Show Me the Horizon

**Author's Note** Well, this is it, the last chapter. I hope people have enjoyed reading it as much as I've enjoyed writing it. If you like it (or even if you didn't) please drop me a line and let me know. Thanks much to Erin and Eledhwen! I'm working on a sequel, which will hopefully be in shape to start posting within a week or so.

Chapter 20

When they reached Port Royal, the Dauntless came in to tie up at the dock, and the Pearl stayed anchored out in the harbor. "All crew stay aboard until this privateer nonsense is official," Jack ordered. "I'll go with the Commodore to talk to the Governor and make sure we all have clemency. No one is to go ashore until I come back. If for any reason I don't come back, weigh anchor and get out of here."

With that, Jack got into the boat and rowed himself to the dock the Dauntless was tied up to. Glancing at the harbormaster standing there, Jack tossed him a coin. "Here's yer shilling, and the name's Captain Jack Sparrow." Leaving the harbormaster open mouthed behind him, Jack strode down the dock toward a cluster of soldiers. "Lieutenant! Where's the Commodore?"

Markson turned. "Ah, Captain. The Commodore will be with your shortly. He asked that you remain with me to avoid any unpleasantness until this is sorted out."

Jack glanced around, noting the number of people staring at the sight of the notorious pirate chatting amicably with the British soldier. "Aye, that'd be best."

Norrington came down the gangplank a moment later. Ah, Captain Sparrow. How is your arm?"

"Hurts like hell," answered Jack. "How's your head?"

"I've had a headache for the past three days," returned Norrington conversationally. "Your ship's presence in the harbor is causing a great deal of unease, so I'd like to get this settled immediately, if that's acceptable to you."

"Perfectly," said Jack. "I can't allow my crew ashore until it's dealt with. I don't want an incident any more than you do, Commodore."

Will, Elizabeth and Gwen came down the gangplank at that moment. "Jack!" Elizabeth called.

Jack and Norrington turned. Jack took Elizabeth's hand and kissed it. "Are you off to see my father?" she asked.

"Aye," he answered.

"Go then," said Will, coming up behind Elizabeth. "I don't fancy saving you from the gallows again."

Jack looked past them to Gwen, who was standing several feet away. "Miss Tracy," he said politely, tipping his hat.

Gwen smiled and came forward. "Captain Sparrow, you look considerably less bloodstained today than last I saw you."

"Aye, lass, thanks to you," he answered. "Though while you were sewing my arm back together I wasn't so sure I was grateful." He took her hand and kissed it, first on the back, then on the palm. "I'll see you while we're in port, shall I?"

"Captain Sparrow, the carriage is waiting," Norrington said.

"Aye, I'm coming," said Jack, not taking his eyes off Gwen. He bowed slightly, and without speaking again, turned to join the Commodore.


Jack and Norrington walked out of the Governor's office a few hours later. "Well, he didn't like that much, did he?" said Jack.

"No, but he did it," answered Norrington. "That's the important thing. What are your plans now, Sparrow?"

"We'll stay in port a few days," said Jack. "Take on supplies and all. I'll need a few more hands, so I'll spend some time down by the docks, I suppose. Afterward we'll put to sea, try to hunt up some Spaniards, ye know."

"You're welcome to stay up at Fort Charles if you like," said Norrington. It might be safer than an inn by the waterfront."

"That's kind of you, Commodore, but Will offered me his old digs above the blacksmith shop," Jack answered. "If you need to speak to me you can leave a message for me there."

"Be sure to inform me when you sail," Norrington said.

"Why do you need to know that?" asked Jack.

Norrington stopped walking and turned to Jack. "I won't in general look over your shoulder, Sparrow. But until people in Port Royal are more used to the fact that your presence is not a threat to them, I think it best if I know where you are. In fact, I plan to send some soldiers down to the docks to keep the peace when your crew comes ashore. It's not a lack of trust in you or your men, Captain. It's just a precaution. I don't want the Governor having any grounds to invalidate our agreement."

