Disclaimer: Seeing as, this disclaimer thing has gotten way out of hand, I, the insane author of this 'fan'-fiction will allow you, the reader to improvise. So without further ado I present the new and improved method of crediting disclaimers. At the beep… please fill in the blank with your favorite disclaimer (so that I won't have to fill it in for ye.) BEEPà (fill in the blank with your disclaimer now.)_______

The Joy of the Hunt

By: Dragon Demon

Rating: PG-13 for violence, brief language and sensuality.

Summary: Set in motion after Jack's escape from Port Royal, the crew of the Black Pearl pay a visit to Tortuga where Jack repossess a valuable trinket he left behind. In doing so, he has unleashed a chain of events that will lead him on a wild goose chase for treasure, love and survival.

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Freedom. It was all any man, or woman for that matter, could ask for. And this… this was the safest place that could offer that freedom. Out in the open, with the wind, water and the birds. Out on the deck or the helm of a magnificent machine that offered nothing but, total freedom to any person who stood on its decks.

Crude as the Black Pearl looked from a civilian's standing point of view, the ship was all but that. To some, the vessel even appeared frightening and morbid. But to the ship's crew and her captain, she was everything. The Black Pearl was freedom.

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We're devils and black sheep, really bad eggs… drink up me 'earties, yo ho! The few lyrics twisted and replayed inside Captain Jack Sparrow's head as he lounged out on the deck of the Black Pearl, his feet propped up against the side railing and his back against a crate. The barrel that served as his seat wobbled as he adjusted his position.

His hat was pulled down over his face to keep the merciless sun out of his bloodshot eyes. A short snort weaseled its way out as he subconsciously turned over off his barrel and landed upon the deck with a loud thump. There was a hint of feminine laughter as Jack struggled to his feet only to the avail of falling back flat on his face.

"Bloody hell!' he cursed as he fought to get his footing on the newly swabbed deck.

The laughter came closer and through hints of giggles a voice called out, "Well well, Jack Sparrow… 'avin a bit of troubles, are ye?"

"It's Captain! Captain Jack Sparrow,' Jack growled as he tried righting himself once more and to his surprise successfully managed to stand up with the help of a strong hand and the boat side. Jack quickly regained his posture, pulled his coat from off his head back to it's resting position and blew the disarrayed hair from his face.

Anamaria stood close by laughing at the sight of Jack. He 'hmphed' and took a step forward and almost slipped on the wet deck once again. Anamaria's hand shot out and grabbed his arm breaking his fall. Once on his feet, Jack frowned, shook his head to the side and casually exclaimed, "Thanks."

Anamaria made a face as Jack headed towards the bridge of the ship and the wheel. As she turned to head back below deck, she heard a sharp curse and a sickening crash behind her. Knowing Jack had once again slipped and fallen flat on his backside, she did not bother to turn to look as she laughed all the way down to the brig.

Jack took up root behind the helm of his beloved ship. Gracefully steering the vessel, he allowed his mind to wander. A small smile tugged his lips upwards as he nodded his head slightly.

"Cap'n!"

Startled by the closeness of the voice, Jack jumped, his face heavily drawn in a frown.

Gibbs- a longtime drunk and friend of Jack's- stood nearby, his drunken gaze on the man behind the wheel. "Cap'n, what be in your head that's got ye in such a good mood?"

Jack ran a finger along his mustache and offered a devil-may-care grin and answered, "Tortuga."

The expression on Gibbs' face said it all as he asked, "Tortuga?"

The lavish captain turned to the wayward man, a half empty bottle of rum grasped tightly in his jeweled hand. Without missing a beat he added, "Tortuga!"

Gibbs muttered something incoherent to which Jack replied to, "What were ye expectin' man? To dock at Port Royal? Never!' he paused and grinned wider, his head bobbing around. "Although I'd have to admit, Port Royal's taverns and women are just as good as any in Tortuga."

Gibbs uttered a strangled cry of frustration and poked Jack in the arm, bringing the Captain down from his cloud. Jack looked at Gibbs and asked, "What?"

The drunkard sailor shook his head. "Why we be dockin' in Tortuga so soon, Cap'n?"

Jack turned his attention back to the helm as his face lit up with a mischievous grin. "A debt to be repaid, Gibbs." His grin widened as he added, "And I always repay my debts."

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Author's Corner: Ah, what a beautiful end to a wonderful chapter… or at least in high hopes of it being a wonderful chapter. Now… I've seen Pirates of the Caribbean 6 times, so I'm going to try and keep all characters in their respectable places and schtick. If they come off slightly uncharacteristic (or OOC- if you will, work with me here people, ok) then I'm terribly sorry, but you know, this is a 'fan'-fiction and all I can say is- If you don't like the story or where it's heading, then please… don't continue to read and just… hit the back button.

There are several good stories in ff.net's archives that could entertain you just as well as say… a ball of yarn or watching an inchworm regenerate itself. I strive for a story that I am happy with and readers will enjoy. If you don't like it, don't read it. It's as simple as that and it's so simple, that I myself hold me in count to my own advice. If I don't like it, I hit the back button, nor do I leave a rude comment on their review board. In sense, if the story displeases me, I find another, what we are gaining from this is one less review the author will have on their review board, which is satisfiable enough for me. If you don't leave a review… I'm not going to cry over it, so please don't bother with the flames or innuendo.

Also… to be forewarned, (if you haven't taken the directive to look at the story genre by now) this does contain some romance, I repeat, this story 'does contain some romance.' It also has hints of sensuality/sexuality situations, but they are very brief, as is the language. On that note, the language is more rude than vulgar in nature. It's more in rebellion than just having it up there for laughs or making the story look good. Blah, blah, blah…

-Dragon Demon