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Disclaimer: I'd like this to apply for the whole story because I seem to have trouble remembering to write them for individual chapters. Pirates of the Caribbean characters or lines or the overall story are not mine. *sob* Please oh please don't sue me; I don't have much anyways.

AN: This is the sequel to Don't Let Go and you most likely won't get it if you haven't read the first. It's not exactly a complete story either, but it doesn't go with the Don't Let Go or the sequel that I'm currently in the process of planning, entitled "Find My Way Back". Basically, it's a transition/prologue-type thing. So, there isn't a very good plot (if any). No hurt me!

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Chapter 1:

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"Ana!"

Jack stormed onto deck, his neck craned upwards to where he had just been informed that his first mate was resting in the crow's nest high above. At her lack of response, he began to shout her name again furiously.

"Anamaria!"

"No!"

Jack tried hollering up to her again, attempting not to be put off by her harsh tone. "Could ye just--?"

"No!"

"Well, can I just-"

"No!"

Jack caught Gibbs muttering by the helm again, the wind carrying the words "cursed bad luck" to the pirate captain's ears. Since they had left Port Royal a week ago after dropping off the Dauntless along with Will, Elizabeth, James Norrington and Eve, the quartermaster had done nothing but voice his opinions of dark superstition.

"Fine then!" he hollered up to Ana exasperatedly. "Break yer bloody neck for all I care!"

"I'll be sure to," Ana's irritated voice came floating down from above over the noises of the Pearl and the ocean surrounding them.

Jack pulled a flash from his pocket and leaned against the rigging, his eyes fixed on the top of the mast above him. He couldn't see her shape up there, and knew she must be sitting inside it, most likely staring at the sky. He knew it was a place that she often used to go to think, but after her injuries, this was the first time that she'd returned there. Jack paced about a bit, shooting anxious glances above, whirling to face Gibbs, who was standing at the helm.

"I thought I told ye not to let 'er up!" he yelled at his quartermaster.

Gibbs returned his accusatory glare with a sheepish shrug of his chubby shoulders. "Do ye really think I could stop 'er when the lass has a mind to do somethin'?" Gibbs replied ruefully.

Jack waved his hand at the quartermaster to stop him from talking, and paced some more, his steps and appendages waving in an increasingly frenzied way. "Bloody females!" he shouted finally, throwing his hands up in the air.

He grasped the rigging and began to climb it. About halfway up, Ana's head popped over the side of the large bucket serving as the crow's nest, and her face darkened angrily, the sea breezes whipping her dark tresses around her face. Jack watched as her arm swung back dangerously and released an object currently hurtling towards his head.

Something sticky, hard, and wet collided with his forehead. Jack let out a muffled yell. It was an apple core, nothing more, and it fell to the deck below. Glaring furiously at the pirate woman above him, he hollered up an offended, "Ow!"

Ana's face suffused with color. "Jack Sparrow ye turn yer fine ass around right now and git back on the deck!"

"Nope!" Jack called back cheerfully, almost reaching her. "Not until ye do, my love."

"Don't ye sugar talk me none, Sparrow" Anamaria yelled furiously as he climbed into the crow's nest.

His foot caught the high rim of it and he lost his balance, collapsing into the wooden bucket on top of her, knocking them both into the floorboards of the narrow space propped up against the boards. Her head hit the wood with a muffled thump and she groaned in shock and pain, her eyes squeezing closed.

"Ouch," she muttered, her eyes not opening.

Jack carefully studied her face, immediately getting off of her and pulling her into his lap. "Sorry, sorry. . ." he began, noting her unresponsiveness in movements. He pushed her hair forward to try and see if she had been injured. Seeing a small lump there, he knew that she was going to have a painful chicken-egg lump later. He reached out to touch it, and she hissed in pain.

Ana's hand shot out to grab his wrist and she squirmed around in his lap to sharply slap his cheekbone. Jack gasped at the sudden stinging pain and his palm shot to cup the reddening mark. He looked at Ana with a shocked and accusatory expression.

"We're square," she replied dryly, purposefully using his signature phrase, her fingers reaching up to gently probe the tender area at the base of her hairline.

Jack leaned his head back against the salty wood and heaved a sigh, closing his eyes in fair acceptance. "What are ye doin' up here, Ana?" he finally asked, knowing he was likely to receive another slap for it.

"Thinkin'," she replied shortly, tilting her head back to gaze at the cloud wisps so she wouldn't have to meet his eyes.

