The Siren's Immortal
Pirates of the Caribbean Fan Fiction
By Scarlett Burns
Rated: T (PG-13)
Disclaimer: It all belongs to the mouse, and no profit is being made from this story. No copyright infringement intended.
Author's Note: Story begins a few months after the first movie, COTBP.
A huge thanks goes out to my beta, Stella, for all her time and helpful con-crit.
Captain Jack Sparrow reclined casually against the railing of the ship he could once again call his own.
The Black Pearl.
Terror of the seas, some would say.
Her Captain, however, knew it was neither her intention, nor his own.
Throughout his life he'd worn many a hat, called himself by many a name, and had had more bizarre adventures than any man should rightly experience. Yet through it all he'd always had but one desire, and that was for freedom.
Pure and simple.
Now, this was not to say his Pearl could not strike terror into the hearts of those who crossed her path, nor that her Captain didn't use this to his best advantage whenever the opportunity presented itself.
She was, after all, an intimidating and formidable ship. A full-rigged three-masted galleon outfitted with two gun decks, worthy of a true man 'o war, and a full set of sweeps that assisted in making her the fastest ship in the Caribbean. For a band of mangy pirates, the Pearl's size and type was extremely rare. Most pirates preferred smaller and sleeker vessels, designed for a quick getaway.
But the Black Pearl was distinctly unique. Only one pirate that sailed the Seven Seas knew of her true origins, and he'd not so much as whispered the truth to any other living soul, despite how much he loved to hear a good tale pertaining to himself tossed about.
The Pearl's canvas and hull were midnight black. She was heavily ornamented above and below deck, and perhaps the most stunning woodwork on the ship belonged to her figurehead; an enchanting lady of the sea, arm outstretched as she held a bird, readying itself to take flight. Actions frozen for all eternity, preserved forever, flawlessly carved in Egyptian ebony.
Her three masts had recently been stripped and refitted with new canvas, and a lot of canvas she held, indeed. Still black as the pearl his ship was named after, of course, but not in tatters like those he'd stripped.
Barbossa had known nothing of the dedication it took to keep his Pearl shipshape. To keep her content and fit for such a sea. Barbossa had let her rot on the seas as he had rotted, and Jack's heart ached at the thought of her mistreatment for those ten long years.
It had taken much work for Captain Sparrow and her new crew to restore her to her original beauty. Nay, in all actuality there was still much more to be done.
She lay anchor in calm seas this night, not far out of Aruba, as her crew absorbed in drink and song. Her Captain stood off from the rest of the crew, content to survey the scene from the quarterdeck, as a slight evening breeze swept through his unruly hair, sending his beads and trinkets jangling.
The Captain smiled wistfully as his crew began a chantey he'd not heard since he was but a lad.
"One Friday morn when we set sail,
Not very far from land,
We there did espy a fair pretty maid
With a comb and a glass in her hand, her hand, her hand,
With a comb and a glass in her hand."
"While the raging seas did roar,
And the stormy winds did blow,
While we scoundrels were up unto the top,
And the land-lubbers lying down below, below, below,
And the land-lubbers lying down below."
The Pearl's Captain gazed out towards the endless horizon as they sang, lost in thoughts of a time gone by. He remained that way for a minute or so - or an hour for all he knew - until Anamaria's voice broke through his musing.
"What has ye so lost in thought, Capt'n? I be thinking ye'd surely be loaded to the gunwales by now."
Jack shifted his gaze to his First Mate, flashing a wide grin. "Aye? Then I be thinking I have a bit of catchin' up to do."
"Then three times round went our gallant ship,
And three times round went she;
For the want of a life-boat they all went down,
And she sank to the bottom of the sea."
As his men finished the chantey, Jack's gaze wandered past Anamaria and scanned the faces of the crew, stopping on Gibbs, who was red-faced and clutching a tankard of rum, his knuckles white. No doubt he thought it was bad luck to be singin' about Sirens aboard ship.
Jack fought a chuckle at the sight, and followed Anamaria down to the main deck. His unusual gait was tailored to the roll of the sea, and the rocking of his dark galleon, be it gentle or rough. When aboard ship, his swagger never appeared awkward, but natural, giving him a grace like no other while sailing the Caribbean waters.
A crewman by the name of Twigg immediately placed a bottle of rum in Jack's hand as he joined the bunch, and the group livened up at the Captain's arrival.
