Wonderfully beta'd by JackFan2

Chapter 2 - An Old Friend for Dinner

Jack lay supine on the floor of the Pearl's brig and breathed deeply the rich scent of his beloved ship. Eyes closed, he relaxed to the familiar movements of his lady as she moved with the sea and her motions seeped into his very soul. Not even his confinement could dampen this moment, this elation, and this sense of internal freedom.

When he had been separated from his Pearl for 10 years he had really worried that he would not understand her anymore. Because that's what he did: he understood. He knew exactly which strings to pull to let her make the highest speed. And just like he knew her, she knew him as well. Under Jack's command, she would have never ever have become a ragged ghost ship. Jack would have died first.

After escaping Port Royal's gallows all those years after Barbossa was killed, the first thing Jack had done once he was hauled aboard his ship was to put his crew to work then disappear to his cabin. Once inside, he'd closed the door firmly behind him and lay down on the floor, just as he was now. Gently he'd caressed her as she rocked him, re-establishing contact with her and her with him. Relief flooded his soul as she welcomed him back like a lost child. Just like she did today.

It was for that reason that Jack remained hopeful, even in this, a desperate situation. On his Pearl, he could think again. The voice was drawn out by her undulating movements and hope renewed itself. Mostly, however, relief came at the knowledge that his friends were safe. By now, the bright young Elizabeth Swann would have signalled and they would be safe on James ship.

James. Now, when he had stopped calling him 'Bloody' Norrington, he had no idea. The thought caused a small gold and white grin slide across his relaxed face.

Now all he could do was hope that the whelp would figure out what was wrong with his hat and then after finding the letter, decipher its meaning. Much depended on the lad being smart enough to come up with some sort of reasonable explanation and thereby act upon it.

Jack frowned when he heard someone enter his holding area and shuffle to stand just outside the bars. After waiting as long as he dared to acknowledge the presence, Pearl's captain, formerly at this point, lazily opened one eye. There stood one of Toomey's crewmen who possessed the stupidest toothless grin on his ugly face. Slowly Jack sat up straight and looked in wonder at the comical character in front of him.

"Sssparrow?" the man hissed.

"Aye, mate," Jack didn't bother to start with the whole 'Captain Sparrow' thing right now.

"The captain wantsss te sssee ye."

"I shall do as the Captain says," Jack managed, his voice dripped with malice. He stood up and flashed his golden grin at the man in front of him. The man fumbled a bit with some large keys, before he opened the door of the brig. Slightly unstable, as always, Jack walked out then swung an arm around the toothless man as if he was a long lost friend.

"Can find t' way on me onesies, mate. No worries." Then Jack turned on his heels and with a lot of arm swaying he started to make his way to his old cabin, leaving the toothless man confused behind, staring with a dumb look at the shackles in his own hands.

Commodore James Norrington had some problems with the scene in front of him. Not because he found his company 'beneath his status', rather, what James was having a hard time with was his attempts to hide his laughter. Already the twinkle in his eye was unmistakable and the blacksmith and Elizabeth saw it for what it was and glared.

Seeing their state of undress, James had started to search for some good clothes for them the moment the pirates, Will and Elizabeth had come aboard the Dauntless. The items they wore presently could hardly be considered descent, nor could they be called clothes. Oh well, at least they had been bright enough to leave enough rags on their body to stay respectable. James just didn't want to take the risk of seeing body parts -or tattoos- he just didn't want to see. Not in a million years.

Now, after donning the donated clothing the small group of pirates, Will and Elizabeth gathered around his desk in his cabin. With one hand Will was kept his trousers up, while Elizabeth tried to make a belt out of a piece of cloth. In the mean time, several pirates were quarrelling over some of the remaining clothes, while Josh Gibbs tried to calm everybody down. Mullroy & Murtogg stood on either side of the door, doing their best to hide their grins.

James, however, was not disturbed by the noise the large group made, quite the opposite in fact. With Jack's letter in hand his brow drew tight in concentration of it's contents. The pirate captain had a handwriting that showed that he was used to writing, which was rather surprising. He barely believed Jack could write in the first place!

Dear William,

I want to ask you for a favour. You need to follow the numbers and than go read the book. You will find out more about Toomey, and about your old dad. Only don't share the booklet with everyone, you will see what I mean when you get there.

Take care, lad. Don't get yourself and your bonnie lass into trouble.

Jack Sparrow

Buy yourself a proper ship, lad. That boat of yours would make your Dad twist and turn in his grave if he found out you sailed such a disgrace to pirates.

