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The thing about England -- about Europe in general, in fact -- is that its public buildings have yet to develop an appreciation for air conditioning. Beads of sweat have started to gather on the back of Jack's neck as he slumps on a bench in the entrance hall of the King's College law library. June in London isn't anywhere near as humid as June in Thailand but the combination of boredom and lack of a breeze has begun to take its tole. Mister James L. Norrington, soon-to-be Esquire (information curtesy of a quick Google search in a cafe earlier this morning) seems to have a habit of taking his sweet time. Jack sighs and tries counting the tiles on the ceiling.

The other thing about England is that it doesn't install sofeted pannels in its ceilings. The archway stretches at least two stories high, done up in posh cheery wood with gilden trim, free of anything to count. Jack tilts his head and tries to imagine a mosaic up there, maybe someone like Cromwell in one of those horrible, hilarious wigs banging down the gavel of enternity on the Irish.

Jack would be the Irish in this analogy. Despite that, technically, he's as English as Cromwell was. Technicalities, Jack's always thought, are highly over-rated.

Even if a technicality is what will keep his arse out of jail for the rest of the month. Three days and a fine isn't a bad trade for keeping the Pearl safe. Landing in St. James Park was better than crashing into Big Ben, after all, and it's not like Jack could help the fact she was leaking oil all the way from Salzburg. Not in mid-air, at least.

In his hand, Jack holds a crumpled piece of paper with the name of the officer he's meant to turn himself into in a week's time. He could call now, introduce himself, try to arrange that week into two and those two weeks into never, but the only things he has in his pocket is €1, cigarettes, and some lint. There doesn't seem to be a phone booth around here anyway.

Court is really, really boring. Jack puffs at his fringe and then pulls himself up to smoke a fag outside. At least it will give him something to do with his fingers.

As he stands patting down his pockets (there are eight of them, when considering his socks sometimes serve as good storage space), a door down the hall swings open and the sound of very smart shoes come clipping down the hall.

James L. Norrington, soon-to-be Esq. looks entirely different than he did in the makeshirt courts. Without the robes and the wig (horrible, hilarious), attention can actually be focused on the strong line of his jaw, the broadness of his shoulders, the colour of his purse. (Bag.) Jack thinks the hue might be termed fawn. He wonders if Mister Norrington calls it that.

Tucking the filter of the cigarette into the corner of his mouth, Jack ruffles up his hair and walks to intercept his prey.

"You take a bloody long time to un-doff a wig, mate," Jack says when he gets within hearing distance. He holds out a hand, conviently blocking James L. from continuing on his merry little way. "Don't think we got a chance to be properly introduced."

Date: 2008-10-20 09:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's a bit more like it. Jack can't resist the wide grin James gives, returning it with one of his own, a little more predatory and pleased by what James says. He likes surprising him, glad for it. It's what makes life interesting.

He lifts his hat from where it settled on his knees, placing it back at a slight skew on his head (Jack likes to call it jaunty) and slides towards the edge of the booth.

"What, then, do you say to a change in scenery? Personally, I'd like to see a few stars myself, with or without the Dante and his hell."

Date: 2008-10-20 09:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
'That,' James says, sliding out of his side of the booth, 'sounds marvellous. I never did like sitting in one place for too long.'

He stretches, the vertebrae in his back popping and snapping, and rolls his neck, hearing those bones crack as well. Out of habit, he tugs at his blazer, making sure all the neat lines of velvet fall right, before neatly buttoning the middle button. It's a neat effect, over the black shirt.

He lifts an eyebrow at Jack. 'Anywhere in particular you had in mind?'

James doesn't particularly care if he does or not; he often takes long walks in his spare time, aimless wandering down the bank of the Thames with nowhere in particular in mind. Another facet of that movement thing of his, he supposes. And with someone to talk to, a destination is even less important.