Jack roughly uncorked the bottle with his teeth and held it high. "To the best bad eggs I ever had the pleasure of sailin' with!" he declared. His accent was a distorted cockney that must have had true English roots at some point or another. He downed a good deal of the potent liquid in one gulp, and felt the satisfying burn as it went down his throat.
The crew let out a cheer before following their Captain's example, imbibing more drink. He'd won over the hearts and loyalty of his crew these past few months, and they believed it was a true honor to sail with the infamous pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow.
Tonight was a night of celebration, for they had a full load of swag below decks. It would fetch a good price. To make matters more joyous for the men, Tortuga was their next port of call, and their Captain had promised to hand out their equal shares, with free time in port to squander it away as they pleased.
The Pearl sat low in the water, weighted down by their haul. Jack didn't fancy carrying such a load for long, for it slowed the Pearl down and made the galleon sluggish. In waters where His Majesty's ships of the line sailed frequently, that could leave the Pearl and her crew in a rather awkward situation, should they run across one another unexpectedly.
Now, Jack Sparrow admitted that he might be a bit daft, but he wasn't downright loony. He would rather avoid such encounters, if at all possible, and rendezvous with His Majesty's fine men at a more opportune time.
"Capt'n, tell us one o' yer tales!" a crewman shouted, accompanied by more of the crew's sounds of approval at the idea.
Jack grinned and eased himself down on the deck, cross-legged, assuming his storytelling position.
'Aye, but I do treasure the chance to spin a good yarn!'
"A tale, eh? And what tale do you fine upstanding rapscallions wish to hear tonight?" he asked with a slur, before pausing a moment, one hand toying with his plaited beard as he did so. "How about the time I sacked Nassau Port without firing a single shot?"
A resounding silence was his answer.
"Nay? Right then! How about the time I vanished under…"
"How 'bout a new one, Jack? Perhaps a tale explainin' how ye came to acquire your compass?" Gibbs interrupted, his voice laden with curiosity, as murmurs passed through the crew. "Ye know, the one that leads to Isla de Muerta."
Jack rocked back, startled by the query. Suddenly, he inspected his crew. Sharp brown eyes narrowed into slits of black as he thrust his chin high. "Aye, I can tell you the tale, but it ain't fit for the superstitious man," he said, his voice uncharacteristically serious as he looked pointedly at Gibbs, who crossed himself in response before gulping down another helping of rum.
Jack set aside his own bottle. He'd need both hands for the telling of this tale.
"Who gave it to ye?" another crewman queried, anxious to hear his Captain's story.
Gold teeth glittered in the dim light as Jack answered.
"A beauty of a woman, the likes of which you lot are likely to never lay eyes on. Nay, you should pray to the heavens you never do! For even if you scabrous dogs were to witness her beauty, you'd likely never live to tell the tale." Jack smiled ominously, jeweled hands fluttering in their unique way as he spoke, ready and anxious to illustrate his fable with their hypnotic motions. "My compass was bestowed upon me as a gift. A gift from the possession of a Siren…"
Jack headed below decks to his cabin, most of the crew having retired by now. Some lay passed out above deck, while others had managed to stumble to their quarters below.
Alright. So admittedly, he'd embellished his tale a wee bit, here and there you understand. Spiced it up a smidgen, you know?
Still, like any good legend it was based on fact, but he could deduce that most of the crew thought it naught but more mad ramblings from their daft Captain.
A damn good tale to share in a tavern with a hogshead of rum, but nothing more.
Of course, they were partly right. The story he'd told was quite unbelievable, and he'd managed to exclude the most important bits of fact pertaining to his person while spinning the yarn. The most important being that he hadn't actually been the infamous pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow, when it had occurred.
He knew his crew would spread his fantastical tale of the Siren while the Pearl was anchored in Tortuga, as they always did when he chose to present a grand new tale of his high-seas adventures to the rest of the Caribbean population.
He rather enjoyed observing these tales hop from port to port, and many a tale there was, dozens of which were naught but pure flights of fancy.
But always one question remained, one which he had every intention of keeping a mystery.
Who is Captain Jack Sparrow?
Oh, he'd heard whispers surrounding his origins in taverns and pubs, told in hushed tones tainted with drink.
One tale said that he was an unfortunate son-of-a-gun of a well-to-do Captain. Another said he was born in Tortuga, the illegitimate son of a whore. A further one said that he was a prince, hiding from the throne. Yet another, which amused him greatly, proclaimed he'd risen from the depths of the sea herself.
