A Sparrow's Daughter
Commodore Norrington and his son stepped out of one of Port Royale's seedier taverns, where most well do to citizens strayed away from. Norrington was not at all surprised to find that the tavern owner had left town, on "business" and left it in the care of a trusted friend. Rather, he cursed himself for having not thought of it before.
If Norrington was going to find Jack he needed a connection, someone who could give him the precise time and location of Jack's next appearance in Tortuga. And very few men would openly admit, to him of all people, that they knew of Jack's whereabouts. He had loyal allies and enemies who were simply not quick enough to track him down. Gibbs would have been his easiest link in Port Royale, had he still been there.
Of course, he never considered the possibility that Annabelle would get to him first.
Joshamee Gibbs was probably one of the only men in Port Royale who knew both Jack Sparrow and Will Turner and was involved in the events of the Black Pearl. And the only man involved who was not locked behind bars, dead, or gallivanting off with pirates. He was cleared of any charges due to the favor of the Governor and his help in rescuing his daughter.
That meant he could easily lead Annabelle to Jack without any problem. Had the years really addled his brain so much that he was loosing his sharpness as a commodore? He should have foreseen this problem. He should have sought out Gibbs the minute he'd discovered Annabelle missing.
No, he shouldn't have needed to speak to Gibbs at all. Annabelle couldn't have possibly known about Gibbs. It was too strange that she had disappeared with him, assuming that she actually did leave Port Royale with him.
"Father, my visit here the day before had proved fruitless. I doubt, even if this man were here, that he could help us find Annabelle." James spoke.
"James, do you not find it odd that the day after you spoke to him, he has conveniently taken a holiday?" Norrington asked, ignoring his sons comment. He frowned to himself, as they both walked toward the carriage.
"It might if I understood this man's connection to Jack Sparrow." His son replied. Stopping abruptly, Norrington turned to his son.
"Gibbs used to sail under Sparrow. He was the man's first mate until some incident or another left him crippled."
"But how would Annabelle know of him? You said before that she had no knowledge of her father. Why would she go to Gibbs?" James asked, thoroughly perplexed.
Before Norrington could ponder more on the situation, he felt a gentle hand on his arm. He turned to see the weathered face of Miss Clara standing before him.
"Clara? What in God's name are you doing here?" He asked.
"My apologies, sir. I did not mean to pry into your business. I noticed your carriage heading this way as I was shopping for today's meal. If I may ask, are you truly searching for Annabelle?" She asked, her old eyes anxious with worry.
"I am." He replied and she sighed with relief. She stepped closer, lowering her voice.
"Then I would suggest going to the blacksmith. If I had known that her infatuation with him was so strong...I would have kept a closer eye on her." Clara bowed her head, her voice laden with guilt.
"Infatuation, with Mr. Turner?" Norrington asked in disbelief. Surely, Will Turner of all people would not...
Of course! Suddenly it all made sense and again, Norrington berated himself for being so blind.
"Thank you, Clara. Return home, my son and I will pay a visit to Mr. Turner." He said, ignoring for the moment that Clara had not spoken of this once he first discovered Annabelle missing. He didn't wait for her response and walked swiftly back to the carriage, his son in tow. Once inside, the carriage sped off toward the Turner Residence.
No matter how many times Will had been in this position, he'd never get used to it. Staring down into the tiny, pink, face of his newborn daughter, he felt the same amazement and utter adoration that he felt with his first two children. Without even trying, his newest child had him completely smitten and wrapped around her smallest finger. He knew from that day on he'd never be able to deny her anything. This tiny bundle, calmly gurgling in his arms only served to reaffirm that he had made the right decision in marrying Elizabeth and starting a family with her.
"What shall we name her, darling?" His exhausted wife asked, smiling weakly while she watched her husband and daughter.
"Perfect." He said without really thinking. Elizabeth gave a tired laugh.
