What would I be without my wonderful beta Anamaria Sparrow? Probably lying somewhere behind a dirty bar in Tortuga, robbed and drunk…

Day 3.

Jack woke up when the sun was already high in the sky. He felt exhausted and sick. The fever was definitely starting to take its toll and to add to that he had fallen asleep in a really uncomfortable position.  Now his back hurt as well. Slowly he managed to sit up, feeling his skin burn.

"Could use a drink now," Jack whispered hoarsely. Lady Luck loved to play games with him, since Jack's throat felt dryer than sand, but there was nothing to drink. And that with an entire Ocean around you. Ironic, wasn't it?

"Reminds me of an old story," Jack closed his eyes, suddenly feeling dizzy. When he opened them again he smiled, clearly seeing the images of his two younger sisters sitting next to him on the ground.

"There wa' a man once and tha' man was sailing on a ship. Beautiful ship. Pride of the man himself. But on a day there was a storm..."

Jack fell silent for a moment.

"A storm, aye. And the storm destroyed the ship and killed most of the crew. The man survived and found a large piece of wreckage to sit on. In this position he stayed for days, until hunger and thirst had driven him mad," Jack swallowed. "Weather changed. Bad weather... with thunder. Thunder hit the piece of wreckage and it started to burn. What te do? Stop the fire with the water of the ocean or burn te dead? What do ye think, Carolina? Cath?"

The two girls stayed silent.

"Yer not here, right?" Jack whispered sadly. "Yer in me head..." One single tear tickled over his face. "What te do? Stop the fire or burn te dead?"

Jack lowered himself again to the ground too tired to sit up straight for too long.

Jack's eyes were still heavy from sleep when he climbs in the rigging of the Orchid. With stiff fingers he tried to catch some of the ropes as he fought with the sails. Far below him he heard Captain Fredericks yell orders to the other crewmembers. The wet ropes were cutting in his hands, but Jack kept holding on. He had to, if he wants to survive this storm. A large wave of water picks up the Orchid and Jack saw how in front of his eyes Tom fell down from the rigging on the main deck, were he lies still.

Shivering Jack tried to concentrate and slowly he made his way back down, relieved when he finally set foot on deck again. However, immediately he fell down when the Orchid made a sudden move and his hands grabbed only air as he slowly was pushed towards the wild sea. Just in time the Orchid fell back in her normal position.

Jack gasped for air when he ran against the storm trying to find himself a rope, when he saw out of the corner of his eye how his Captain, Fredericks and the first-mate, Melton, tied themselves up to the main mast. Then hell broke loose.

A huge tidal wave picked up the ship and then threw it back on the sea. Everywhere seems to be water. Black waves were thrown at the ship, hitting several members of the crew, who were desperately fighting for their lives.

Jack screamed his lungs out. His hands just managed to grab a bit of rope when a huge wave picked up the ship again. With a thud Jack was thrown against the railing. He saw how several mates were thrown overboard and he almost drowned, but the railing kept him on the ship.

Gasping for air Jack ties the rope around his waist and then at the railing next to him. Again he was thrown forcefully at the railing, but at least this time he was sure that he would stay on deck: whatever happens. Somebody was thrown at him and Jack looked at the pale face of Michael, a next wave took the man away overboard.

Sounds above Jack's head made him flinch, especially when with a crash loud enough to hear even during the heavy weather, a mast fell down on the deck. Again strange noises: was the entire ship going to break down?

Screaming, crashing. A couple of mates were thrown in the sea. When the ship was again on top of a wave Jack noticed a couple of lifeless bodies tied at the main mast. Were those Fredericks and Melton? Jack had his mouth wide open, but he couldn't even hear himself screaming.

The sea pushed the ship down deep in the waters. Salt water was getting in Jack's mouth, his eyes, everywhere. His lungs were about to explode when the ship righted itself again. Jack vomited.

Hour after hour the storm tried to break down the Orchid but the ship showed more spirit than Jack would have thought according to the noises around him. Jack was thrown overboard a couple of times, but thanks to the rope he always found his way back. His body hurt everywhere and his arms felt as if they had been stretched a couple of inches longer. With every high wave he took a deep breath and was every time again surprised that he hadn't drowned yet.