Date: 2008-10-21 03:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Standing and finally in reach, it's difficult to resist the urge to pop the button on James' blazer open once more. So Jack blatantly gives up on resistences and sneaks a hand out, twisting the button free of its hole with a quick snap of his fingers. It's not that James looks bad with the cover -- the blazer has strong lines and softer fabric -- but Jack likes him better without, likes the black of the shirt against the paleness of James' skin. He tugs at the lapel, just as James had done, but this time to skew it, cheeky smile in place.

"Thought you wanted a surprise. Surprises only work if you don't know what's coming."

Which is Jack's way to mean that he hasn't quite made up his mind where to go just yet. Outside, where the light is less and the people further away as to not distract from Jack taking advantage of that open button. And someplace where he can stretch himself out, let the alcohol work its way from his veins to his head. He has a few ideas. It just depends which one they stumble upon first.

He leads the way out of the restaurant without a nod towards the cheque. The waiter doesn't manage to intercept them, and that makes it his loss. The street is mostly quiet except for a few passing cars searching for illusive parking spots. Jack crosses, hoping James will follow, and takes the path that heads for the park a few blocks away.

Date: 2008-10-21 04:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
'Fair enough,' James says, and something in him doesn't make a move to re-button the blazer. Perhaps he enjoys the fact that Jack apparently cares enough about how he looks that he should take the trouble to adjust his clothing to his own tastes; perhaps it's mere amusement. He does straighten it out, though, fixing the lines that Jack set askew.

It doesn't seem to occur to Jack that paying for their drinks is a necessity, and James rolls his eyes, fishing out a wad of notes from the inner pocket of his blazer. He drops a tenner and a few pound coins onto the table, and quickly skirts his way around patrons and waiters to the door, easily catching up with Jack as he crosses the street.

'I seem to recall you wanting to buy me a drink,' he says wryly, leaning close to the other man's ear. He doesn't really mind paying, but he feels it's worth a mention, if only to see how Jack responds.

Date: 2008-10-21 05:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack doesn't jump when James' voice purrs in his ear but it's a close call. He shivers subtly at the tickle of warm breath down his neck and reclines back into the heat source, resting his shoulder blade lightly against James' chest for a few moments before James pulls away.

"Did I?" he murmurs, words slipping from his lips without much thought to what they are. "Must have just slipped my mind. Guess I'll just need to make it up to you." He crooks a little smile in James' direction, looking over his shoulder at him with eyes at half mast.

The night has grown chillier with the sun dipping behind the horizon hours ago, but it's still pleasant enough for a walk, with a light breeze and the moon nearly full and silver. The gate to the park creaks as Jack pushes it open, disregarding the posted sign of hours available. The path splits the field of grass into two halves, winding through the middle of the shadowy grass as a paler dark trail. It only goes across the park to no where specifically interesting. Off the beaten path and all that.

Jack fishes his hand behind him to hook James' fingers with his and wanders to the side, up to top of a shallow hill where there are no trees to block the view. Jack looks up, counting all the he can for a second, before letting himself go completely limp. He spreads his arms out and tumbles onto his back, landing with a slight grunt.

"There. Perfect."

Date: 2008-10-21 05:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
'Quite,' James murmurs, when Jack says he'll have to make it up to him. The little smile and half lidded eyes make it quite clear what method he has in mind, and James's own lips curl up at the corners in a slight smirk. Perhaps. He might have to consider, given that it is their... first date, strange though it is to think of it as that. That, and all Jack's talk about chasing and catching makes James think that perhaps the thing to do is to play a little hard to get.

They'll see.

He wanders patiently along next to Jack, breathing deep of the evening air and enjoying the sounds of London beginning to come to life, as it does at night. He knows the park Jack leads them to, knows also that it closed a good hour ago, but doesn't say anything. Slightly out of bounds and not allowed seems to be the way Jack operates.

The hand catching his is unexpected, but far from unpleasant. Jack's hand is warm and dry, all calluses and the cool metal of rings, texture that James can feel against his own skin, and of its own volition, his fingers tighten just a little. He smiles up into the night as he follows Jack's meandering path up the little hill until he seems to find a place he deems satisfactory. James just watches as he collapses onto his back, looking like a little boy with his limbs all splayed out around him, staring up at the sky.

