Disclaimer: Not mine.
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A soft pushing on his shoulder woke him the following morning. Slowly chocolate brown orbs opened, adjusting slowly to the strange light in the room. It had been almost four days since he had seen light, proper light. Looking around Jack noticed that he was wasn't alone in the room, Ana was there of course, along with the Turners, Commodore Norrington, another Navel man and some one dressed in a very expensive looking suit.
"Morning." Jack said, sleep evident in his voice. Jack frowned, was his voice always like that? No, surely not. Must've been the sleep…or the water.
"Morning?" Elizabeth said, looking at him with her hands on her hips. "You give us several sleepless nights over our worry for your welfare and all you can say is 'morning'?" Jack looked at her, his eyebrows raised in shock.
"Good morning?" He tried again, hoping that maybe the woman's hormones would calm down. Ana got like this a lot too; it had to be a hormone thing. Something that all women did, snap at the males in their life. Ana had a crew of 18 males to snap at, Elizabeth only had Will.
"I'll give you a…" Thankfully Commodore Norrington decided to step in there.
"Mrs Turner," Elizabeth stopped to look at Norrington, "would you please take Miss AnaMaria and get some new clothes for Mr Sparrow?"
"Captain." Jack threw in, smiling at the title that Ana was given. Miss? She must've really been cracking whips at them before. Jack looked at Ana, noticing that she was slightly hesitant before leaving, although she did leave with Elizabeth.
"Now, Captain Sparrow," Norrington made a point of saying the Captain this time, "maybe we can actually get some work done with you." Jack raised an eyebrow at this. What did he mean, work done? What exactly were they planning to do?
"Don't worry Jack, it's nothing too bad." Will said with a small smile, clearly he had noticed that Jack was a little wary about the work that had to be done with him. "Most of your wounds have been healed but, you've broke your right wrist and…well, you right legs was somewhat mangled." Will admitted, Jack looked over at his hand, his leather hand guard had been removed along with all his rings, and the joint between his hand and arm was bandaged up tightly. He had been wondering why he couldn't move his fingers. Now it all made sense. His right wrist was broken, and his fingers couldn't move because of that. Which meant he would be unable to hold a sword or pistol for a long time.
"There was nothing we could've done to prevent it," Norrington said slowly. "You're going to have to learn how to walk again as well."
- - -
Elizabeth had spent the whole day trying to get Ana's mind away from Jack, but everything always went back to the bedridden pirate. Elizabeth could tell that Ana was battling some sort of decision she had to make, it was plain on her face. The other woman couldn't seem to focus on anything other than getting back to the injured pirate back at the fort. Ana knew what had happened to Jack, Ana knew what Jack would have to go through. She had complained at first, being dragged from the fort while the news was being broken to Jack, she wanted to be there with her Captain, Elizabeth knew this, and was trying to hurry with the shopping to get back. She herself was also worried about Jack. How could she not be?
"Ana, if you help me buy on more thing for Jack, then we can go back to the fort." Elizabeth tried; hoping it would help to motivate her. The dark skinned pirate looked at Elizabeth, waiting to find out what it was they needed.
"What ye needing then missy?" Elizabeth sighed, they had been able to get Ana a new skirt and top, and Jack now had a new jacket and shirt, both of which were probably too big for him since Ana was no help what so ever, but it was the trousers. Elizabeth knew that trousers were difficult if you didn't know what length to get.
"Do you know Jack's leg length?" Ana stared at her, eyes wide and one eyebrow raised.
"Oh, aye. I measure them on a regular basis just to know he's growing." Ana said sarcastically. "No I don't know them exactly but he's about the same in the length as your Will is he no?" Elizabeth thought back. True Will was just that little bit taller, but that was all mainly above the waist.
"Yes, he is isn't he." Elizabeth answered, nodding her head and leading Ana into one more shop, buying a pair of breeches for Jack and then heading towards the fort. Ana seemed to be in a rush, being openly grouchy with the other people on the street. Elizabeth wondered just how much the relationship between Jack and Ana had changed since the Black Pearl had left Port Royal just after Jack memorable escape. Maybe, just maybe, Jack had found someone like she and Will had.
