Genre: General
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I own nothing of Pirates of the Caribbean, blah blah blah, yada yada yada…
Authors Note:

There is no real summary for this so I'll just mention what it's about here. The story is a simple oneshot based around an idea I had to explain the tattoo of Lily-Rose that is visible upon Jack's chest in various shots in the film. Obviously there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for it in reality – Johnny's own tattoo for his daughter – but I felt that seeing as it was perfectly possible for Jack to have the tattoo as well, there should be some reason for it. I chose the reason I did because I felt that nothing else would fit, and I didn't want Lily-Rose to be some woman Jack loved as it just felt wrong because I couldn't help thinking of Johnny's daughter. I don't know how likely any of this sounds as to Jack's character, but the story has been festering in my head for months and so I had to get it out. Please let me know what you think of it by commenting :)

Lily-Rose

Captain Jack Sparrow lay in his bed staring at the timbers above, trying to allow his mind and body to be lulled into relaxation by the gentle swaying of his ship. His mind did not wish to rest however, his mind wanted to plague him with memories of the past, even when he went to sleep. He willed himself to think of other things, he begged the heavens above for an empty mind so that he may rest peacefully, but the thoughts continued to run through his head reminding him of days gone by.

Sighing to himself he closes his eyes, for a fleeting moment letting the vision flitter across his memory sending that familiar ache in his heart every time he thought of her. He could picture her so well; her curling blonde hair flowing out behind her as she ran through the bushes, weaving around the trees giggling in her joyous playtime. He could smile as he thought of this image, but unfortunately this was not the only one that came to him.

The searing pain ripped through his chest as he saw her bowed head and her shoulders quivering as she cried silently. He could still feel her as she trembled in his arms, crying with every part of her little body as her small fingers clung for dear life to his shirt.

"Papa." She cried over and over. "Don't go, please don't go." She sobbed, heaving out every word with force as she continued to weep uncontrollably. It tore him apart as he clung onto her, holding her trying to stop the heartbreak that he knew she was feeling, for he was feeling it himself. He held her as tightly as he could without breaking her frail little body, trying to stop her heaving shoulders as she wept against him, his clothes becoming moist with her tears. He didn't want to leave, not now, not ever, but the plans had been made and he had no choice in the matter.

"Stay papa." She whispered, looking up to him, her hazel eyes meeting his dark brown orbs, the colour a mixture of his and her mothers. "Please papa, I'll be so good." She promised as she stared so honestly at him, the tears still freely rolling down her cheeks as she begged him to remain with her.

"Darling I have to go." He said, hating the words more than she could comprehend.

"No papa, you can stay, you can come and stay with me and mama. Nana and pop won't mind." She implored, her lip quivering as she stubbornly held onto the belief in these words.

"I can't." he said, shaking his head, his eyes mirroring her mournful expression though he would not allow the tears to fall, no matter how persistent they were being.

"But you're always leaving." She sobbed, burying her face into his shoulder once again. "And mama says you're not coming back this time." She continued, choking over her words.

For a moment Jack hated her mother then, for telling their child this fact that hurt him so much for he knew it had to be true. He would have rather have his little daughter believe him to be returning one day, rather than have her cry and possibly hate him for leaving her for good.

"Well… to be honest… I don't know if I can come back." Jack answered her, trying to keep his tone soothing although it felt like breaking. "I have to go to some places and do some things that might take a while."

"Why though, why can't you just forget about them and stay and play." She continued to plead. Jack sighed and closed his eyes, nuzzling his face against his daughter's soft hair, taking in the beautiful scent that seemed to constantly linger around her. He didn't know how to answer her, because in truth there was nowhere he'd rather be than with her. Her mother though… that was a different story.

Jack heaves a further sigh as he lies in his bed, thinking further back to the time when he met Arianne, the mother of his little daughter. He'd sailed to St. Louis on the Southern coast of France sixteen years ago, with nothing more on his mind than enjoying himself in the taverns, and allowing his crew to spend their pay on whatever they pleased. The stay was a welcome one, and though the town was not a pirate haven like Tortuga, nor was it as strict as other parts of the world. The pirates had no fear that they would attract any attention from the authorities, and so a leisurely time of freedom upon shore was organised for a few days respite from their sailing across the oceans.

