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circe_tigana presented 882 Ways to Appease the Heathen Gods, a challenge to fandoms everywhere to write ficlets in or crossing over with Pirates of the Caribbean. I wrote fifteen ficlets, and it's too difficult to post them individually, so I've collected them all in this post.

Title: I Appeased the Heathen Gods
Author: voleuse
Fandoms: PotC, Dark is Rising, Edgar Allen Poe, FS, Witchblade, BtVS/Ats,
Gargoyles, CSI, Finding Nemo, A Knight's Tale, Greek mythology, HP, WW, Xena, SG-1
Rating: PG to R
Disclaimer: Not mine
Words: 2,260 overall


1. To Purchase Freedom

When the sailor tossed the odd gold coin at him, in careless thanks for carrying a cask of wine to the docks, he thought it was his first, bright step to freedom.

That night, he dreamed of his old home, dense and green and alive. He dreamed of his woman, twelve years sold, and the child she had been about to bear.

Four years later, he's crouched by candlelight, counting coins. He's halfway to his price, and he's singing.

When his master screams, he thinks to himself that he might not need to buy his freedom after all.

And then they come.



2. Dark is Rising crossover

Will turns the page again, and he's plunged into a swordfight, and an uneven one at that. A pirate--no, a skeleton--hacks away at a baker's weak defenses, and Will sees the baker die.

A golden coin gleams on the table behind him, and his wife bleeds underneath it.

Another curse, another flurry of untimely and unjust deaths; he's seen them, endlessly, turning these pages.

The last of the Old Ones will see dozens more before his time is over. Hundreds, even.

What makes this curse different is that it was broken. Irrelevant history. Perhaps.

Will turns the page.



3. Poe's Tell-Tale Heart

The pirates found the coin, far from its point of origin. Across the sea and deep in a forest, the rhythmic pulse of the gold called to them. They trudged to a remote shack, smelling of dust and coal.

There had been a man living there; locals claimed him a murderer. He raved and screamed of justice as he died.

They were used to that. Such was the gold's call.

Following its summons, they pried loose the cabin's floorboards.

They found, beneath the planks, a still-beating heart. And beneath that the coin, amidst its plainer cousins.

The heart stopped when they removed the coin. They left the rest of the gold scattered on the floor.



4. Farscape crossover

"And then what happened?"

"And then little Frankie watched his daddy get stabbed in the gut. And the pirate took the coin and left, never to be seen again." John nodded, satisfied with a story well told. "So what does that tell you?"

Chiana twitched her shoulders. "To carry a blaster if I'm gonna be attacked by pirates?"

"No, Chiana." John held up the locket. "The moral of the story is you shouldn't steal!"

"But it's for a present!"

"It could be dangerous! It could cursed!"

"It's just a frelling necklace, Crichton." She snatched the locket back with ease. "And we're already cursed, anyway."



5. Witchblade crossover

Set during the first season.

"You want me to find what?"

"My employer has had trouble finding a dealer able to obtain one of the items." Nottingham fingered a bronze reliquary, recently dusted. "Despite your youth, you've proved valuable in the past. He thought you might be able to locate the coins."

"No. No way." Gabriel snatched the statue, supposed to have carried a minor saint's foreskin, from the man's gloved hands. "Those things are bad mojo. Cursed."

"Cursed." It wasn't a question.

"I read about a collector, decades ago, who found one on a dig." Gabriel's hands jittered against the bronze. "He died under mysterious circumstances, two weeks later. Mysterious, as in stabbed repeatedly."

"Pity."

"There's no way I'm doing this job. No way."

Nottingham half-smirked, raised his hands in surrender. "That's unfortunate." His coat swirled as he exited the shop. "He had looked forward to doing business with you."

Gabriel returned the case to its shelf with a sigh. "Irons is going to get me killed someday."



6. BtVS/Ats crossover

She was a sweet thing when they met. Small and golden, with skin like milk. He thrust into her for what seemed like years, and she moaned like a dying woman the entire time.

He paid her in gold, told her she deserved her weight in it. She smiled, simpered as she traced the skull's face with her fingers.

Years later, he's the walking dead, and he finds her crouched in an alley over a dead body. He surprises her by moonlight, runs her through with a blade before taking the coin.

He leaves her body slumped against the wall. He doesn't see her eyes open, flashing fire, and he doesn't see her face change shape.

When he returns to the Pearl, the coin is clutched in his right hand.

He needs one of his shipmates to help him reattach the hand to his arm.



