Disclaimer: For the last time…I don't own it! Man…think they'd know the drill by now…
Authors Note: Last one guys. It's been an awesome ride! *winks* And I couldn't have done half so well without all you guys! If you really have big questions or whatnot, then I suggest e-mailing me directly (though a review would be a nice, too) or putting it in the review that you want me to respond (which would require your e-mail address if you're not signed in). But don't worry! I'm already working on chapter 2 of "Twisting Fate", which is on my account. But…I strongly advise you read rythmteck's "Inconvenient", then her/our "Caught by the Past" before you try to read TF. It'd be…rather confusing otherwise. Plus you'd miss out on all of that fun stuff! *winks* And you wouldn't want to be doing that, mates. And sorry it took so long to get this one out. For now…enjoy the chapter! I love you guys!
(a.k.a. Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the fangirl)
Chapter 35: Reflections
Sitting in my cabin, I found my fist clenching at the thought of the miniature pirate captain. It'd been an entire month and still - her cocky grin plagued me. Perhaps because she had beaten me, tricked me at my own game. And done it well.
I'd never have guessed that she would have drugged me. This being besides the fact that I never expected to take her first kiss either.
Not much of a kiss, though.
And the look on her face.
I laughed. Despite the unbearable headache the next day, the humiliation for being beaten, and even the comments from the crew; I laughed.
This had been interesting, that was for sure. The little pirate captain wasn't always the most charming person to be around, but things were never dull. I can only wonder what her crew is like. Every action of theirs set them off as sentinels, almost guardians to her. Strange, that a captain would not be the protector, but the protected.
Though I have no doubt in her ability to defend herself. I just suppose it's their way of being affectionate. It's hard not to be protective of such a small, defenseless-looking woman.
Not that I was the least bit interested. She was more of an amusement than anything else. A small and irritating one.
Perhaps…well, I suppose it's quite likely that she was the "small lad" who took on five pirates and came out rather well. No doubt those who witnessed the fight were too drunk to remember clearly or too afraid of pointing her out.
Can't say I blame them if the story was valid. And again, Kendra hadn't lied. She did know the 'lad' who did it.
Funny how she was able to twist her words so well. She's had years to practice. And it would be necessary to do when pulling off a new disguise each day.
Enough reminiscing, I have work to do. Surprising how being short one cabin boy has made the necessary chores take so much longer.
Heading out on deck and looking around at my crew, I smiled. At least they won't spite me and hide their identities. Sighing to myself, I muttered. "Again, she enters my thoughts…"
Gibbs was at the helm and handed it over without a thought. "Where to next, Captain?"
I thought for a moment. It had been some time since we'd seen Antigua…
"Antigua, Mr. Gibbs. Or at least that general direction."
"Aye, aye, Captain."
He went about figuring coordinates and a familiar tune came to mind. Odd how it reminded me of that whole mess with Will Turner and Elizabeth.
Either way, there was no reason not to mumble along with the tune. "And really bad eggs…"
Freedom is a wonderful thing. Then again, so is being a captain.
Sitting on the prow, it made all of the agitation that was still hidden away dissipate. Slowly, but surely. All was well. We'd picked up the rest of the crew - aside from a few lousy deserters - bought some supplies, and gotten back to piracy. This being besides the fact that some of the supplies had to be stolen. Wasn't as if I had a large amount of loot lying around to pay for it all. And I had slept on the Dilettante, allowing me to have enough to pay for a new bed - a very necessary purchase. Let alone that it was an unbelievable feeling to have my ship back. Never been so happy to see a ship. Couldn't just go to Tortuga and leave me precious Dilettante all by her lonesome.
And about that bed…it wasn't even much to look at. Nor was it very comfortable. I just needed to buy something else to replace what that pirate Spriggit had slept in. No telling what happened and I'm not about to care naught about it.
This being besides the fact that most inns' rooms are not likely to be as clean either…
But at least they change the sheets, right?
On to a new subject…
Smiling, I let out a laugh as my familiar friend sent up a spray of salty water. Nearly drenched me, but it felt great. Refreshing even. The bit of my crew nearby laughed alongside me.
Another ship began to flag us down. I believe it's a smuggling ship I'd made a few exchanges with. Well, they paid me not to attack. I, of course, complied.
Yelling back and forth between our two ships, the captain informed me that there was a message for me. I allowed him to send over a man to deliver it. Along with his fee for the year. Really didn't mind that bit.
Giving my thanks, and he his, we parted ways and I headed to my cabin. Can't have a letter - rare gifts, on land or the seas - getting soaked before I can read it.
Lighting a candle and settling down at my table, I opened the letter in confusion. The seal was strangely familiar, but my mind refused to tell me the origin itself. Only that I'd seen it before. A strange flower in full bloom. Not quite a poppy. I'll know soon enough, I suppose.
