Disclaimer: I do not own anyone or anything from PotC.
A/N: Well, before I get any complaints or confused reviews, this is a Halloween fic, and yes I do realize that it is well after Halloween. But, I began writing a drabble, which turned into something much bigger, so it took a bit longer to finish. Better late than never, right?
"Dead and Buried"
Shivering in the cold night air, Anamaria pulled the long, black cloak tighter around her body. No matter what she did or how many coats she wore, Ana would never get used to this chill. And, she did not want to. She wanted to go home. She did not want to be trudging through London's candlelit streets on All Hallow's Eve looking for her missing Captain.
"Trick or treat!" a youthful voice howled, as two small children plowed into Ana. Peering out from beneath her cloak, the lady pirate glared down at the boys who stood with hollowed out gourd lanterns, holding their hands out expectantly.
Raising her eyebrow, Ana reached for her dagger. Letting the blade catch the light of the full moon, she smiled devilishly. "You'll get no treat here, young sirs," she said, employing the most menacing tone she could muster.
One boy stood, frozen in place. The other, eyes wide, tugged on his companion's shirt and urged him away from the cloaked woman. "She's a witch," Ana heard him whisper as they scampered away. Re-sheathing her knife, Ana cackled softly, just for good measure.
All Hallows Eve, a night on which small children were permitted to run rampant in the streets and demand that passersby give them gifts. Ana sighed, leave it to pagans to dream up such a foolish tradition. Supposedly, if one chose to receive a trick instead of give a treat, then said person would fall prey to some sort of supernatural event. Of course the Church had stamped out most remnants of the heathen's festival, discounting many of the eerie happenings as mere pranks, but most people still believed that the dead walked with the living on this night. Ana, however, did not believe in the ghosts, ghouls and demons of All Hallows Eve. She had seen true evil in the form of Barbossa and his crew of corpses. That was something to fear, not superstitious tales from the likes of Mr. Gibbs. Still, she would rather let the little rats think she was a witch than have them start a rumor that a pirate was roaming the streets of London. Lowering her head against the wind, she thought of how happy she would be when this errand was over and she could return to the West Indies. She still had no idea why Jack had dragged her and the rest of the crew to this damnedable foggy island, but she had a bad feeling about the whole voyage.
"We're going where?" Ana was so taken aback, that she could not help but shout her question.
"London," Jack answered calmly, as though nothing were out of the ordinary.
"Well, but . . . I don't . . . at least . . . Why!?" the lady pirate had so many questions bouncing back and forth inside of her brain that she hardly knew which to ask first.
"Somethin' I have to take care of," her Captain said simply.
"Jack!" Ana was still yelling. "It's all the way across the bloody ocean."
"So, we're just going to take a few months and go off gallivanting across the Atlantic?"
Jack crossed the cabin, picked up his hat, and headed for the door. "You, luv, will go wherever it is your Captain tells you to go."
The journey across the Atlantic had been long and hard. The Pearl had been out of sight of land for months. They faced storms, shortages of food and water, and the inevitable boredom and discontent associated with long days at sea. The whole time, Jack had been completely focused on reaching England, never mentioning the reason for their going. He had been sullen and withdrawn. He had been a stranger.
Shaking her head to try to dispel her doubts, Ana recommenced her search. All bad feelings aside, time was running out. She had to find Jack, for she was certain that if the Black Pearl lingered much longer, they would soon overstay their welcome. Then, ghosts and goblins would be the least of their problems.
They had arrived just outside of the busy port two nights ago. Since then, their Captain had been behaving most unusually. Or rather, he had behaved quite normally, which was unusual for Jack Sparrow. They had made anchor in a secluded bay, just out of sight of the docks. Jack had seen to it that the crew knew the dangers of causing trouble in town before letting them have shore leave. He had managed to acquire enough supplies for the voyage back home. All the while, hardly speaking to Ana, and certainly not saying anything concerning his reasons for bringing his crew so far away from home.
Somewhere in the middle of the ocean, after altogether too much rum, Ana had been able to establish that this would not be Jack's first visit to England. Her Captain was, in fact, returning to the city of his birth. At this admission, however, Jack seemed to realize that he had said too much. He retreated to the seclusion of his cabin and never said another word on the subject.
To say that Jack never spoke about his past would have been a vast understatement. What Ana did know about the pirate Captain's history she had been told only when it had been absolute necessity. Due to events quite beyond her Captain's control, Ana had found out that, a lifetime ago, Jack had been in the King's Navy. She had discovered that he served on the same ship as her late husband. After a battle, left for dead, Jack had been picked up by a pirate ship with black sails. Jack Sparrow had been born on that day, and the man he had been was forever banished. Except for times like these, Ana had all but forgotten that Jack had ever been anything but the infamous pirate.
But, Jack had been someone else, and that person was undoubtedly the reason that he had elected to return to England.
"Alright, Captain," Anamaria said, pushing open the door to Jack's quarters. "I've got everything's loaded into the galley, except this, which I expect you want kept in your cabin." Stepping inside of Jack's cabin, Ana set down the crate of rum on his desk.