"I hardly think that's an appropriate name for our daughter, my love." He managed to tear himself away and give his wife a happy grin. Elizabeth reached out for their daughter and Will reluctantly and gently placed the infant in her waiting arms.
"What about Isabelle?" Will suggested, grinning when his wife shot him a look that clearly meant "no."
"My darling, Isabelle is a fine name." He teased.
"We are not naming her off that ridiculous woman who seems to always find you in the marketplace. It's not nice to tease your wife after she's given birth to your child." She mock scolded him without taking her eyes off their daughter.
He moved closer and kissed her sweaty forehead. "Don't you mean given birth to the most beautiful child in the world?" He asked as he reclined against the headboard, gathering his wife into his arms. She laughed.
"Just you wait until young gentlemen come to call for our daughter's hand." She teased. "What about Hallie?"
"I'd rather not think about suitors coming to take our little girl away just yet," he replied, "and I once knew a girl named Hallie back home in London, she used to throw rocks at me whenever she saw me." Elizabeth gave him a curious look. He smiled sheepishly at her.
"I shoved her into a mud puddle one afternoon when I was five years old. I received a good lashing from my mother when she'd found out what I'd done." Elizabeth laughed heartily and snuggled deeper into his arms.
"Such a troublemaker as a child, no wonder Michael is so active, he must take after you."
"According to your father, you were very troublesome yourself."
"I was the model child, my father must be mistaken."
"Of course. What...what about Winifred?" Elizabeth felt Will's muscle tense slightly as he posed the question. She turned to him with questioning eyes.
"The name of your mother...?" She asked. He nodded.
Elizabeth smiled brightly. "I absolutely adore it. It's settled then, her name will be Winifred Turner." Will only responded with a gentle kiss.
"Shall I go retrieve the boys to meet our little Winnie?"
Elizabeth nodded, feeling the remnants of her energy fading away. Will pulled himself away, not before kissing her softly, and quietly walked out of the room.
His feet led him down the hall and the stairs of his rather opulent home. Marrying Elizabeth meant being supplied with a rather handsome dowry. Governor Swann, or rather the newly retired Governor, refused to leave his only daughter with the fate of being a blacksmiths wife and made sure that she and her new family were well provided for. Will never admitted to his wife but he felt that her father never truly believed he could be a good husband for her. Of course, he accepted Will as his daughter's one true love and treated him respectfully, but Will was sure he'd be much happier if Elizabeth had married Norrington instead. That thought always stung and he tried not to dwell on it.
Now on the first floor, Will was greeted with the sight of his eldest son, looking very anxious about his mother's labor.
"You have a new sister. We've decided to call her Winifred." Will spoke simply, watching the joy on his sons face. William Turner III, or Billy as he was known to his family and close friends, had always loved children and wanted nothing more than to be surrounded by siblings. When he first discovered he was going to be an older brother he was overjoyed and spent weeks by his mother's side, watching her belly grow.
"May we see her now?" He asked. Once Will nodded, Billy dashed off to find his younger brother. Will waited patiently for them to return when a rapid knock on the door diverted his attention.
To his slight surprise, he opened to the door to greet both the Commodore and his eldest son before him.
"Commodore Norrington, please come in." Will stepped back from the door and graciously allowed them inside.
"You both have come at an awkward moment. My wife has just given birth to our new daughter." Will announced, beaming with silent pride.
"I apologize but I'm afraid offering congratulations in honor of your newest child is not the reason for our visit. Perhaps we could speak somewhere, in private for a moment?"
Although as hesitant as he was to leave his wife for longer than necessary, Will agreed and led them into the study.
"I'll not detain you for long, Mr. Turner. I know how anxious you must be to return to your wife's side. You see, a few weeks ago, I discovered one of my maids had gone missing during the night."
Will tensed slightly, knowing exactly who the Commodore spoke of, but remained outwardly calm. Inside he wondered how Commodore Norrington could have linked him to Annabelle.
