Disclaimer: Each story we go through this, and each time we all agree that none of us, whosoever we may be or claim or think we are, own the legal rights to this movie theme, the characters, the ocean, the rum or the chicken dressed in a man suit. Thank You.

Damned to the Depths



The sun flickered in between the clouds, its rays winking against the blue backdrop of the sky. The usually crystal waters were unnaturally gray and calm; not a single wave crashed against the sleek black hull as it sped across the ocean.

Jack leaned against the bow railing allowing the bitter wind to caress his face. His hair whipped about in the breeze, the many trinkets clinking together. In his hands, between his right thumb and forefinger, rested a small silver band. He twisted it around and then back, watching it, admiring it. It was simple, plain. But it held more meaning than it is worth, more meaning to the person who wore it.

It was Ana's, the one he had given her a year ago. The one she had worn so proudly. The one she had left behind. Jack frowned as he rubbed a finger over the cool metal, his brow creasing with a sigh. His mind filtered out thoughts as he remembered giving it to her; he remembered the way her eyes lit up, her smile, and the taste of her tears.

And then he remembered her leaving. He had pushed her away and she had left, the small silver band the only object to remind him of what had been. Just like any couple, they had their ups and downs, but each one was cherished and remembered fondly. Some were even laughed at. But now even her laughter had abandoned him, the silence unbearable.

They had set sail from England nearly two months ago, the memories still fresh in Jack's mind. They had looted the Belladonna before scuttling it and allowing it to sink to the bottom of the sea, the presence of victory heavily amiss. The Pearl caught the first wind out, the crew went back to being, well, the crew and Will returned to Elizabeth in Port Royal.

Jack shook his head as he tried to focus on the good things, the warm memories. Several thoughts came flooding back to him all at once, the remembrance of them bringing a smile to his face that seemed to break the gloom around him.

From the corner of his eye Jack saw a figure move on the other side of the deck and he looked up, a tiny hint of the smile still on his face. His brown eyes came face to face with a pair of green, the mischief twinkling brightly. The young figure tipped his head in greeting before setting to unfurling a sail, his brown hair being tousled by the wind.

The pirate captain tilted his head and watched as the youngest member of his crew finished the task ahead of him. The lad, barely older than fifteen, had a good head on his shoulder and a loyalty stronger than any Jack had ever seen. He was well mannered, had a good sense of humor and wasn't easily distracted. And, Jack thought, he ties one hell of a knot.

Jack chuckled as the boy tripped over a rope and fell on his butt, a frown settling over the lad's face. He looked up at the captain's laughter and smiled before picking himself up. He sidled up to Jack, a grin on his young face as he watched the horizon.

"Well Miles," Jack started. "Is it everythin' ye thought it would be?"

Miles took some time as he considered this before turning his gaze to Jack, his green eyes full of excitement. "Aye, captain, it is and so much more."

Jack nodded at the answer. "Good, 'cause from now on, you're a pirate lad. The sea is your home now, take care of her, and she'll do the same for ye."

"Of course sir," Miles beamed. "May I implore as to where we are going captain?"

The pirate captain shrugged. "Wherever the winds takes us my boy, wherever the wind takes us."

Miles studied him before nodding. "Sounds exciting," he stated.

"Aye, that it is," Jack offered. He looked over his shoulder checking the deck. "Where is your father?"

"Down below I believe," Miles replied. "Do you wish for me to fetch him?"

Jack smiled. "No lad, why don't ye run along now. How 'bout checkin' with Gibbs on our coordinates, savvy?"

Miles saluted with a grin, "Savvy," he answered before turning and running up the deck.

Good kid, Jack mused. Looks just like his father. Miles and his father, Gilbert, had been taken aboard right before the Pearl left England; Jack gathered he could use a couple more hands. That and he owed Gilbert more than he would ever be able to repay. He turned back to watch the small waves beginning to break as he remembered the night he met the father and son.

He was shaken from his thoughts as a pair of arms slid around his waist, an added weight being applied to his back. Jack smiled as he turned around, his own arms hugging the person tightly. "Why aren't ye in bed restin'?"

The person shifted slightly in his arms before asking, "Why are you pestering me?"

"'Cause it's my duty to pester ye," Jack quipped. "And protect ye."

The person laughed. "Protect me? From what? The seagulls?"

Jack rolled his eyes. "Ye know ye shouldn't be up here. If Gill sees ye, he'll blow a gasket."

"Then let him. I don't care."

The pirate captain hugged them tighter to his chest, his chin resting on top of their head. A shiver ran down his spine as he sighed, his arms clutching the person tightly.

"Jack, what's the matter?"

He pulled back and looked down, peering into deep brown eyes. He lifted a hand and pushed a strand of black hair back behind the person's ear. "Nothin' love, nothin'."

There was a shake of their head as they sighed. "No, something is bothering you. What is it? You can tell me, Jack."

Jack looked at her. Even after months, she still looked so frail, so thin. Her brown eyes had their sparkle back and her smile once again was present on her face. He traced her cheekbone with a finger, running it down her neck. "I was just thinkin' is all," he told her with a nod.