And at the handwriting, I laughed.
It's Jacques Badeau! How could I ever forget him? Such ostentatious Frenchies are never far from amusing.
Snickering to myself, I set in to read the post.
How is your health? Is your newly recovered ship in good condition? I hear that you are faring well after a horrific ordeal.
Sighing, I shook my head. He would be the one to put it in such terms.
And I also heard of this beautiful French maid that you escorted safely to Port Royal.
Oh no…he better not… Then again, this is Jacques. Little else can be expected.
I took it upon myself to rescue her from the evil clutches of her overbearing parents. She was most pleased to join me, even climbing out of her window. Though I do believe I've seen the knife she's carrying on previous occasions. I can only presume she received it from your wonderful self.
It has been a glorious time getting to know dear Janette, and dare say, conversation turned to courting, and then suddenly I found myself proposing. She momentarily refused, but changed her mind the next day. We are to wed in the next week, though I doubt you'll get this letter in time to make it to the wedding.
Glancing at the date I nodded. It'd been two weeks since their wedding. To think…little Janette…married to Jacques. It's…all too predictable.
He babbled on about her beauty, how she spoke highly of me, and that he had already made plans to settle on one of the islands near San Salvador, along with lots of other mindless jabber. He would send another letter to give me the exact address. He was confident that I would want to visit him, if not Janette.
And…he was right.
I smiled at the thought. Janette…married to a former pirate. Of the dashing, French variety. And Jacques, becoming a conman for her sake.
It was pointless to hold back the small chuckle and so I only kept it quiet.
Oh, the future she has. I only hope she can tolerate his sly comments. Then again… I suppose he's more her type than any of her suitors ever were.
Folding up the post, I laid down on my bed and let my mind wander. The fresh scent of the sea clung to me and I was glad of it. This room had been too bare without it. Let alone that I was slowly building up the decorations again. Spriggit had no taste, I tell you.
Then again, he didn't even know how to elude the Brit's. Sure he was caught in the fog…
Sparrow. I wonder how furious he was to wake up and remember that I'd drugged him. All in good revenge. I snickered to myself. The daft man. Don't even know how he manages to bumble through life. Lucky, he is.
What will be my future? Looking up at my ceiling I could only wonder. I've had so many twists and turns as is, how much more complex could life become? Then again, no one ever said Fate doesn't enjoy tinkering with us.
Fickle and mischievous, that one.
Smirking, I got up and headed back onto deck, enjoying the sun warming my skin, the gulls calling me, and the luxurious wind whipping about me.
"Good to be back, Captain?" Henry asked, his dark face smirking at me.
I could only grin and nod in reply. To think, my crew is so loyal. I suppose it's all part of a circle of repayment. I'd bought him and promised him freedom for a year of work. Of course, he'd been here ever since. And there was everyone else, the pirates by blood, the street waifs, the Hungarian, the Spaniard, the orphans, redcoats turned pirate, and even Eric from Iceland. In a way, I suppose they are a family of sorts. We watch each other's backs, and do our best to keep everyone alive and healthy. Perhaps even prospering.
"Let's see which ship to pluck next, eh men?"
A cheer rang out.
Reviewers! Glad to have you. 24 of you guys reviewed this time, if I can count properly! Thanks for sticking with me for so long! And sorry I don't have pretty words to give out compliments or whatnot… And right off the bat, I apologize for not ending this entirely on a happy note (the review section, that is). I… simply felt the need to defend myself.
Anaknusan: Why, it was Jacques of course! Jacques! Yep…just thought of that and grinned. Great stuff. Thanks for sticking with me!
HealerAriel: I guess Kendra's happy enough with circumstances like they are to get too mad at you. And here's your crewmember! He's Peter! Or Pete, if you please. A native Caribbean lad, raised from childhood to become a pirate. About 5'11", lean build, mid-twenties, tan from being outside so much, green eyes, dark brown, nearly black, constantly ruffled hair, and a killer grin. He's fond of getting women to swoon, and has been rather successful as of yet. Let alone how he plays a mean violin. Plus he's handy with a sword and pistol, can rig up a ship and even take orders from lil' Kendra. She has only one request… she gets him back for the stories and such. Otherwise, it's up to you. *narrows eyes* Within reason, a' course.
TheCap'nOfTheBlackPearl: And here's the last one. *sniffle* Sad for us all, huh? And like I said above, it was Jacques! Kendra's ol' pal! *grins* Thought none of you guys would figure it out. Hehe…
Dawnie-7: Well, Jacques has been revealed, and Janette has grown. It's bound to happen with all those pirates around and Kendra constantly telling her to knock it off. Development is fun stuff, ne? And some time is better than none! Love you guys!