James, for his part, settles himself rather more sedately, dropping to one knee before letting his legs fall out before him, one knee propped up. He leans back on his hands, his head tilted sideways to look at Jack.

'Dare I ask what exactly it's perfect for?'

It feels like the sort of place a sixteen year old boy takes his girlfriend because they want to snog somewhere his parents won't catch them. James has the self control not to voice that particular thought, but it makes him exhale a little chuff of laughter as he looks away from Jack and out into the night.

Date: 2008-10-21 05:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The stars seems irregularly bright. Jsck finds ones he knows, parts of constelations and individuals. He names Polaris, and then Orion and Cassiopeia and the bears. He shifts a bit to the side to make more room for James to sit. Jack props himself onto his elbows to mimic James' pose a little, dropping his head between his shoulders and letting his eyes drift shut, the stars fading into the dark of the sky.

A smile blooms at the question and he laughs quietly at the implication. He peaks at eye open to see the cut of James' cheek bone silhouetted against the sky, head lolling against his shoulder. "Many potential answers come to mind."

Jack can bet what James' little chuff means, the image he has in mind. It's secluded here, and quiet, and there are many thing two bodies could get into without much to disturb them. But that's not entirely what Jack has in mind, though he won't say no if the option arises. He opens his other eye and tips his head back again, taking in the wide, far away sky.

"It's the stars," Jack clarifies. "Hard to find a place in the city to get a clear view. They change depending where you are, how you're looking at them. Just wanted to see what I'd see from here."

Date: 2008-10-21 06:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The stars. Right.

'Mmm,' mutters James, a vague sound of assent. He doesn't really spend any great amount of time looking up at the stars; not any more than anybody does, at least. When he's out in his parents' place in the country, sure, but that's only to note the difference, the way one can see the great stripe of the Milky Way across the sky, all the stars that are utterly invisible in London. It has a certain novelty to it.

Looking up at the sky, the only constellations he can name are Ursas Major and Minor, and his eyes absently track them across the dotted map of the heavens, pursing his lips when he finds them.

'You... watch the stars a lot?' He says after a moment. It seems the thing to ask, as Jack looks utterly absorbed, and at the moment at least, he's rather more interesting than the stars.

Date: 2008-10-21 06:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The question is amusing, inconsequential, and Jack struggles to contain his smile from breaking into a grin. "I... like to watch pretty things," Jack says with the same sort of hesitancy, a practice in mockery rather than true feeling.

He shifts on his elbows, swaying closer so that his shoulder can just about brush James' arm and squints at James, watching him watch the sky. There seems to be little recognition in his face, eyes only darting over a few stars, not even looking for those that are hidden somewhere in the deep.

Jack shifts again, edging just a bit closer, then suddenly sits up to lean on his hands, palm pressed flat into the dirt and fingers curling slightly into the grass. "Sometimes that's stars, sometimes that's other things."

Date: 2008-10-21 06:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
James chuckles a little at the purposeful mimicry of his own speech, taking the mockery for what it is. That is, among other things, probably deserved.

Pretty things. Like Jack's some kind of magpie, attracted to beautiful, shining things, collecting them when he can- the jewels on his fingers- or just looking, when he can't actually catch them. James rather likes the image. He's distracted from any such thoughts, though, when Jack shifts to bring himself closer, the edges of their bodies touching slightly.

It's the sort of closeness where you're not sure if eye contact is a good thing or not. James is good at making himself unreadable, though, so he moulds his face into a half-amused expression of intrigue, his eyes sliding up to meet Jack's. His voice is soft when he speaks, as befitting the suddenly reduced amount of air space between them.

'Oh really? And what sorts of things might those be, Mr. Sparrow?'

Date: 2008-10-21 06:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack's mouth doesn't know how to fit itself anymore, moulding instead into different expressions, trying to find the one that goes best with the blank look of amusement on James' face.