They were good bits of yarn, he had to admit. All spoken as if pure fact.
The tales were bilge water, of course, but fine tales nonetheless.
Opening the door to his cabin, he stepped inside and removed his effects, followed quickly by his coat and boots.
Lying down on his cot, sleep quickly claimed him as the rum ran through his blood. Visions of his present soon transformed to memories of a past he never spoke of.
The landscape was undeniably exquisite. A hidden treasure. Most men never lived to tell the tale of its existence.
Paradise in the midst of massive gray rocks that jutted out of the sea, the likes of which he'd never seen.
It reminded him of Poseidon's trident rising from the water, and he thought that no mere mortal man should ever bear witness to such a sight.
Somehow, he'd made it past the rocks, despite the bullet lodged in his chest, courtesy of a treacherous scalawag who'd decided his ship was easy pickings, and a far improved vessel than the one he currently possessed.
He thought, certainly, he would be lost to Davy Jones' Locker as the rogue fired a shot into his chest and tossed him overboard for the sea to devour. He'd barely had enough strength to struggle to the surface after such an assault to his person. He'd succumbed to the sea and the darkness of death not long after.
Yet here he was, lying in this green meadow, surrounded by the most exotic and lush vegetation he'd ever laid eyes upon.
He hadn't the foggiest notion of how he'd come to be there.
'I am surely dead; there is no other explanation.'
Still, he was in an awful lot of pain if he was dead, and as he lay immobile his gaze took in the surrounding landscape. His breathing was shallow and ragged, and pain pierced his chest with every breath.
He looked down to view the fatal wound, as there was no doubt in his mind that it was fatal. Missing his heart by a mere rabbit's whisker, but still lodging deeply into one of his lungs. The damage was done; it was just a little less swift than a shot straight through the heart.
Too weak to move, and still losing a good deal of blood from the bullet wound in his chest, he knew he had only another hour to live, if that.
He had to admit, though, that it was a beautiful place to die. Be just his luck to die in a lost island paradise before he could explore it proper.
His only regret was that his newly wedded wife in England would never know what became of him. She would become a widow before she ever truly experienced being a wife.
With each passing minute he could feel his life ebbing away. His breathing short and fast, the pain becoming dull as his ability to feel mercifully began to perish. Black tainted the edges of his vision, and he thought, 'It be looking like I won't last through the hour after all.'
He closed his eyes, ready to let Death take him, but as he did so a voice broke through his haze. It was singing; melodic and beautiful. Distinctly feminine.
'Is it an angel?'
The singing was the most beautiful thing he'd ever heard in all of his short life, and as he felt his mortality slipping away from him, he couldn't conceive of a more wondrous sound to accompany his departure from earth than this angel's song.
"Stay with me.
Listen to my song, beautiful sailor.
If thee remain, thou shall leave charmed."
He struggled to see the source of the enchanting voice, but no longer had the strength for even the simple action of opening his eyes.
He knew it would not be long now.
"I can bless ye with many a gift,
Let me envelop thee.
My spell can bind thee heart.
I promise thou shall not be displeased.
Stay with me. Stay."
He felt a gentle hand on his brow, pushing aside the long black hair clinging to his face, the tie that held it back long gone, his hair now a tangle. Her touch sent a comforting warmth through his dying body, and he found himself thankful for her presence.
For no man truly wanted to die alone.
As he listened to her song he realized she was really speaking, but her speech naturally flowed and changed into that of a seductive song.
"Stay with me. Stay.
In return I shall bestow upon ye a most favorable transformation.
To become a son of the sea, beautiful sailor.
She is waiting for thee,
As am I."
Her touch was soft, warm, gentle, yet strong as well.
"Open thine eyes,
Let me see thy soul."
He opened his mouth to speak, but no sound passed his lips. His mouth dry, his voice gone.
She moved her hand down to his eyes and swept over them lightly.
"Open thine eyes,
Open thine eyes for me," she continued to sing.
Again he tried to lift his unnaturally heavy lids, and much to his surprise, succeeded in doing so, if only just barely. He blinked a few times, trying to focus his hazy vision, as black still threatened to close in.
She stroked his forehead again, and he was finally able to focus on her face.
His breathing ceased momentarily as he beheld her features. With skin like the finest porcelain, long waves of hair the color of the sea fell past her shoulders, and matched the color of her eyes.
Quite naturally, it didn't take long for him to lower his gaze, and he noticed that she was wearing not even a shred of clothing on her upper half.
