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Written by Heidi Rittner (pen name JasmineHR)
She raised her spyglass to get a better view of the arriving ship. 'It's about time', she thought. The Black Pearl had finally made its way to Tortuga's port. She watched as the crew prepared to make berth, making mental notes of the ship's condition. Sailors who claimed to have seen the Black Pearl while in the hands of the cursed crew had said the ship itself appeared to be cursed. The sails, they had said, were filled with holes and many of the wood beams looked to be rotted, and yet these things did not hinder the ship's speed or performance. According to the latest gossip, the original captain of the Black Pearl had left here with a crew intending to take back the ship he had lost to mutiny. The ship now had fairly new sails and she could see the slight difference in color where the ship had been repaired with new planks compared to the old weathered planks, an observation unnoticeable to the untrained eye. From the looks of things, he had succeeded in his quest.

"Now," she mumbled to herself, "let's see what we'll be dealing with."

She turned the spyglass in the direction of the Black Pearl's bridge and focused on its Captain. So this was the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow. The man who, according to the stories she'd gathered, would have been dead ten times over if not for his sheer dumb luck. Speaking of dumb, it was reported to her by several locals that he was a bit dimwitted and tended to spend a majority of his days in a drunken stupor. She studied him as closely as she could at her range. She was surprised to see that he was younger than she had expected him to be, maybe only five or six years her senior, and from this distance, she could see that he was easy on the eyes. At the present, he appeared to be sober but his brainpower, or lack thereof, could not be determined until she had a chance to talk to him. He did not have the look of a halfwit, but as she had learned in her life, looks can be deceiving.

She collapsed the spyglass and placed it back into a hidden pocket in her skirts as she headed back to prepare for her meeting. An hour should be a sufficient amount of time for him to anchor and get settled in. She'd know where to seek him out at that time.

Sparrow and Gibbs took a seat at one of the tavern tables with drinks in hand. After a quick glance to make sure there weren't any shady characters about, Jack hunched forward in his seat in order to speak in lower tones. Gibbs followed suit.

"Here's my plan, mate. We lay low for a fortnight, then make our way back to Isle de Muerte."

Gibbs shook his head. "But Jack, what of the treasure? Do ye think it safe to be sittin' there for the takin'?"

"It'll be fine. Only I know the exact whereabouts of Isle de Muerte. The crew may have an idea of its location, but they would have a hard time of it without the compass." He patted the object safely attached to his belt. "If we were to make haste after our recent arrival, it would seem suspect."

"Aye," Gibbs nodded in understanding. "You've a good mind in that head of yours, Jack."

But Jack's attention, as well as the attention of everyone in the tavern, was turned towards the door. Gibbs turned around to see what had caused the halt of all talking and movement.

Jack studied the woman who had managed to get the attention of an entire room simply by entering it. Of course, anyone who entered this tavern looking to be from a respectable background would draw the attention of the room, especially one in the form of a beautiful woman. She wore a fancy blue dress with elaborate flower designs, an umbrella dangling from her wrist, and one of those silly hats on top of her perfectly coiffed hair. How anyone could stand wearing the hundred pounds of material, Jack would never understand. She was obviously looking for someone and was interrupted as a big, particularly dirty, balding pirate approached her.

"Ahoy there, missy. I wonder, what's a fine thing such as yourself doing in this tavern? Come to answer my prayers, have ye?"

He reached out a hand towards her and she smacked it with her umbrella. The room burst out laughing, angering the pirate. He took another grab for her, but she jabbed him with the tip of her umbrella, once in the gut and once in the chest. Jack, being a very keen observer, noticed that she was holding the umbrella like an expert swordsman yields a sword. Of course, an umbrella can't do too much damage, but if she had been holding a sword, the man would be dead. The crowd burst out in laughter once again. Now the pirate was extremely angry. When she went to jab him again, he grabbed the umbrella and yanked her towards him, holding her around the waist. Jack put a hand on the hilt of his sword, waiting for an opportune moment to cut it.

"Not so tough without yer umbrella now, are ye?"

She scowled at him then smiled sweetly as her hand grasped the knife in her pocket. She slowly withdrew it and spoke in a low voice for his ears only. "If you value your family jewels," she put pressure on the blade and smiled wider as all the blood left his face, "then I suggest you go sit down with your friends and go about your own business."

He let go of her and she quickly hid the knife back in her pocket as he made his way back to his table. Everyone looked at each other shrugging and slowly got back into their previous conversations. Jack, with his shrewd eyes and sharp mind, saw everything that had taken place.

She made eye contact with him and started in his direction. He looked behind him to see who she might be looking at, but soon realized that she had been looking for him.

Gibbs turned towards Jack. "Here comes trouble," he said in a low voice.

"Captain Jack Sparrow?"

"That all depends on who's asking."

She smiled and stuck out her right hand in greeting. "My name is Gabrielle Cortez."

Written by BriannaRabbit (same pen name)
Jack looked at the girl, his eyes slowly running up the length of her as he leaned back in what appeared, to the untrained eye to be a drunken manner. Seeing nothing to signal immediate danger his gaze returned to the hand suspiciously. After a moment he reluctantly stuck his own hand out; he did not entirely trust this girl.

Gabrielle took the offered hand and shook it heartily. Her eyes narrowed at the pirate as she gave it a strong squeeze before releasing it. That'll teach him for looking her up and down. Bloody pirate.

"What is it that you want lass?" Jack wondered as he settled back drunkenly into his seat. If the strength of Gabrielle's handshake surprised him he wasn't about to show it.

"Could we discuss this... privately...?" Her eyes flitted to Gibbs uncertainly.

"Mr. Gibbs is me first mate; he stays." Jack told her firmly.

"Very well..." Gabrielle sighed and reached into the bodice of her dress.

"Then again some things are meant to be in private..." Jack cleared his throat as both he and Gibbs looked intently at what she was doing.

"Don't get your hopes up Mr. Sparrow," Gabrielle rolled her eyes and pulled the necklace off of her neck. Carelessly she tossed it onto the table in front of the two pirates.

"It's Captain Sp-" The correction died on Jack's lips as the shining piece of Aztec Gold that was only too familiar to Jack came to a stop on the old wooden table near his hand. He withdrew that hand immediately as though afraid to touch it.

"Mary mother 'o-" Gibbs began but couldn't finish. Both he and Jack turned at the same time to see Gabrielle smirking at them.

"So Captain... are we ready to talk business?" Gabrielle asked in a sweet tone.