His shoulder brushes James' shoulder and so when he dips his head to murmur a reply, he can speak almost directly into James' ear, returning close contact for close contact.

He tries to find James' eyes and hold them, pitching his voice low and interested. "I would think you could risk a guess, Mr. Norrington. Having seen my record and all."

Because there's really only one thing Jack is interested in paying his attention to now. He could list what he likes, dawn horizons and foreign girls and empty, stretching strips of beaches and colourful markets and all of the other things he's seen that he would call beautiful if asked outright. But that isn't really the point of this, is it, not when he's pressed to James like he is. There are far better things for them to discuss.

Date: 2008-10-21 07:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
A little shiver runs down his spine when Jack leans close to speak into his ear. James can smell vodka and Kahlua on his breath, and his lips twitch in a smile, the answering buzz of liquor warm in his veins.

'I imagine I probably could,' he murmurs, and he's a bit chagrined to hear the way his voice has gone deeper than usual, the crisp consonants muted around the edges.

He remembers distractedly his thoughts of playing hard to get whilst walking up here; he could, of course, pull away, roll onto his back and focus his gaze on the stars instead of Jack's eyes, Jack's lips. But really, really- what would the point be? Jack is warm and close, and an anticipation he hasn't felt in a while is beginning to bloom in the pit of his stomach. It's that singular combination of nerves and want, and James, frankly, is rather enjoying it.

Date: 2008-10-21 08:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The sound of James' voice somehow managing to be even deeper than it usually is, words running together, makes Jack swallow convulsively, throat strangely dry. He licks at his lips before bringing his hand up to lightly touch his fingers to the line of James' jaw, turning his head just enough for Jack to fit their mouths together if he wanted.

"But more than watching," he says, his own voice somewhere low in his throat, raspy and warm, "I like taking pretty things."

This isn't where it's meant to have ended up, coming here, not this quickly at least, but Jack won't back away now that it's come to be.

He traces the arc of James' cheek bone delicately with the pads of his fingers for a moment, sweeping his thumb across James' chin. But he doesn't kiss him yet. Jack already made the first move and James can make this one if he wants.

Date: 2008-10-22 12:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Those calluses he could feel on Jack's fingertips when he held his hand are even more evident when he brushes a delicate touch across James's face, and James's eyes flicker shut for the faintest of moments. Jack, he has to say, is damn good at this. That rough, raspy quality his voice seems to have acquired sends the heat in James's veins flushing further, rising up his ears and neck.

But it also gives him an out. He almost smirks at the thought, before leaning in to brush his lips against Jack's, oh so soft; as chaste as a kiss can possibly be. His moustache tickles a little against James's upper lip, and he smiles as he pulls back, propping his head up on one hand.

'Taking pretty things?' He murmurs, mockery lacing every syllable. 'And here I thought we'd talked about presumptuousness.'

And with that, he rolls back onto his back, staring back up at the night sky.

Date: 2008-10-22 02:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The kiss can't even really be called a kiss, there and gone again before Jack much appreciate it. James' lips are soft, a little chapped, and Jack's eyes flutter shut for the too-quick moment that James leans close. "Hm," Jack grunts when James slips away, eyes opening to catch a far too pleased smile lingering on that mouth.

He suppose James could just be something of a prude, disinterested in doing anything more than conversation so soon after first meet. But he doubts it. Jack gave him plenty of time to pull away before, to walk away when they left the restaurant, and James hasn't. He's played right along, moving anytime Jack moves, keeping up with him.

This is just another side to that, and Jack can deal with that. James just needs to know the rules Jack plays by.

He follows when James rolls onto his back, blazer falling open across his chest and stomach. Jack pivots on his hip to loom over him, hand straying to press flat in the centre of James' chest, keeping him down as long as James doesn't rebel. He runs the backs of his finger nails up the column of James' neck, arcing around his Adam's apple, feeling the rough hint of stubble there.

