Disclaimer: No, I do not own these characters. They belong to Disney. He's one lucky, lucky man.

READ THIS FIRST: This story was written before the 2nd movie came out, so there is no mention of the 2nd movie in this story. The story line flows just fine otherwise. Enjoy!


Prologue:

Haunted Memories

The salty spray of the Caribbean sea stung his face as he stood, watching the billowing waves crash against the broadside of his ship. On a still night, such as this, he wasn't surprised to find himself completely alone on the upper deck, staring out at the beautiful dark ocean. The rest of the crew, he gathered, were all below deck receiving their well-earned grub.

The man sighed heavily and closed his dark eyes, losing himself to the tranquil sound of the ocean. He had almost lost himself to the lulling music- when suddenly Gibbs' voice broke the air, almost sending the poor man over the edge of the ship with a start.

" Hey Jack! Are ye comin'? I can't guarantee there'll be any grub left by the time ya get down 'ere!" the first mate's raspy voice called from below. Jack turned around to face the stairs, hand now on his rapidly beating heart, and shouted, " Don't worry about me, mate! Not 'ungry!"

Master Gibbs only grumbled something inaudible before his voice could no longer be heard.

" It is true..." Sparrow glumly said to himself, turning back to face the water. He clutched the ropes that were hanging beside him and leaned out over the clapping waves, taking a deep whiff of the salty air. He gave a content sigh and leaned back in, still clinging to the ropes. " I'm not hungry," he continued, talking to himself as if it were a regular occurance. " Not today..."

Today. It was an anniversary of sorts. Hardly one for celebration, as it were. The memory itself dealt a cold blow to his heart and reopened old wounds. He winced, watching the memories of the past flash before his eyes...


---Flashback---

" Make yer choice, Sparrow," growled a tall, Spanish pirate, holding a pistol to a woman's head. " The girl or the gold!" he sneered, flashing his toothless grin.

Jack Sparrow looked to the girl in the Spaniard's arms. Her eyes were filled with desperation. So blue and filled with fear! She was in danger, and he could save her!

...But the gold. Oh how the gold called to him! It was beautiful, shimmering in the twilight. Winking at him... calling him...and then winking at him again. Such beautiful gold! He could just reach it if he stretched out his arm

" Sparrow!" the pirate yelled, snapping Jack out of his thoughts. " I'm givin' ye a choice! Now make it and be gone!"

Gold, girl, gold, girl, gold, girl, gold, girl

OH! How could he chose!

---End Flashback---


" Bloody scallywag," he muttered, staring out at the sea with an undying shame in his darkened brown eyes. He could never bring himself to rest. Not after what happened that day. It was a painful memory, but one he knew he would have to relive every year for the rest of his life.

" Jack!" Will called from behind, coming to stand behind the captain. " Gibbs said you were up here. Is something wrong?" Concern was evident in the lad's voice, sending a smirk to the captain's lips.

Sparrow didn't turn around to face William, but he opened his mouth to confirm that everything was alright... but he stopped mid-word. Should he tell the boy what was bothering him? He had never told anyone about that day eleven years ago, save for Gibbs, and even he didn't know the whole story.

His mouth shut and his eyebrows knit together in thought.

" Jack? Is everything alright?" Will asked, stepping a bit closer to the railing.

The captain finally nodded, turning to give Will a reassuring smile " Aye, mate. Everything's just fine."

No need in sharing me mutinous acts with others, he told himself. His secret would just have to keep hidden.

Will on the other hand didn't buy the captain's reply. He dared not press the matter, but decided he would confront the captain again another time. " How long till we make berth?" he asked, changing the subject, much to Sparrows apparent relief.

" Well, not much longer, mate!" he swung around, jumping from the railing to the deck. " Now if you'd excuse me, mate, I have a bit of a thirst I'd like to quench right now, if you know what I mean." He gave Will a wink and managed to swagger across the deck into the captain's quarters without another word.

Turner watched silently as the captain's door slammed shut, the sound of it echoing across the ship. Will turned back to the ocean, which was now turning ominous and dark as the sun sank below the distant horizon. His eyes narrowed as he stared off in thought. Captain Jack Sparrow was hiding something...and Will was determined to figure out what.


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