She gazed up at him, her eyes searching his before accepting the answer and stepping back into his embrace. "What were you thinking about?"

"About you, about us," Jack murmured. "And, I think this belongs to ye."

He took her hand in his before slipping the silver band back onto her finger. A single tear slid down her cheek and he leaned down to kiss it away as he pulled her to him. He murmured something in her ear bringing a smile to her lips as she pulled his face to hers as she whispered, "I love you too, Jack Sparrow."

Jack held her, content to have Anamaria back in his arms again. He shifted allowing her body to lean into his, her back against his chest as he rested his chin in the crook of her neck. It was easier holding her this way, he surmised thoughtfully after several attempts to hold her another way. But every time he did, something came between them.

He rolled his eyes at the thought as he dropped his gaze to peer at the something. A hand lazily trailed down her arm and passed over her stomach, his fingers stopping to tap her midsection. "So what are ye gonna name the bugger?"

Ana looked over her shoulder at him. "Jack, look at me," she pleaded. She studied his face before frowning and pulling away. "I should have known."

Jack gently took her arm holding her back. "Known what?"

"That you don't want this child. You never did," she told him.

"Now Ana, that's not fair," he protested. "Nor is it true. Its just-" he trailed off, confusion on his face.

Ana watched him. "Just what, Jack? Just too much responsibility? Just too much holding you down? What? What is it?"

Something crossed Jack's face making him pucker his brow. "I just don't think I'd make a good father," he explained. "Look at me. I'm a pirate, Ana! I don't know the first thing about bein' a dad."

There was a moment of silence before Ana stepped toward him, one hand resting on his arm. "Jack, no one does. It comes with the years your child grows," she assured. "I don't know how to be a mother, but I'm going to try," she wrapped her fingers around his. "Jack, I can't do it all by myself."

"And ye won't have to, Ana," Jack suddenly ensured. "I'm not leaving, not you or our child. I may be a pirate… but I am a responsible one. I'll be here, with ye, every step of the way. I swear it on pain of death," he added, his lips capturing hers. "And, I promise to be a good father."

Ana chuckled as she rested her head against his chest. "I know Jack. I know."

"So back to square one," Jack said breaking the silence. "What are ye gonna name the lil' bugger?'

Shrugging, Ana smiled at him. "I guess it depends on if it's a boy or girl."

Jack laughed as he fiddled with Ana's hair. "Aye, we'll name it when it comes time, savvy?" he suggested with amusement. After all, they only had to wait another four months. "So long as it's not Jack Jr."

Ana quirked an eyebrow at this as she looked up at him. "And why not?"

The pirate captain pulled her back to him, an arm around her shoulder as his other arm swept out over the ocean; his domain. "'Cause love," he started. "There will always be just one Captain Jack Sparrow."


Author's Notes: Ok, ok! There was the other ending to this. In Epilogue form of course. And it does take place two months down the road. The one shot insert will happen directly after the end of chapter 13. It picks up where 13 leaves off and goes from there, up to the time the Pearl leaves England, and then the Epilogue takes place. Ok, got it? You all aren't confused yet, aye?

Anyway… it was a real joy writing this as well as the other stories before it. And I will, for those of you who stuck with me, write the one shot insert, and possibly a follow up- but that's in planning. Just keep your fingers crossed; you never know what's going to come next.

Tip of the Day- If you are lucky enough to own the soundtrack to 'Tuck Everlasting', it makes wonderful background music for this chapter as well.

Review Thanks-

Jackfan2- You've given me so much inspiration since the very beginning and I thank you, though saying the word doesn't express how heartfelt your help has really been. (hugs) Your time for mine- promise.

SavvyJackSparrow- Thanks for your kind words and encouragement.

Rat- The world in itself is fictional and what you make of it, also causes for an interesting adventure through life. You are a fantastic writer on a level all your own, and still as from the first review to the last, I am honored to have my stuff read by you. (Hey, cool, that kind of rhymes.) And I too look forward to reading and enjoying your future writings.

Ing- Hi! And thank you! And its cool, I myself sometimes stumble on stories late and at their end, but to me it was worth the time- better late than never. Or I read the story, follow up on it, and not review till the last chapter. (hides) But its all the same, thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed it.

Cal- You too have been with me since day one- and you are a very avid reader from what I can gather. You enjoy anything and everything, that not only myself, but as well as others post, and from my stand point of view, it means a great deal to us all. I love reading your reviews and your opinions and would be thrilled to get to know you better. ^_^ Again, I thank you, you've done so much to keep me going.

Special Eddie- And lastly, another faithful reader/reviewer/friend. No, I'm not a cruel person, yes you are a logical one, no need to panic, see. I admire Ana's character (and person) too much to kill her off. But the ending of 13, well, it was a fascination ever since I saw the movie 'Snipes.' It also had Zoë Saldana in it, and the way chapter 13 ended, was the same way that movie ended, except in the movie, she really does die. (sniff) Thanks for your support and friendliness and I can't wait to be able to read stories of your own! Good Luck! And hey… for your support, a gift. Look for it in your inbox, if you've not found it yet. ^_~