Bill Turner let out an exasperated sigh as he glanced down at the small child. Will refused to go to bed after he had just told him a bed time story as promised. He was beginning to wonder if it wasn't easier to pillage and plunder a heavily guarded merchant ship than to raise a child. Although most pirates weren't fathers, and Jack had told him once that he was a very odd exception. Bill had both a wife and son that he loved dearly, and when they weren't out at sea, he was with them.

"More." Will looked up at him with unslaked curiosity in his eyes. More than once Anna had commented on how Will looked and acted just like his father. That was true even now as Will used Bill's own kicked puppy look against him. Unable to say no, he sat on the edge of the bed and rubbing his hands together.

"Another story, eh?" Will nodded excitedly.

"Tell the one about the cursed ship again." He begged his father, eyes wide. Bill hesitated. He wasn't quite sure that telling Will that story before bed was the greatest of ideas.

"The cursed ship..." He muttered, and then cleared his throat. "Well, there were these pirates, meaner than any of the other pirates that sailed the Caribbean seas." Anna and Bill had agreed that Will would grow up under the assumption that his father was a merchant sailor. She didn't want her son following in Bill's footsteps, no matter how much she loved Bill. "They stole from everyone, even other pirates, and they killed a lot of people. One night, they attacked this town where a witch lived with her twin sons."

"A witch? Aren't they evil?" Will asked, thinking back on what he had learned in church.

"There are shades of gray in this world, William. You'll find this out as you grow older." Bill explained to him. "Not all that you think is evil is evil, and not all that you think is good is good. Sometimes there are things that fall in between good and evil." He felt like he was more or less trying to explain himself to his son.

"Continuing with the story, during the attack, the two boys had snuck out to see real pirates. Unfortunately the pirates found them and killed them. The witch found the bodies of her sons and put a curse on the pirates. She told them they would never find rest, doomed to wander the seas for the rest of eternity for what they'd done. But her curse did worse than anyone could imagine. The pirates began stealing again, but this time they took souls of those that they wanted. The souls were trapped on the ship with the pirates with no way to reach Heaven. And they say that even to this day, the pirates continue to sail the seas, looking for the souls of men, women, and children to add to their collection."

Will stared up at his father, not saying a word as he pulled the covers to his chin. Bill ruffled his hair and got up from the bed. "Now you be good and go to sleep." He told him and blew out the candle. He walked out the door and pulled it shut behind him. Almost home free, he suddenly heard his son's voice.

"Da! It's too dark in here! The cursed pirates will get me!" Bill groaned, slowly turning around and heading back to his son's room.

--------------

"Mr. Turner?"

"Yes Jessica?"

"What did the people in the East Indies do to the pirates when they caught them?" The fifth grader asked. Danny glanced around the room, realizing he had the entire classes rapt attention. Of course, when he taught the unit on the golden age of piracy, he never had a problem keeping their attention. Then again, the subject was very close to his heart.

It was seven years after the incident with Jonas Smythe. Mike and Nina were still deeply in love, yet still not married. Their relationship had only grown stronger since the event. The ranch was thriving, more people coming for trail rides and Mike couldn't have been happier. Danny found it slightly amusing how Mike seemed to have a few personality quirks very similar to that of Captain Jack Sparrow, although Mike had protested that Danny had a few of Will's quirks as well.

Danny and Hannah were still happily married and Emma was a sweet, vibrant six year old with her father's knack for getting in trouble. Danny had graduated from college with his teaching degree and had been hired at the local elementary school, teaching the fifth grade history classes.

"I was just about to get to that." Danny said, sitting on his desk and looking out over the children. "If a pirate was unlucky enough to get caught by the East Indies, he was branded right here." He tapped the center of his forehead. "Then they were sentenced to death."

Another child raised their hand. "Did pirates ever escape?" He asked.

Danny nodded, a slight smile on his face. "One of the most famous pirates in the Caribbean, Captain Jack Sparrow, escaped from them. See, the legend is that just as they were about to brand him, Jack escaped their clutches. Unfortunately, in the midst of the struggle, his arm hit the branding iron anyway, so he was branded, just not on the forehead. He knocked all three of the guards unconscious and escaped that jail."