- - -
Jack sat against the wall in the small room he was allocated in the Fort. He just sat, staring at the opposite wall, wondering what was to become of him now. He'd have to learn how to walk again? It hadn't taken him long as a child, of course back then he had to learn fast, it was either that or he'd go hungry. But right now things were different; it wasn't like he was a child anymore, and the constant throb in his leg would undoubtedly put off any force that was put on it. In short Jack couldn't see himself walking anywhere in the near future.
The pirate raised his right hand in front of him, the white bandages contrasting with the tan of his skin and the gunpowder stains on his arm. Not only was he going to learn how to walk, but he also had to figure a way around the lack of response in his fingers. Without the use of his hand he would have to either learn to use his left had or…or he'd have to give up pirating all together. Meaning he would have to give up the Pearl, which Jack just wouldn't be able to do. He had been on the Pearl longer than he had ever been in one place. Sighing, Jack let his eyes close over. His mind wandering back to before the Black Pearl was his.
- - -
The waves hit against the rocks with dulling force as the splash of sea spray littered the young boy's face. The docks were quiet as the two ships, getting ready to set sail, waited for their crew. In new four hours both those ships would leave. Taking with them most of the villagers. Having an island with a small community of British people was a good idea. Starting up new colonies in the uninhabited islands was a good idea. Making a village full of people live on an island with a volcano as the centre of the island was not a good idea. And so, as black smog littered the air, and ash fell from the sky like snow, people packed up and left home. Being sent to another island, another British colony.
It was estimated that there was another two days before the volcano would truly erupt. After having several scares and false alarms the people of the small village were more than happy to leave.
"JACK!" The small boy turned his head at the call of his name. "Jack, come on. We're leaving soon." Standing up, the five-year-old shook the water off his feet and dried his face with his sleeve. He loved the salt water of the sea, so he was more than excited about his first voyage on a Merchant vessel. The small boy ran towards his mother, his infant legs carrying him as fast as they possibly could. She smiled at him in an affectionate yet disapproving manner when he arrived, kneeling down to him to place a light coat over his shoulders and handed him a pair of shoes.
"Thanks mum!" He called, running into the house and picking up his toy boat. The woman shook her head, heading inside after her son. Jack sat in front of the fire to dry his feet while his mother packed up what little belongings she was taking with them.
"Right Jack, are you ready?" The dark hair boy nodded his head, smiling from ear to ear. "Say goodbye then. We're going for a new life." Jack watched one tear slip from his mother's eyes as she looked around the small house. He didn't know why people cried when they said goodbye. It wasn't like that was everything over. Saying goodbye to one thing meant saying hello to another. Why was that so bad to grown-ups?
"Don't cry mother. I'll make our next home much better than this one. I promise." The woman smiled, wiping away her tears.
"Oh Jack, what would I do without you?" He shrugged, grabbing his mother's hand and dragging her out to the street with him. There were lots more people out in the street now, bundles under their arms as they tried to control excited children. Jack raised an eyebrow at the screaming boys, fighting with wooden swords. Was he usually like that? Did he usually look that stupid? Jack decided then that on this voyage he would be very well behaved. He was not going to act like them!
"Look Jack, that's our ship there." Jack looked at where his mother had pointed. Smiling at the great ship. The Reverence. "That ship will take us to our new home." Jack began to pull his mother faster, the woman laughing at his eagerness. "Hold on a moment Jack, I want to see where Mrs Alder is going." Jack stopped, waiting for the elderly woman who was walking slowly down the street. The poor woman was a widow, like his mother, but Jack had never really liked her, she kept calling him John. That wasn't his name.
"Oh, Charlotte, I just hope this Willow place hasn't got too many hills. I can't manage anymore of these." Mrs Alder said with a small laugh. "What ship is taking you my dear?" She asked.
"Jack and I are on the Reverence. What ship are you on?" Jack watched his mother take Mrs Alder by the arm and help her towards the dock. Jack took the bundle his mother was carrying and offered to take Mrs Alder's, getting a smile of pride from his mother and a ruffle of the hair in gratitude from the old lady.
"Oh, some hunk of wood called the Decadence. I can tell you, there's no way that thing is going to be decadent." She turned to Jack. "You think these ships are something?" He nodded his head, wondering where she was going. "Wait until you see the pirate ships out there. Now those ships, they are something." Jack's eyes widened. No one here mentioned pirates, it was always frowned on. Mrs Alder leaned down to whisper in Jack's ear, "My Harry was a pirate, god rest his soul. He was a good pirate too, and a good man." She winked at him and started talking to his mother about something. Jack was too confused to listen.
