Tangible Schizophrenia


Fathers and Sons

Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: NC-17.
Pairing: Combinations of Jack/James/Will/Elizabeth/Anamaria, Gillette/Scarlet, Groves/surprise.
Feedback: Fave lines, constructive crit.-anything you want, at any length.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Notes: Modern-day AU. Anamaria curses in French and English (take 'con' here to mean dumbass). Translations available upon request. Guest appearance from Master and Commander [movie], and references to Goldeneye.
Summary: Even cool, well-dressed spies have families.


James put down the phone and stared at the far wall, wondering just how many bureaucrats he could kill in the next half-hour. The hostile result of their last meeting notwithstanding, Trevelyan and Bond did owe him a few favors…

"Sir?" Groves poked his head into the doorway, holding out a thick folder of papers. "Two of the restaurants called about a problem with the seafood suppliers; I've drawn up a list of possible responses. Also, the applications are here."

Oh, right. One of the upsides of finally getting increased funding was that James could expand his team, which currently was stretched thinner than the vermicelli his Italian restaurant sold. Unfortunately, the complementary downside was that in order to pick out the operatives that could handle both intelligence operations and the food industry, he had to shuffle through yet more paperwork. And make another trip to London to do interviews, at the same time that Jack had decided to do a survey swing of the entire Caribbean. Which meant that James was going to miss out on at least two days of entertainment on the Pearl. Damn.

So was Will, for that matter. James normally would've been happy to have company along, but he had a feeling Will wasn't going to be very friendly. "You dealt excellently with the last spat we had with the Pinellis, so I'll just trust your judgment on the suppliers, Theodore. Switch us over to Bubba Gump for the shrimp, and whichever supplier you prefer for the rest."

A moment to yank his tie off, another to sling his gun holster on under his jacket, and James was-almost off. Groves caught him by the arm and silently raised the applications.

"Have the preliminary vetting done, and make up some copies we can send to Anamaria. Whoever we choose will be working alongside her sector." James smiled briefly but warmly at the other man, then headed for the door. Once there, he paused as another thought occurred to him. "And Theodore?"

"Sir?" Caught in the middle of relaxing, Groves had one shoulder up and one down. He looked supremely uncomfortable.

"Please remember to black out the right boxes before you send the forms. I'd rather not have a repeat of when Gillette came in." Not that Jack hadn't been his usual entertaining self, but for the sake of Anglo-American relations, James didn't need two solid weeks of taunting about an MI6 goof in Prague. Nor did his arse need another bout of shutting-up-Jack, when he had a long plane flight to look forward to.

Groves reddened and stiffly nodded. "Of course not, sir. Incidentally, Gillette would like to speak to you about the Conejo operation."

"I'll pick him up on my way over to…wherever Turner happens to be at the moment. Damn. I can't remember whether he's hacking for Jack or Anamaria today." James mentally began to flip through his internal schedule, then caught himself and focused on trying to sort out the various offhand comments and scribbled technobabble notes that made up Will's.

"Actually, I think today's an off-day for him. We were going to meet over at the Tortuga in the afternoon for a game of pool," Groves said.

And James had forgotten that Will and Theodore had become rather good friends of late. Clearly, he'd been spending too much time behind the desk again. "Thank you," he slowly replied, thinking that over.

The Tortuga it was, then.


If a sudden disaster were to strike Miami and separate anyone, they'd only have to listen for Gillette's shrill whining in order to regroup. He made the perfect beacon. Hell, he could probably double as a bittern mating call, if they ever got into naturalism.

"If he wants me, I'm not here." Will told Scarlet as he hurriedly scrambled over her bar. "And you remember what we discussed?"

"Why, obviously you're not," she cooed. "Now be a dear and hand me that sugar syrup. I do believe it's time for some mint juleps, what with this overpowerin' heat."

As he passed over said jar from the mini-fridge, he overheard a second voice, politely frustrated to the point of breaking. Will popped up, grinning, and then he had to choke down a snicker at the sight of two of Her Majesty's finest freaking out. "Hey, knock it off with the compensation. Anamaria's got a Desert Eagle somewhere that beats both of those."

"Commodore, you should be ashamed of yourself." Scarlet pouted like a spoiled schoolgirl and stamped her foot. "Scaring a lady with those guns of yours. And you!" She stabbed a ruby-red nail at Gillette, who was hastily putting away his pistol. Her face suddenly shifted from irate to flirtatious, and for the love of him, Will couldn't tell which threw Gillette more. "I don't believe we've been introduced," she purred.

Smirking until his face hurt, Will hopped back over the bar and gave James a playful smack on the cheek, which the other man didn't notice because he was too busy staring between Scarlet and Gillette. "What on earth…"

"Don't worry about it. Unless you're concerned about keeping his virginity intact," Will whispered. He winked at the flattening look James turned his way, then turned back to the two at the bar. Gillette, amazingly, could produce a spectacular blush. And as she leaned forward to flash some cleavage, Scarlet was most definitely checking out the front of his slacks; as much as the other man annoyed him, Will had to admit that Gillette didn't appear to be deficient in that area.