"I like to think of it more of a matter of persuasion," Jack breathes, and ghosts his mouth over James' cheek to his ear. "If I can presume you can be persuaded."

Date: 2008-10-22 02:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Generally, James isn't one for public displays of affection beyond a bit of a kiss, but it's dark, and they're alone, so he doesn't protest when Jack follows the move onto his back. The look he gives him is more amused than anything else, but the amusement melts into a soft exhalation, his eyelids slipping closed as Jack runs fingernails up up the length of his neck. James's chin tips up slightly, his fringe flopping back as Jack leans over to breathe words in his ear. His tone is utterly lewd, and James laughs a little, breathlessly.

'I'm a lawyer,' he murmurs, amused, lifting one hand to toy distractedly at one of the buttons of Jack's waistcoat. 'I make my business dealing with persuasion. Couldn't do it earlier today; you think you can now?'

The challenge is unabashed. Why not, he figures. He hadn't figured on doing anything like this tonight; frankly, he'd thought Jack trickier, given his performance in the trial that morning. But now the opportunity's arisen, he's not exactly going to turn it down. James doesn't often give himself over to hedonism- business to take care of, after all, studying and working- but with breath warm in his ear and liquor warm in his veins, and a star-studded night sky above him, he thinks he might get away with it just this once.

Date: 2008-10-22 03:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The fingers playing with his buttons doesn't exactly slip Jack's notice and he glances down once to check on what precisely James' is doing. Not unbuttoning them but playing at it, threatening vaguely of will he, won't he. Will, Jack thinks, and hides his little, victorious smile in the dark.

He arcs his thumb nail along the underside of James' Adam's apple again to hear the same almost-sigh. Petting down James' sternum, Jack slips his hand to the ground on the other side of James' ribs, holding himself up over James' prone form, able to meet his eyes in the dim light. "Hm, but the law is what you know. Unfairly matched, there, I think. Hardly at my best."

And possibly unfairly matched here, unless James has any books he's studied on the subject, but at least now it's in Jack's favour. There's only two things what can challenge him that he has no fear of losing, and James isn't talking about planes and piloting.

Jack smoothes back the fringe over James' forehead, silky hair running through his fingers, arcs a finger under James' eye -- all soft, feather-light touches, never risking more than the tips of his fingers as he traces the lines over James' face. He tilts James' head to the side to place a gentle, almost hesitant kiss to the side of his mouth.

"Your choice," Jack murmurs against the skin, and then rolls back to his side, pushing space between him and the warmth of James' body. He rolls up to his feet, hands slipping into the pockets of his jeans, and stars down at James, smile curling on his lips. "Seems to be getting a bit late."

Date: 2008-10-22 03:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's strange, the way Jack touches him; for all the lewd promise in his voice, the tips of his fingers are so light as to barely be touching at all. It's gentle, caressing, as if James was something he might break if he isn't careful with him. It feels... nice, but it's unexpected.

Equally unexpected is the way Jack pulls away after that kiss, even more chaste and unprepossessing than James's had been. James casts a slightly confused look up at him, before shaking his head and getting to his own feet- with perhaps slightly less grace than Jack. Every time James thinks he knows what to expect, Jack changes the rules on him; weirdly enough, he's rather beginning to enjoy it.

So he cocks his head at Jack, considering for a moment, before bringing a hand up under his chin and drawing him in for a kiss. A proper kiss this time, his tongue slipping out to taste the liquor-flavoured heat of Jack's mouth, something deep and lingering. When he pulls away, he gives Jack a little smile, soft and only slightly mocking.

'That it does,' he agrees. 'Are you suggesting that the evening is coming to an end?'

Date: 2008-10-22 04:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack watches as James lies still for a moment, chest rising and falling perhaps a bit more quickly for somebody who cannot be easily persuaded. The shadows are such that he can't see James' face, the patches of moon light illuminating more lines of his chest and jeans, where his arms fade off into the grass. It shifts around him as James stands, almost disappearing for a second as Jack eyes refocus to the shadows, the light only pooling around James' feet.