"I see. What does this have to do with me?" He asked, feigning ignorance quite well. But Norrington was not fooled.
"I think you know all too well." Will shrugged his shoulders, knowing that he had been found out.
"I take it you mean, Miss Annabelle."
Norrington resisted the urge to grind his teeth. He and Will had gotten along well enough, despite the tension their mutual love for Elizabeth had caused. But that his kindness only extended so far.
"One of my servants is under the impression that you and Annabelle are entertaining some sort of liaison. It didn't take much for me to figure out exactly why you were involved with her."
Will was taken aback.
"So you are aware of her parentage, then?" He asked, genuinely surprised.
"I have been aware of it for quite a few years, in fact. It was her father that asked me to care for her. I don't think I have to explain just who he is."
Another shock. So it really was Jack who fathered Annabelle and Norrington knew all along. With another sigh, Will decided to tell Norrington everything, hoping to get some answers in return.
"I recognized his eyes looking at me through hers the day you sent her to my smithy. Afterwards, I happened upon her one evening and discovered the identity of her mother. Once she knew that I was once acquainted with her mother, she begged me to help her. I sent to her to Gibbs."
"Who is now missing. I can only assume that he has taken her to Tortuga. I hope you realize the sort of the danger she may face trying to find Sparrow." Norrington remarked, feeling anger creeping into his system.
Will frowned at the silent accusation.
"She would have left regardless. Better a trip to Tortuga with Gibbs than wandering alone."
Will was right, of course. But Norrington never did take well to discovering that people kept certain details from him. Never the less, he understood the logic.
"I am not here to argue with you, Will. I merely require your assistance. She is my responsibility and I would not have her harmed." Will noted how weary the commodore suddenly looked. His age seemed to show briefly, before disappearing behind a controlled mask once again. James seemed to notice it too.
Will wanted to ask more questions but he knew they had little time to spare. Answers would have to wait.
"I'm afraid there isn't much that I could tell you. I sent her to Gibbs because I could not accompany her myself and I knew she would have more luck with Gibbs than me. I haven't spoken to Jack in years. And I haven't been to Tortuga in over 20 years."
Nodding, the commodore motioned for his son and they prepared to leave.
"I see. We shall simply have to try our luck in Tortuga."
As they reached the door, Will stopped them.
"When you...if you find Jack, are you going to...? Will you arrest him?" Will asked, the worry evident in his eyes.
"You have no need to worry."
They said their farewells and Will watched the carriage drive away towards the port. Turning to rejoin his wife, he could only hope that whatever happened now that it would be for the best of both Jack and Annabelle.
The sun had begun to set, signaling the end of another day. Tired, sweaty, and horribly sore, Annabelle wished it meant the end of her lesson. By the first hour of sword fighting, Annabelle had no doubt in her mind that Twigs took pleasure in exhausting her. By the fifth she was more than ready to say "hang it all" and simply wrap her hands around his thin neck and strangle him.
After Gibbs had explained the situation to Twigs, he left the two of them to practice sword fighting while he disappeared. Annabelle wanted to strangle him for leaving her alone with this strange man who seemed to harbor nothing but ill feelings for Annabelle.
Idly twirling his sword, Twigs looked at Annabelle hunched over her knees in disdain.
"Hard to believe that Jack and 'Marie had such a weak brat. Try it again!" Not only did he bark his orders to her and work her into the ground, when he wasn't instructing he was insulting her.
Annabelle glared at him before moving into position, facing Twigs. Following the motions, she faltered in her step and Twigs easily disarmed her, again.
"How the hell do you expect to survive a fight if you can't even hold onto a weapon, woman? Do it again, and this time, do it right!"
Annabelle, biting her tongue, walked over to her fallen sword and picked it up again. She stepped into position for what seemed like the millionth time with the glare that would be permanently etched into her face at this rate.
"Go on and glare at me, brat, as long as it makes you do things right. Don't know what I was thinkin' when I agreed to this."