And whoa. Arm around Will's waist, and just the edge of a growl in his ear. Possessive James was a fascinating thing, he was fast discovering. "Scarlet, this is Peter Etienne Gillette. He works with James. Gillette, this is Scarlet Rasant, affectionately known to her friends as The O'Hara."

"Oh, get on with you." She made a mock-annoyed expression and shooed Will out of the room, so he obediently went. There was a lovely nook just inside the front door, and he bet James' back would fit very nicely into it.

Which it did. James, however, didn't seem to be in the mood for making out, so Will reluctantly dropped back. "What?"

"You…might need to come to London with me." The other man looked as if he'd just been ordered to save the world with a frozen squirrel and a toothpick. "It's about your father."


"…so because the zoning board's a complete bastard, may every one of them be haunted with duppies, they're relocating all the bodies. Which means I've got to go over there and figure out where to put Da's bits." Will winced. "Okay. I didn't say that quite how I wanted to."

"No kidding," Elizabeth said, somewhat sarcastically because she was trying to poke her morose boyfriend into laughing. But Will wasn't taking the bait. She suppressed the urge to call Anamaria and ask if duppy-haunting was doable, then got onto the conference table and snuggled next to him.

For the first couple of minutes, Will stayed stiff, but as the clock on the wall kept ticking, he gradually melted. Ten minutes later, he turned towards her and flopped an arm over her. "It's such a bitch. You know we had to have a closed-coffin funeral because Barbossa fucked him up so badly?"

"Yeah." She rubbed a thumb over his cheek, feeling his stubble. Idiot had forgotten to shave because he'd been fiddling with the surveillance equipment all night again.

"I didn't need the reminder." Will nuzzled into her neck and pressed his lips to the skin there, then did the same to each of her eyebrows. "And MI6 wouldn't even say he was theirs back then, but now they're all, 'He can be buried with the other commanders.' Fucking prats."

"Hmm." His hair smelled like mint again, so it must have been julep hour at the Tortuga. And that reminded Elizabeth…she needed to stop by the liquor store and stock up if she wanted to have anything besides rum for the next three weeks. As much as she liked it, there was a certain point beyond which lay over-saturation. Though Jack might beg to differ.

Will suddenly rolled onto his back, taking Elizabeth with him. He nipped at her outraged squeak, hands sliding down her sides and coming round to cup her breasts. "Am I whinging?"

"Nah." She arched up, let his thumbs rub her nipples till they poked up the thin satin of her top. Wriggled a thigh down so she could grind it against his twitching cock. "But you're not exactly letting me make you feel better, either."

"Well, I'm very sorry, then." He smiled into her kiss, and began to mouth her chin. Then the door banged open, and they nearly fell off the table as they jerked apart.

Anamaria stood in the doorway, one hand planted on her hip and the other pointed straight ahead so she resembled an avenging angel come to condemn all sinners. "Not on th'table!" she snapped. "We've a meetin' in here in ten, an' I'm damn well not cleanin' it again. Third time this week, Turner-Turners."

"Sorry, sorry." Quick as a pickpocket, Will slid off the table and dodged round Anamaria's irked face. "Need to go pack, see you later."

"William, y'get back-connard. Second time he's skipped out on me since he got back from the Tortuga." Before Elizabeth could sneak out, Anamaria swiveled to pin her against the doorframe. "What's goin' on, fille?"

Honestly, Elizabeth wasn't sure. She could probably guess at most of it, but she hadn't really had the time she needed to absorb and process everything. "Don't know yet. Give me a bit, and…where's James?"

"Havin' a private chat wi' Jack 'bout those apps we got."

Apps? "We're getting interns?"

The other woman rolled her eyes and hooked an arm around Elizabeth's waist, tugging her down the hall. Hidden by Elizabeth's arm, fingers started to knead up her side. "No, Norrington's finally got th'funds t'hire, so he is."

Elizabeth poked at Anamaria's shoulder, then drew her finger down the other woman's neck. "Are there any cute ones?"

"Get drool on m'shoulder, an' I'll have you over m'knee." Anamaria held out for a few more minutes, mostly because she had to drop off some stuff for Joshamee, but she eventually gave in. "Goddamn puppy eyes. Stop that."

"Come on, you know you were looking as much at that as at their firing skills." A little nibble at one cinnamon ear when no one was looking. Of course, everyone knew better than to look nowadays, due to James' continued nerves about gross public displays of affection, but that was beside the point. "Anamareeeee-aaaaaah."

And Elizabeth promptly got herself smushed against a filing cabinet, with full hips filling out her hands and warm lips easing over the tops of her breasts. "They're all passable," the other woman muttered in between licks. "Some more'n others."

"Good. Jaime's team does have a reputation to-to maintain." Elizabeth clutched for the top of the cabinet, but that didn't have any kind of rim onto which she could hang. Which meant her fingers started to slip, really fast. Hell. She was going to rip her hose…and then again, that gave her an excuse for a mall raid.

She let go with a smile.


Jaime had a plane to catch. Which was why Jack grudgingly refrained from completely ruining the man's clothing. He just had the buttons out of their holes, belt off and pants down. But he did leave the tie on, because having it hang loose like that from James' neck just highlighted the completely ravished look of the man.

"For the love of God," James panted, twisting his fingers more deeply into Jack's hair. "Here?"

