AUTHOR'S NOTES: Hey! These notes are mine and I am the author... oh soooo weird that is. Never thought I'd see my words next to "author's notes" *shakes head*. Well, you wanted the answers, so here they are. Are there more questions to be pondered from here…? Oh, but of course. This is not the last chapter, or the end. Read and then see chapter 2 when it comes out. Soon.
In all things now, Jack failed. He lost Ana, lost her trust and lost her life. The trust part he lost long ago. Lost it in Ana, and lost it in Will Turner. The only two people who ever thought to reach out to him for friendship, he betrayed. He'd thought there'd be time to gain back the trust he lost, but Granger changed that with one bullet.
The ship grew quiet as the last able-bodied crewman on board jumped overboard into the water. He turned and caught sight of one more man standing silent by the gunwale. Jack blinked. Will Turner held his sword ready to defend himself if need be, and Jack knew that if justice existed in the universe, this would spell his end. He wanted it to end.
Best Intentions gone wrong...Chapter 1
Ana groaned and rolled her head slowly, gradually swimming back to consciousness. She heard the shouts and yells, some distant, some close. Smelled the gunpowder and heard the noise of gunfire. She felt the vibrations on the ship as people obviously moved about.
Carefully opening her eyes, objects began to come to focus, still hazy and dim, but gaining focus rapidly. Was that the sound of two swords clashing…yelling…voices…a voice…like Jack's? Her thoughts suddenly slammed home. JACK!
She lifted her head slowly, that effort alone caused her world to tilt violently. She squeezed her eyes shut, took a deep breath, then slowly opened again. From her place on the quarterdeck, she could see nothing, but could hear the fracas was coming from the main deck.
With a struggled effort to sit up, she attempted to put a hand out to grab the nearby railing. Her efforts halted by the bindings that restrained her hands behind her back. Her thoughts screamed to find Jack… along with the pain that pulsated in her head.
Driven by an urgent demand that echoed in her mind, she was able to get to her knees. Slowly, very slowly, she managed to get first one foot, then the other underneath her. Taking a deep breath, she carefully straightened, while relying heavily the nearby rail for support. Eyes shut tightly, until another wave of dizziness passed.
Feeling steadier, she moved with care to the edge of the quarterdeck, toward the noise below. If the tethered rope hadn't stopped her, what she saw would have brought her up short.
What she saw, or thought she saw, looked to be a demon. A bloody, dark haired wraith, clashing swords with another man.. no, make that three others. The one went down in a heap; his neck cleanly severed. The dark, bloody form moved on.
Ana watched, the sun caught twinkling trinkets in the hair of the crazed man. A red bandana peaking out from under the black and mangled hair. Recognitions screamed in her mind as Ana felt like she'd just been punched. It was Jack, in what she could only categorize as a crazed state; wild-eyed and animalistic. However, what he did in that condition, terrified her.
She stood rooted, still leaning on the railing, only not so much for balance now, as for fear. He seemed possessed of a force she had never observer in him before. 'Jack doesn't kill…' she remembered saying those words, vaguely. Now she was left to reconcile those words to what indeed she saw before her.
He moved with efficient grace and decisiveness, never wavering from one man to the next. Not hesitating for an instant as he swiftly dispensed, with cutlass, each crewman that braced him. If indeed rage knew grace, Jack embodied it. He defined it.
Granger's men shouted at him and around him, but the constant rushing sound in his ears drown out their voices from registering. The only intelligible request in his pain-seared mind echoed over and over, 'Ana's dead. Granger, kill Granger.'
When all was said and done, only three members of Granger's crew remained. Rather than brace the bloodthirsty pirate, the three opted to the prospect of facing the shark-infested waters of the Caribbean to be much safer, and hastily jumped over-board.
She didn't want to believe what she was seeing… She could chalk it all up to her mind that was still suffering the effects of the concussion she'd received when the bullet grazed her skull. Therefore, she was hallucinating. Her head pounded unmercifully in agreement with that logic. However, her foot caught and she stumbled. She looked down at the cause. A body, two, three…numerous bodies littered the ship, thusly; they gave evidence to the contrary.
