A big kiss to my wonderful beta Anamaria Sparrow
[formatting problems should be solved now]
Chapter 2.
With his hands moving through the air as if he was trying to keep balance all the time Captain Jack Sparrow entered Port Antoin. He and his crew had docked earlier that night and were now out to drink away the profit they had made during their last little trip.
Jack entered the first tavern he set eyes on, only with one thing in mind: rum. He needed the liquid now! Somehow during this travel Jack had found out that either he drank more than normal or somebody else within his crew had discovered the pleasure that went with the name rum and the last few days he had been without. Which was downright horrible, obviously.
Other members of his crew ignored the tavern seeing that it was not their kind of inn. This one looked as if it was meant for only real gentlemen and that was not what they were nor what they wanted to be. They much preferred the atmosphere in the real inns like those on Tortuga, with the fights, strumpets and lots of alcohol. Jack didn't have these scruples, or better: he did not care at all.
"Hello, luv," he grinned at the girl behind the bar who looked in utter shock at the pirate captain in front of her. Jack didn't notice at all that he was different from the other people around him. His typical and eccentric pirate outfit kind of stood out in the room filled with nicely dressed up gentlemen and some officers.
"Rum and much of it!" Again he flashed his grin and the girl was immediately flattered by this male attention. Smiling shyly she handed over a large bottle of rum and a mug and Jack immediately started to make his web, carefully weaving the girl in it. With a soft voice and a flicker in his eye he started to tell the girl all sorts of stories about his grand adventures, once in a while adding how he loved her smile and how beautiful her hair color went with her eyes.
Two sets of eyes, one set bright green, observed the pirate captain from a corner in the tavern, both slightly shocked by this plan of action from Jack. They also noticed the growing attention Jack gathered from the other people in the tavern and how some arms were moving towards pistols or swords dangling at their belts.
"That terrible pirate!"
Jack and the girl behind the bar didn't notice the sudden change of atmosphere around them. Jack didn't, because he was too busy emptying his bottle of rum and telling some stories. The girl didn't, because she was too charmed by the pirate in front of her.
"May he be hanged for this," muttered the man in the corner, before he picked up a heavy bag from the floor and another one where two bright green eyes were still watching from. The man quickly looked around and then stepped to Jack, grasping his arm and pulling him along with him. Jack had only enough time to pick up another bottle of rum from the bar and wave friendly to the girl behind it before he was pulled out of the tavern.
"What on earth do you think you are doing?" the man demanded.
Jack cocked his head. "'Ello, mate. Didn' expect te see ye here. Missed yer boat?"
"Sparrow!" James Norrington sighed in frustration. "Come with me, before something terrible is going to happen." Again he dragged the pirate captain with him, who, as by a miracle, managed to stay on his feet.
"We're you bringing me, mate?"
"Don't know that yet, Sparrow." "It's Captain Sparrow, if ye please, mate."
"Sparrow!" Already James was regretting that he had taken the pirate along with him. Why couldn't he just leave him in that tavern and see what would happen? It would have saved him from a lot of trouble!
"Well then, bloody Norrington. If ye continue like this, we both end up at the gallows."
This made James stop. "What do you mean, Sparrow?" he demanded.
"Well, bloody Norrington. Do ye really believe it will matter these people a lot that yer a commodore if ye get caught with a pirate like meself? And we most certainly get caught by some fine gentlemen if ye continue like this."
"Fine! And what is your cunning idea then, Sparrow? Let the faeries take us away with them?"
Jack grinned. "Good idea, mate. Unfortunately I don't think they will like yer attitude and drop ye somewhere in the ocean. And we don't want that, don't we?" He elbowed James.
"If ye follow me then, bloody Norrington."
Of course the sudden disappearance of Jack hadn't gone unnoticed and Norrington only noticed then that they did catch a lot of attention... and not only friendly attention to be certain! He sighed in defeat.
"Okay then Sparrow. I'll follow you... And stop calling me bloody Norrington. It's still Commodore for you!"
"Only if ye call me Captain, mate," again Jack grinned.
James closed his eyes in despair. He just knew it! He should have stayed in Port Royal after all! "Alright then, captain."
"Good lad." This time it was Jack who dragged James along with him, suddenly a lot more stable on his feet than before. Quickly they left behind the houses of Port Antoin and according to the growing sound of the sea, that was where they were headed. Their little 'escape' ended on an empty beach where Jack simply allowed himself to fall down, dragging James with him in the sand.
"Sparrow! What do you think you are doing?!?!"
"Sitting down, mate, only sitting down, bloody friend Norrington. Now if ye don't mind... I have a bottle of rum to empty." With that he brought the bottle up in the air.
"To the Black Pearl," he chanted happily and quickly swallowed the alcoholic drink.
James could only shake his head, not believing that he was there in the first place. He helped Niles to escape from the bag he had carried the cat along with and, for a moment, the cat looked really annoyed at his owner. It was as if he wanted to blame him for the fact that he was now in the dirty sand.
Then Niles carefully approached Jack, first sniffling at one of the pirate's arms, before going even closer.
"What fer the devil is that ball of fur!"
"That, captain, is a cat," James said dryly. "And be careful; Niles is not very friendly towards other people most of the time."
