A/N: Hello! I'm afraid this chapter is going to be the penultimate chapter, since right from the beginning the battle was pretty much where his fic was heading to, and now that I've got here I've realised that it has to end somewhere, even though for a long time now it's been my little pet, and I will be sad to see it end. tears

Chapter Sixteen

James couldn't see Jack; he had been lost in the smoke and the chaos of the battle. The three ships were locked together in fighting, on all three ships there seemed to be separate fights happening, and James didn't even know which one he was in let alone where Jack was. Dodging the bullets that seemed to be raining down upon him from above, James hurried to the edge of the ship and looked over onto the Black Pearl. To his horror he saw Jack, standing out from the crowd with his blue coat, pushed into the main mast by Nash.

Jack was struggling to remain on his feet, he hadn't realised Nash was behind him until it was too late, and now he was in a position where he could do very little to help himself. He had always been told, that you should never give up fighting, everyone was weak in the same places, the eyes, and the throat, to attack like a animal does when there was nothing left. But now, Jack couldn't even do that.

James climbed onto the side of the ship and got ready to jump on the Pearl's decks, the ships were so close to one another now that the possibility of missing was very small. However before he could jump, someone from the Pearl ran straight into him, knocking him backwards and further away from Jack.

"No!" he shouted, slicing his sword upwards and towards the person scrabbling upon him. The blade caught the man's middle and stopped his movement immediately. After the shock of being thrown backwards subsided, James pushed the man off of him and began again; only others seemed to have different ideas.

Jack watched the tip of the blade move closer and closer to his eye, in the disorder around them; Nash was still finding time to torture his victim, even when all around him were men fighting. Jack wondered when someone was going to notice he was about to die, and help him. He could see Anamaria out of the corner of his eye, but the confusion, he couldn't be sure she even knew he was on the ship, let alone nearby.

"Anything you'd like to say Mr Sparrow, I'll be sure to send a message to any relatives you might have living, before I kill them all too," Nash said leering at him.

Any minute now, Jack thought, any minute someone would save him, surely?

"Can't think of anything mate," Jack replied as the blade was brought even closer. Before anything else happened to him, he was going to loose his eye.

Suddenly realising that no one was coming to his rescue, and that he was bound to loose eye whether he moved or not, Jack lifted a foot and slammed it down into Nash's ankle. The man reeled backwards in an automatic action, and then came back at Jack with even more force. This time the blade was heading for his face, and there was no warning beforehand.

Jack turned his head to the side and waited, but instead of the pain he was expecting across his face, Jack heard a scream and looked back to see the knife that had been heading for him, slice into Anamaria's arm. Leaping forward, Jack seized Nash and wedged his finger into his eye, so fast that before Nash knew what had happened Jack was away from him and running.

Nash was screaming; the horrible infuriated scream that told any listener that he was far away from defeated. With one hand clamped over his now broken eye, Nash looked over the deck with his other and spotted another target. If Jack had disappeared, and the pirate woman had gone with him, who else was a trophy death other than Commodore Norrington? Ignoring his eye, and letting the blood run down his face, Nash found a tighter grip on his sword and stalked towards James.

Finally after battling his way over to the ship, James was on the Pearl, his sword in hand and looking for Jack. He could see no trace of blue amongst any of them, not even on the floor where the bodies lay, which half filled him with hope, and half with dread. But he had no more time to ponder, as from his left he was happened upon by Nash, and only managed to raise his sword in time to counter the heavy blow.

Knocked backwards, James cried out in shock as he was attacked without mercy by the captain with only one eye. Instead of concentrating on his own fight, James thought of Jack. Rather than watch the man attacking him, he was looking for Jack. His mind was so full of Jack that when Nash's blade finally caught him, James didn't even notice. Jack was there, he was safe.

The battle was ending, after all the fire power Nash had had with the two ships he believed he had under control; he had ultimately been defeated by numbers. He had been fighting two crews, both sufficient with battles, neither inexperienced. As such the battle lasted only the best part of twenty minuets, most of the time taken up by moving from ship to ship, and the waiting beforehand.

Men were beginning to surrender, and it didn't take James long to work out, from where he was resting, that they were the ones winning. The fight on the Pearl however had not ended; amongst the dead Jack and Nash were still fighting.

"Tear out my eye will you!" Nash shouted as Jack ducked under the swipe of his sword and jumped backwards.

Jack didn't answer; he was in too vulnerable a position to answer. Nash was clearly the better swordsman, being both heavier in strength and more confident with his strikes, even when looking at his enemy with only the one eye, it hadn't unbalanced him.

James watched Jack desperately, knowing he couldn't move from where he was sitting on the deck, as any movement would disturb the wound running along his chest, and that he wouldn't last longer than a few paces if he did. His best chance of survival was to sit and not move, but that would hardly help Jack. Then again, there was still nothing he could do.