Harry Alder was a pirate? Jack couldn't remember much of the man; he had died when Jack was just a year and a half old. Although he had helped to support Jack's mother in the time she had been pregnant since her husband had died of some illness just after she had been expecting Jack. But how could a pirate be a good man? Weren't they all scoundrels? Didn't they kill innocent people and hurt women? All the women in the village, the ones who stood by the bakers and talked about everything had always said that pirates were evil men, that they were riddled with disease and that they had no morals. So, how could a pirate be a good man?
"Here you are Mrs Alder," Jack noticed that they had reached the dock and his mother had stopped to help Mrs Alder get on her ship. "We'll see you at the Willow." The woman waved, taking her bundle from Jack and getting on her ship. "Come on Jack, we're over there." Jack walked with his mother to the other merchant ship, registering their name and being taken down to the kitchen where all passengers were to eat before heading to the crews quarters where they would stay for the rest of the journey. They had been the last two aboard; the kitchen was empty save for the ships cook. Jack sat on the bench and ate his soup and bread, listening to the cook tell his mother everything about the voyage.
After only an hour or so sailing the ship dropped anchor, Jack frowned; he was told it would take a good day to get to where they were to live now. Why were they stopping now? There was the sound of heavy footsteps on the stairs, before Jack saw several men with large cutlasses and pistols appear. Pirates!
"'Ere, look what we've got." One of them smiled lewdly at Jack's mother, causing jack to cling to her arm. He wouldn't let them hurt his mother. "Ye 'hink the Captain would like this yen?" The other male laughed, nodding. Jack, his mother and the cook were all pulled up to the deck. All the merchant sailors were stood at one side of the ship, pirates pointing pistols at them.
"Captain! Look at this. They've got this lass 'ere." Jack was held back as his mother was given to the Captain. He was a tall man, with dark brown hair and dull green eyes. He didn't look like Jack thought a pirate would look like, not like the two who had taken him and his mum up to the deck. He looked clean, and in other circumstances Jack would have thought him to be a respectable man.
"What's your name?" He asked, his voice rather husky, but he would still seem like a proper gentleman. "Come on, luv. What's your name?"
"Charlotte Collins." She answered; Jack struggled against the pirate holding him. Biting down on an arm around his shoulders and jumping on a foot. He ran to stand in front of his mother, scowling at the pirate Captain. The man laughed, smiling down at the angry child.
"Your son?" He questioned, getting a nod out of the frightened woman, her arms wrapping around the boy's shoulders. "I'll tell you what, you and this boy come to my ship, and I shall not harm anyone of these men." He said, a surprisingly pleasant smile on his lips. Jack could sense his mother hesitance; her hold on him had tightened slightly.
"You're not going to hurt my mum." Jack said, his tone surprisingly resolute. It wasn't a question, he was telling them.
"No, sprite. I'm not going to cause the young lady here any harm at all." He told the boy, small brown eyes slanted more, the scowl becoming more pronounced. His mothers hold slackened and he looked up at her, wondering what she was thinking.
"Very well," she told the pirate, her head held high. "You cause no harm to these people and I shall join you on your ship. With my son." The Captain smiled, nodding his head and ordering his men back to their ship. Jack was led across the gangplank to the pirate ship while the Merchant sailors watched the woman and child be taken away to what they thought would be a life of slavery.
"Welcome, Charlotte Collins, to the Black Pearl." Jack looked around at the ship. It had black sails, the wood was a stained dark cherry, it was a demonic ship, but it was absolutely breathtaking. Mrs Alder was right, the pirate ship was more magnificent than any merchant vessel he had seen. "I am Captain Taylor Sparrow." The Captain signalled for a crewmember to come over. "Mr Wilson, set up a room for Miss Collins and her son. Preferably on the upper level." The crewman nodded, walking away hurriedly.
"So, are we to be your men's slaves?" Jack's mother asked in a clipped tone.
"No, my dear, you are to be the lady of the ship." Captain Sparrow answered with a glint in his eyes.
