Tenacious Gratitude (Part 9)


( For @capitanarmandosalazar  )

He watched Henry sleep; staying in the shadows and monitoring anyone who came within a few yards. Most did not linger beyond treating wounds or fetching water. They did not care for the intense, burning stare of the ghoul; though they could not see him. Though Armando was cursed again, he no longer felt that hollowness inside. Henry’s presence seemed to be healing the void.

A small commotion came from the entrance to the hospital. Two new voices, both familiar. Salazar’s eyes widened. Lesaro? Here?….and Jack the Sparrow…..pale eyes flashed dangerously and the captain growled; bringing his sword up.

The pirate appeared, gasping at the sight of Henry. Salazar’s lieutenant was close behind, trying and failing to control Jack’s movements. Doctors were bustling over to help remove the wayward pirate and keep him from causing any more disturbances.

“Henry! Good God….what the bloody damn hell happened?! Get yer hands off me, mate, not here to steal, just here to visit with a loved one! He’s me brother! twice removed…”

Jack stopped, leaning to the side away from the irate group and staring at a patch of darkness. An outline of someone was present within it; hair drifting and flowing. Eyes that shone like a cat’s, blinked and squinted. Couldn’t be! They were on land! Nice, safe, dry land….

“Ssssspppaaarroowww….get away from young Turner, or this hospital will be getting in multiple fresh patients! As you will be in pieces, hombre….”

The pirate’s heart stopped, and the doctors had frantically moved away. Salazar was before him. And he was a cursed man once again. Standing unharmed and unhindered on dry earth.

“Bugger….easy old Sally! I don’t mean any harm…”

He was backing up like one would from a snarling wild animal. Lesaro almost dropped his sword.

“Capitan?! Capitan, how did this happen?” his voice was breaking.

What had transpired in these past few hours? Armando had gone running off into the jungle after his beloved pirate welp. Now Henry was seriously injured, and Salazar had become cursed once more. Were the rest of them at risk of regressing as well? Had the Trident been a temporary fix?

Armando glanced at him, shaking his head.

“I do not know why I regressed back to this….I recall it happened when Henry was in danger….we were captured by a pirate gang. They are no more, I assure you.”

Henry began to cough, and the captain rushed to his side, hair flowing all over the young man’s face as he fussed and brought a damp rag to clean an already clean face.

“Captain, your perfect hair tickles….and please. NO FIGHTING…you and Sparrow….need to get on….make amends. I am not going to lie here and witness chaos…”

Jack nodded vigorously, swinging his hand back and knocking some items off a shelf. His hands were smacked away as a doctor went to pick the stuff up.

“Right! Couldn’t agree more! What young Turner said!”

A cavernous growl met his words, and Salazar’s neck cracked as he looked from Henry, then back to the Sparrow. He fidgeted, sword swaying about. His cursed self wanted to paint the room with the pirate’s blood. But there was a much calmer voice in his head now. He should make amends for Henry, not for Jack. Yes. That would be more than tolerable. But he was going to make sure the experience was as uncomfortable for Jack as possible.

The ghoul sheathed his weapon and stood straight, opening his arms and smiling wide; black liquid dripping, eyes shining; flesh split and gray.

“Well, Sparrow. You heard him! Come here…let us hug and make amends!”

Jack paled and began to sweat. Gulping, he strode forward, his usual bravado turning to dust. This could be a trap, but he had a feeling Sally would not go against Henry’s request. Now or never.

“Ah, yes. Make amends!” he was shaking terribly, but opened his arms and went to hug the captain.

Cold arms with the power to crush every bone in his body, wrapped around him. It as tight, but he could breath. Armando whispered in his ear.

“I am warning you Sparrow. If you make me regret this, your very soul will writhe on my sword…understood?”

“Ofcourse! Not going to ever do anything of the sort! You can count on me!”

A dark chuckle hissed in his ear, sending shivers down Jack’s spine.

“Muy Bien….”

They broke apart, and both Henry and Sparrow sighed in relief. Turner settled down more. Lesaro merely gawked. He had finally seen it all. Henry could shatter the stubbornness that radiated from Salazar by barely making an effort. It wasn’t fair….not fair at all.

“There! Wasn’t so hard, was it? In fact lieutenant, you need to get over here too! Let’s have a group hug!”

Lesaro was pulled in by Armando. Jack tried to dance away, but both the lieutenant and the captain seized him and dragged him in, Lesaro’s grip giving just as much warning as Salazar’s.

ROFL!! I think Jack’s more scared of Mando wanting to hug him than kill him XD