This had really happened. And, the only one still standing was Jack. Her heart afraid to conceive of what she'd never conceived Jack capable of doing. Single handedly ending the lives, of what appeared to be, nearly an entire crew.
Her mouth opened to speak several times, before finding the courage to put some sound to her voice. She called out to him, but her voice, still weak from her own ordeal, came out horse and low. She watched for some type of reaction. If only he were at least facing her, surely she could get his attention.
She began to pull more at the ropes binding her to that spot. Cursing them under her breath. She had to get free. She had to go to Jack. She was sure now that even if her voice had strength, he'd not hear her. He had retreated somewhere deep in his mind. Probably the same place he had been during Granger's torture. He had never once cried out, and the things Granger did, would have made any normal man scream so loud the entire ship would have trembled. The hold was just not that far down.
Ana began looking around for anything within reach that would cut the bindings. Glancing at Jack, the sword still in his hands, the tip now pressed into the ships deck. Seemingly keeping the pirate propped up as his weight shifted into it occasionally.
…Jack stood there, sweat and blood mingling on his shirtless form. In the aftermath of his deed, blood, still warm and sticky, coated his cutlass. The copious amount of it dripping from his own body, while not all of it his own, still made him a sight to behold, and a sight to be wary of too.
With no one left to pursue, Jack stood still, however, the steadiness he'd possessed when he'd first started, began to dissipate as he started to swayed. Other than that, he'd shown no movement that indicated that he had even heard her Ana's call
His tilting sway became more precarious. Breathing seemed to become a gasping, laborious struggle for air. Standing there, he seemed uncertain what to do next. Or perhaps just out of steam.
His mind struggled to grasp a singular thought. " Granger…..where.… you…." the words were incoherent, mumbled. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he'd heard Ana's voice calling out to him; cutting through the haze of rage that only now, began to recede.
Ana. She was dead and Granger was to blame. "Damn… him…" he continued to mutter, his eyes squeezing shut at the emotional pain of loss.
Then the blame twisted and turned back inside him. No, not just Granger, he, himself was to blame, more than any other. If he had not turned her down, she would never have left. Never have run into Granger, never tried to help him. Never have died. And to top it off, he'd not yet found Granger and he himself was still alive. He had failed her in all things.
With the agony of his thoughts, his own ill-conceived reality was beginning to sink in. Then all the rage and frustration poured forth again, this time, with no one else to strike out at. Jack's head dropped back and let out a cry of anguished release.
A cold chill of dread snaked down Ana Maria's spine at the sound. It was a resonating cry, so chilling, so baleful, so full of sorrow. She didn't even realize the tears as they began to cascade down her cheeks.
Sword drawn, Will stood stunned by what he saw. His mind was awhirl with the scene displayed before him. Before getting close enough to climb aboard he heard a keening wail, a soul piercing, gut wrenching sound. His skin crawled at the barrenness of it.
Surveying the dead, his eyes traveled to the only remaining souls still standing on deck. He couldn't help but feel relieved. Yet, seeing Jack, this quickly turned to worry.
In his mind he attempted to piece together what had happened, based on what little he saw. From the deck of Hastings boat, as it drew closer, they caught glimpses; bursts of light as the sun's light would glance of the swiftly wielded metal cutlass. The crew watched the battle upon approach, as the quickly moving form of, what the crew gathered at the rail believed to be that of Jack Sparrow. His wild, black hair, flowing in the Caribbean breeze as his form moved swiftly over the deck of the ship. One minute he'd be there. Next minute he vanished from sight; each time brandishing the cutlass. A couple of times, each observer could have sworn he could see blood flying in wake of the motions the blade took.
Will now stood in the midst of what had taken place, and it astounded him. Will moved slowly in his approached to Jack's side. Stepping over bodies and dropped weapons. So engrossed in staring at the pirate, he had to draw up suddenly as he nearly walked into the main sail. As he moved closer he continued to look Jack over from head to toe.