Jack had, as always, taken up residence in several taverns throughout the first day of his arrival, but had ended the day stopping in one particular tavern that was legendary in the region for serving the finest of rum. La Couer de La Mer was no different to any other tavern in any other way, but fine rum was enough to ensure that Jack would spend much of his time there. The Heart of the Sea

Then, on the second night he spent in the tavern a new advantage came to the place, in the angelic form of a beautiful singer. The woman was petite in stature, with long slightly curling blonde hair. Her eyes were a hazel-green and filled with tears as she sang her beautiful melodies, little of which Jack could understand as they were all of course in French, but they were songs that he still found himself enjoying.

He'd paid rapt attention to the woman as she performed, gently swaying in her seat at the piano as she played tinkling chords and sang sweet words. She was quiet in voice, her words seeming but a whisper, but it seemed that all man and beast quietened just so that they could listen. Once her performance was over and she'd been applauded loudly she slipped away out of sight, and for as far as Jack knew it would be the last time he would see her.

As fate would have it however it was not the last time, and, but an hour later, he had come across her once more, this time as he headed away from the tavern towards the inn where he was staying. He would not have noticed her in the dark of the night had he not literally walked into her bent form as she seemed to be picking something up from the ground.

She'd let out a small shriek as she'd fallen to the floor and Jack was quick to try and assist her, taking hold of her arm as he tried to help her up, trying to hush her cry for fear of drawing any attention to himself.

"Desolée, desolée." He repeated over and over as he helped her to her feet, recalling the small amount of French he'd learnt on his voyages across the globe. At first she had shooed him away, muttering words he didn't understand as she stood up, but as he continued in his pleas for forgiveness and she'd straightened herself and looked at him, her angered frown had softened and he'd caught the first genuine smile upon her lips. 'Sorry, sorry.'

"It's alright." She'd answered, her French accent making the words sound just as melodic as her songs. "I'm fine." She added in reassurance.

"I didn't see you there." Jack explained.

"It's alright." She repeated, forcing Jack to smile, glad that her anger had subsided.

Unlike the tales of love that are dreamed up by poets and writers, the meeting was as simple as those short moments and neither participants thought anything of it. That was until they met again, in equally mundane circumstances in the town as Jack had come across the beautiful woman again this time selling bouquets and wreaths of flowers.

She'd recalled who he was and he remembered her of course, and so for the day they'd spent time together. Jack admittedly began to find that he had an ulterior motive in getting to know the woman, for as much as he had not thought about it the first night he had seen her, he had come to realise he very much wanted to bed her. And so few days passed by and Jack realised further and further his want for the young woman, and so his attention towards her became more persistent.

Finally, after he felt like he was at a loss of what to do, the young lady who'd given her name as Arianne, had finally given herself to him. He'd loved her purely for one night alone, where he'd worshipped her small body that seemed to be lost beneath his. He'd taken her to heaven where she belonged, and until the morning suns rays filtered in through the windows of the tavern room where they were, he'd held her in his arms, whispering the usual promises of adoration.

And thus their time together was over, and Jack was ready to set sail once again, with nothing but good memories left in his mind over his time in St. Louis. What he did not know however, was what he had left behind, and so when he decided to return once again just under nine months later, he was surprised when he encountered his angel upon the street, this time carrying a rotund bump at her waist.

He had not known what to do as he'd come to a standstill in his tracks, watching the beautiful, and highly pregnant woman as she continued to weave amongst the crowds of people, asking them to buy her flowers. Many seemed to take pity upon her, pressing coins into her palm worth far more than the small bouquets that she could give them, but the weariness marring her pretty features told the Captain that these coins were not enough.

Taking a deep breath he'd walked over to her, his heart racing faster with every step he took, watching as she seemed to stand out like a beacon of light amongst all the people, just as she seemed to have done all those months ago.

"Arianne…" he'd spoken her name as he reached her, hoping that she would be happy that he had returned as she turned to look at him. Her features remained still for a moment, blank and void of emotion as she looked at him. He looked back at her, waiting for her to say something but when she did not he sighed and looked down, viewing her swollen belly.