The bell rang and there was a collective groan from the children. He couldn't help but be pleased that they all liked his class so much. "Alright guys, that's all for today. Tomorrow we'll talk about famous pirates, like Blackbeard, Long John Silver, and Captain Jack Sparrow." The kids collected their books and scooted from the room. He got up from the desk, going around it and picking up his notes, closing books. Stuffing them in his messenger's bag, he made sure everything was cleaned up and left the room, turning to lock the door behind him.

-------------------

"Daddy!" Emma came flying out of the barn as Danny got out of his jeep. Danny knelt down, taking her into his arms.

"There's my girl." He said, giving her a tight squeeze and then putting his hands on her shoulders. "How was school today?"

"It was good. I drew a picture of grandpa." She giggled.

"That she did. You might be sending this one to art school." Mike said as he came up beside the jeep. Danny picked Emma up in his arms and stood up. Mike tilted back the rim of his Stetson with one finger so he could see them better.

"How was business today?" He asked as they walked towards the house.

"Not as busy as usual." Mike said. "Although today has seemed like an off day all the way around. It feels like there's some strange tension on the air, like something's about to happen. I'm hoping it's not a storm. There was nothing on the weather channel, but you can never tell. Being a meteorologist is the only career where you can be wrong most of the time and still have a job." He drawled.

Danny laughed. "Well, it better not rain. We've got reservations for four at Xango's tonight." He said. "On the outdoor patio overlooking the ocean."

"Romantic."

"Very. And Missy is going to take you to see Finding Nemo downtown. Sound like fun?" He asked Emma. The little girl nodded enthusiastically. Mike opened the screen door and walked inside, Danny following after him. He put the little girl down on the floor and she ran off to the living room. He headed into the kitchen, finding Hannah standing at the sink with Nina, doing the dishes.

"For the lady." He wrapped one arm around her waist from behind, while holding a white rose out before her. She dropped the plate back in the sink and turned to face him, taking the rose.

"Hello to you too." She said, kissing him on the lips. "Ready for tonight?" She asked. He grinned.

"Of course."

"There's only one change. Missy can't baby-sit, and I can't find anyone else. We have to take Emma with us." She said hurriedly. Danny shrugged.

"That's ok." He glanced over beside them, where Mike and Nina were having a kiss that was a little longer than Danny and Hannah's had been. "I don't think they'll mind either."

Mike pulled away. "What? Mind?"

--------------------

Luckily, it didn't rain. The night was warm and dry, a nice breeze blowing in over the sea. The outdoor section of the restraint was crowded, the many conversations mingling with the soft jazz music piping out of the speakers.

"So the kids are really interested. I can't figure out what makes it more interesting than the other units, but it seems to be the favorite." Danny said as he helped Emma squirt ketchup on her French fries.

"It's obvious, isn't it? All those stories of the famous Jack Sparrow." Mike said with a smirk.

Danny grinned. "I still can't believe you remember all those. Then again, I think all of us remember pretty much everything."

Hannah raised an eyebrow. "Not all of us." She said.

"But I love you anyway." He leaned over and gave her a kiss, dribbling ketchup on the table as the nozzle moved away from Emma's plate.

"Daddy!" Emma said, then wrinkled her nose. "Ewwww." Mike and Nina started laughing, having gotten more 'ewws' from the young girl than Danny and Hannah ever had. Mike picked up his fork, spearing a piece of stake and waving it in front of Nina's mouth. She took it slowly, her eyes on his the whole time, and then leaned forward and kissed him.

"I love you." Mike whispered, staring into her eyes. Suddenly something caught his attention off to the side and he looked past her out to the ocean. Nina turned to look as well.

Out on the horizon, they could see a dark shadow, moving quietly in towards land. Nina sucked in a breath and turned to Mike. "That can't be what I think it is...can it?" She said. Mike slowly got to his feet, walking towards the railing of the patio and looking out. The ship moved slowly towards the land, gliding like a ghost. Around him, the conversation died out as people began noticing the ship as well.