It was a long day already, but the bad weather took away every form of sunlight and time. Slowly the sea calmed and the sky brightened. Exhausted, Jack lay on the main deck.  For a long time he was unable to move a finger. Around him it was dead silent. Splinters from the deck were finding their ways in his face and bare chest; his clothing wasn't much more than a couple of rags, although his shirt was in a rather good state... He tried to lift his head up, but it took a long time before he was finally able to move.

The ruined mast had made some victims, one of them being William Turner. Covered with sails, ropes, and wood he was lying face down on the main deck.

"William..." whispered Jack, crawling towards his friend. His throat was raw from the seawater.

He looked next to William and saw Fredericks and Melton, lying with their eyes wide open. They had been hit by the largest part of the mast. William was only hit by the top.

A soft noise attracted Jack's attention. It was Long John who stumbled above deck.

"Long John!" Jack managed to get to his feet. "How many...?"

"Much, boy, too much," Long John said sadly.

More crewmembers entered the deck. Samuel, Keith, Walter, Martin. Some had been hiding in the brig; others had tied themselves to the ship, just like Jack.

"The Captain is dead," said Keith Banks.

"Melton too. And Tom. And many more."

"What about Hendry?"

"Haven't seen him."

Silence.

Then a soft moaning attracted their attention. William was slowly coming back to life.

"He's alive? By God, how's that possible?" said Walter amazed.

"If he's not dead now, he will be soon," Long John said depressed.

"Shut up!" roared Jack. "Help me lift up that bloody mast!" He started pulling at the mast and soon other start to help him.  Quickly, they pull William away from it.

"Where's the doctor?" Jack looked around.

Samuel shrugged.

"How many men do we have left anyway? We must search the ship!"

Jack ripped off a part from the clothes he had still left on his body and wiped away the blood from William's face. William opened his eyes. His first words were some impressive cursing. Jack helped him on his feet.

"You've had luck," he said.

"What you call luck," William muttered. But he saw the damage around him and fell silent.

A search of the ship only gave 17 other survivors. That made 24 of the once much larger crew. Coughing and wet they were sitting together on deck.

"Think you can make a fire, John?" informed Jack.

"I suppose I could find some dry wood," Long John nodded. "I shall make some food."

For once none of the men were groaning by this idea. The sun started shining and the surface of the sea was flat like a mirror. Without his notice, Jack was chosen as their leader, even though he was the youngest of the group. At that moment he seemed to be the only one who could makes some out of this mess.

Bodies were thrown overboard while Samuel sent a little prayer along with them. The others just stood there with their heads down. Their grief was for their fellow crewmates; not a single tear was spilled for their dead captain and his first mate. One by one the bodies disappeared into the sea. From the 200 men that once left England, now only 24 were left.

Jack suddenly felt incredibly sad when he thought back to that day. So many honest men had died then... but it had brought him the Pearl. The 24 men had managed to sail the Orchid to the nearest port and repaired it. When that was done they had re-named the ship the Black Pearl, 'black' because the only sails they could get for the money they offered were black. Jack had become the captain, since he was the only person who could read, write, use a sextant, and other useful things. No one had disagreed and the 24 men had stayed with him until recently. All 24 except for Keith Banks and Walter Toomey. One who had died... the other because of other reasons, reasons Jack didn't want to think about right now.

He got on his feet, almost falling down again, but he stayed upright, more out of determination than something else. For the first time that day he took a good look around him, not that he expected anything new...

Then he did notice something. Something lying on the sand, just out of reach of the sea. Something small and brown. Something with a very familiar shape.

His hat.

Jack couldn't believe his eyes when he slowly walked closer. Almost afraid he reached out, but then his hands touch the fabric of the wet hat.

"Can't believe it..." Jack muttered. "Maybe Lady Luck does like ol' Jack."

For a moment he stared at the hat in his hand before putting it firmly on his head.

"I feel a change in the wind," he said for the first time feeling a lot better. "Might get off this bloody piece of rock..."

With renewed hope he started yet another journey on the island, having nothing else to do. There was an open spot between a group of trees which was rather suspicious, but that was about the only special thing he could find. He picked up a rock and threw it into the water, seeing how the surface left large circles. One time he lost his balance, but he grasped, just in time, a tree before he hit the ground. The tree made an odd noise, but Jack didn't notice it. But when he turned around he did notice something.