Offended, Jack pulled off. Then he smacked James' hips back against the wall of the stall. Luckily, Norrington was ridiculously meticulous about Frequent Flier miles, and so had permanent access to the VIP lounge at the airplane. Which meant the bathroom was built nice and solid, and nothing fell apart when James' flailing hands smacked about the confined space. "Jack."

"Did y'want me t'stop?" Jack asked in his sweetest voice.

"No, I simply wanted to know why you couldn't have done this before we got here," James hissed, grabbing onto Jack's dreads and trying to tug Jack back onto a cock that looked rather painfully hard. And delicious. Jack couldn't help but swipe his tongue over its bobbing head, and when that produced an absolutely beautiful little gurgle, he did it again. "Fuck."

After so many years, filthy language in Jaime's precise enunciation shouldn't still tweak at Jack's own lust as much as they did. On the other hand, Jaime's voice was beginning to crack a bit. "Well, y'didn' need it then. Weren' jumpin' every time Will walked by."

The muscle in James' cheek ticked, and Jack knew he'd sussed it. "He's been avoiding me," the other man muttered, jaw clenching. "I only passed on information."

Exact opposite of what Jack wanted: the more tightly wound James got, the less able he was to deal with the streak of irrationality in Will's temper. And the last thing Jack needed was for those two to blow up at each other in the middle of England when no one else was around to act as buffers. "Give him a bit. Occasionally he forgets y'aren' th'whole of MI6. An' y'have t'admit, they've not been terribly fair t'him an' his."

"I know." Already fairly deep, the lines of anger and worry engraved themselves even further into James' face.

And that was Jack's cue to resume his business of relaxing James for the trip. He shoved forward, swallowing as he went to avoid choking, and avidly watched as James' head went thunk on the tiles. Hopefully, didn't result in a concussion. Jack pressed his tongue up, then swirled it around until he could feel the throb of a vein against it. Then he sucked, hard, and scraped his bottom teeth along that pulse.

As always, Jaime couldn't resist a bit of rough treatment when carefully applied. He slapped a fist into his mouth and bit down so only the tatters of his cry reached Jack's ears. Muscles flexed and tightened beneath Jack's palms, begging for more, and he gave it. Milked the other man until James' knees were unlocking in a boneless glide down the wall.

"There we are. Perfect way t'meet air-sickness." Jack considerately straightened out the other man's clothes and helped him back to the gate, where they found Will guarding the carry-ons all by his lonesome.

"Liz and Anamaria went to touch up their make-up," was the laconic explanation. Will looked James and Jack up and down, wryness peeking from the corner of his mouth. Notably, it was Jack he turned to when they sat down. "So-"

"Sorry I wasn't here sooner," broke in a new voice. Groves came skidding up to them, half-collapsing over the end of the benches as he caught his breath. "My car's transmission is shot, and Gillette was late picking me up."

Everyone's eyebrows rose. "Peter? Late?" James sounded most disbelieving. "Is he ill?"

Blush, and Groves glanced from side-to-side before conspiratorially leaning in. "That's what he said, but I believe I spotted lipstick on his collar."

Will immediately doubled up in a fit of laugh, while James' lips twitched in the upwards direction. Which left Jack out in the cold, and feeling rather put-upon about it. He was the one who was the gossip-dealer. "Care t'explain, William?"

"Um…oh, hey, they're boarding us now." Turner snatched up the bag with his precious laptop and twisted around to wave at the girls, who were running back. "Come on!"

"You'll bloody wait, Will, or else you won't be coming back to a girlfriend!" Lizzie yelled back, consequently leveling half the terminal with the giggles.

Jack took opportunity of the distraction to clap James on the shoulder. "Think of it this way, Jaime: y've the man, I've a pair of picky ladies to handle. Let Will filch a few toys from your labs and-ow!"

Damn him, Will had a nasty pinch. And the pretty geek didn't even have the sense to look repentant about it. "You are so lucky they weren't close enough to hear that."

"An' y're unlucky in that I've a week t'think 'bout how I'll be getting' m'revenge." Jack smiled, like an old granny shark, and stepped back so Will could be blindsided by an overenthusiastic Elizabeth. Young love. It never did have a good sense of balance.

Groves blinked. "That can't possibly be good."

"Never mind 'em, they'll be up in a minute," Anamaria reassured him.


Day one without Turner wasn't so bad, mostly due to other business occupying their time. It was day two that Jack and Elizabeth really began to get on Anamaria's nerves. As if the boy'd never been gone before.

"But it's different," Elizabeth insisted, when Anamaria'd cornered her up against the mast. "He was still moody before he left. I'm afraid he and James are going to do something stupid. Like…I don't know, have a spat in the middle of Westminister, or something."

Well, that tack obviously wasn't going to get Anamaria anything useful, so she abandoned it. "What's Will doin' wi' his father?"

"Um…" Elizabeth plopped into a cross-legged sit, forehead wrinkling as she thought. "I think he finally decided just to have what's still around cremated, and bring it back here to put with his mother's ashes."

"I thought London offered t'have Bootstrap put in wi' th'rest of th'heroes." Odd decision for Will, seeing as Anamaria distinctly remembered one of his main grievances with MI6 being their nonrecognition of his father's work.

