Chapter Four: Getting Somewhere at Last

A/N:looks bashful: Hi there… Umm… please don't kill me for not posting for so long:huddles in her corner: Yeah… No real excuse here other than school, health, and lack of inspiration in this particular fandom. If anyone likes Phantom of the Opera, I've got several of those fics posted! That's something, at least, eh?

The rain hadn't let up by the time Will left the house. He returned some time later, drenched to the bone and not a smile on his face nor in his eyes. A near hopeless look had settled over his features and he all but fell into a chair.

"Not good news?" Elizabeth asked softly.

"They'd gotten to him again," Will answered, voice drained of all emotion, but when he turned his eyes up to Norrington, his eyes were pleading. "He can't survive much longer in there. We have to get him out. Now."

The commodore sighed heavily. "We got Ana Maria a trial," he murmured. "Perhaps… we could do the same for this."

"He doesn't have as long as it would need for a trial if he stays there. They'll beat the life out of him."

Norrington glanced to where Ana Maria was standing, her interest peeked at his words. "We could place him under a house arrest of sorts."

"You'll be putting your career in jeopardy over this pirate," Governor Swann, who had been sitting silently with his grandchildren up until that point, piped up.

The younger man put one hand to his face, wariness showing through. "Perhaps," he said slowly. "But… We had a deal. I will not go back on my word."

Will's eyes turned towards the closed door as the voices – or one voice, being Cromwell's – escalated so that he might hear what was happening inside the room.

"You want what?" Cromwell's gruff voice demanded.

"A proper trial," came Norrington's stern one.

"He's not a citizen."

"Neither was the girl whose case was tried some time ago. Ana Maria."

"You're not helping your own case, Commodore. I've looked back on your record. Eight years of letting him go, do you see that? First, was here –" Did he have it written down? Will sighed in irritation. "Next was several months later, I'd say right before the Turner boy married the Swann girl, hmm? Yes. That's when the rumours started, Commodore. Very soon after that, you stormed into the East India Company's holding cells and demanded – demanded Commodore! – that Jack Sparrow be placed in your custody."

"Sir! Anderson was a criminal! He had no right!"

"True, but you should have brought the scoundrel back and hung him yourself! But lest you think so, Norrington, I'm not done. Then, as you said about the little slave girl-"

"She wasn't-"

"You'd best be quiet, sir! You and Governor Swann helped free her. Don't think I haven't seen her at the jail cells! I know she's his first mate and you're lucky I haven't thrown her in there along with him to die. Then you accompanied Sparrow after the Turners'. No! Don't even argue your case there, you will loose. I do believe up until this point that is it. You've also done a bit to help out the Turners', haven't you? Since their house burned last year. Yes… You cared for Elizabeth, I did hear about all of that mess, but they've been known to be close with Sparrow. Young Mr. Turner is waiting for the answer right now, is he not?"

Will heard James Norrington let out an agitated sight. "I'm asking for a simple trial and to put him under house arrest until the verdict comes in."

"Whose house, sir?"

"Governor Swann – yes, for his daughter, before you ask – has offered for Sparrow to stay there. If guards are needed, I shall provide them. Or if you wish to provide your own, by all means! Is it not a simple request? What you don't see, sir, is all the things that Sparrow has done for this settlement. The personal hits he's taken in his… business… to see that Port Royal is safe."

"Fine. Take him, but if he disappears it shall be your head, Norrington."

"Thank you, sir."

"Dismissed, commodore. But remember, Jack Sparrow is not the only one on trial here. If he's found guilty – which he will be – then you will fall right along with him."

Will did not hear Norrington respond, but the door opened and the commodore walked out. The blacksmith stood quickly, giving a small bow to the admiral and the two younger men exited the building in silence.

"Let me in, damn you!" Ana Maria screamed.

One of the guards at Jack's door grabbed hold of her. "You little whore!" he growled. "You think I'd let you in! You're crazy!"

Ana's eyes lit with fury and she began to struggle harder against him, screaming and kicking and cursing the whole way.

"Unhand her."

The guard dropped her abruptly and stood strait. "Lord Bruckworth."

"What the hell do you think you're doing, man?" Richard demanded.

"She… she was trying to get in. I was ordered to keep anyone out until the doctor left and after that only with the admiral's permission was anyone to enter."

Richard glared at him, causing the boy to shrink back. "Did your mother teach you no manners?" he growled out, motioning to Ana. "You never touch a lady without her permission and you never, under any circumstances, call her a whore, sir."

"I'm sorry, m'lord," the boy said with a small bow.

"I bet you are. Now get out. I will see my son whether your admiral sees it fit or not."

"Son, sir?"

"Do you question me?"

"No sir!" The boy scurried away, leaving Ana Maria staring at Richard in shock.

"I never knew you had that much clout."

"I really couldn't do anything," Richard admitted with a shrug. "Other than be overbearing more times than not." He chuckled. "They think my title means that I could have them hung, I suppose. And if we were in England, I just might be able to. I have the connections, but whatever the case, it got us in."

They stepped into the room to see the doctor standing. Jack was stretched out on the bed, pale beneath his dark tan, but his eyes were open. He gave them a lopsided grin and forced himself into a half sitting position, receiving a sharp glare from the doctor that he promptly ignored. "'allo," he greeted.

"You look terrible, Sparrow," Ana deadpanned.

"Thanks luv," he grumbled, falling back against the stacked pillows. "Love you too."

She smiled at this. "May I have a moment?" she asked quietly and Richard nodded, leaving her alone with his stepson. She moved over to the bed and sat on it, taking Jack's hand in her own. He watched her as she flipped it over, running her fingers along the scars there. Reminders of East India. "You've gone through so much over the years," she whispered, kissing his scarred palm.

He grinned up at her. "And I'll have plenty more years to find new messes to get into, luv. Don' ye worry 'bout tha'."

Flute Damioh:Sorry it took so long! I'm going to be saying that a lot, I fear!

Dawnie-7:Welcome back and gone again, I suppose, but thanks very much anyway. Hopefully it won't take me so long to get the next chapter out. I'm going to try to juggle this and my Phantom fic as well at the same time. Stupid me…

Lynx Ryder:Hah! Look! I updated:points triumphantly: Norrington's not so bad. He's putting his career on the line for Jack. And he got him out of jail, even if not free.

Mackerel:Join the club. WE should create one. "Angst Lovers Unite!" Hehe… Hope I had a bit more of a steady pace for you.

Kungfuchick: HULLO! I haven't talked to you in FOREVER:hugs: Sorry… I waited longer this time :hides: Please forgive me!

JackFan2:I haven't talked to you in forever either:hugs: I think this chapter was a bit longer than the others, and I'm a bit inspired now. Pray that inspiration stays!

Rose the pirate:Jack irritates no matter what, It's his goal in life. Gotta love him for his high ambitions, right?