A ship.

"Bloody hell!"

As if in trance, he walked towards the coastline, not daring to let the ship leave his sight. Slowly it sailed closer and Jack was able to see some details. Now that he could take a better look, he could see it was more a boat than a ship and absolutely nothing compared to his Pearl. But he was not really in the position to complain, was he?

He saw one man standing on deck of the boat, just as curious about Jack as Jack was about him. He heard also, other voices who were screaming something, but Jack couldn't really hear what.

He still hadn't moved when the boat arrived at the island and one man jumped in the sea, wading the last part through the water.

"'ey, mate! Who are ye?"

Jack couldn't say a word. He didn't dare to believe what his eyes and ears were telling him.

"Mate?" the man stood in front of him, his long black hair dancing in the wind. Curious he stared at the sweating man in front of him. He was a bit afraid that the man was going to fall down, since he didn't seem to stand very stable on his feet.

"Are ye alright? SIMON! Get yerself over'ere!" he yelled to the boat behind him. "Bring some te drink for this fellow!"

A second man showed up, soon followed by another.

"Gonna give ye somethin' te drink... looks like ye need it. Can ye speak at all? Can ye understand me?"

"Maybe 'e's a mute?" called Simon from behind, while he was wading to the island holding a bottle in one of his hands.

"A mute?" said the man unsure.

"Aye, got a cousin who's a mute. Terrible thing, being a mute..." Simon joined the other man on the beach.

"Mate? I'm Gregory, but ye can call me Greg if ye want to. This man next to me is Simon and the guy left on the boat is Juan," Greg stuck out his hands and grinned encouraging at Jack. Slowly Jack reached out and shook it, feeling immensely relieved that he could actually touch this man... that it was not another trick of his tired brain.

"I'm..." Jack coughed, "I'm Jack Sparrow."

"Ello, then Jack," Simon said cheerfully putting one arm around the slightly trembling man, pushing the bottle in his hands, "Here, take a drink! It's only water but ye looks like ye can need it. We'll give something stronger later..."

With small smiles Greg and Simon looked at how Jack hungrily emptied the water bottle, looking as if he had never tasted anything so good.

"Calm, matey... never good te drink so quickly if yer haven't had much for some time." Juan joined the group, nodding at Jack.

"Jack, this is Juan, Juan this is Jack," Greg introduced them. "Come, were going to make ourselves comfortable on the beach."

The three men dragged Jack along with them and sit down on the beach. "Well Jack... fill me in, mate. How on earth did ye end up on this lonely place?"

Jack took a deep breath. "Got anything more te drink fer me?" he managed to say. Juan grinned.

"Ye know what, mate. It's actually rather ironic te think tha' ye almost starved te death here, while there is so much delicious te drink 'ere."

He stood up and walked to a tree, the very same tree that helped Jack to stay on his feet barely an hour ago. Juan knocked on it and then took a couple of large steps to the open area. He jumped up and down and then reached for something under the sand. To Jack's utter amazement, Juan opened a small door and disappeared under the ground.

"Ye should have seen yer face, mate. We're rumrunners... we hide our trade on this island so that those blasted British Navy people don't find it," Greg grinned proudly, but Simon looked a bit concerned.

"Greg!" he hissed. "Don't tell tha' man!"

Greg laughed. "What are ye afraid off, Simon? That 'e will tell the Royal Navy? I think he hates them just as much as you do... he's a bloody pirate!"

Simon turned his attention to Jack. "Ye are?"

"Aye, mate. I was the Captain of the Black Pearl."

"Ye were...?"

Jack only shook his head not wanting to reply. Juan came back and throws a couple of bottles in the sand and soon all four were holding their bottles in the air.

"To a happy trade!"

"To wealth and a fine women!"

"To the Black Pearl," whispered Jack softly before emptying the rum bottle and immediately grabbing another one, which was soon found empty on the beach as well.

The four men were happily sitting on the beach, telling each other stories, singing songs and drinking rum. The three men had no trouble at all that Jack now knew their 'secret' and for the first time in days Jack felt safe and comfortable again. And among friends. Jack even told them how he ended on this island, although not with too many details.