The other woman shrugged. "They did. And he refused; he thinks it might just be another tactic to get us with them. And…probably because this way, he finally gets to thumb his nose at them."

Ah. Turnabout. Well, that did make sense. "D'accord. That settles Turner. What about Jack?"

"Something concernin' you, Anamaria?" The man in question stalked by, his usual swagger streamlined into a dangerous prowl. Jack didn't wait for an answer, but instead tripped down the stairs into the cabins, yelling for Gibbs.

"I have no idea," Elizabeth muttered, anxiously looking after him. "But I don't think it really has much to do with Will, or Jaime. Jack was fine until this morning." She tapped a finger on the deck, then traced the grain of the wood. "Come to think of it…didn't he get a phone call then?"

Anamaria nodded and squatted beside Elizabeth so she could rebraid an unraveling plait. "Did, but wouldn' talk 'bout it."

"Hell. Suppose I'll try and get him in a better mood so we can ask." Elizabeth pursed her lips, then glanced over the rail, England-way. "I hope Will's doing better."


It had started as a pleasant meal in James' suite, but one chance remark from Will and it had quickly degenerated into a verbal mudslinging match. As he finished off his food as quickly as he could, Theodore wondered how far he could make it to the door before either other man noticed.

"You seemed perfectly happy to stand up to them when they were in Miami!" Will snapped, clanging his spoon into his dessert bowl. He stabbed a helping into his mouth, sloshed it down with coffee, and resumed his glare at Commod-at James. "What, do you lose your backbone the moment you step on British soil?"

"I disagreed with them then because I had something with which to disagree," James replied, voice tight with steel. His eyes were past hardening, and were now starting to turn into diamond under the pressure of keeping himself in check. "As of now, I don't. They extended a generous offer, Will. Not an insult."

Oh, God. Sometimes Theodore wished a little of Sparrow's way with words had rubbed off on his superior. James Norrington had a plentitude of admirable traits, but his tact seemed to disappear whenever he was confronting one of his…well, lovers didn't quite cover it, but it would have to do.

Turner's eyes blazed white fire. "A generous offer? It's what my father deserved, overdue for a decade, and you call it generous? And when we met, you said you respected him. It's nice to see exactly what respect means to you."

"Perhaps I misspoke-" James started to say, and Theodore breathed a silent sigh of relief.

"Perhaps you're an ass-kissing agency slave."

Oh-fuck. On this occasion, swearing was definitely permissible. So was avoiding the line of fire; Theodore put down his silverware and dropped to the floor, then looked about for some way to knock the other men out, should the confrontation turn violent.

Complete silence. While Theodore's view was mostly blocked by the table corner, enough of Will's face was visible so that he could see the beginnings of regret creep onto it. Not quite quick enough, however.

The table creaked as James set his hands on the top and, with deliberate slowness, pushed himself out of his seat. "While I am not blind to the fact that MI6 can and does act in inappropriate ways toward its agents, I am proud of what it accomplishes. I am proud of what I do in its name. If it disgusts you so, then by logical extension, you shouldn't be able to even touch me."

Will's face abruptly shut down. "You-you fucking idiot. I love you, you puffed-up twat, and not because of what you-go to hell, Jaime."

With that, he spun on his heel and stomped out.

James stood frozen in disbelief and still-rising anger for a few seconds. Then the realization hit, and he was a blur of motion. "Will!"

Of course, Theodore went after the both of them. However, his luck appeared to be absolute shite at the moment, and he slammed into someone, thus knocking them both to the ground. "Christ, sorry, didn't mean to but I…oh. Hi."

Long eyelashes swept down to lovely high cheekbones, then came up to reveal beautifully dazed eyes. "Is this a bad time?"

"Ah…" Theodore stared at the stranger, racking his brains, and then he remembered. "Oh! You're the afternoon interview!"

"Thomas Pullings, but call me Tom," agreed the other man. He shifted uncomfortably, and Theodore suddenly remembered that the polite thing to do was to lend a hand. Sparrow, being a scoundrel, probably would've stayed down and felt up Tom.

That wasn't supposed to sound appealing. Theodore covered up his nascent blush by introducing himself. "Theodore Groves. Very sorry about that, but…"

He trailed off because over one of Tom's shoulders, the approaching form of a frustrated James could be seen. "Damn him, damn policy changes…Groves, I'm going to the labs to get that out of the way. Push all my meetings back. Thank you."

Norrington simply continued on as he issued his orders in a flat, fiercely dejected voice, apparently not even seeing Tom. He soon disappeared down a side-corridor, leaving Theodore with his mouth not-quite hanging open.

"That…was that James Norrington?" Tom asked, a bit faintly.

"Yes, that was…" Something about the other man's tone caught at Theodore, and he mentally rewound his memory. When the requisite frame came up in his mind, he frowned at Pullings. "Were you staring at his arse?"

Tom stuttered, so embarrassed that that was its own answer.

Theodore grinned and threw an arm around the other man's shoulders. "It's all right; I'm in no position to rib you about it."