"About me?" Jack asked with a smug grin, reaching out his fingers to gently stroke beneath her chin.

She shrugged him off, rolling her eyes at his large ego. "No. About me father."

"Still thinkin' about yer heritage?" Jack asked gruffly, his dark, black- lined eyes regarding her intently.

Ana's head jerked down and her eyes shot to his, and she knew she had been caught. "Aye," she said cautiously. She sighed and twirled her fingers in a loose strand of rebellious dark hair. "I don't know, Jack. It just keeps hauntin' me. I can't stop thinkin' about it. Maybe I should-"

"No," Jack countered quickly. "Ye shouldn't." He knew what she was thinking. Maybe she should go search out her father's tribe in Africa, the Himba people. They had discussed it before since the awful happenings involving Ana's former slave master, Charles Adler who had first informed her of her heritage and her father's importance in his tribe as the chief's son. Now the Dutch explorers were looking for Ana, wanting to use her as leverage against the Himba. "I don't want ye to be nobody's leverage, Ana," he finished, reaching out to playfully tug the strand of hair that was so fascinating to her.

Ana bit her lip and sighed. "I guess yer right. 'Tis a foolish thing, a foolish promise."

Jack sighed as well, leaning forward toward her. "I know ye promised him, Ana, that ye'd protect them, but we don't know where to start. An' I just. . ." Jack's face twisted somewhat, unaccustomed to the recent emotions made obvious between the pair recently, "I just found ye again, and I don't wanna lose ye so quick. Savvy?"

Ana allowed a tender smile to cross her face and she reached out to tangle her fingers in his. "Don't ye worry, Sparrow. I'm yers," she grinned ruefully, a somewhat embarrassed expression crossing her face. "Even if I did lose that pretty coin ye gave me."

Jack grinned at her, his expression lighting up. "Well, I just happened to find me a little bird who happened to pick it up," he dug into his pocket, fishing out a small gold coin engraved with a Spanish seal. He held it up to the light, admiring the way the late afternoon Caribbean sun glinted off it.

Anamaria glared at him in shock, feeling her temper flare yet again. "Jack Sparrow, ye let me think I lost it and beat meself up for near a month and ye had it the entire time!

"Aye," the pirate captain replied smugly. "But see, love," he dangled it in front of her, and she realized that a small hole had been drilled through it now the small coin, only a ring's diameter wide, hung on a small gold chain. He'd been busy. "Ye never asked me if I had it," Jack drawled.

Ana rolled her eyes, shaking her head in disbelief at the man. She spent several minutes waging an ongoing battle in her head deciding whether to smack the man or kiss him. In the end, neither side triumphed and she leaned back against the side of the crow's nest, her arms crossed deliberately in front of her chest.

He held up his right hand so she could see there on his ring finger the place where the silver ring she had given him for luck was perched, giving her a rare gold-toothed sincere smile. He carefully uncrossed her arms and slipped the trinket around her neck, tucking it under her shirt. "For luck," he told her.

Ana leaned forward and gave him a thanking kiss, letting an amused chuckle escape her when he hauled himself to his feet, suavely curled his mustache, and gave her a seductive look as only Jack Sparrow could before offering her his hand. She took it with a wry smile, and he pulled her up alongside him. He lowered her head to kiss her deeply as they could not at the awkward angle, his arms wrapping like steel bands around her. The pair felt the wind whipping at their clothes and the sun dancing off their skin their lips caressed, speaking silent words to the other.

"Ship comin' up fast!" Gibbs yell was almost lost to the wind, and the deep voice reached their ears through the haze of passion.

Ana broke the kiss, still clinging tightly to him and only turning her head to see what the ruckus was about. Watching the ship's approach, she felt a remarkable and sinking sensation of déjà vu. She clutched at Jack's shirt where she stood, using one hand to shield her eyes against the glare of the sunlight on the sea.

Jack's narrowed eyes surveyed the ship thoughtfully. Indeed, it was coming up fast. The last time that had happened, the results had been near disastrous, he remembered all too well with sinking suspicions. "Let's get to deck," he said anxiously, his brow creasing in a frown. The ship was unfamiliar, but even at the distance he could see that it was no pleasure boat but a war ship, armed with multiple broadside canons and several mounted on deck.

Ana swung her leg over the side of the crow's nest, cautiously and nimbly lowering herself down onto the ribbing to climb down.

BANG

Ana's body jerked with the noise, and in her surprise she lost her footing and her body slipped, her hands grasping for something, anything.

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