Disclaimer: I don't own PotC.

A/N: This one shot is in response to a challenge from the Black Pearl Scrolls to write a story about loyalty. So, here goes . . .

"Loyalty"

"Haven't seen a storm like that in ages," Anamaria mused as she rung the water from her hat.

The rain had stopped falling and the wind ceased blowing nearly thirty minutes ago. During the course of clearing debris from the ship and making sure everyone was alright, Ana had tried several times to talk with Jack. He had brought the Interceptor safely through the tempest, and promised that they would be at the Ship's Graveyard within the hour, but aside from that, he had said nothing.

"I'll be below," he mumbled to Mr. Gibbs. "Let me know when we make the graveyard."

"Aye, sir."

Ana pursed her lips. She did not like to be ignored, especially by Jack. Ever since she had slapped him silly in Tortuga, her Captain had been in a very strange mood, strange even for Jack Sparrow. Any captain would take time to carefully consider his plan when going up against the likes of Barbossa, but this was different. Barbossa had taken the Pearl. He and Jack had a history, a history that Jack never talked about.

Determined to get some answers, the lady pirate followed Jack to the captain's quarters. She knocked on the door, and, after receiving no answer, slowly pushed it open. Jack was seated behind the desk, a pistol in front of him. He appeared to be concentrating on every inch of the ornate weapon, apparently assuring himself that it was in working order.

"Jack?" she said to alert him of her presence.

"Captain, luv," he replied, his eyes not leaving the pistol. "And I don't remember askin' ye to come in."

"This is the third time that you've cleaned that gun," Ana ignored his last comment. "What's going on here?"

"Could be a fight, luv. May need it."

Ana crossed the room and placed both hands on the edge of the desk. "I've known you almost eight years, Jack Sparrow. You've never once fired that gun. What's going to make you use it today?"

The pirate slammed the pistol down on the desk as he nearly jumped to his feet. The chair he had been using fell over backwards because of Jack's sudden and unexpected movement. "Anamaria, if ye have a problem with the way I'm runnin' this ship, jus' come out with it."

Ana stood dumbfounded for a moment. Jack turned away and stared out the window to the sea. What had she said to cause such an outburst? She had never had any disagreement with the way Jack ran things. Coming around the desk to stand behind him, Ana placed her hands on Jack's arms and rested her chin on his shoulder. She felt the muscles in his back tense. "Jack, I would follow you to hell itself. I thought you knew that," Ana asked. "Have I ever given you reason to question my loyalty?" She could see Jack's dark eyes reflected in the glass of the window. Normally, her Captain's words would have made her angry. She would have yelled at him for not trusting her after all of these years, but something in his eyes stopped her from shouting. Something in his eyes was making her heart ache for him.

"I never had any reason no' to trust Barbossa, either, darling."

Ana moved to stand in front of her captain. Placing her hands on either side of his face, she said, "Barbossa betrayed you. I never will."

Jack stepped away from Anamaria's touch. Without speaking, he retrieved the pistol from his desk and placed it in his belt. Grabbing his hat, the pirate headed towards the door.

"Jack?"

Glancing back, the pirate's eyes almost pleaded to Ana. "I'm tryin' to believe ye, luv."

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