Slowly relaxing, Tom offered a shy smile. "There was another one, that came out first…"

"William Turner the Second. And sadly, they're both taken. And taken. And-well, you've got to have heard the scuttlebutt." The ensuing muttered affirmation gave Theodore a brief respite from the seriousness of the situation, but he soon had to acknowledge reality. "Listen, Tom. Would you mind keeping this to yourself? I can assure you, you'll receive a very favorable-"

The other man held up a hand, looking thoughtful. "Actually, why don't we skip the preliminaries, and I'll just blackmail you for the chance to help resolve…whatever just happened here."

And it was Theodore's turn to blink in surprise. "Pardon me?"

He was met with a brilliantly mischievous smile. "I know better than to try and cheat my way onto a team renowned for its internal unity. And, well, I can't think of any other way to get you to tell me what's going on."

True enough. And considering that Theodore couldn't simply drop a hint to Elizabeth or Jack, and thus leave them to handle matters…not to mention it would give him a chance to evaluate Tom. In the field. To assess how Tom moved-worked-in a real-world situation. To-never mind. Theodore really had gone too long without a date.

Now to deal with his superior's boyfriend. In a completely platonic sense, of course.


Elizabeth was much too fast a learner, Jack decided. She bid fair to outdo even him, and that simply wasn't right.

"You're going to tell me, Jack, or else." Her chin lifted, and the hand she had on the tap began to turn.

"Now, let's not be hasty." He drew back a pace and raised his hands to show he meant no harm. Not until she got away from his rum, at least. Bloody clever wench. "'specially when we're talkin' large-scale pollution. EPA. Coast Guard. Flipper getting pulled in for Breathalyzing."

She wrinkled her nose in disgust. "That movie was so saccharine I nearly OD'ed. And anyway, I already thought of that. You see this remote I'm holding?"

Jack did.

"Well, if I push it, a chemical will be released into your rum that will neutralize the alcohol in it. Then, as it'll be perfectly useless, I'll dump it into the ocean." Elizabeth held up one finger, and actually had the balls to smile at him. He wasn't certain whether to admire her guts, or think about the sixty-four ways he could string them across the deck. "Unless you comply with my request."

"Fille, when y'said y'were goin' t'improve his mood, this wasn' what I was thinkin' of." Anamaria slouched in behind Jack, close enough for a grab if he were stupid enough to use her as a counter-hostage. He wasn't, but it was his rum and of course he did think about it. For a moment.

Elizabeth snorted. "I said I'd get him in a better mood. That meaning one where he wouldn't dodge the question."

She had to be bluffing. She had to be. After what Jack had done the last time his rum supply had been interfered with, no one in their right mind would even think of cutting him off. And Lizzie was a smart, smart girl. He was not going to give in. He was going to see her, and raise her.

Her thumb inched over the button.

"All right, all right." Jack slumped. "What'd y'like t'know?"


Will lifted the lid an inch and glanced inside, then capped the urn. "Not much."

"Begging your pardon, sir, but there was very little left." Oily, demure smile.

And this wasn't a conversation that Will really enjoyed having, so he dug out his wallet and paid the remainder of the fee. Then he tucked his father under one arm and ambled out into the street, where a car screeched up and yanked him inside.

"Will, it's me!"

Fortunately for Theodore, Will recognized the voice about five seconds before he would've slammed the other man through the window. He pried his hands off Theodore's throat, then remembered and scrambled to check that the urn was still intact.

It was, and the lid hadn't come off, thank everything. He reverently picked it off the floor and glared at the other man. "Groves. What. The. Fuck."

"Traffic's going to be impassable in about five minutes, and if we don't at least get into London proper by then, we'll be stuck for hours," answered the driver. Will saw the long dark ponytail, heard the precise accent, and for a moment, he thought it was James.

Yeah, right. Not after the whole lunchtime mess. Which, yes, was partly Will's fault. But not entirely, and it was that division of blame that was going make for a very awkward plane ride home. "Who's that?"

"Tom. Pullings. Tom Pullings. One of the interviewees." Theodore hauled himself onto the seat and ruffled his hair into place. When he finally looked Will in the eye, a faint tinge of pink streaked his cheeks. "Shut up, or I'll tell James how long you've been trying to set up Peter with Scarlet."

Will's amusement levels suddenly plummeted. He slouched into the car seat, staring at his distorted reflection in the urn top. "He'd probably think it was subversion."

"Bullshit." The other man's expression hardened, and he proved that he could be just as intimidating as…as James. "Could you stop pouting for one minute and be sensible?"



A smile slowly stole onto Will's face. "You've been slumming it way too long, Theo. Any more, and you'll drop a tax bracket."

"Actually, I don't believe I have to pay taxes." Then Groves sobered. "Whatever the administration's done to your family, it's done. But James wasn't a part of that."

Which Will damned well knew, but it was more complicated than that. It was being called a fatherless bastard in the schoolyard, and not being able to come up with a quick reply, it was being treated like someone with potential after spending years showing that he was the real fucking deal. It was just the same fucking snobbery, over and over, and not seeing an end to it. And James had tried to defend that. Yeah, not all of British intelligence was as boneheaded as its policymakers, but it was a little hard to see that when Will was getting his face repeatedly shoved into the brainless section.

His father had always spoken of his work in vague, but undeniably glowing terms. He'd been proud of it. As proud as James was now.