I do not know what I was thinking when I asked to learn, Annabelle thought.
This time Annabelle actually managed to execute the move but still missed the following swing of Twigs blade. As a result, she barely had time to dodge the attack. The blade barely nicked her upper arm but still managed to draw some blood.
"You ain't much like your mama, are you?" He taunted nastily.
"I barely know my mother, she died when I was thirteen and what memories I had of her then were robbed from me by the blunt end of a pistol. Hard to be like someone you can't remember." She spat, clutching the cut on her arm.
"Might be easier if you weren't such a helpless wench and quit fussin' over that scratch, you're lucky it ain't worse." He raised his sword again and Annabelle was forced to do the same, trying not to think about how nice a bath would be instead.
She prayed this torture would end in the next hour before her body gave way to exhaustion. But by the cruel look in Twigs' eye she knew it was a foolish thought. Her jaw ached from grinding her teeth and she'd long since developed a headache from glaring. She'd be lucky if she didn't come out looking as haggard as Gibbs by the end of it.
It was pure determination that drove her to continue instead of throwing down her sword and stomping away. Annabelle desperately wanted to know what it was like, to be able to hold her own in a battle. It was this aspect of her parents lives that they could not survive without and she, as silly as it seemed, felt guilty for being so weak and defenseless. When she met her father, she wanted to be able to show him that she was proud of her pirate heritage, that she was proud to be the daughter he created with Anamaria. Maybe then...maybe then she wouldn't appear as hopeless as she felt. Maybe then she could stop worrying that he had no desire to be a part of her life...
The question of why bothered her nearly every night since she'd be orphaned nearly seven years ago. If her father did indeed care for her, why didn't he come for her? Annabelle knew the question was childish. There was a chance her father never knew she even existed...or that he wasn't even alive.
But she refused to give up hope. She had to meet him; she had to know the man who helped give her life. Whether she liked it or not, he was a part of her, a part that simply would not quiet down and disappear.
Cedric Gray was not at all a patient man. When he wanted something to be done, he wanted it completed as soon as possible. So naturally when his plans for revenged came to a grinding halt he turned his entire home upside down and shot a few of his subordinates out of anger.
He had been so close....so close to bringing the elusive Captain Jack Sparrow to his knees years ago, only to have it snatched away at the last moment. Needless to say, the denial of revenge caused him to be consumed by his hatred. It seemed as if Sparrow would always win, no matter how many times he tried.
But after years of waiting and plotting, it seemed he would finally have his chance.
"You're telling me that you believe this young woman you saw and the rumored lost child of Jack Sparrow are the same and in Tortuga as we speak?" Cedric asked, Curtis, the trembling young man before him. He fingered the trigger of his pistol as a silent threat. He was not about to get his hopes up once again because of a quick glance in a bustling tavern.
"Can't be no one else, sir, I swear it. Saw her with me own two eyes!" Curtis replied quickly. He knew exactly how "ugly" Cedric's temper could get and he had no desire to see it directed at him.
Cedric was silent for a moment as he regarded Curtis with intense scrutiny.
"Your own two eyes, you say? Well then, if you're wrong you won't mind if I cut out those eyes of yours now will you?"
Curtis tried to remain calm even though he could almost feel the cold, sharp blades of Cedric's favorite daggers forcing his eyes out of his sockets. He resisted the urge to vomit.
Cedric smiled cruelly, enjoying the look of fear in the boy's eyes.
"Very well then. I want you to continue watching this woman and report to me everything you know. If I find out that you are lying, and you had better not lie to me boy, then I'll kill you. Now get going."
Curtis wasted no time leaving to begin his assignment. Cedric smiled in glee as he began to form a new plan.
Soon, very soon, I'll get my revenge.
AN: Thought I died? Nope, I'm still here. Just be patient with me because I don't like to post chapters if they seem inferior to anything I've written before. Please excuse any grammar mistakes I make and as always, reviews are more than welcome! Anlei