"He's gone," Gibb's voice interrupted the lady's activity.
Ana glanced around the room, noticing for the first time that Jack was missing. "Gone?" she repeated the word. "What d'you mean gone?"
Gibb's was sitting at the table with his head in his hands. "E said 'e had to deal with somethin' that wasn't quite buried. Then, he just left."
Hands on her hips, Ana could feel her anger flare. "And you let him go!"
The older sailor spread his hands out defensively. "Wha' else could I do? It's bad luck to go against yer Captn's orders."
"Damn it, Gibbs!" Ana pounded her fist down on the tabletop, before rushing towards the cabin door.
"Where're ye goin?"
"To find him!"
Something that was not quite buried. Figures that Jack Sparrow would disappear with only a riddle as a clue to his whereabouts. Not knowing what Jack was talking about, but hoping she had guessed his meaning, Ana had slogged through every cemetery she could find. The only thing keeping her going was imagining what Gibb's face would look like when she told him she'd visited every graveyard in London on All Hallows Eve. This certainly must be bad luck.
Rain had begun to fall. The lanterns lining the roads were flickering and starting to die. People were moving indoors, leaving the streets dark and ominously quiet. The streets were slick with rainwater. In her hurry, Ana slipped and fell gracelessly into a newly formed mud puddle. She barely contained the urge to curse out loud, for such things were quite unbecoming a lady in England.
"Whoa, there," a man's voice started. "Are you alright?"
"I'm fine," Ana returned. "But I think my cloak's seen better days."
Reaching down to help Ana to her feet, the man laughed a laugh that she could have sworn she'd heard before. "Your hands are freezing," he said. "I'd be honored if you allowed me to buy you a drink to warm yourself."
"Be honored, would you?" Ana said, trying to make out the man's face, mostly hidden by the shadow of his wide brimmed black hat. Shivering, Ana mused that her chilled bones had made the decision for her. "Alright," she said. "But I can only take a moment. I'm looking for someone."
The man nodded his understanding. Moving to the nearest inn, he held the door open as Ana stepped inside. "Buttered rum," he called to the barkeep, holding up two fingers.
Sliding into a booth, Ana blew hot air on her hands in an effort to restart blood flow to her extremities. A steaming mug appeared in front of her. "Thank – " Ana's eyes grew wide as saucers. The words of gratitude dried up in her mouth as the man took his seat across from her. The lady pirate's blood turned to ice. Tossing his hat on the bench beside him, she met the man's eyes. Two dark, fathomless eyes that Ana had gazed into many times before this night. His skin was missing the deep bronzed tan. His face was perfectly shaved, and his dark hair was tied neatly into a pigtail at the base of his neck. This man was a complete stranger. He was not Jack Sparrow. That was impossible, and yet, this man could be Jack.
"Is something wrong?" the man asked. No thick pirate accent. No drunken slur. But, in rare moments, she had heard Jack speak without both of these things before.
"I have to go," Ana said as she nearly leapt to her feet.
"Surely you can finish – "
"No!" she continued backing away from the man. "I mean, I can't. I'm sorry." Without any further explanation, Anamaria rushed headlong through the door and out into the street.
The cold rain fell hard against her face, blurring her vision. Somewhere behind, she heard the tavern door open. She heard the man calling to her. His uncanny familiar voice sent chills down her spine. Jack. Ana needed to find her Captain. Not bothering to answer the man's shouts, Ana plunged forward hardly knowing where she was going, just knowing that she needed to get there fast.
Unconscious of where she was running to, Ana soon found herself standing in a cemetery. In the downpour, she had lost track of the man who had been following her. "Jack!" she yelled, hoping against hope that her Captain would hear, but her voice was lost in a gust of wind.
Ana sighed and held her head in her hands. Relax, she scolded herself. She had just met a man who bore a physical resemblance to her Captain. So, what? Maybe they were distant relations. Maybe Jack had brothers, or cousins that looked similar. But, that man's eyes . . . no one had eyes like Jack Sparrow. No one . . . Stop! Ana took a deep breath. She was being foolish, and worrying over nothing. Jack was probably back on board the Pearl by now, drinking rum and wondering why she had run off. He was probably fine. He had probably left Gibbs with that cryptic message just to rile the superstitious old sailor. He was probably – "My God," Ana stopped dead in her tracks. "Jack?"
One empty bottle rolled lazily in the wind, another was clutched tightly in Jack's hand. He sat on the ground, leaning against a gray granite gravestone. His eyes were closed, their kohl lining streaking down his cheeks as though he had cried black tears.
"Jack!" Ana repeated his name, louder this time, as she knelt beside her Captain. "Jack! Wake up!" she demanded, gripping his shoulders.
Altogether too slowly, the pirate opened his eyes. "Ana?" his voice was heavy with rum. "Whasht's wrong?"