"That's a ship." Mike told Nina as she came to stand beside him. "As in pirate. As in shouldn't even be in this time period." People began pointing, whispering in amazement.

There was a loud boom from out on the ocean and then people screaming. Mike pulled Nina to the ground as the window looking out on the patio shattered as the cannon ball collided with it. Danny lunged to cover Emma, pulling Hannah close to him as well. The little girl started crying against her father's chest, clinging tightly to him. Panic had broken out on the patio.

"We can't get inside! The debris is blocking the door!" Someone shouted. Danny looked up, then back at Hannah. "Get Emma somewhere as safe as possible on the patio, alright?" She nodded, her face sheet white, and grabbed Emma out of her seat. Danny ran around the side of the table, heading over to where Mike was standing up, pulling Nina up with him. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" He shouted over the panic as he approached.

Mike shook his head. "It's not Smythe. The man is dead and gone. There has to be..." An arm appeared over the patio rail and grabbed onto the back of his suit jacket. Mike shouted in surprise and spun, coming face to face with a leering pirate. He pulled his fist back and slammed it into the pirate's face. The pirate gave a howl as he fell backwards, landing in the water thirty feet bellow. "This can't be good." He said, as pirates climbed over the rails, chasing people around.

"Then we'll just have to do what we can." Danny told him, reaching down and grabbing the stand from a wine bucket someone had knocked over. "You with me?" Mike nodded, following after him. The pirate about to swing his cutlass down on an old couple found himself soon flying over the rail compliments of Danny. Mike snatched up the dropped cutlass.

"Start around the outside, near the rail and push all the surviving people in towards the door. We can protect them better that way." Mike shouted before disappearing into the crowd. He ran towards the pirate pulling on a screaming young woman. The blade went into the pirate's stomach, coming clean out the other side. It didn't even phase the pirate. He turned to face Mike and harshly backhanded him, sending him flying into a table. Mike grunted, falling onto the ground as the pirate approached him, laughing. Quickly, he got to his feet and slammed into the pirate's stomach, slamming him into the rail. The pirate lost his balance and went flying over the side. Mike turned back to the patio. "You can't kill them! Throw them over!" He shouted, but people had already begun copying him, gathering together in groups to knock people over.

For others it seems to be too later. A few people lay on the floor, unmoving. Mike swallowed, staring at the body of a small child nearby, feeling horrified.

"Danny!" Hannah's scream reached his ears and Danny turned, seeing his wife and daughter cornered by the railing. He pushed his way through the crowd, sprinting for them. The pirate raised his cutlass, about to bring it down when Danny wrapped a hand around his wrist. The pirate spun, snarling.

All of a sudden, he felt as if he had lost control of his body. The pirate's eyes stared deeply into his, almost as if searching his soul. He felt a shudder race up his spine and his eyes went wider as voices stared screaming in his mind, full of pain and anguish. Haunted voices. Staring into the pirate's eyes, he felt as if he was being dragged down to hell, could almost feel the searing fires and hear the demonic laughter.

And then everything went quiet and dark.

----------------

"Mike! Mike!" Hannah's fearful screaming caught Mike's attention and he pushed his way past the fighting crowds. The pirates were thinning out, but not without losses to the townspeople as well. He shoved another pirate over as he was struggling with a man and stopped cold.

The pirate and Danny stood face to face, Danny held up off the ground by the pirate grasping his neck. They were staring at each other, almost as if a trance. Mike ran towards his adopted son when suddenly Danny went limp in the pirate's grip, like he'd lost consciousness. Mike screamed his name, and the pirate turned, letting go of Danny. He didn't have time to recover, as Mike slammed into him and sent him flying over the railing into the water below.

Hannah crawled over to her husband's side, shaking his shoulder. Emma did the same. Mike knelt down, taking his pulse. It was still beating strong, but Danny wasn't waking up. He opened both of Danny's eyes. They were cold and empty.

Almost as if there was nothing inside.