"It is yours." She finally spoke causing his gaze to quickly look to her face, her features now hard and cold.

"I wasn't going to ask…" he began to defend himself, but was cut short by her speaking again.

"I know what everyone thinks of me but I am no whore. The child can only be yours." She stated adamantly.

"I know." He answered, stunned by her fervour in stating this fact.

"So you do." She agreed, her tone clipped. "But do not worry, you're not needed." She added. "I am working to look after this baby when it comes, I have family who will help me so do not worry yourself."

"Arianne, I didn't know about it until a moment ago when I saw you. If I'd known…"

"You would have returned to me?" she scoffed. "Do not make me out to be a fool, I know your kind, I was just too much of an idiot to acknowledge it before so that I could have stopped myself from getting into this mess."

"What do you want from me?" Jack sighed, wondering for a moment why he even approached the woman. Did he really want to get involved with all this?

"I've already answered you; nothing." She stated adamantly.

"No, I have to do something." He replied, realising that yes, he did have to help her in at least some way. He was but twenty five years old and she was a little younger, he knew he had responsibility to take, and so he would at least do something for her, if she'd let him.

"Then you should have done it months ago, you should have been here for me." She said, hurt evident in her tone at his not returning to her.

"Well what if I could be here for you now?"

"Don't make promises that you don't plan on keeping. I told you I know your kind. You shall say that you'll stay but as soon as the ocean calls you shall run back to your ship and sail away forever."

"It's a shock I'll admit, but I'll take the responsibility."

"You have no responsibility. This child shall not know you, and I do not wish to know you any longer." She'd spat and had turned to walk away.

"Arianne, please." He had pleaded, reaching a hand out softly to touch her shoulder.

"No." she'd answered, shrugging his hand away. "You're nothing to me or my child, so go back to your life of freedom, we wouldn't want to tie you dow-." She'd answered before her eyes went wide and she let out an agonized moan.

"Arianne?" he asked, concern quickly rushing through him pushing any other thoughts aside.

"Just leave." She'd growled through clenched teeth as she clutched her belly, pain written clearly across her features.

"No, I can't." he'd answered, placing his hand upon her shoulder once again as she almost doubled over as she moaned again.

"You're not going to be involved in my life anymore!" she'd ground out.

"Please Arianne." He'd continued to beg as he squatted beside her as she sank to the floor, watching her expression of pure agony as tears ran down her face and sweat started to bead upon her brow as she clenched her jaw against the pain.

"Don't touch me!" she screamed as he brought his hand towards her cheek, trying to brush away the tears as they rolled downwards. "Get away!" she continued to yell, then repeating her request in French as she started to sob.

Before Jack could move again he felt rough hands upon his upper arms, pulling him away. The French authorities had come to Arianne's rescue it seemed, and Jack could do nothing but watch her sob in the middle of the street as they dragged him away, scolding him with words he couldn't understand.

He was thrown into a cell soon after, under what charges he did not know. He sat on the floor amongst the dirt and the straw as he waited for some kind of news of what was happening, and he did so for three days and two nights.

During this time he reflected over his actions and words, and over the time he'd spent with Arianne. He was not surprised that she had born a child from their time together, but was surprised that she seemed to be as angry as she was. He made excuses for her though, thinking back to things he'd learnt of pregnant women and how they could turn vile and malicious in an instant without any warning. He knew she had a right to be angry that he'd not returned sooner, and he knew that there was every possibility she believed he would never return, and so her hate would have grown from that.

More than her anger though he could not understand his own actions, and in particular his want to help her. He'd known many pirates and sailors throughout his life, and he knew that many had children they had never seen or even knew about. He was more than a little dubious over the idea that he may have other children in other ports across the world that he had simply not learnt of, for there was no use in denying his antics with women when he docked.

He'd never properly worried over these issues before though, and had never thought that he would have to. He'd always believed that if he did come into such a situation he would do his best to leave it behind, for family was not something he wished to be tied down to.

Seeing Arianne so tired and in such pain he'd suddenly realised that he couldn't leave, and that he had to be with her. He didn't love her he knew, but the fact that she held part of him within her made the circumstances change. To see her belly so round and full with the life inside made Jack feel warmth he'd never before experienced. As he'd watched her from afar, working up the nerve to go over to her, he'd had the biggest urge to press his palm against the large curve of her stomach.