No longer looking at Will, the pirates gaze had returned down cast in front of him, the jet-black hair blocked any view of his face. With his blood-coated body, he looked, for all the world, like a madman. As Will neared, what he saw brought him up short yet again. He registered with shock Jack's condition. He noticed for the first time, the numerous cuts and punctures that riddled the pirate's upper body. They were oozing their own steady flow of blood.
He dragged his eyes away from the site that was Jack Sparrow, with great difficulty, to settle on Ana Maria. She was trembling so fiercely that he could see it, even from where he stood.
Her head turned suddenly and their eyes met. His look questioned her condition, though visibly she appeared none the worse for ware.. especially compared to Jack.
She shook her head slowly, giving assurance that she was fine. Nodding her head towards Jack's still standing form. Her look pleaded for Will to help him, as her eyes darted back and forth between the two men.
Looking back at the bloody pirate before him, Will hesitated only another moment, and then braved the first few steps that would put him directly in front of the spectacle of a pirate, that was Captain Sparrow.
Not sure how the pirate would react to him, and amazed that his friend was still standing, Will did not yet attempt to get much closer. The scene around him and before him screamed caution in approach. The cutlass, while becoming more of a crutch than a weapon, Jack still grasped tightly in his hand, that too, decided Will to err on the side of discretion.
….Jack eyes still cast downward, hair haphazardly draped over his face, made no indication that he even knew Will was there. He remained glued to one spot; short of the ever-increasing sway. His left leg, which bled profusely now, still contained a dagger, which protruded from rear of his left thigh.
He'd not hesitated though, throughout his tirade, to put weight on it. Now, however, the knee was slightly bent, obviously to ease the onslaught of pain, which now made its presence evident… Whatever shock he had been experiencing, enabling him to remain upright, seemed to be abating. His swaying now produced a hobbling attempt to remain upright.
Not touching the pirate, but acting on reflex, Will's arm shot out to steady the man. Grabbing air, he knew it was time to ascertain Jack's mental state before he attempted to assist him in any way.
Moving to stand in front of him, Will dipping his head in an attempt to see underneath the tangled, bloody hair that draped his face. Perhaps to even catch his eyes to glimpse the thought process the man was churning. After what they'd all just witnessed, he didn't want to startle the man. Jack still clutched the bloody cutlass thus triggering an air of caution in Will, else the same force that driven him earlier, and the same force that kept him standing now, might be triggered again. Will didn't think he could bring himself to hurt his friend. He'd suffered enough, for all of them.
"Jack?" Will whispered.
No. Wait, he could just make out some sound. Jack, mumbling something. Something unintelligible.
Will leaned in closer in an attempt to hear.
"I gave ye reason not to trust me Will…" the pirate muttered thickly, still gazing down.
His brow furrowed, in an attempt to better understand what he had said. "What?" he shook his head in argument and confusion.
His next words came out in so soft a whisper, so much so that Will had to lean even closer to hear, "Bootstrap... the lamp… I betrayed your trust…you… Ana …" his voice trailed off.
Understanding dawned and Will straightened abruptly. "No!" He shook his head, slowly at first, in disagreement. More vehemently as he replied, "No, Jack- you did what you thought you had to do. You took a chance for me to see my father. I consider that you did so, on my behalf."
Stepping closer, Will bent his knees to almost kneeling, in attempt to see Jack's face and make him understand, " Jack…?" His voice trailed off as the pirate's head slowly started to straighten.
His heart clutched with fear at what he saw. Never before had he seen, nor did he think he ever would, see that look in Jack's eyes. Not the physical agony; while evident, but this, more the emotional; self-deprecating, self-disparaging, and utterly profound sadness. He saw all these things in that afflicted look. And it shook him deeply.
Jack tilted his head to the left, as if listening for something. He blinked slowly, so slowly his eyes were closed for almost a full minute. His brows arched as if to drag his eyelids open. Then his eyes squinted in puzzlement.
"Will? " speaking as if he just realized Will was there. The cutlass went clattering to the deck of the ship.