RoxyBarbieH8er: Welcome. Thanks for the compliments, but…I must digress. Please don't take this the wrong way. I disagree with your statement about FSE being a MS story. I'm biased, sure, but your review prompted me to go look up MS info one more time. And my findings, in my mind, agree with my statement. Please, please, look at the links after this bit and tell me what you think afterwards. I want to make sure you're informed before you start throwing out comments like that. It really can get on some writer's nerves. (Then again, most of them are defensive because they deep down know it's a MS and don't want to admit it. Yeesh, aren't I sounding like a hypocrite?) While taking the quiz I even added points where I thought they weren't truly deserved. But Kendra and FSE had a few - very few - MS traits. Then again, I don't think any story can get away without even a few points. Here are a few examples: Her being my same gender, having more than one name, (I didn't think too many of these are all very good reasons for accusing her of MSness…but I can see their value.) raised by someone other than her parents, the story being her POV (which is whole point of it all), starting with her, etc. I still think the "saving people" one being worth three points is cheap, but so be it. Kendra and FSE still passed. With flying colors. Anyhoo… hope you take this kindly, don't think I'm hatin' on you and such. I just…had to stand my ground. I would refuse to put so much work into a Mary Sue. And you were the first to say that you thought it was.
Curiosity Inc: Yep. Don't guess too much with me, I'm a Gemini. You think you got me figured, and I'll pop out with something unexpected. *grins* Spontaneity, gotta love it. We'll just have to see about other appearances, they're always possible, but never guaranteed. *smirk* And I'm glad you liked Janette's last bit. I was hoping to make her likable and developed and all that. Just happy I pulled it off. And as for Spriggit… er… he's the bit I would fix if I redid this. (Which in all actuality, I might, but not right now.) He… wasn't a major character and I slacked with him. Got so caught up with stuff and didn't get a feel for him till near the very end. And didn't have much to do with him. 'Tis a pity. Just thought it best to leave his end open-ended. So you guys could decide for yourselves. And…here was my shot at the best. Can't guarantee it…but here's what I got. And don't worry about "Twisting Fate"…it's gonna be awesome. *devious smirk* On a side note, I'm glad to beta for you! Read chapter 2 a bit ago, but want to think about it some more and re-read. You should expect an e-mail soon. Thanks for the support and again, for the thought-provoking reviews! Oh, and since you asked in the TF review about Kendra leaving the sails on Hal's ship? (Sorry I didn't answer that…) It's mostly to increase the humiliation. She didn't really want to kill Hal, just force him to go to town, admit he was taken over and plundered mercilessly by pirates…but…usually the stories about the captain are all fearsome and such. Kendra, well…it's hard to get stories which instill fear in people. "You got knocked off by a pint-sized lil' scamp that is a woman that looks like a lad?" Yeah…that kind of stuff. She'd just like to see him whimper off to His Majesty and tell him the tale…would do great stuff for his reputation in court.
AAR Rocks My Socks: Revenge is great! And I'd like to ask…was there ever "romance" in the genre? Anyways… I suppose I should be cynical too, having not had the best romantic experiences lately, but oh well. Not something I should dwell on. And man, am I glad to hear positive responses to Janette and Spriggit's last bits. I was afraid I'd get ranted at for not having true "closure". And about the Avi book…my bud Elsinore suggested it too. I'll really have to look into that. And…here's a tissue. Hope this one doesn't make you cry too. Don't think it will though…*hands out a tissue box*
TheSiriusSparrow: And here's the last chapter! Hope you liked it! And it's a true pleasure to read and review my reviewer's stuff! Gives me more insight into who's reading and enjoying my stuff. And I likes. *smirk* Toodles! Hope to see you reading "Twisting Fate"! *waves*
sapphireskies: Hey, I solved the cliffie! And again, Jacques! Cryptic, huh? *grins* I love cryptic! Though…not when it applies to the instructions on my homework… Anyhoo, thanks for sticking with me!
FlyingHampsterOfDoom: First I must say, your name is quite original. I likes! And thanks for joining the ranks! But…all right, look closely at a particular line. I will repeat it for you too. Perhaps even verbatim: "Cheers, Sparrow. To a fair turnabout of the laudanum." Thus…she wanted to get him back. He drugged her, she drugs him. Only fair in her mind. But we'll just have to see about any more secrets…in "Twisting Fate". Yeah!
MiseryLovesCompany: Don't worry, Janette's in good hands. Kendra would get after Jacques if she wasn't. And I hope this last bit was interesting. Glad to see you guys still all hanging around. It's been a pleasure, a real pleasure.
KawaiiRyu: I dunno…I refuse to give any answers about what happened to Spriggit. Well, for the moment at least. One day I may make up my mind…*sigh* Glad you liked Janette's transformation. I'm sure everybody but her parents and her suitors are glad of it too.
dagzer: Here it is! Hope it was great and more! And golly…*blushes* You guys are great too! Love ya!
