Title: "Life's Little Quirks"
Author: monimala
Fandom: PotC/"The Princess Bride"
Rating/Classification: crossover, general.
Disclaimer: This is SUCH sacrilege. TPB belongs to the brilliant William Goldman. PotC belongs to the Mouse.
Summary: "Once word leaks out that a pirate has gone soft, people begin to disobey you, and then it's nothing but work, work, work, all the time."
Notes: Quite possibly the first of a few stories in this vein. Aargh. Who knows...later there could be slash.

"She...she has skin th' color of wintry cream. An' hair like apples in autumn..." the masked man slurred, slapping down his tankard of ale and spilling pitiful quantities of it all over the scarred and knobby table.

"Yes, yes, I know...and eyes. Two of 'em. Like blueberries. And a perfectly lovely bosom...soft like butter." Jack had been wearing his most patient, pleasant, smile for the better part of two hours. The copious amounts of rum, of course, helped. Every sailor between Guilder and the Americas knew to grin and bear it, and keep the pints coming, when the Man in Black began rambling. "Are you going to bed her or *eat* her?"

Ryan, the old bastard, had wandered off to continue recruiting new crew for the Revenge. Unfortunately, that left his young protege drowning in his cups, singing the praise of his "true love." Apparently the most beautiful woman in the world. The rumors went that said description had stayed Ryan's hand when it came time to whack off this sunny blond head and toss it into the ocean for the sharks.

Jack would've killed him extra. Twice, maybe. Three if there were parts left over that could still mime the name "Buttercup."

No...really, it was right nice. It was touching. In fact, Jack Sparrow hoped that when the lad finally reunited with the girl, there would be a LOT of touching. Being at sea had started to addle Westley's mind.

More than the usual pirate addling.

Maybe he was addled all over? He was probably a eunuch.

His first raid had been a disaster and he'd stumbled into the Salty Dog, holding his head and whimpering something awful about being "The Dread Pirate Westley." It had taken a good kick in the arse and a dram of whiskey before he remembered he was "Roberts."

Amateur.

Cummerbund...now that...there had been a sly one. And, of course, the original. But he was retired fifteen years now and living like a king in Patagonia. This version likely wasn't going to last five more minutes.

Jack shuddered, tuning back in just in time for the "I used to be her Farm Boy" part of the saga. "Hey...I don't need to hear 'bout what you do in the privacy of your boudoir, savvy?"

"Oh, do shut up, Jack." The glaze lifted, just barely, from his companion's eyes and he stopped wavering inches above the tabletop. "This is important. I've been away from home for five years...five years is far, far, too long."

"When do you set sail for Florin, then?"

"Ryan goes ashore at the next port of call...and then I shall see my darling Buttercup again."

The Devil save him from lovestruck lads playing at piracy.

He drew a weary breath and hefted himself upright. There was only one thing to counter the honest horror of it.

"Come on, then...let's have a bit of sport."

"What?"

"We're going to play with our swords."

"I beg your pardon!"

***

"I say, Sparrow...'tis a bit unseemly to relieve yourself in public, isn't it?"

The inn's courtyard was littered with debris and drunken scoundrels and a few sleeping hounds. Possibly sleeping scoundrels and drunken hounds. And there was a permanent coat of something green that most certainly wasn't grass. He wasn't making the ground any less suspect than it all ready was. "Unseemly?" he echoed as he tucked his jewels back beneath the flap of his breeches. "Hello...*pirate*," he reminded.

Westley flushed as he tossed his sword from hand to hand. "Right. Yes. Of course."

Jack retrieved his own blade from beside Gibbs...who, for some reason, had chosen this particular establishment's archway to collapse next to. "Thanks." Bloody convenient, really. "Now...let's see if you're up to speed," he murmured as he lurched around to face the black-clad boy. "If the terrain's all rocky...or otherwise obstructed," he clarified with a rueful glance at their surroundings, "You'll wanna use Bonetti's Defense, savvy?"

"And the opponent will counter with Capo Ferro, yes?" The sword flashed in response. Glorious sound...like music...like the ocean...

"Mhmmm...an' what's after that?" They circled each other, sidestepping the occasional moaning sot. "Thibault, Mate. Thibault always clips Capo Ferro at the knees."

"Unless the enemy's got his grip." Westley giggled. "On Agrippa."

Chink-chink-chink. Ducking here. Leap there. Quieting those absurd giggles.

Jack made a mental notation to only engage young would-be pirate lads in mock duels whilst *sober*. He sighed and shook his head. Such was his burden without his precious Pearl "An' last but not least...there's one tactic you can't forget."

Westley danced from side to side, fluidly,...the breeze fluttering through his black shirt. "What's that?" he wondered, finally, blissfully, focused on something besides his stupid grand romance and she of "wintry cream."

He smirked as he stuck out his foot. Tapped one ankle. And sent the infamous, fearsome, Dread Pirate Roberts flying.

"Sparrow."

--end--

July 25, 2003.

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