Jack stumbled backwards and fell to the ground. His leg was still painful; it was preventing him from moving properly. He was being caught by simple moves that before he would have had no problem avoiding, but now his body was too heavy for him. His leg wouldn't move where it should, and he was loosing focus. He knew he had to concentrate, but he wasn't thinking clearly, his thoughts were all over the place.

Taking his pistol from his belt, Jack attempted to aim it at the man advancing on him, but his arm was unsteady, and Nash was upon him before he could pull the trigger. The pistol was knocked from Jack's hand and it slid across the deck in the direction of James, too far out of Jack's reach, but perhaps near enough to James should he have the courage to lean forwards and take it.

Nash's hand was wrapped in the front of Jack's shirt, his fist had hit the side of his face, and Jack dropped his sword as he realised he had lost. His body could take now more, even if his mind was screaming for him to fight, there was nothing left to fight with.

Nash knew he had won, he could feel the amusement at having the smaller impertinent man defeated, and in his control. His life was his now, he could end it any time he wished.

"You will die for what you have done to me," Nash told him as his fist hit Jack once more.

From somewhere inside him, Jack wished he would just get on with it. He didn't know how much longer he was going to hold out anyway, if Nash kept insisting on hitting him.

James watched as Jack became helpless, those around them were in states of shock, either on the floor holding their own injured limbs, or holding a hostage. All eyes were on the pair in the middle, no one wanted to intervene, and those who did found themselves incapable of doing it. The outcome of the battle depended on this fight. Whoever won, won the entire thing. One side was going to loose its leader, and without a leader they were lost.

Jack's breath was coming short, he couldn't see the man in front of him anymore, his body felt as if it was dieing. Knowing he was wasn't going to last much longer, Jack chanced a look back at James. As he turned his head away from Nash, he felt a hot searing pain across the top of his cheek and a dull thudding sound as whatever it had been hit Nash. Looking back he saw the bullet from his own pistol imbedded in Nash's neck, and felt the horrible feeling of a higher power come over him. If he hadn't have moved his head at that particular time, that bullet would have been in him, not Nash.

Looking around he found James' lowering the pistol, his face was full of shock, and before he could saw anything, Nash fell down onto the deck taking Jack with him.

The fight was over. Nash's men surrendered and let themselves be placed in the brig of the Dauntless. Jack was recovering in his own cabin, and James was in the inner cabin sleeping. Still in a state of shock, Jack wasn't ready to see James yet, he hadn't gotten things straight in his own mind yet, and he needed to think some things out before he spoke to him. The main question in his head was, exactly where was James aiming that bullet?

When James finally did wake up, and found himself still alive, Jack was sat in a chair next to him waiting. His face was solemn until James reached out a hand and touched his arm. As soon as he saw James was awake he was smiling again. But his face still changed serious once more as a thought came into him mind.

"Where were u aimin'?" Jack asked looking down on James from his higher height. Jame took a moment to understand the question, he'd only just woken up, and he wasn't ready for questions just yet.


"That bullet, the one that killed Nash. Where was it aimed?"

"I didn't aim it. You were going to die Jack, I couldn't just do nothing," James said feeling that jack wasn't too happy with him. "I wasn't aiming for anyone, I couldn't, my arm was shaking too much…I couldn't just do nothing."

"It would have killed me if I 'adn't 'ave moved," Jack told him, remembering the heat on his face as the bullet shot past him.

"Well, What made you move?" James asked, there was no point feeling guilty about it, it had happened now, besides he was still too tired to feel bad.

Jack thought.

"I was goin' to die, I wanted one last look at you."

James said nothing

"You've saved me twice now, more than twice, actually..." Jack rattled.

"You can repay me with the map," James said joking. Jack raised an eyebrow at him.

"I wouldn't be too popular with me mates, especially if they all end up hanging off the end of a rope," Jack said moving backwards from James and smirking at him.

"You seem very calm about your own fate Mr Sparrow, now that the battle is over and you immunity has ended," James said interested to know what Jack's response would be. He knew it was too late in the game for Jack to even believe that he could be in danger from him.

"I've not finished playing me 'and yet love," Jack informed him in that usual grin that told James that no matter how hard he tried, he would never guess what Jack was planning next.

"I would very much like to see what you have left to beguile me with," he tempted.

Jack grinned even wider.

"Want your coat back now love?" Jack teased him moving out of reach.

"If you wouldn't mind," James said in an indifferent voice. The truth was that he did want his coat back, but he wasn't going to ask, that's what Jack wanted.

"I think I'll keep it as trade," Jack said looking down on the coat with fondness.

"Trade for what? Where you going? Trade for what?" James asked as Jack walked out of the room.

He had a bad feeling about this meeting, it felt final somehow, as if Jack was readying to leave. Only he knew that was impossible because he was still on the Pearl, and surely Jack wouldn't leave her behind.

Before James could close his eyes once more, he heard the door open again, and saw Jack leaning back into the room.

"I love you too mate," Jack said grinning wickedly.

James frowned and took a cushion, and despite the pain in his chest, he threw it towards Jack.

"Get out of here," he said in jest.

Jack winked at him before leaving him.