However, Niles had other things in mind. As soon as Jack's hands found their way in the fur the cat purred happily before nestling himself on the lap of the pirate captain, who looked in utter adoration at the cat.
"Ye know, mate. Ye mustn't be such a bad person after all. If a cat likes ye, yer a good man."
James was still surprised to find his Niles in such a friendly position with the pirate, that it took a while before Jack's words entered his mind.
"You are a cat person then, captain?"
Jack flashed his grin again, while he dropped the empty rum bottle to the ground. "Aye, mate. Always loved cats. Got a very good friend who loves them as well... And call me Jack, mate. If ye like cats, ye can call me tha'."
James made himself a little bit more comfortable in the sand, putting his heavy bag behind his back so he can lower himself down a bit and stare at the star filled sky.
"Well... Jack. I must admit, you are not such a terrible pirate either."
Jack laughed. "I'm Captain Jack Sparrow, savvy? I do what I like and I do what I think is good... and tha' has nothing te do with being a terrible pirate or not. I know what I am."
James turned his attention to Jack, who was carefully stroking Niles and glanced at the ocean in front of him once in a while.
"What do you mean with that, Jack?" It's amazing how quickly he got used to saying 'Jack' to the pirate captain, while he always thought of him as 'Sparrow'.
"What I mean, mate, is this... Ye have to do what ye like t' do. Else it's just a bloody boring world, don't ye think?"
James thought about it for a while. Somehow it did make sense.
"Have you ever thought of stopping being a pirate?"
"Me? I was born a pirate and I'll die like one... James."
"I understand."
This made Jack look up. For more than a minute he studied James face, who started to feel rather uncomfortable about that.
"What's wrong?"
"I'm seeing if ye were pulling ol' Jack a leg," Jack slowly shook his head. "But yer aren't... Ye really do understand me, Jamey."
James shrugged, not knowing what to say to that.
"What bout you, mate. Are ye born a commodore and destined to die like one?"
James turned his attention to the beautiful ocean in front of him. "I don't know... I don't think so."
"Don't think so either, mate. No cat person should stay a commodore fer the rest of his life!"
"No!"
"Yer in denial, mate. Yer looking fer a way to change yer life."
'Go to hell and back.'
Captain Jack Sparrow, most fearful pirate in the Caribbean, often called daft, often called insane, had seen right through him, in only a split second. Was it really that obvious?
"Ye should become a pirate. Nice life, it is. Much rum... and freedom 'f course!"
James shook his head. "I have no idea what you are talking about, Sparrow! How could I become a pirate?"
"Is it really that hard, Jamey? Just to be a free man?"
James muttered something under his breath. He suddenly really didn't want to be there, on that beach with the crazy pirate, any longer.
"Ye could join me crew if ye felt like it."
"What?" this made James Norrington simply gasp. "I've tried to hang you once!"
"Aye mate... ye wer just doing yer duty. Never held it against you, actually."
Dumbfounded James stared at the pirate sitting next to him, who, on his turn, was staring almost absentmindedly at the ocean. However, James slowly started to realize that this pirate is not half as daft as one might expect.
"Besides, we could use a cat on board. We get too many mice on the long run, rats as well. One day I woke up and there was this huge rat standing next to me boots... could almost not see which one was which. So I carefully approached it and tried to wrestle with that damned animal. Unfortunately fer me the creature was quite strong himself. He tried t' ---"
"Jack?"
"Aye, mate?"
"Have you taken a good look at Niles already?"
Jack turned his attention for a moment to the sleeping cat in his lap before concentrating on Norrington.
"What ye mean, mate? Bloody stupid name fer a cat, anyway... Niles."
"Niles is a lazy cat. I don't think he is able to catch a mouse even if it's half dead put in front of his very nose."
"Aye." With two hands Jack rolled the points of his moustache. "Well... than he can be fun fer Cotton's blasted bird. Colorful devil's mistake tha' we don't have a cat on board now! Cat jumped in the sea, and mind you... that cat didn' like the waters at all! But Cotton's bird likes teasing those little tigers on board. Though, don' think this fellow will give up that easy."
James doubted that as well and again he was amazed by Jack's ability to understand people, and animals, really quickly.
"And you want me to join your crew?"
"Yes. Yer a good man... and a good sailor. Noticed that right away on me days on yer Dauntless."
"I don't know."
Again Jack grinned. "Ye know what, mate. Yer not 'alf as boring as I expected ye te be. Now let me give ye an idea. Let's sleep on it fer a night and than next morning yer decide what yer going te do, savvy?"
"Sleep?"
"Yes, mate. Ye know: counting sheep, drifting away to dreamland, man on the moon and all such? Just here, under te light of the stars and the moon. Tasting some of te freedom."
As example Jack already lowered himself, while Niles made a slightly annoyed sound before making himself comfortable again on the pirate's lap.
"G'dnight, bloody friend Norrington."
"Goodnight, Sparrow," James muttered.
Silence stretched and after a couple of minutes Jack surprised James, once again, by snoring loudly, obviously fast asleep already.
"Daft pirate!" James muttered, but hesitantly he also closed his eyes and prepared to sleep.
If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?
The next morning the decision was easily made.

Thanks for the reviews everyone: they really brighten my day in this horrible exam-filled time

It was supposed to end here, but my beta already asked me to continue this so I might just do that :)