Jack Sparrow was drunk. "Come on, Jack," the lady urged her Captain as she slung his arm around her shoulders and pulled him to his feet. Jack drank . . . a lot. But, contrary to popular belief, Jack was very rarely drunk. The flamboyant, crazed, intoxicated fool was merely for show. Most of the time, his act would lead enemies to underestimate the pirate, thus giving him the upper hand. A long time ago, Jack had lost his ship because he let his guard down. He would never make that mistake twice, and so, he was almost never well and truly drunk. On a few nights, however, her Captain had been overcome by pain or sadness or anger. Anamaria had seen him lose the control he fought so hard to retain. She had seen him sink to depths that haunted her dreams. This night, she felt, was sure to live on in her nightmares.
"This is what you were looking for?"
Ana shuddered at the sound of that voice. She felt Jack's body stiffen at her side. The voice unmistakably belonged to Jack Sparrow, but it did not come from the man at her side. Peering through the rain, she once again met those black eyes.
"This man isn't worth your time," the man said, his tone condescending, as he strode closer to the lady, his face once again lurked in the shadows of his hat, and a black cloak billowed around his slender body. "And, he certainly is not worth time that you could have spent with me."
Suddenly, Ana was no longer supporting Jack's weight. He straightened, and stared levelly at the intruder, not wavering at all on his feet. "She won't be spending any time with you," he said, his voice clear, and angry. "You're dead."
"Am I?" The man perfectly mirrored Jack's grin, minus the golden teeth. "Then how is it I'm standing here, Captain Sparrow?"
Jack's hand went to his sword.
"Oh, I'll admit that you've tried to leave me behind. You've tried to bury me, but you can't. Can you?"
The pirate's cutlass gleamed in the moonlight. "Don't be so sure," he growled.
Thunder cracked and roared in the night sky, as Jack charged at the other man, and plunged his sword into the man's flesh. Lightning flashed, and Ana's ears were flooded with the sound of an anguished scream. In horror, Ana watched as blood stained her Captain's shirt, in the exact spot where he had stabbed the other man. Clutching his wound, the pirate staggered and fell to his knees.
"You cannot leave me behind, Captain Sparrow, because you are nothing without me," the man dressed in black explained, calmly pulling Jack's sword from his chest.
"You bastard," Ana screamed. "What did you do to him!?"
"What did I do to him? No, my dear, you should ask him what he did to me. Ask him how he left me to die once he decided to become the dreaded Captain Jack Sparrow. Ask him what happened to me once the pirate took control. Ask him what I lost. I could have been someone that my father was proud of. I could have been the man my mother wanted to call her son."
Ana did not hear the man's words. All she could hear was her Captain lying on the ground coughing. She heard the fight for each breath. She no longer saw his mirror image standing in front of her. In his place, she saw a man who had harmed Jack. She saw her enemy.
"Go ahead, just ask your Captain Sparrow what he did to me. He'll tell you. He sees me every time he closes his eyes. He sees me in every mistake, every time he fails. He sees what he could have been. He'll tell you. He'll tell you how he cannot forget me. How he cannot let me go, and he certainly cannot kill me."
The lady pirate's hand went to her dagger. "Maybe, he can't . . . " Ana hissed as she pounced on the man, knocking him to the ground. " . . . but, I can." Slowly, enjoying her victory over this evil, Ana dragged her blade across the man's throat.
A bolt of lightning illuminated the pitch black sky. The man's body disappeared from beneath Ana's knife. The rain stopped, the ground felt instantly dry, as though not a drop of water had fallen from the heavens. The candlelight that had died in the downpour, once again flickered and warmed the dark night.
"Anamaria, what're ye doin?"
Turning, Ana met her Captain's chocolate eyes. He was standing, regarding her with curiosity and concern. Quickly scanning the cemetery for any sign of the black clad man, Ana rose to her feet and sheathed her dagger. "I . . . I was . . . looking for you," she stuttered.
"You've found me," the pirate said, spreading his hands out. Jack was not drunk. He was not wet. He was not wounded, and he certainly was not on the verge of death.
"What were you doing here, Jack?" Ana asked.
The pirate lowered his head. "Sayin' goodbye."
Ana's eyes went to the gravestone that she had first seen her Captain sitting near. Or, rather, she thought she'd seen him near. The man buried there had died almost thirteen years ago. He had only been in his twenty first year. "Saying goodbye to whom?" Ana asked, noticing that her Captain's eyes were drawn to the same headstone.
"The first man Jack Sparrow killed."
Ana read the name chiseled into the granite and knew that she was looking at the name of the man who had been left behind the day that Captain Jack Sparrow was born. She was staring at all that remained of the man that Jack could have been. "Do you ever miss him?" she said softly.
A slight smile passed over Jack's lips. Clearing his throat, the pirate looked up at his first mate. Placing his arm around her shoulders, he turned and lead her to the gate of the cemetery. "Not anymore, luv," he said. "Ready to go home?"
Ana smiled. "Aye, Captain."
I haven't ever written anything remotely scary, supernatural etc before, so your feedback will be much appreciated. Please, please let me know how I did.