"Did I say that I love him, back there?" Will asked in a quiet voice. He watched light slide over the engravings in the side of the vase: a sailing ship, just like the ones his father used to build and give to him.

"Well…yes." Theodore seemed a little uncomfortable, and Will abruptly recalled one particular conversation they'd had. Slightly drunken, so their aim with the pool cues had been off, but not so much that Will didn't catch what'd been said and not said.

Great, now he was uncomfortable. "About that…"

"You're not telling me you didn't mean it." A truly staggering glower.

"Of course not!" Will snapped in a defensive tone. "I do!"

Groves leaned back and smiled. "Good. Then we can skip over the knocking-sense-into-you part."

"Definitely good. Especially since you haven't managed to kick my ass yet." Will shot the other man a sly look, and Theodore gracefully acknowledged the truth in that. A soft snicker came from the front.

After a few minutes of companionable quiet, Theodore ventured another question. "So?"

Damn, this wasn't going to be easy. "How long till we get back?"

Tom twisted around and scanned the roads around them. "If you don't mention this to anyone, about half an hour."

Then he whipped the car into an alley barely big enough for the car and slammed on the acceleration. Will lunged for the handle above the door and expertly braced himself against the hairpin turns. "Damn, I'm really beginning to like your style."

"Does that mean I've got the job?" Tom called back.

Theodore pulled a pleading face.

Well, why not? If Will could talk James into not cold-shouldering him all the way back to Miami, then prodding him in favor of a certain applicant would be easy as getting Jack drunk. Drunker. And so far, it did seem as if Mr. Pullings had most of the necessary skills for surviving the Caribbean.


Elizabeth stared. "You've got…parents."

"As do we all," said Jack in a sententious voice.

Of course. It made biological sense. She was just having a little difficulty with the visual sense of that, and so was Anamaria, to judge from the other woman's pole-axed expression.

"If you're to be strictly accurate, I have a father, and had a mother." After making that correction, Jack lapsed into silence. Unmoving, unspeaking, with only the spark in his eyes to differentiate him from a statue.

The effect was so disconcerting that she stupidly dropped her guard. The next thing Elizabeth knew, Jack had lunged across the space and tumbled her into Anamaria's fast-approaching legs so they all landed in a heap. His fingers dove into hers and triumphantly plucked out the remote. "Opportune moment, Liz. If y'don' see one, make one."

"It's fake." She heaved herself out of the pile and gasped as her chest uncrushed. Then she smirked as his incredulous face and patted his cheek. "You didn't think I'd really do that, did you? Especially since…"

Oops. Maybe she should've waited to tell him that after she was a safe distance away. Jack did not look happy. In fact, he didn't look like any kind of expression at all. The remote was tossed over one shoulder, and ever so slowly, two hands came up and curled their fingers. "Elizabeth, I don' believe that was wise of you."

And then he was on her, mercilessly tickling everywhere he could reach. Even his beard got into the action, rubbing over the sensitive spots on her neck and face until Elizabeth was screaming. "Jack-oh-you bastard-"

"Pirate." Then he flinched and glared back at a righteous Anamaria. "Hey, no spankin' th'goods when y've no intention of playin' wi' them."

"Father," she reminded him.

He wriggled derisive fingers at her, then ducked beneath Elizabeth. Which was more than slightly ridiculous, considering that they were the same size. It would've worked better with Will, or James if he'd been drunk enough to be on the floor in the first place. "Pain," he retorted. "Nothing important. I'm not too fond of speakin' wi' him, that's all."

Well, Elizabeth could definitely understand that. There'd been more than one day when she had wanted to exhume her dearly departed father and give him a piece of her mind about remarriages. God, her stepmother was such a bitch. And the few other relatives Elizabeth had, few of them close in blood and none in spirit, were only further encouragement to stay as far away as possible.


"Leave it, Anamaria," Elizabeth interrupted, tone hard enough to make the other woman look twice. She flipped Jack over and nuzzled into his chest as he lazily stretched, then bit down when he tried to give Anamaria a smug face. "As long as he stops being so damn nasty."

Long fingers dipped inside her skirt, gliding up until they just grazed the folds of her. Jack grinned and probed a little deeper, tweaking gasps out of her. "I think we'll be able t'manage that, Liz. 'specially as y'seem t'have taken a dislike t'underthings."

Snorting sarcastically, she deliberately plunged herself down and watched both his and Anamaria stiffen. Oh, Christ, that was good. Elizabeth grabbed onto her thighs for balance, then teasingly rolled her own hips. Clenched around Jack's fingers. "I don't see you objecting."

"Mon Dieu, fille." Anamaria was brown lightning flashing across the intervening space, and then she was outright eating Elizabeth alive, while Jack was struggling to get his pants off with only one hand. Luckily, he could've passed for a Las Vegas contortionist if he wanted to, and Elizabeth didn't have to wait too long.

Not that she was waiting. More like working on getting Anamaria to whimper. The woman was constantly making her wilt in the most embarrassing places, what with the hands and the nails and the tongue-well, Elizabeth could do that. Could suckle nipples while they pebbled against her lips, could trace shivers with her fingertips, could track a pulse from neck to shoulder to heart without losing it even for a second.

