Title: A Brush with East India Company

Title: Saiko

Disclaimers: I've got ten bucks now.... Not for long though, with gas prices the way they are.

A/N: This is part of a series I'm writing. I really don't know if this could be read as stand alone, because I haven't written it yet. I'd suggest you read "Love's Curses and Love's Blessings" before reading this, but you can dive in here if you'd like. All I ask is that you review. It's like a drug really, I come in and go strait to my computer to check for reviews. Someone really should start a group to help review addicts. Nah....

A/N2: I really don't know that much about the East India trading company. I tried to do research, but I can't really find anything online. I do hate when my stories are inaccurate, so if you see something way off, please let me know, or if you know where I could get info on how they handled piracy and all that good stuff. Thanks very much!

Chapter One: Alls fine and Dandy Until Unwanted Guests Arrive

"You alive under there?" Ana Maria asked as she pulled Jack's hat from his face. She'd walked out onto the deck of the Black Pearl to see her captain lounging on some boxes, rum bottle in hand and hat pulled over his face. He made a face as the Caribbean sun met his eyes.

"'m sleepin', Ana," he grumbled.

Ana Maria smiled at this, taking a seat next to him. "Lazy."

"Relaxing. Yer the one that said I should be restin'."

"I did indeed, but I never said out on deck."

"I relax better on deck, luv, you know that."

Ana Maria shook her head slowly and leaned up against him. "Your mother said she and Richard were going to stay in Port Royal a while."

"Aye."

"You really should at least attempt to work things out with her."

Jack raised an eyebrow. "I should work things out with a lady who stood by and watched as 'er own father 'ad 'er husband 'ung? I people think I'm crazy."

Ana whacked him on the shoulder, attempting to frown but unable to hide a glint of amusement out of her eyes. "You looked nice at Will and Elizabeth's wedding."

"Thanks very much," he answered, grinning at her as well. "You, luv, looked beautiful. An' I'm not exageratin'. Don' look at me like tha'!"

"Sorry," she laughed when she realized she was glaring.

"Cap'n!" one of the sailors called. "Ship aproachin', sir! I can't make out 'er colours!"

Jack stood from his resting spot and squinted into the setting sun. "East India Company," he growled. "Why on earth would 'ey be approachin' us like tha' I wonder...."

"Think they recognize this ship?"

"I'd hope not, luv."

Ana's eyes traveled down Jack's arm to where his sleeve was left open to help with the heat of a summer's day, and where it also showed his pirate's brand. Jack never talked very seriously about his encounters with the East India Trading Company, but she knew that even through all of the joking and making light of it, something had happened there that made him wary. "Did they give you any of your scars?" she whispered.

"Hmm? A few," her captain answered, distracted.

Ana reached down to his wrist and took hold of it, her fingers brushing across his brand. "Did it hurt?"

"'course it did, luv. You try getting' branded like cattle and tell me if it 'urts, eh?"

"I think I'll avoid that."

"You'd best." He looked at her to see she'd turned away after that comment. "C'mon, luv, I'm sorry. I didn' mean for it to sound like tha'. I'm just trying to figure out why they're comin' our way."

"What are your orders, Cap'n?" the sailor called to him.

"We're flying under a British flag?"

"Aye."

"Keep things calm as possible, make 'em think we're nothin' more than a merchant vessel. I don' wanna mess with 'em today, savvy?"

"Aye, sir."

"You well enough to fight this battle?" Ana Maria asked quietly.

"I may 'ave to be, luv."

"And if you're not?"

Jack smiled tightly. "Then I won' be, but I'll be fine."

"How are you so sure?"

The smile turned to a grin. "Luv, I'm Captain Jack Sparrow, savvy?"

Ana shook her head slowly. "Aye, savvy."

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Luck did not shine on Captain Jack Sparrow that day. As he turned the Pearl away from the approaching ship, it followed his movements. They were too close to outrun her, and things were about to get very troublesome very fast.

"They look like they wan' to board, Cap'n," the sailor said.

"Let 'em," Jack answered with a grin. "We'll make 'em sorry they set eyes on the Black Pearl."