Well now, he had a fine wife at home, but let it be said that he was no eunuch, nor a man who favored other men, and he couldn't in all honesty say that he didn't enjoy the view.
"Ye have awakened," she said in her seductive sing-song.
He attempted again to force words past his lips, and managed after a few heavy, deep coughs.
He almost cringed at the sound of his feeble voice.
"Stay with me. Ye will stay with me, will ye not?" she asked, her turquoise eyes begging him.
He coughed again, and it racked his lungs, filling his body with pain. "I'd be delighted to acquiesce to your request, luv," he whispered, each breath a struggle, "But it be looking as if I'm in Davy's Grip and he's not likely to be letting go."
She frowned, and he thought that it seemed a shame to mar her perfect face with such a displeased expression.
"What ails thee?"
He might have laughed, had he not been sure he would speed his death in the process.
He thought the large hole in his chest was rather obvious.
"I be no doctor, luv, but I sense this hole in my chest be the cause of my present difficulty."
Her eyes left his and her hand drifted down to his wound, probing it delicately.
He moaned as the light pressure brought back the pain that had been trying to fade away.
'What the devil is this seductress doing to me?'
"Poor soul, poor soul," she sang.
Laying her head upon his chest, she listened to the beating of his heart; fast and uneven. It was then, when she had bent over him, that he could see the long, slender wings that emerged from her shoulder-blades. They were not covered in feathers as one might have expected; instead fish-like scales adorned the wings, slick and matching the hue of her hair and eyes.
His breath caught in his throat as he fully comprehended what this seductress truly was. He was thrown off guard at her actions however. He thought, from the tales he'd heard, she'd surely have brought him death by now.
At his hitch in breathing, her eyes looked to his in concern, and he exhaled painfully, his face contorted in pain.
'Why did the bloody pain have to return? I be doing fine without it.'
Her gaze changed from sympathetic to curious, and she asked, "What be thy given name?"
Another shallow breath, the air becoming heavy and increasingly unavailable to him with each passing minute.
"Commodore Dylan Jackson Laraine," he said in a whisper, too weak to speak any louder.
"Ah…" she breathed, and stroked his face once more. "Then, ye be my bird of the sea."
"Eh?" He coughed again, and this time the bitter, metallic taste of blood came with it. He had naught but a few more moments, he knew. His gaze moved down to the rest of her figure, and he was not surprised to see her lower half was that of a fish, the scales matching those on her wings.
"Sea bird, sea bird," she sang, for his last name was Latin in origin, and meant just that.
"Beautiful sea bird. Have ye come to visit me?"
A weak smile broke through his pain-laced features.
"Nay, I fear this be my last voyage," he said, and it came out almost inaudible, blood emerging from a corner of his mouth, garbling his speech. "I be… in a bad way… luv."
Slender fingers gently caressed his features, and right before he closed his eyes, he could have sworn a tear slid down her porcelain cheek.
She leaned close to his ear and sang softly, almost urgently, "What does thine heart desire most, beautiful sea bird?"
'It be making no difference now,' he thought regretfully, as he felt his life draining away.
"Tell me, my bird of the sea, tell me now," she sang again, desperately, into his ear.
There was no need for him to think of an answer, he knew instinctively, like a bird knew how to fly. He tried to voice it, but as he did so only blood emerged, and he coughed violently.
'Blasted bullet is taking its bleedin' time.'
She cradled his head in her arms, and kissed his forehead lightly, once his convulsions had subsided. Faintly he could feel her warm, wet tears meet the cool skin of his forehead, and he briefly wondered why she would cry for him.
"Please tell me. Please, beautiful sea bird," she sang, almost begging.
He began coughing again, as he struggled to draw air into his damaged lungs, and answer this Siren who had the compassion to stay with a dying man as he took his final breaths.
The simple word came with more blood, and he couldn't be sure that his answer made it past his lips as anything comprehensible to the Siren who held him, but apparently it did.
Her head tilted to the side, her wings catching a slight breeze. "Ye ask not for life, nor treasure, nor power?" A sad smile passed her features. "Nay, rather, ye ask for freedom?"
She picked up one of his limp hands, and ran it across her wet cheek.
She would mourn for him.
He opened his mouth to answer her query, to tell her why, but as he did so, only his life's precious fluid passed his lips.
It was not meant to be.
With one last shallow breath, Dylan Jackson Laraine died in the Siren's embrace, and Jack Sparrow was born.