Jack suddenly twisted from beneath her, going up around one side and sending her face-down into Anamaria's stomach. Which, thanks to the woman's liking for cut-off halter tops, was a lovely bare expanse that tasted faintly of nutmeg. Elizabeth lifted her hips up, knowing it was going to be a little tricky for him at this angle, and yanked down Anamaria's shorts so she could keep dragging her tongue down.

"Jésu-merde. Plus-more, damn it." Anamaria writhed, trying to direct Elizabeth around without letting go of Elizabeth's hair, and Elizabeth was most attentive. As long as she could be, which lasted till Jack slid in, smooth as butter.

"Fuck!" Elizabeth's knees skidded apart, and only his hands saved her from a complete collapse.

He pulled back, then pushed forward so her tongue accidentally slipped inside Anamaria. Who groaned, low and rich as a double bass. "That's th'idea, Liz," Jack panted.

"Then get on wi' it," Anamaria snarled, coming up for one second before falling back under Elizabeth's renewed assault. The other woman started to keen, her movements growing increasingly wild until they abruptly ceased. And then Elizabeth had a hell of a messy face, but fuck that. It wasn't long before Anamaria curled down to lick her clean, anyway.

"Quick, huh." Elizabeth shoved back at Jack, a pointed signal for him to stop fooling around-no matter how good that felt-and winked at Anamaria.

In reply, she got a light smack on the shoulder. "Callin' m'old, fille?"

"Nah-" Elizabeth's breath was coming shorter, and more ragged, and her nerves were starting to cut out from toes to head. "I-fuck, Jack!"

"I am," he hissed, repeating whatever the hell combination of fingers and cock he'd just done, and Elizabeth exploded inside her own skin. She clutched at Anamaria, letting the other woman cradle her, and rode the surge. Dimly felt Jack tagging along, and mustered up enough strength for one last squeeze.

Her efforts were well-rewarded with a garbled torrent of noises and a sudden weight across her back. Jack affectionately pressed a kiss behind Elizabeth's ear, then slumped off sideways. "Ah…just hope Will an' Jaime aren' tryin' t'murder each other."

"Yeah," Elizabeth murmured, while above them Anamaria muttered a prayer for patience.

"Oh, stop worryin', th'both of you. They're grown men, an' besides, it's Groves wi' them an' not Gillette."

Elizabeth peered up at her with one eye. "You haven't seen Will and Theodore together recently, have you?"


Tom still seemed to be a little confused. "Wait, why are we under the bed?"

"To referee, if necessary." Theodore checked his watch; James should be heading up any time now. "Turner's got a vicious toe-stomp."

"I heard that." Will's upside-down face suddenly appeared before them, making Tom startle into Theodore's side. "You're there in case James tries to storm off. If he does, you tranq him."

Tom's eyebrows rose. "And then run like hell."

"Yeah, but he'll forgive you. He forgave us the last time." With that blithe statement, Will sat up and put his feet down.

Clearly disbelieving-and nervous-Tom jabbed Theodore in the side. "Is he serious?"

"Sort of. Whatever happens, just blame him," Very carefully so as to not stick himself with the dart, Theodore loaded the tranquilizer gun. Then he eased it out in front of him. "Trust me. He's got ways of bringing the Commodore around-"

"Hey!" from above.

Theodore shut his mouth and winked, whereupon a slow grin spread over Tom's face. However, footsteps were approaching from the other side of the door, and they had to snap to attention.


James had no luck today, it seemed. He shifted his briefcase to the arm farthest from his father, and tried not to think about what a good bludgeon it'd make.

"…now, James, you've done very well, but when are you going to give up this American nonsense? I'm beginning to suspect you're lacking in proper appreciation of the land that birthed you."

Through gritted teeth, James spoke as politely as he could manage. "The Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico is an extremely important region, sir."

"Oh, I've no doubt of that. But there are more direct ways to serve MI6." His father clicked his teeth together in a superior expression, which bore a striking resemblance to an old toad. Then he glanced over at James' undoubtedly rigid face, and frowned. "Also, I've been hearing some strange things about you and that Jack Sparrow of the CIA. Gossip, surely, but it's still not helpful for your reputation. Neither is that ludicrous long hair you insist on keeping."

"Considering the large increase in funding that I've just received, it doesn't seem that my reputation is in any danger whatsoever." Perhaps it had been a mistake to tell his father about Jack and the rest while they had been-well, mostly his father had been imbibing some very potent brandy. The problem was, Michael Norrington had been quite the formidable legend in his day. As he was fond of reminding his son, in between complaints about how the intelligence world had changed so much for the worse.

James respected his father, certainly, and he had some distant love for the man somewhere within himself. But he didn't like his father. He wouldn't have moved to America if he had. Unfortunately, his father didn't see that as a detriment to their relationship.

"Do not dodge my questions, James." Still a tall, imposing man, Michael Norrington had absolutely no compunctions about tongue-lashing his son in a public hallway. He seized James by the shoulder and brought them to a stop just in front of James' suite. Six inches short of freedom. "Do you mean to say that there is some truth to those allegations?"

"I wouldn't call them allegations so much as signs of highly successful cooperation and collaboration," James snapped, newly-repaired temper beginning to fray. He jerked himself loose and got his key into the lock as fast as he could, then shoved the door open. "Father, I'm happy in America."