7. Gargoyles crossover

The Magus spends much of his time at the shores of their island, watching the waves. He doesn't expect much except respite from the rowdy hatchlings, and the princess and her lover.

One day, he notices an unusual glitter on the beach, wavering under the steady rush of the sea.

Scholar at heart, protector by choice, he investigates. Could it be a token of the islands' true inhabitants? A message from the outside?

He walks to the water, crouches to the sand. It is a coin, large and intricate. The skull on its face seems to grin at him.

He reaches out to touch it, and draws back with a hiss.

Cursed.

It is rare to find a talisman of real power on their magic-barren isle, but the Magus doesn't want this wretched thing. He sends it, floating on a piece of driftwood, back into the mists.



8. CSI crossover

"God." Sara stares at the skeleton, at its arms outstretched, unnaturally. "How'd the murderer get it to age so quickly?"

Nick squats next to it and pokes a rib with his latex-gloved hand. "The bones are scoured pretty clean. Acid, maybe?" He looks to Grissom for verification.

"No. Age is the culprit here." Grissom smiles, enigmatically as always. "By all rights, this should be an archaeology dig."

"That old?" Sara steps closer to the body. "Why are we here, then?"

"Same's always--911." Nick stands, dusts his hands together. "Someone reported a skeleton, so they send in the criminalists."

"It could be centuries old, for all we know." Grissom points out the artifacts surrounding the skeleton: a sword, long rusted, some tacky looking jewelry, a couple of buckles lying by its ankles.

"So, we're done here, right?" Sara sheds her gloves.

"Not necessarily, Sara." Grissom holds up a hand. "Look at the position of the arms, and the grooves on the ribs."

Sara catches on, jumps in. "The phalanges of his right hand are broken."

Grissom nods. "Exactly."

Nick shakes his head, confused. "What're you saying, Gris?"

"This man was murdered. For something important."



9. Finding Nemo crossover

Marlin's still sleeping, and the kids are eating, and Dory's bored.

"Crush?"

The turtle swings his head to gaze at her. "Yeah, Little Blue?"

"Have you ever seen a pirate?"

"Yeah." A frown, unusual, crosses Crush's face.

Dory feels scared, seeing that. "Crush?"

"Yeah, Little Blue?"

"What did you see? Did they...hurt someone?"

Crush turns his gaze back to the EAC. "Harshly."

"Was it for treasure?"

"It's always for treasure, little fish. Always."

Dory wants to ask what kind of treasure, but the kids swim over and ask to her to play hide and seek with them.

Soon, she forgets that she and Crush had even talked about pirates.



10. crossover with A Knight's Tale

The crowd roars at his first address, and a thrill runs through his veins as he shouts to them.

"Today you are privileged to witness the grace and glory of my lord, a man who I once saw defend a humble child--a pretty peasant girl with no mother--from the ravages of a dreadful and mercenary pirate! A pirate intent on not only robbing the child of her innocence, but also of the only coin she had in the world!"

The crowd gasps appropriately, hissing at the conjured image of the pirate.

"When that filthy rat of the sea advanced on that ragged, angelic girl, my lord galloped to her rescue, saving her from that monster's foul attentions, and--"

"Geoff!" William grinds out his name from the sidelines, in harmony with Wat's shouted promise, "Pain!"

Chaucer halts his story and smiles. "I present to you today the Seeker of Serenity, the Protector of Italian Virginity, the Slayer of Foul Pirates, and the Enforcer of Our Lord God: the one, the only, Sir Ulrich von Lichtenstein!"

The people scream in delight as William rides to defeat yet another fop on horseback.

Chaucer leans back on the fence and smiles at Wat.

"Was that true?" Wat mumbles to him. "That story you told?"

"Almost." Chaucer shrugs. "The knight died protecting the child, and the pirate took her gold, but it's a good story."

"Aye." Wat nods, jaw clenched. "Good story."



11. Prelude to the Trojan War

A golden apple she threw into the banquet, and that apple made her name great.

It was the foreign coin, however, in which she truly took pride, placing a kiss on its grinning face before she set out.

She met the fair boy on a hillside; another king's misguided attempt to thwart destiny.

She gave him the coin, and a kiss, and promised he would be a great man.

"Judge wisely," she advised him, snickering within, and he only looked confused.

"What would I judge?" he asked. "A contest? A trial?"

"Be patient," she said, with a grin. "Carry this coin, as a boon to me. Carry it back to your home."

