Richard Bruckworth stepped over to stand with Jack who was standing away from his mother who was going between lecturing the children and apparently trying to hug them into feeling sorry for what they'd done.

"I don' know what she's so upset 'bout," Jack said as he leaned against the wall. "I pulled enough disappearin' acts as a kid to get 'er used to the sort."

Richard chuckled. "But she hasn't seen a disappearing act for quite some time. She was worried sick."

"I thought she might be," Jack answered quietly, but then chuckled. "Katherine 'anded me the note tha' she was 'spose to leave on the dresser fer Marie."

The pirate's stepfather smiled. "Cute kids. Jack, I have a question for you if you'll answer it." He saw the younger man raise an eyebrow, waiting. "Why do you call your mother by her name?"

Jack shifted uncomfortable. He never had when he was a boy, no matter how much he blamed her for their predicament. She had never cast out his abusive stepfather and she had allowed Jonathan Sparrow to hang by the neck that dreadful day, but still, he had called her "mother" or something of the sort. It had only been since they'd met up once more seven years before that he'd begun to call her "Marie." He paused, shifting again and avoiding eye contact. "She lost tha' position when she let me dad die," he said at last, turning and leaving the house. Richard stood where he was in shock.



Jack turned from his place where he sat, rum bottle held loosely in his hand and his eyes slightly dull looking. Ana sighed. Where had he gotten it anyway? She knew that the Bruckworths wouldn't have rum around the house and she hadn't seen him bring any from the ship... She rolled her eyes as she wondered why she even wanted to know.

"You all right? I saw you an' Richard talkin' in there an' ya left in a hurry."

"Just talkin', luv."

The pirate woman took a seat next to him. "Jack, please, you know I won't push you, but..."

Her captain shook his head and clenched the bottle tightly. She felt a bit of fear well up inside of her and she leaned over to him, wrapping her arms around his neck and holding tight. He dropped the rum bottle, letting it roll on the ground and reached around, finding her face and running a rough finger across it. They sat there for several very long moments in silence before he leaned toward her and kissed her lightly. "I'm tryin', Ana. I've been tryin' so 'ard since they've come 'round."

Ana Maria cocked her head in question. "What do you mean?"

"Marie an' Richard."

"I thought you an' Richard were gettin' 'long better these days."

Jack nodded, the beads in his hair clinging together. "Aye, but I still 'ate 'em both."

Ana stared at him for a moment. She knew that he had hated Richard, and really was not all that surprised to hear that while they were on almost friendly terms now that the pirate still hated him. What she hadn't known was that Jack seemed to feel the same for his mother.

Jack took her silence and continued. "She killed 'im all the same. Jus' like 'er father an' jus' like Richard. She didn' lift a finger."

Everything suddenly made more sense. "Give it time, Jack," she whispered to him, holding him against her.

"'ow long, luv?"

"I don't know, Jack, I'm sorry... A lifetime of hurts can't be healed and sealed away in a few years."

The pirate captain opened his mouth to respond when he heard his name called and Bill came up over the little hill. "Uncle Jack! Come on!"

Ana looked at her captain and he gave her a small smile as he stood. "Let's go then."

They headed into the house and were met by an enthusiastic Katherine that wrapped herself around her uncle's leg and Bill came to the other one. Jack laughed as he started trying to pry the two of them off. It'd been hard enough when it was just the Turner lad, but now the lass had joined in as well.

Richard was chuckling as Jack fell back, off balance by the two children, and landed facing upward towards the taller man. His stepfather offered him a hand that Jack took slowly. "We're going back to England soon," he said awkwardly. "And Marie... and I... were going to invite you and Ana to come stay with us for a bit, if you'd like."

Jack stared at the man in front of him, silently laughing at his awkwardness in the invitation.

"I thought it might give us time to... I don't know... clear air we thought was clear. Perhaps start over."

Jack allowed a smile to tug at his lips. "I'll 'ave to talk to Ana Maria, but we'll see."

Richard nodded and left the pirate to his thoughts. Maybe, after so long, it was time to finally clear the air once and for all.


A/N: It's done! And I set it up for a new fic, so that'll be started soon, hopefully. I might also finally start that Sleepy Hollow fic I've had running through my head, but that's just a maybe. I'll probably just keep it down to PotC and my originals. That's been stretching me the last few days as it is, but ah well. I love it.

Flute Damioh: Well, that's the last chapter! Hope it was good! Hope to see you reviewing the next story :)

JackFan2: I nearly edited that part out about Elizabeth. I really struggled with rather to keep that in or not. Elizabeth always appears so strong that it's almost hard to think of her having a minor – even if very quick – breakdown, but then I thought that even the strongest people would be very worried about their children at that point, so I left it in. Poor Jack seems to have a "please slap me" sign on him though lol. Glad you liked... err... hated Tyler. Makes me happy when my villains are hateable. :) Well, sorry,I don' t think my brain'll put out ten more chapters on this particular story, but I've got one that's going to follow up directly after this. After that I've got a couple short stories in mind then I'm outa ideas. O.o Tha's not good....

Meowface: yeah, I've been wanting to write Jack like that for a while now. I could see Will's kids clinging to their favorite "uncle" and that image just wouldn't leave my mind. Haha...pesky image. It's so pushy....

Kungfuchick: I know. 's been annoying lately. Hope I updated quickly enough!