Face reddening, the other man swelled upright. "Service to your country is not about happiness, sir!" he roared. "It's about duty."

"Well, maybe that's why you're such a bastard," broke in Will's voice-Will?

Who came stomping up to a stunned Michael and promptly shoved him right back over the threshold. Then he thrust an urn into the other man's furious stutter. "I can't believe my father died for pricks like you. Luckily, there's your son."

"And who are you to dare-"

"William Turner, son of Bootstrap Bill Turner, and James' boyfriend. Now, fuck off." With that, Will slammed the door shut and glared at the muffled shouting. "Christ. You came from that?"

"In a manner of speaking," James said in a faint voice. He put down the briefcase and took the urn from Will's clenched hands. "This is your father?"

Will's grin was twisted with irony, but it was amused enough so that James could feel a welcome burst of relief. "Uh, yeah." His expression turned serious as he gently retrieved the vase and set it aside on a table. "Listen…about earlier…"

"You told my father to fuck off." James' mind was still reeling, and his hands didn't seem to know quite where to go. They landed on Will's arms, slid down to cup elbows, then up to touch a silky neck.

"You don't mind, do you?" Fingers hooked into James' belt-loops, drawing them closer. "And, you know, I do…well, um…" Embarrassment was really too adorable on Will. "Yeah. You know. I told you."

First, James pushed Will down to the floor and kissed the breath out of the other man. Then he answered. "No, I don't mind, and yes, I know."


Jesus. Will should make up with James more often, if it was going to get him this kind of treatment. He wriggled out of his clothes as quickly as he could, considering the wandering hands, and took a good deal of James' clothes with his own. A mouth latched onto his throat, just where it joined his shoulder, and sparked heat down to his belly. He threw back his head-consequently catching sight of Theodore's wide eyes.

Ah, shit. "Uh…James…hey, you wanna try and make it to the…oh, Christ…be-I mean, couch?"

The hands busily kneading Will's buttocks stilled. James raised himself and narrowed his eyes. "Will. Is there a man with a tranq gun under my bed?"

"Well…" A lovely pectoral waved itself before Will, and he lunged up to bite at it, then sloppily licked at the red marks left behind. His fingers yanked impatiently on James' shirt so it bunched up around the other man's elbows, which coincidentally would hamper James if he tried to get up too fast.

Moaning, James nonetheless managed to make himself decent and get them into the kitchenette, out of view of the bedroom. He dove down and sucked on Will's stomach muscles, nuzzling every shudder, then lifted his head. "You've been spending too much time with Jack." A little louder, he said, "Theodore? I don't want to see you until dinner."

A rather choked "Sir!" and feet hurriedly pattering for the door. James pursed his lips, glancing in that direction.

"Who else?" Too slow, too soft, he rubbed the heel of his hand over Will's growing erection.

"Just the guy you should hire. Fucking God, and you say I've been spending too much time with Jack." Pinned, Will desperately wriggled and writhed, trying to increase the pressure, but every time his hips jerked up, James simply let his hand ride the lift so the pressure remained constantly teasing. "Can't help it. Work for him."

There was an undertone of smug purr in James' voice as he bent over to nip at Will's lips. "So you do."

The fucker. Will forced himself to go limp, as if surrendering. When James fell for it, he hooked a leg around the other man and forced them over. A quick grab at the counter above them provided olive oil, which was going to be greasy but hey, they weren't home. The cleaning service could get it.

Before James knew what'd hit him, Will had fingers tucked safely into the man's velvet heat, and lips capturing every breathless whine. "Wanna see what else Jack's taught me?"

"I think I can guess." And James moved in a way that had to be illegal. Will came damn close to messing all over James' stomach right there, but he just restrained himself long enough to shift to cock inside, and fingers digging deep into the other man's rocking hips.

God, he'd missed this. Only a day since the last time, and already he'd missed it. Wanted Liz and Jack, and Anamaria nibbling at Lizzie's other side-wanted that, too, but it would've been icing. "Okay, now I get why Liz and Jack were so insistent about you."

"And you didn't before?" James archly asked, doing some kind of internal twist-squeeze that made Will close his eyes against the brightness. Oiled fingers drifted over his back, then stabbed up, snapping his eyelids open again.

"Well, I got the size part." Will smirked and tapped his finger on said innuendo. Whereupon James growled and relentlessly drove his fingers in until Will finally wrapped a fist around the good handful. "Oh-oh, shit, James-Jaime-"

Fevered, demanding gasp. "If you decide to fuck a man, then you should do it properly."

So Will did. Almost wrecked his sanity in the process, but fuck, who cared? Anyway, sweaty, limp James always made a good resting place from which to reboot Will's mind.

"Okay, wow. That was really, really good." Will sprawled over the other man and nibbled at James' wrist.

"Thank you." James grinned into Will's hair, then let his head fall back. "So. I should hire…"

"Tom Pullings. He's flexible, practical, and gets along with me and Theodore, so he'd fit in with everyone else. Also, he's probably helping Theo out with a bit of a problem."

Sore muscles mildly protested as James shifted beneath Will. "I…see. Suppose it's the only thing to do, then."


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