit less innocent about it all and found himself getting rather turned on by the whole situation. He could tell the elf was still very innocent and tried hard to will himself from anything that would embarrass them both.. but the he had something he had to ask.* Tell me lad.. which is it that fills your bed at night? Do you make the ladies sigh or cry?
Haldir: Ladies? I don't... *Pink was definetely colouring Haldir's face now, especially when he saw the captain's organ twiching and half rising from its dark bed. This sight was enough to cause a similar reaction in Haldir's flesh, and he began backing out, embarrassed.* My brothers never asked me that, *he muttered, looking to the side.* I do not ... have ladies in my bed. I have been a warrior and a marchwarden all my life. There were no ladies out in the woods.
Jack: *Jack silently cursed himself for making his advances so obvious. He gently caught Haldir's shoulder, stalling him from his flight.* Easy mate.. I've no interest in fightening you off. I should not have asked. Tis a man's own right to have privacy in such things. But I want you to ner be ashamed of it. I've a fair share of men in my own bed, so I'll not be judging ye for yours.
Haldir: *Jack's hand on his shoulder felt strangely calming, although Haldir's heart was still beating quickly* I have nothing to be ashamed of, captain... but I have not had a fair share of anything in my bed, except foliage - spending most of my days in treetops keeping watch over my Lord's realm. I haven't shared my body with anybody - there has been no time for such things, and I have met nobody who have been ... interesting. Sweet kisses by giggling elleths at midsummer feasts have never been my thing - and since I have dedicated my life to be a warrior at my Lord's disposal, I have had nothing to offer a spouse anyway.
Jack: *Leaning back against the chest, Jack watches the elf as he tells his tale and picks up easily on the sorrow and loneliness that fills Haldir's voice and actions. He reaches into the chest and pulls out the second pair of pants, passing them to Haldir easily.* Aye.. I know that path. As a captain, I've had little time for more than a fling here and there.. It gets nearly as painful as not having one at all.. *Moving slightly closer.* But ye not guarding your laordship now.. No more reasons to continue that way luv.
Haldir: Is it difficult to find a spouse - or partner - to stay with you on your ship? *Haldir felt the sympathy in Jack's voice and eased up, having to smile when the man pulled out the pants he had been certain were there all the time. When he was reminded of not guarding his Lord anymore, he felt a pang of pain and loss in his heart, but kept his face and voice straight.* I suppose there are a lot of things i don't have any longer...I don't know if I should pursue my lost ship by all costs, or try to carve myself a place in this new world, *he said honestly, comforted by their closeness.*
Jack: *Jack could almost feel the tears that threatened to fall and he moved in very slowly, but gathered Haldir into his arms.* Easy luv.. No matter what happens, you already have a place, savvy? Right here with me. I'll not see you out on your own.. Stick with ole Jack. *Gold glinted in the dim candlight as Jack smiled again.* Gibbs is already quite fond of you.. and Im sure the rest will follow.
Haldir: *When those arms came sneaking around him again, Haldir curled into the embrace and leaned his head on Jack's shoulder. He had never been held by anybody like this, and the touches of smooth warm skin against his own, felt very soothing.* I quite like Gibbs too, so that feeling is mutual. *He nuzzled his face against Jack's cheek, until the beard made his nose itch and made him sneeze.* I guess I have nothing better to do than sticking with you, ole Jack. Are you fond of me too? *Haldir's nose was already rubbing against Jack's beard again*
Jack: Aye love.. Growing very fond of you.. with or without clothig. * He chuckles, sliding his arm around Haldir's middle to lightly bring awakening strokes along the elf's still bare chest.* We should go... or we should stay.. but i warn you I have two hungers and both are getting stronger ...and one of them is going to have to be fed soon.
Haldir: *Haldir had quite forgotten that they were both naked, and had to laugh with Jack when he reminded them of that fact. Again, his senses became more aware of their body contact, and when Jack's hand brushed over his nipples, Haldir caught his breath quickly. Slowly, he turned towards Jack and brushed his lips over the man's, first briefly, then lingering.* I think I know both those hungers, *he whispered softly against Jack's lips,* but my stomach craves the most attention. Should we try to get dressed?
Jack: *Jack trembled as their lips touched.. he was finally going to kiss that sweet mouth! But then, it was gone. He opened his eyes and found Haldir struggling with clothing ...and made a soft pitiful whimper. It seemed he would need to wait just a bit longer to experience the satin steel of the elf's body.* Aye.. dressed and to shore.
Haldir: To shore... to food and - i hope - to a good hot bath in fresh water! *Haldir smiled as he donned the leggings.* I'm certain you even have shirts in that chest of yours, although I don't mind wearing just the leggings - the night is warm. Are you ready to leave, captain?
Jack: *With their pants on, it seemed little reason not to finish and Jack gave Haldir a shirt and pulled one on himself. He fastened his pistol and sword to his side, donned his hat and grinned.* To shore!