It was then that he realised that despite the idea scaring him, and despite how it would change his life indefinitely, he knew he had to be involved in this tiny beings life, he had to see it outside in the world so that he could watch it grow. He had to see how it looked like him, whether it would act like him and whether it would love him. He'd never thought of children before, or at least not of having his own, but now the idea of it seemed so natural, so perfect, that he would accept pushing everything aside to accustom it.

Arianne however pushed him away, just as the baby was ready to be born into the world. She'd told him she wanted no more to do with him and she wanted him to play no part in their child's life. There was nothing he could do about it, especially when he was stuck in a French prison under terms he had no clue about.

Then in the afternoon of the third day, as he lay as usual upon the ground, he heard footsteps coming towards his cell. Nonchalantly he'd waited for the footsteps to come closer as he guessed at their owner, an officer of the prison coming to check on him he had thought.

Out of the corner of his eye however he saw green skirts dragging over the floor, and as he sat up he caught the eye of the woman who the skirts belonged to, a beautiful blonde angel holding a small bundle within her arms.

She looked down at him through the bars of the cell, not speaking for a long while as she simply watched him. Slowly Jack got to his feet and cautiously walked towards her, his gaze fixed with hers all the time. It felt surreal as he reached the bars and for the first time looked at the bundle she held so carefully. There, wrapped within a warm blanket, was the most perfect, tiny girl he had ever laid eyes upon in his life.

He watched in awe as she slept soundly, her features so soft and peaceful as she dreamed of only the most beautiful things. He scanned every part of her that was visible from her tiny nose to her pink little mouth, her lips slightly apart revealing bare, pink gums.

"I thought you might want to see her." Arianne spoke finally, her voice seeming deafening after the silence.

"Does she have a name?" Jack asked, looking from the small child quickly to her mother before letting his gaze rest upon the sleeping babe once more.

"Lily-Rose." Arianne answered, her voice soft as she also looked down with a fond smile to the bundle in her arms.

"Perfect." Jack smiled in response. A beautiful name for the most beautiful thing he'd ever laid eyes upon, despite his years of looting magnificent treasures that could have been owned by royalty. The pair continued to watch the little girl as she slept on oblivious to her surroundings for some moments, just listening to the sounds of her soft breathing.

"I've been thinking about what you said." Arianne finally spoke causing Jack to look to her once more, confused a little as to which words she was referring to. "About you staying, and helping me look after our daughter." She qualified. "If you actually meant them of course." She added quickly, some of the hurt and anger from three days ago edging her tone.

"I meant it." Jack answered quickly. "But what I can do from a prison cell I don't know." He added, pointedly glancing around his confinements.

"I'll ask them to let you out." She answered.

"I still don't understand why I'm in here in the first place." He admitted.

"Oh… they were trying to keep you away from me as they thought you were hurting me."

"You were in pain because you were about to give birth, I didn't touch you!" Jack exclaimed.

"Shhh." She hushed quietly, looking to their sleeping daughter who wriggled in her arms slightly but continued to sleep on.

"Why didn't you tell them?" he asked as he quietened his tone.

"I was a little busy." She replied, nodding towards Lily-Rose. Jack sighed and pushed away any further questions about it. It was too late now and getting into an argument would be a sure fire way of getting Arianne to take her proposition back.

"Alright… so you can get me out of here and then… then I can be part of all this?" he questioned finally after a moment of thought gathering silence.

"If you're prepared to properly take the responsibility."

"I've already told you."

"Words don't mean anything in the long run Jack, it's your actions that you're judged by."

"Then let me prove to you that I mean my words by being there for Lily-Rose, and you." He asked, trying to stop the exasperation that was building inside of him from coming out in his voice.

"You will have to prove it. I need your help but if you're just going to run out on me when things get too difficult, then I may as well leave you here."

"I will." He promised. "I'll do everything I can."

She watched him for a moment as she took in his words, seemingly still wondering over whether to believe them or not. Jack could understand her uncertainty, they'd known each other for maybe a week in total and from that they were having to embark on a very large change in their lives. Arianne knew what seamen were like, whether pirates or sailors, and knew for the most part that their hearts belonged to the sea.

