Many thanks to Rachael for the beta-read!
Letting years of being a pirate speak for themselves Jack quickly overlooked the situation. It wasn't really a good one at the moment. The only good thing about the whole situation was that it was not the Pearl that was under attack, but the Veritas.
A large ship with ragged sails was attacking Gibbs' ship, a large ship that didn't look familiar to Jack at all. He doubted it belonged to the British Navy or the Spanish one and it wasn't a known pirate ship either. No pirate ship in her right mind would attack a ship that sailed next to the Pearl.
Joshamee Gibbs had obviously been surprised by this attack as well and only now, way too late, the cannons on the Veritas were ready to answer this attack. Behind Jack he heard somebody else come on deck and when he turned around he quickly spotted Anamaria and later Jeff and others from his original Pearl crew. The newer members were nowhere in sight.
Hot anger suddenly burned in Jack's veins. He was not going to watch one of his best friends die under his very own eyes!
"Load the cannons!" he roared. "Wake those lazy dogs! You!" Jack pointed to Jeff, "Go fetch your old buddies and make them work!"
Everybody obliged to Jack's commands, worries taken over. They knew their friends were in danger on the other ship and they would use all their power to help them. To Jack's despair he already saw a large damage to the hull of the Veritas and the main mast was starting to hel dangerously.
"Come on you lazy scallywags!" he yelled, while running to one of the cannons himself. Quickly the first cannonballs were fired, but the unknown ship didn't seem to be bothered by that.
On that very moment Jack wanted to pull his hair out in frustration. He had never felt so helpless before! There was no way he could attack the unknown ship, since he couldn't come close enough to 'commandeer' the damned thing. He could hear Josh yell orders to his crew and he could hear the screams from them as well. He cringed when he recognized a voice of a man who was obviously badly wounded.
The air was filled with the sounds of cannons and thick smoke and Jack couldn't tell anymore who was shooting to whom.
"Have te get closer… ANA!" Jack roared. "Sail her closer to that damned ship."
For once Ana did not protest. She ran to the steering wheel of the Pearl and started to move her closer to the damned ship. This time the Pearl became under attack as well. One cannonball flew right into a spot where Jack had stood only seconds ago.
"Move her between the two ships!" he yelled to Ana, while he drew his cutlass and pistol. There was no way he was going to give up helping his friends now!
Gracefully as always the Pearl sailed between the two ships, being obviously smaller than the damned ship, but way more determined than her bigger enemy. Jack got his spyglass, but he didn't notice anybody on the main deck of the ship. That was odd to say the least. Of course the cannons were below deck, but every captain would always leave a large group of men on the main deck to defend the ship from 'commandeering' pirates.
On the other side of the Pearl he could hear a loud crash and the Veritas had finally giving in, sinking with surprising quickness into Davy Jones Locker. Immediately Jack had forgotten all about the mysterious ship. Where was Josh? Where were his other loyal crewmembers? Jack cursed the moonlight, since he could only see vague shades in the water and he only had the screaming voices to guide him.
"Stop the Pearl! Lower the anchor!" Jack didn't want to take the risk of killing one of his loyal crew with his ship.
The damned ship seemed to be satisfied and started to move away.
"Leave her be," yelled Jack when some of his crew starting to yell in hunger for revenge. "First our men!"
Several thick ropes were thrown into the water and soon the least damaged crewmembers were standing shivering on the main deck of the Pearl. But no Josh. And a lot more were still missed.
"Bloody pirates!" Jack cursed. He was now standing on the railing of his ship, one hand in the rigging, staring at the calm sea down below, trying to see any sign of life from surviving crew members. He could still hear some screaming so he still had hope.
Then his heart skipped a beat and without a thought of hesitation he dived into the water. Kicking back to the surface he could barely see the figure he had spotted only seconds earlier, but Jack always had been a good swimmer. Old Bootstrap Bill Turner had taken care of that.
Soon he pulled the man back to the surface of the water. It was Marty, the little dwarf who had proved to be off value, especially when it came down on stealing from ignorant ladies. He had an ugly bruise on his head, but was luckily still breathing.
"EY!" Jack called. "ANA!" But in the chaos of the situation nobody heard him. Jack quickly scanned the area and found a large piece of wood, last memory of the Veritas, and soon Marty was lying dry on the wood, while Jack looked around for more survivors.
His eyes found others from his crew swimming in the waters to find their old mates, Jeff being one of them.
Frankly, he looked around for a sign of Joshamee Gibbs. This could not be the end of this man! Josh Gibbs who could be a listening ear when you needed one or just a buddy to get extremely drunk with. He also was a very talented storyteller, although you always had to doubt the truth into these stories. And Josh always had this odd sort of luck that made him loved among all the members of the crew. It could not be so that Lady Luck finally had enough of him!
After making sure that Marty would not sink back into the dark ocean again, Jack started to swim around calling Josh's name now and then. He swam further and further away from the Pearl, ignoring his own tiredness. Then he heard it. Soft calling of his name.
Loud coughing was heard followed by his name.
"Josh! Keep calling mate!" Soon he had found him. Josh was at the end of his powers and Jack quickly found some large bruises and other injuries that didn't look too nice. Like a real captain he had been the last one to leave his ship.
"Come, Josh," Jack said softly. "I'll get ye back to me Pearl, mate, no worries."
Josh did not reply, starting to doze off into unconsciousness. Not wanting to let his worry take over, Jack slowly started to swim back to the Pearl being the last one left in the water. Others came to help him as soon as he was spotted and later all were back on the Pearl.
With more than a little pride, Jack noticed that Ana had handled the situation well. The beds of the crew were moved to the open air and all the wounded sailors were lying now next to each other to give each other warmth, down below. Marty was there as well, his head already firmly bandaged. Edmund, the pirate who knew most about wounds and such, was taking care of the wounded sailors helped by, once again, Jeff.
"Ed!" Jack called when he carefully let the now fully unconscious Gibbs to a bed. When Edmund noticed the bad looking Josh he came as quickly as he could, leaving Jeff to take care of the others. He frowned when he saw the state of the former first-mate. Then he eyed his captain.
"Cap?" he said softly.
"I'm not sure if I will be able to help him…"
Jack stayed silent.
"But I'll try of course."
"Know that, mate. No worries."
"And Cap? Ye should take some rest yerself…"
This time Jack stubbornly shook his head. "No mate. Have to stay with me friend fer a lil while. And when the sunrises… let's say I have some eggs to break then."
Edmund smiled at his captain. "Aye, cap." Then he started to take care of Josh' bruises, while Jack sat down next to him, silently observing his movements. He just could not leave Josh alone like that. He remembered many many years ago, when he had only been an innocent lad that somehow had managed to become pirate captain; that their positions had been the other way round. He had been the one who was shot and badly wounded, and Josh had been the one who sat next to his bed all night long. Later he had told him that Josh hadn't wanted him to wake up all on his onesies and Jack had loved the man for it. Now he wanted to return the favour, even though other wounded mates surrounded Josh.
Sorry mateys, for the long wait! Had a bit of trouble with my study and such :$
Pigwidgeon - LOL! Thank you… I guess it will stay a bit confusing a lil longer, but it hopefully will change
Lavender Wonder - You said you wanted action… well… here it is!
JackFan2 - I have so much fun writing the Jealous!Jack/Ana bits that I think I won't be able to stop myself in the near future
Kungfuchick - I'm happy the girl has a name now, it's way easier too write. She will be back in the next chapter
Loraine - You will find out much more about Cassy in the future.