"If you expect me to whore myself to these…men, you are sorely mistaken Captain." A small laugh escaped the Captain's throat and Jack watched him in a curious manner. This pirate was very strange, very strange indeed.
"My dear, if one of these men touches you without consent, I pray that you would inform me instantly." Charlotte Collins was taken back at this.
"So what am I to do here then?" She was led down to the kitchens where a plump woman stood, peeling potatoes and singing to herself.
"Marlene is our cook, unfortunately she is having trouble with her joints and will need assistance. Would you be able to help?" He made it seem like a request, like if she didn't want to she could turn him down. But Jack watched his mother nod her head a few times, looking over at the plump smiling woman. "And your son," the Captain looked down at him and smiled, "I think he would make for a good cabin boy." Jack frowned at the name. A cabin boy? What on earth did a cabin boy do?
"Excuse me, sir." Jack said, his voice strangely quiet. Captain Sparrow looked at him, clearly stunned at being call 'sir'. "What does a cabin boy do?" Sparrow smiled.
"Come with me and I'll tell you." Jack looked at his mother, getting a nod in encouragement before following the pirate Captain above deck.
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After just a few weeks on the Black Pearl, it began to feel like home for Jack, and Charlotte found herself enjoying being on the ship just as much. Jack was told of pirate stories by the crewmen and the Captain, he was already on his way to being a pirate himself. He had found out what Mrs Alder meant when she said a pirate could be a good man. Taylor Sparrow was a pirate, and he was a good man. And Jack had noticed the growing admiration he had towards the Captain of the ship; he had also noticed the time his mother spent with the Captain.
Jack woke late one night, almost two months after being taken aboard the ship. His mother was not in her bed; Jack was confused and just a little worried. He left his own bed and walked up to the deck, hearing the Captain he figured he could ask him if he had seen Charlotte.
"Have you made up you mind yet?" Jack frowned, the Captain was talking with someone, maybe he should wait until they were finished.
"Yes." That was his mother's voice! Jack stopped, hiding under the stairs to listen to their conversation. "Jack is happy here, and as strange as it is, I too am happy here." Is that what they were discussing? Whether or not they were going to stay on the ship?
"And what about my other proposition?" Sparrow asked, Jack frowned as the Captain caressed his mother's cheek lovingly, the woman leaning into the touch.
"I…" Charlotte hesitated, looking at the deck before looking back at the Captain, "I would very much like to be with you, Taylor." Jack's jaw hit the deck. They were…together? That's what the gossiping women called it. When a woman took up with man. Were they going to be like his father had been to his mother? Were they going to get married? This was just too much. Jack turned and went back to his bed, not really wanting to witness his mother kissing the Captain. Well, at least she was happy, he thought. It had taken a while for her to get used to being at sea. Now maybe Jack would be able to see her smile again.
- - -
Jack opened his eyes, hearing the sound of someone walking around in the room. Ana was pacing, her ripped skirt swaying back and forth.
"Luv, what are you doing?" He asked, clearly startling her.
"I thought you were asleep." She said, coming over to sit with him on the bed. Jack shook his head, his beaded hair rattling slightly.
"Just thinking," he told her, biting his bottom lip.
"What about." Ana took his hand in hers and traced patterns on the back of his hand.
"I don't know if I can do it." He said, looking at the ceiling. "I don't know if I can get better, how am I supposed to learn to shoot again? How am I supposed to learn to walk again?" Jack wasn't sure but he could feel himself breaking, he was nearing his point, the point where nothing was going well for him and he was going to lose it all.
"Don't worry Jack." Ana lay her head over his chest, "I'll be there, I'll help you get better." She whispered.
"And here I was thinking you were leaving the Pearl." The dark head snapped up.
"You heard?" Jack nodded, "So you know?" She asked, Jack nodded again and Ana slowly lowered her head back to his chest.
"And I think I love you too, Ana." There was a soft sigh from the woman lying with him, she snuggled into his chest, his good hand laying over her head and stroking the hair softly.
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AN: I am so sorry that the update took so long. I had to go and visit friends in Perth, without my beloved computer I was unable to update.
Thank you to everyone who read this though. I promise that there will be another update some time next week as I will be on a summer school course for a week from the 13th to the 20th.
I'm sorry it started to drag on there, when we had, yet another dream sequence, but it is relevent later. As, I think that I'll be extending this a little.