Eventually however she seemed to accept his vow and within the hour Jack was freed, and was on his way to the small cottage that served as Arianne's, and now his home. On his way to the cottage he managed to encounter a member of his crew and informed them of the new arrangements, putting his then first mate Matlock into temporary charge as Captain. He made arrangements that the crew would follow orders from Matlock for the next month going wherever he wished, but would return to St. Louis in a month to meet with Jack once again.

As much as he adored being upon the Pearl out at sea with his crew, Jack knew that for now at least he had to remain land tied, looking after his little baby as well as he could. Maybe after some time once Arianne trusted him further and Lily-Rose had grown he may be able to go out to sea again, even if only for a short time, but for now he had to stay with them, and do what was right.

Jack stayed in St. Louis for the next four years of Lily-Rose's life, being a father to her in every way he could. He adored the little girl, loving her with more strength than he ever knew he had. When she'd first opened her eyes to him he'd felt like weeping with joy, gazing into the little dark orbs as they stared at him so innocently.

He'd felt love swell inside of him every time she looked at him, every time she would curl her little fingers around his own as she'd stare at him in wonder. He loved her more and more as the weeks went by and she grew, her dark eyes lightening to a hazel-brown. Her short tufts of light hair grew steadily into small curls, and whenever he held her in his arms he truly believed he was holding an angel from heaven. She was so soft and sweet, everything about her from her look to her scent made him believe she was pure perfection.

The first month passed quickly as Jack looked after his baby, assisting Arianne in all the chores involved in looking after the young girl as well as the two of them. He was engrossed in the act of being a father to Lily-Rose, and so when Matlock returned and asked how he wished to continue, Jack informed him that he was to remain in command for another month.

This continued for over a year afterwards as Matlock would return every month again and Jack would give the same answer. As much as he missed being out on the ocean, he found enough joy in walking with his little girl in his arms towards the sea, standing with her as they looked out to the horizon.

Eventually though the time came when Jack knew he could not bare the separation any longer, and so upon agreement with Arianne, he embarked upon a weeklong journey through the waves. Before he set sail he held his ever-growing daughter in his arms tightly, cooing softly into her ear, promising that he would return soon. He almost turned back to the cottage and changed his mind when it came time to passing the little girl back to her mother, but eventually Jack gave in, squeezing the girls little hand softly before turning away towards his beloved ship.

And so the week passed quickly as Jack swiftly adjusted back to his old ways of commanding the large vessel. It felt good to be out in the fresh air, feeling the roll and swell of the ocean under his feet. He felt the freedom again, the calling of countries afar telling him of treasures to be found. But the image of his little girl haunted him every night before he allowed himself to sleep, and he knew he could not stray too far and leave her behind.

The week ended and the Pearl sailed into St. Louis once again. With his heart a little torn Jack stepped onto dry land again, knowing that it would be his home once more away from the ocean for another long while to come. The sight of Lily-Rose squirming in her mothers arms as she saw him stopped his thoughts of the ocean completely though, and so once more he took upon his role as her father.

Years went by with the same routine being played. Jack would stay in St. Louis for much of the time, but on occasions he would board the Pearl once again to regain, just temporarily, his freedom out at sea. Unfortunately though the pirates love for his ship and his curiosity towards adventure began to get stronger, and so it was that when he went on his trips they would lengthen in time. He still missed his little girl terribly when he left her, and he hated to say goodbye, but when he went out on his voyages he felt so free and so at home that the pain was subdued to being bearable.

It was then, a few months before Lily-Rose's fifth birthday that he embarked on an escapade that he knew would take him longer than the rest. Over the years his crew had changed, men coming and going as they found different callings in their life, and now Jack had as his first mate an older man named Barbossa. This first mate had been the one to first tell Jack of the stories of the Isle de Muerta, and so it had been he who put the urge for adventure so strongly in Jack's heart.

After much discussion (and numerous arguments too) Arianne finally agreed to Jack's departure of three months, allowing him to follow up these stories under the promise of returning richer than they could ever dream. Money had over the years always been difficult to come by, they had enough to get through, but it wasn't much of a life. Clothes were darned and mended over and over until the original stitching had almost completely been replaced, and all of Lily-Rose's toys were either handmade by Jack, or given to her second-hand by other mothers in the town.