"That anxious not to hang me again, Norrington?" Jack asked sarcastically.

"I'd rather have you on my side, Sparrow," Norrington replied. "Your tactics against the Dona Catalina were brilliant, although I will have some explaining to do about the condition of the Dauntless. The man who carved the figurehead will no doubt have an apoplexy."

"Smashed it up a bit, didn't I?" said Jack, shaking his head and resuming walking. Norrington fell in beside him.

"I was also impressed by the tactics used by the Black Pearl," said Norrington. "Gibbs was in charge, you say? I wouldn't have thought he'd have the imagination. He showed no such signs when he was in the Royal Navy."

"Dismissed for drinking on duty, wasn't he?" asked Jack. "And no, he hasn't the imagination. For those tactics you need to speak with Elizabeth Turner. She browbeat Gibbs into doing whatever she said."

"Good God!" Norrington exclaimed.

"Aye, you made a lucky escape," said Jack humorously. "She'd have driven you insane."


Gwen let herself into the blacksmith's shop and paused hesitantly just inside the door. "Will, is that you?" called a voice from the loft. Jack came downstairs, slowing when he saw her. "No, I see it's not. Good morning, luv. You're looking lovely today. New dress?"

"Good morning, Jack," replied Gwen, smoothing the skirt of her yellow cotton gown. "Yes, Elizabeth insisted on giving me some clothing. She claimed the gown I had on was only fit for dust rags."

"Well, it was a bit careworn," said Jack with a roguish smile. "Getting captured by pirates, marooned, walking for two days, and patching up bloodstained men is hard on the wardrobe. Is Will coming soon?"

"No, he'll be a bit later than usual this morning," replied Gwen. "Governor Swann has something he wants him to do."

"Poor Will," sighed Jack. "But lucky me to have such a lovely creature to bring me the message. Come above, darling. I think there's probably some tea up there if I look hard enough." Taking her hand, he led her up the stairs. "Not as fine as the Governor's house, but I daresay Will prefers it here."

I daresay he does," said Gwen, taking a chair at the small table. "Governor Swann is full of plans to remake Will into a proper son-in-law."

"Poor lad," said Jack again. "Ah, well. They have to work that out themselves. Wise of you to slip away from the battlefield."

"I was glad of the opportunity to speak with you alone," said Gwen haltingly.

Jack abandoned his search for tealeaves and turned to face her. "What can I do for you, luv?"

"I hardly know where to start," Gwen said. "I don't think I thanked you properly for your kindness to me."

Jack rolled his eyes and leaned against the wall. "Devil take it, Gwen, don't thank me for that."

"Why not?" asked Gwen in a level tone of voice.

"You are under no obligation to me. I don't want your gratitude."

"Oh? What do you want?"

"Don't toy with me, woman. I'm a man, not a saint."

Gwen glared at him through narrowed eyes, suddenly as furious as he was. "What's wrong, Captain? Weren't you able to find a woman to keep you warm last night?"

A dangerous light in his eye, Jack strode forward, yanked her to her feet and crushed her to him. "I could have had ten women last night. But none of them were you," he rasped, and kissed her. "Stay with me, Gwen," he murmured. "Stay with me."

"For the moment?" asked Gwen, pulling back slightly.

"For more than that," he answered. "For as long as you'll have me. Come to sea with me, darling. Let me show you the world." He kissed her again. "This is your last chance to say no, luv."

Gwen smiled. "I wouldn't dream of it."


"Weigh anchor!"" shouted Jack as he stood at the helm of the Black Pearl. "Hoist the sails!" Sailors scurried around on the business of preparing the ship to sail. The Union Jack snapped in the stiff breeze. Jack glanced at it and sighed.

Gwen came up behind him and put a hand on his shoulder. "Look at that sea," she said softly. "Show me the horizon, Jack?"

"Aye, lass. I'll do that."