Cry Out Love

An empty bed in Tortuga was an unusual thing.

Not because rooms were scarce, or beds -- real beds, with ticking and blankets and frames, not just bundles of straw heaped in a corner -- were impossible to find. Tortuga was well suited to serve as its
capital of pirates' home away from home. Rooms and beds aplenty, and each one with a warm, willing person happy to share its comforts.

Most pirates chose to share a bed when they were on land. Some because too many months spent crammed in together made sleeping alone too difficult. Others simply because a shared bed meant a bit of fun without the staring eyes of one's shipmates. But the fact was, most who resided here, for however long they stayed, chose to do so in company.

Captain Jack Sparrow slept alone.

There were those -- men, women, both -- who would have happily joined him for an hour or two. Stayed for the duration, days, weeks, without any more complaint than anyone ever had about Captain Sparrow. Sometimes, when he lay in his bed and stared at the filthy wooden beams of the ceiling, he thought about going out and finding one of them. Leaning out the window and calling out 'whoever gets here first gets a fucking'.

He'd gone to the window, once. Opened the shutters and leant out. Got so far as opening his mouth to shout, and realised he was too drunk to follow through and he closed both his mouth and the window and returned to bed.

He'd been in Tortuga too long. Weeks, by the number he could no longer count. Weeks on dry land when his feet still carried him over the cobblestones and dirt as though expecting the pitch of a deck beneath him. He wasn't the only pirate walking as though drunk, and it was hardly noticeable -- made him look as though he'd only got in, rather than been here so long that the cook's boy knew his room as 'Captain
Jack's room' and gave directions to the other staff accordingly.

He nearly signed on the "Adventure's Sail", when she was readying to leave port. Desperate to get back to sea, but, at the time, not quite willing to lower himself to a mere gunnery. Now he wished he had, wished he'd swallowed his pride and let himself sign on, and bide his time to get his own ship once again.

Except it wouldn't be his own ship. He had a ship, and she was waiting for him. Somewhere, out in the oceans, she sailed without him.

He forced himself to wait. He had a plan, or something like one, which involved finding some other ship he could captain for awhile, a ship with bite enough to give his girl a fight. Crew hard enough to chase the mutineers off his Pearl, and give her back to him.

As he waited, the days crept by, and he spent more and more time drinking rum and cheap piss-ale. Spent more and more of his days walking with sealegs from drunkenness instead of the other way around. The cook's boy started looking in on him, bearing a plate of food and saying why don't you go down to the barroom and have your drink there. As though the company of other drunks would shake him out of it.

His Pearl is somewhere else, under the hands of another man. He sleeps alone so that no one will hear him call for her.