Jack knew this was not the life he wanted his daughter to live, and so it was this view that persuaded Arianne to allow him to go. Her parents had often pleaded with Arianne that they would help her with the child, but since the beginning they had insisted that they wanted nothing to do with the pirate that as far as they were concerned didn't exist. They did not like the path their only daughter had taken in life, and they despised the man who had lead her that way. As far as they were concerned Jack had ruined their daughters life no matter how much they doted upon and adored their granddaughter who wouldn't even exist if it weren't for him.

And so to ensure that they would never have reason to look to Arianne's parents, Jack agreed to set sail from St. Louis for three months, in time to return before Lily-Rose celebrated her fifth birthday. The little girl had been understandably upset when he told her he was going away, but it was then that he showed her the small token he'd had imprinted upon himself, to remind him of her.

"No matter where I am, you'll always be with me, and I'll always be thinking of you." He'd said as he knelt before the teary child, just moments before he was to set foot as Captain upon the Pearl. "You'll always be here, in my heart." He said, pushing aside the cream cloth of his shirt to reveal the new dark letters tattooed upon his chest.

"And you'll come back soon?" the little girl sniffled, her words muffled by the thumb that was stuck within her mouth.

"As soon as I can." Jack promised, reaching out to push errant strands of blonde hair away from her damp cheeks.

"And you'll be back before my birthday?" Lily-Rose asked, her eyes still large and filled with tears as she stared at him.

"With lot's of presents." He agreed, smiling widely.

"I don't want presents." She said causing Jack to frown in surprise. "Just make sure you're home." She asked, choking slightly on a sob before flinging her little arms around Jack's neck as she hugged him tightly.

Jack wrapped his arms around her tightly, trying to force aside the lump that had risen within his throat at her heartfelt words. Just as with every time he'd departed from St. Louis he felt like forgetting about his plans and wished to stay instead, but this time there was too much to be gained from leaving, and when he returned he could provide for his little girl and treat her like the princess she was. Finally Jack sighed, easing the child away from him as he looked once again into her beautiful hazel-brown eyes.

"I have to go now, but I promise upon my very soul that I will be back as soon as possible." He spoke honestly, looking at the child with utmost seriousness to ensure that she knew the truth to his words. "So I've got to go, and you must stay and look after mama, and then I will come back and we can all be together again, except it will be even better than it is now."

"But I like it like this." She answered, frowning a little in her perfectly adorable manner.

"I know you do, but I promise you'll like it even more." He smiled, hoping with every part of him that he could make this come true. After staring at him for a short moment Lily-Rose wiped her eyes on the sleeve of her little blue dress.

"I love you papa." She spoke quietly, resting her cheek upon his shoulder as she squeezed him again. "And I will always be in your heart." She added, her little fingers going to gently lift the fabric of Jack's shirt so that she could look upon the new tattoo with the swirly writing of her name.

"I love you too, mon petit ange." Jack answered, trying to stop himself from choking over the words as sadness rushed through him. With one final squeeze he picked the child up from her feet and placed her in the arms of her mother who'd been standing nearby. my little angel

"I'll see you in three months then." Arianne spoke as she shifted her position to adjust to the child's weight. "Please try not to be late." She added, uncertainty clear in her tone.

"I'll be back as soon as I can."

"In time for my birthday." Lily-Rose announced.

"In time for your birthday." Jack agreed with confidence, smiling at his little daughter. "Now, do I get a kiss goodbye?" he asked, and was quickly greeted by the little girl stretching an arm out to him. Obliging he bent down to her as she placed a kiss on his cheek. "Aw, now the other one feels left out." He chuckled, pouting a little. Lily-Rose simply let out a giggle and placed a kiss on his other cheek before sticking her thumb in her mouth. Jack smiled at her before placing a kiss on her forehead, and a kiss upon Arianne's cheek. Finally he turned upon his heel and headed up the gangplank towards the awaiting Pearl, turning as he reached the deck to wave to his little girl as she called out her goodbyes.