It nearly takes him off guard, then, to find James so close, close enough that Jack can put his hands on James' hips, thumb brushing little strokes over the fabric of his shirt, head tipped back a bit to meet James' eyes. It's strange, now that Jack can notice it, how tall James is. He hadn't noticed it walking next to James before, or in the court room, but tight together like this, James has a few inches on him.

Jack smiles at that, at the way James says absolutely nothing, just curls his fingers under Jack's chin to align their mouths for a kiss. Jack opens readily into it, seeking after wet warmth. He hums a little as James deepens the kiss, fingers tightening on his hips as Jack's breath grows heavier in his lungs. His eyes stay closed even after the kiss breaks and Jack sways a little, using James for support.

He only opens them when James speaks. About something Jack thinks he should follow but the words mean nothing to him with James still close. He licks at his lips and playfully shoves at James' chest, breaking away the contact.

"Unless you have any other ideas worth persuing," he offers, but there's no real intent behind the words. James only moves when Jack moves, and chasing has never been as fun as being chased. Jack knows well the times to run away. "But seems to me that, for an ending, this is a fair way to do it."

Date: 2008-10-22 05:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
James easily rolls with the shove, keeping his balance whilst Jack sways on the spot. Jack's answer earns a little twitch of the muscles about the corners of his lips, and he nods agreement.

'It is tradition to end such a night with a kiss. No reason to deviate, I suppose.'

Twiddling his fingers towards Jack's hand just as Jack had done before, he sets off at a lazy pace down the hill, staring absently around him at the night. It has been, he reflects, a good, if entirely unexpected night. After a moment or two, he finds himself speaking.

'I'm only saying this because I've had a few drinks,' and because Jack is not at all a bad kisser, 'but if you want to call me...' He trails off, giving a little cough. 'I wouldn't entirely object.'

Date: 2008-10-23 02:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
James' palm is warm in Jack's hand, and lets James pull him along, wavering between close enough to let their shoulders bump and far enough that their arms stretch to full length. It's not that Jack's drunk (might be in the general vicinity but he hasn't reached that actual destination yet), and more than he finds he has no use for straight lines right now. That's the thing about meandering, after all.

It's nice, this, with James, and Jack holds his peace, enjoying the quiet while it lasts. Distantly, he can still hear cars passing and conversations happening, but mostly it's just the breeze and James' foot-falls over the grass, and Jack concentrates on that, the rhythm of just walking, just being.

Jack pulls a face when James starts that peculiar statement, mind skipping to guess the things he might say, then smiles at what it morphs into. "You would object only a little?" He swivels his hips, teasing and in high-spirits, but he does hold up a bare arm for James to write down his number. "And would that be to the ringing bit or the me part?"

Phone numbers are a curious thing. Jack doesn't have a phone -- or, he does, probably, possibly, but it's buried under trinkets and souveniers and other non-collectable collectables that haven't found a proper home just yet. But that's not the type of thing you mention to a bloke inscribing numbers on your arm.

Date: 2008-10-23 05:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The little half smile on James's face twists in on itself at Jack's words, and he pats himself down, searching for a pen. He finds one in the pocket of his blazer, and he produces it, feeling only slightly smug, taking Jack's proffered arm.

'I rather think you'll have to figure that part out for yourself. It'd take all the mystery out otherwise.'

James: he writes on Jack's arm, his usual firm, cursive hand made slightly awkward by the way the pen doesn't really seem to want to cooperate with him. He takes absent note of the hard lines of muscle in Jack's forearm, the sinuous lines of veins that stand up under the skin, and writes the number of his mobile along the length of one. The numbers waver slightly with the flexing of sinews and tendons under the skin.

'There you are.' He caps the pen, sticking it back in his pocket. There's a moment of slight awkwardness, and James shrugs, his hands finding places in the pockets of his jeans. 'If you feel like it.' Another pause. 'After your prison sentence, I suppose.'


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Jack Sparrow

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