A large signature that looked just like James expected stood under the letter and some things were scribbled in between the lines as if they were added as an after though. 'Take bloody Norrington with you' was one of them and James really wondered what he had done to deserve this honour, and above all trust. He had also heard the stories about Jack's marooning long ago and he highly doubted that the eccentric pirate was very good in trusting.

On the other side of the letter were scribbled two numbers. Two numbers that made his brains crack, although… quickly James stood up and ignoring the quarrelling pirates he walked to his cabinet and opened it. He quickly scanned what was in it (and shot the little Marty a look when he tried to slip a little silver ornament under his Royal Navy jacket) and picked out a large map of the Caribbean Ocean. Then he cleaned his desk and unfolded the map, following some lines with his fingers.

"That's it," he suddenly cried and immediately all pirates were silent. That is, after Josh had managed to free his new jacket from the hands of another pirate.

"What?" Elizabeth yelled impatiently when James didn't continue.

"Mr. Sparrow," Josh mumbled a soft 'captain' and James grinned. "Captain Sparrow, wants us to go here," he tapped with his finger on a spot on the map in front of him. "I don't know why, though. As far as I know it's an un habited island."

"Let me see," completely forgetting about formality Josh pushed James out of the way and stared at the small spot on the map. "Blimey!" he said, while he frowned. "Remember Jack used to set sail with the ol' Pearl to a tiny spot of land. Never wanted te tell us what 'e did there. Never wanted us te come with 'im either…"

"You think that's the same island?" James asked.

"Aye, lad. Methinks it's the same."

The pirates started to push themselves closer to the table; while Marty loudly protested cause he couldn't see a thing. When everybody was satisfied, they fell silent for the first time that day.

"Well," said Elizabeth lightly. "Let's go to there then!"

"Welcome, Jack," Walter Toomey said with a huge grin on his face. "Do sit down."

"Thanks mate," Jack flashed his grin once again and then let himself fall in the nearest chair, taking an uninterested pose. Of course this was all part of an act. The truth was, that Jack was observing his surroundings as good as he could, while pretending he was lazily checking his fingernails and the braids in his hair.

He quickly noted that Walter hadn't changed much to the decorations of his room; only most of his paintings had disappeared, with one -rather surprising- expectation. It was not a painting, but a drawing he had made himself, long ago. It showed his first crew, sitting on the main deck of his Pearl, bending over a good game of cards and a fine bottle of rum. It showed Bootstrap, but also Toomey himself and his good friend Keith, and of course Samuel and Long John, the cook and the worst card player Jack had ever had the pleasure to encounter. Then he turned his eyes to the confident Walter, who sat in front of him, in Jack's chair and for the first time in weeks he actually saw him and he almost laughed out loud.

The way Walter looked right now, was as if he could burst out into an 'I am evil' speech every moment, saying things like: 'The Evilness of my Evilty is so wonderously Evil ', while he grinned hungrily at him.

"Fancy some wine?"

"Only if ye can miss it mate…" Suddenly Jack was reminded about what Elizabeth had told him once - about her dinner with Barbossa all those years back. When she came to the part where she'd attempted to kill Barbossa with the dinner knife, Jack, in much the same way as his mutinous first-mate, wondered what she would have done next… after she had killed the captain. Of course, he could understand why she did it, but he had seen her make smarter moves than that. And so, he also was not going to do it.

When Walter offered him the glass of wine, Jack nodded then took to proffered goblet. In a surprise move, even to himself, given his disdain for wine, Jack proceeded to empty the glass at once.

"I figure ye were thirsty," Walter said amused.

"Ye could conclude that."

Walter grinned. "Ye could be a little more polite, Jack. After all, you'll be staying with us here for an awfully long time."

Almost friendly Jack returned the grin.

"We are old friends above all," Walter added.

"Old friends, indeed," Jack muttered under his breath, wondering what Walter is up to.

"And that is the reason, dear friend, Jack, why I have a little surprise for you."

I'm feeling evil today. Just that you know ;)

OprahNoodlemantra - Yay! First reviewer of the new story -huggles-

Padme17 - I really don't see why some people hate James either. He's sweet! But from now on he will have a large part in my story, so maybe I can help to change his image a bit

Pigwidgeon - Thank you! Hope you will continue liking it

Williz - Jack's plan is set in motion… now it's only waiting to see if it's a good plan

Magma Rose - Well… I'm feeling evil today… so I can't really say what will happen to Jack next

Please review on your way out =]