"Well, mate... can we offer yer a trip back to the dry land?" Juan asked.

"Aye," Jack said, not believing his luck. "Tha' would mean a lot..."

"No problem, Jack."

He should pay them somehow. They had just saved his freedom and sanity. His hands move through his hair, feeling the trinkets in it. Maybe he should pay them with trinkets? But his heart didn't agree with this idea. These trinkets stood for his memories, memories he couldn't live without. Maybe there was something in his case that he could trade? He thought deeply.  Suddenly an idea hit him.

"Mateys... I-- I have an idea." Quickly he stood on his feet and with his arms moving to keep his balance he walked to his case, opened it and took out his drawings. "Here."

Curious Greg, Simon and Juan have followed him. "I would like te pay ye all back, fer saving me. What ye think of a drawing? I'd draw anything ye'd like."

Jack showed them the various drawings of people, the Pearl and some animals.

"Wow, lad, yer sure know 'ow te draw," Juan said impressed.

Simon carefully nodded his head. "Ye know wha', Jack. Could ye make me a drawing of me Misses? Beautiful she is... like a-"

"Filled rum bottle," Greg winked. Simon gave him a dirty look. "Like a pearl."

Jack flashed his grin. "Sure, mate. And you two?"

"Well," Juan looked uncomfortable to the ground. "Back in Tortuga there is this red-headed whore and she's just... Let's just say I prefer red heads."

"And ye, Greg?"

"Me boat."

Jack and Greg exchanged looks and they suddenly understood each other completely. To Jack this boat might be nothing compared to his Pearl, but for Greg it was his world.

"We 'ave an accord." They shook hands.

"Good! Now it's time we get our trade to the ship and sail back to the dry lands te make some profit. Want te take yer case with ye, Jack?"

Jack nodded.

"Can carry it alone to me boat?"

"Sure." Slowly, Jack dragged his case towards the boat and then helped his new found friends with their rum. While he stood on the deck of the boat he absentmindly rubbed his left hand. He should get a new tattoo, to memorize this event. Not that he really believed he would ever forget, but you could never be sure. Maybe just the number 3 this time, so that everybody would be curious where it stood for.

Yes, a three. A three that stood for the three days on this bloody island, the three good men that saved him, the three things he lived for - freedom, his Pearl and friendship - and the three kills he made in his life so far. Still rubbing his left hand he shook his head. No... Not three kills. Because he was going to make sure that it would be four soon enough. Barbossa had to die.

Jack was not a person who killed for pleasure and that was probably also going to count for Barbossa's death, but this was something he had to do. This time he was lacking forgiveness. This time Barbossa would go down, especially if his feeling proved to be right about William Turner.

Jack said nothing when Greg, Simon and Juan made the boat ready to leave and slowly sail away.

"Wait!" he suddenly yelled and jumped out of the boat, swimming back to the dreaded island, leaving the rumrunners dumbfounded on their boat. Soon enough he found what he had been searching for. Although he had thrown it away 3 days ago he found it easily again, simply because all the time during the three days he had been staring at it. His pistol with one shot. One shot meant for one person. Barbossa. Carefully tugging his pistol back behind his belt he swam back to the boat of the rumrunners.

He kept standing on deck, until the island had disappeared from view. Only then could he finally go down below and get some sleep.

- Fin -

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Just out of curiousity: which of the OC's (other characters) did you like most in this story?

And I'm aware that Jack hasn't got that '3' tattoo that Johnny has… I just thought it was a nice touch to connect Johnny Depp's brilliance with that of Jack… silly me ;)

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JackFan2 - At least this ending is a bit more happy, right? He's save! YAY! Bring some rum to celebrate!

Pigwidgeon - huggles Exams are Teh Evil, I know all about it. Tomorrow around this time I will be finally free! Too many plotbunnies are attacking me at the moment ;)

OprahNoodlemantra - One more flashback in this one… it's actually my favorite one of the lot. I just like the whole ship thing I guess ;)

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Thanks for reading everyone! This story simply shows the history that my Jack is based on. Again some mentions of Walter Toomey, who will have a bigger role in another side story about Jack's past that I'm writing.