And so he set out upon his mission to find and take the treasures of the Isle de Muerta. For a long while he sailed across the globe with his crew, searching out all the information about the fabled place, sifting through the truth from the tales, gaining as much insight as he possibly could. His journeys took him everywhere, to places he'd longed to visit for so long as he'd been bound to St. Louis.

Finally he reached the Caribbean, and finally acquired the last piece of the puzzle; the co-ordinates locating the exact position of the island that held the treasures he so longed for. With his daughter on his mind he set out from Tortuga to reach his final goal before he could return again, taking with him the gifts that he'd promised. He'd been so certain, so steadfast in his goal that he'd thought very little when his first mate asked him the location of the treasure. It was then that his life slipped into a downward spiral.

So it was that the man Jack had trusted as his first mate, stabbed him in the back. Once he knew the co-ordinates the Captain was no longer necessary, and so Barbossa took it upon himself to lead the crew in the mission, once disposing of the Pearls rightful Captain on an island they believed he would never escape from.

As Jack sat upon the sand the first night he was left to die, he thought to St. Louis and his little girl. Steadily time was running out for him to return to her within the three month period, and he began to worry over what he could do. As worrying as this was, he also couldn't help but wonder over what would happen if he did return, because now it would be without the treasures that he'd promised Arianne. Lily-Rose wouldn't mind at all he knew, she was happy with the way they'd lived in the past and so he was sure she would not be upset if things didn't change. He knew that the only reason for her tears would be if he couldn't get back to her and let her know everything was all right. But Arianne would see it as nothing other than a broken promise, and how she would react to that Jack did not know.

But what could he do but wait when stuck upon a small deserted island in the middle of the ocean, with nothing for sustenance than a cache full of rum? Admittedly the alcohol did have its uses for it ensured that Jack could slip off into a mindless stupor rather than remain awake worrying, but it did nothing to help him return to his little girl.

For three days and nights he waited upon that island, sitting in the sand with his fingers curled around the neck of a bottle of rum. Many times he wished the neck could be that of Barbossa and the many members of his crew who'd joined in the mutiny, but these angry thoughts of betrayal and loss just served to make him drink further to drown them out, so much so that he almost missed his chance to escape.

It was only by luck that he awoke from a temporary paralysis in time to barter with the rumrunners who'd miraculously appeared upon the island, and as he boarded their ship he thanked the gods above and below for allowing him this chance to escape. The trip was not a smooth one however, for as the small boat sailed across the seas it was unfortunate enough to encounter a terrible storm that tossed it across the waves like a mere piece of kindling.

It was then as he hurtled about the deck trying to repay his saviours by working aboard the ship, that Jack made his plea to Davey Jones; to allow him to see his little girl again, and in exchange the ruler of the waters could take his soul. So it was that no sooner had an hour passed since Jack's promised trade, than the skies cleared of the thundering grey clouds and the waves stilled until the sea was but a gently wavering mirror for the bright sun that shone ahead.

The rumrunners made a safe journey to a large island in the Caribbean and docked at a harbour by the name of Port Callis. From there Jack planned his journey to reach his little girl back in France, and so for the next two months his soul mission was to barter passage aboard ships, merchant and pirate alike, so that he could return home. Once he saw his little girl again he would begin his voyage to retrieve the ship he had lost, and to repay the man who had taken it.

It took a long while for Jack to make his way to St. Louis, and he knew that he had missed his little girl's birthday. As that day passed and days after it went by too, he built within him further reserve to get to her, wishing to let her know that he was well as soon as he could. He didn't know what she could be thinking and he was unsure over what Arianne would tell her. The unfortunate fact was he knew, that she would probably believe that finally he'd broken his promise to take care of her and the child, and had gone away and left them, never to return.

This belief he knew Arianne probably felt, was what drove him on the most. He had to get back and tell her it was untrue, especially before she could make their daughter believe it as well. As much as he knew Lily-Rose always believed the best in her papa, the constant insistence from her mother could eventually persuade her otherwise.

And so Jack traded what he could, and worked where he could, bartering passage upon the ships as he made his way across the globe, and so it was that by the time the sight of the beaches at St. Louis came into view, he had nothing, and was tired beyond belief.