As she began to fly off to her next mischief, he called out to her. "Your name, lady?"

"Eris."

"Will I see you again, lady?"

"You will."



12. Harry Potter crossover

"Yes, Hermione?"

"I'm sorry, Professor Lupin, but I don't understand what you mean by 'heathen gods.' Do you mean other wizards?"

"The legend only states the coins were cursed by 'the heathen gods.' It's old enough that we can't know for certain."

"But--"

"Unfortunately, some questions can't be answered easily. We do know the coins were, in fact, cursed in some way. People who collected the coins often reported being followed by skeletons or ghosts. Yes, Harry?"

"Were the skeletons dangerous?"

"Very. Again, the stories are very old, but they do mention all sorts of unpleasant things happening to them. Yes, Hermione?"

"Where are the coins now?"

"That, also, isn't known. The legend mentions an 'Island of Death' that no one can step foot on without being cursed."

"The same curse, Professor?"

"They say the island is haunted by a ghost."

"What kind of ghost?"

"All the legends say he perpetually drinks rum. Maybe he's dangerous, maybe not, but nobody has been able to find the island since the last of the coins disappeared."



13. West Wing crossover

"CJ, is the coin authentic?"

"Authentic gold, Mark, or authentic Aztec?" She waved his comment back with a grin. "The coin is real gold, but it isn't actually an Aztec artifact. It's the replica of an heirloom coin said to have been," she looked down at her notes, "cursed by the gods."

"Cursed?"

"According to the legend, the last owner of the coin met with an ill and bloody fate," she replied. "Supposedly pirates were involved."

"Is this supposed to send some sort of message to the President?"

"About being attacked by pirates?"

The reporters laughed, and CJ smiled at the response.

"Trade negotiations are still ongoing, and they're going quite well. The coin is supposed to symbolize a willingness to understand our countries' pasts. Any other questions?"

A rustle of paper, but no questions.

"Thanks, everybody. Have a good evening, and I'll see you tomorrow."



14. HtLJ/Xena crossover

He was known by other names. Aray. Hadak Ura. Chemosh. Ictinike. Wepwawet. Tyr. Bishamon. Ekchuah. Mars.

The Aztecs called him Huitzilopochtli.

He was good to his followers. Fickle, yes, because he wasn't the friggin' god of being nice, like his half-brother wanted to be, but good just the same. He gave them passion and strength in battle, and protected them if he felt generous.

So when those poseurs from Spain infiltrated Aztec lands, killing through deception instead of honest and blessed warfare, he decided to step in. Make a statement.

He cursed the gold the Spanish sought, laughing as they ran their hands over it, not noticing the death's head smiling at them.

He watched as they, and others, and others again, wandered the earth, undead.

When one, unluckily, met the god incarnated, he dared asked why.

He paused to savor his answer to the man, skeletal in the moonlight and desperate for respite.

"You don't fuck with Ares, little man."

He disappeared laughing, and the cursed man wept.



15. Stargate: SG-1 crossover

"There's a skull on the thing, that's all I need to know."

"No, Jack, wait!" Daniel swung his flashlight to illuminate the markings on the cave wall. "This could be important. These markings are remarkably similar to ancient art found in South America. Incan, maybe, or Aztec..." His voice trailed off as he ran his hand over the jagged edges of a sun.

"Daniel. Skull." Jack pointed at the centerpiece of the wall, an intricate carving of a coin, its skeletal face grinning down at them. It was inlaid in gold, and around it bowed several skeletal figures. "Need I remind you of the bad luck we've had with skulls?"

Sam's voice rang in from the outside. "Sir?"

"Yeah, Carter?"

She rushed into the cave, followed by Teal'c. They both looked unusually flustered. "Sir, we've found the natives, and they look a little restless."

Daniel broke off his study. "Restless, how?"

"They appear to be strangely skeletal, Daniel Jackson." Teal'c gestured in the direction of the gate. "It might be best if we return another time."

"They're armed, sir," Carter explained. "And they look angry."

As they ran to the gate, pursued by a crowd of angry skeletons, Jack shouted back at Daniel. "See? What'd I tell you? No more skulls!"

###

(Links originally posted here.)

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
losyark
Jun. 14th, 2005 03:26 am (UTC)
Fantastic!
These are wonderful, wonderful little ficlets.

I enjoyed them very much - thank you!
voleuse
Jun. 21st, 2005 06:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Fantastic!
Thanks! I'm glad you liked them!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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