Kristin: *smirk* That's up for you to decide. Did he die? Or did he escape? Hm, I wonder. Here's your ending, hope it was as awesome for you, as it was for me! And mid/late April, baby! I'll be back in Washington! *cheers*
aLNiCa: And I'm glad to have you! Only too bad I didn't get to respond to you more…though there's always e-mail. And "Twisting Fate". *smirk* Sorry about the dial-up, that's what I've got at home. And will have to suffer through this summer… man… Home cooking…but no fast internet! Wah! *composes herself* Glad to have ye aboard, matey!
olio: Thanks! Glad to have all your guys' support! *waves* It was an awesome ride!
elrohir lover: Uh…thanks. Glad you like it! Just…sorta wish I could say more. *grins* Better late than never, huh?
MoonlitEclipse: Jack? *sighs* No, no, Jack doesn't speak French, remember? It's Jacques! Not Jack! *blinks* Wow…their names look & sound really similar…weird… I believe they're the same. (Besides one being the French version, and the other the English.) And here's your last chapter! Hope you enjoyed!
CyberKath: Wow, you happened to find it at the just the right time! Otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to reply to you. And it would have been a pity. Glad to have you! And to answer your question…the five pirates she fought were drunk, she had motivation to retaliate, didn't mind getting extra violent and…well, she had her cutlass. With Jack? It's all physical force involved. And he's got the upper hand there. Plus it's not a life or death situation. Though her heart/soul may disagree… She really did miss her Dilettante.
RadioActiveSocks: It has been a while, and do you have good timing… Glad to have you back though! Sorry, this is the end, and…I hope you don't want to kill me or whatnot anymore. Thanks! I sure liked the laudanum bit too. *grins* But here you go, thanks for sticking with me for so long! I'm sorry it has to end to…but onto other things, right?
black rose in winter: *pales* Um…like I said in previous reviews, Spriggit's fate is…undecided as of yet. Trying stepping into his boots and seeing his motivations… perhaps even put Kendra into his position. She and Jack would've done the same thing… But either way, his ending was my cop-out ending….*looks around nervously* So if you think he hung, then you're entitled to think it. I for one, am making no official statements as of yet. But um…if he did happen to escape…could you uh…hold off on the throat slitting? It'd be really quite difficult to write and er…function at all really…if I uh… *pales* But uh…on a happier note, I'm glad you liked Sparrow wobbling around in confusion, per say. Kendra rather enjoyed it…on that thought…*calls out* Kendra! Hey! How much did you say you charged for your protection again? *wanders off* Always best to be prepared, I says…
Chris: Welcome! I know you reviewed Chapter 5...but hopefully by following the rest of the story you'll get a better feel for Janette and Spriggit. Especially by this point in time…
novembergrl: It was Jacques. *evil grin* You'll have to wait and see about Janette. *waves back* I'm gonna miss it too! But all good things must end sometime, ne?
jess1586: *blushes* Thanks for joining us! Welcome! And golly, a perfect story? My muses and common sense tell me to resolutely refuse this…but…*shrugs* No need to get nitpicky now. That's what revisions are for, right? And thanks! I rather like Kendra too…though she seems to be following the trend a lot of my female characters are…short, underestimated, tough…hmm…
Last bit now: Okay, I'm really not trying to be fussy. But one review in particular struck me hard. And it wasn't in a positive way. Yes, admitting that the comment that FSE is, let me quote, "though, really, technically it's a Mary Sue". Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but I would just like to argue my case. (Please don't think I'm trying to rub it in or be rude RoxyBarbieH8er!) And as I sat and pondered it a bit, I got irked not so much because of the idea that Kendra really could be a MS, but more that…I've been doing my best to keep her non-MS. And as far as I'm concerned, and my test score on the Mary Sue Litmus Test by Melissa "Merlin Missy" Wilson on the second link below, Kendra is most definitely not a Mary Sue. Nor is this story. Perhaps it's a bit centered on Kendra…my fault. But not so much that it's an MS. *deep breath* Well…I should leave you to the links and review as you please.
Mary Sue Info Links: (Since ff.net won't let you put up straight links, erase the spaces when you copy paste them or whatnot.
An essay or whatnot with Mary Sue Info.
http: // enterprise.mathematik.uni-essen.de/~bastian/Ranma/MarySue .html
The Mary Sue Litmus Test (though it applies largely to Gargoyles, still works. And I got a 12! Well…Kendra did. I'm not so sure how Janette would score…but yeah.)
http: // missy.reimer.com /library/marysue .html
And from there, tons of other links exist. Some of which are quite amusing. Just thought I'd share. And please, don't hate me! Just a bit protective is all. (Or so I hope) If nothing else, you guys can all be well-informed about Mary Sues…how to spot them, avoid them, etc. Or even how to write them on purpose, if that's your thing.