Exhausted both mentally and physically Jack had made his way through the streets of the town, receiving few stares from the people around who were up early to set up their stalls for the morning market. It was as the suns rays coloured the sky with orange, rising above the hills that Jack finally set sight upon the cottage where he'd stayed for so long, and so he picked up his pace as much as he could to reach it.

Walking into the kitchen he'd straight away come across Arianne looking tired and weary. She'd barely blinked as he'd walked through the door and so the welcome was not exactly what he'd had in mind. His little girl though, he knew that she at least would be pleased to see him, and so it was that without a word he went to make his way to the room where the child slept.

"Wait." Arianne spoke, stopping him in his tracks. "I think it might be best if you didn't see her." She explained as Jack looked back to her quizzically.

"Didn't see her?" he repeated. "What are you talking about?"

"She thinks you're gone." She answered, her tone void of emotion as she looked down at the table she was sitting at.

"I was gone, but I'm back now."

"No. She thinks you're gone for good."

"What!"

"You're two months late Jack, you missed her birthday and I didn't have a clue of where you were. What was I supposed to tell her when she asked if you were coming home? What was I supposed to say when she wept for the entire day on her birthday when you weren't there?" Arianne hissed, her green eyes flashing angrily as she stared at Jack accusingly.

Jack frowned and looked at the floor, letting the hurt pass over him as he thought of his little girl so upset, before answering. "You could have told her I'd be back soon." He said coldly.

"Soon. And when was soon going to be? If you'd never turned up was I supposed to continue telling her soon for the rest of her life?" Jack simply sighed and looked towards the dark doorway to the room where he could hear Lily-Rose sleeping. "It was better that she got the hurt out of her system as soon as possible." Arianne finally concluded with a sigh.

"So what did you tell her? That I was dead? That I'd simply abandoned her?" Jack snapped irritably. For so long he'd dreamt of returning home and being able to hold his little girl in his arms, but now it seemed that simple piece of affection was being denied.

"I simply said I didn't think you were coming back, I didn't say why." She answered. Jack ran his palms over his face, rubbing the pads of his fingers over his temples trying to stop the ache that had started to thump through his skull. Wearily he stepped towards the small kitchen table and took a seat in one of the chairs, looking at Arianne with no emotion except utter bewilderment within him.

"You can hate me as much as you like." She said after a moments silence. "But I did what I thought was best, I've had to look after her alone all this time and I just had to end it. My parents have said that we can come and stay with them, and I've accepted their offer on the understanding that you have left me and Lily-Rose."

"I didn't mean to." Jack sighed wearily. "I meant to get back in time, just like I promised, I've been through hell and back to make it here now!"

"It's too late. Lily believes you're gone and she's cried her tears over it. Don't come back just so that you can break her heart again."

"I'm not here to hurt her. I'm here because I wouldn't allow myself to die before I could see her again." He growled, severely affronted by Arianne's judgement upon him.

"Nevertheless it would just be better if you went away and allowed her to continue thinking that you're gone. You can't come back again, you can't stay with us again."

"I'm her father, you can't stop me from seeing her!"

"I can if it's for her own good. You have nothing Jack, I know you love her and she seems to believe that's all she needs, but love doesn't do anything to put food in her stomach or clothes on her back. If we go stay with my parents she'll have all these things, if we stay with you here…" she trailed off, shrugging her shoulders and looking away.

"I still need to see her again." Jack spoke after taking in those words. "Even if it's just for a little while."

"But it's just going to hurt her again when it comes time for you to leave!" Arianne replied, throwing her hands up in exasperation.

"At least then I can leave with her believing that I love her, not that I'd broken my promise and had just walked away."

Arianne sighed and stared at him mournfully, obviously frustrated on having things upturned so suddenly. It seemed she had made up her mind to take Lily-Rose to her parents some time ago, and it seemed she was no longer of a mind to have these plans changed, no matter what Jack said. She began to open her mouth to say something more, but the silence that had engulfed the room was suddenly broken by a squeal of delight.

"Papa!" came the voice of Lily-Rose as she ran as fast as her little legs would carry her into the kitchen before flinging herself into Jack's lap, her little arms going to wrap around his shoulders as she hugged him tightly. "You're home!" she exclaimed, bouncing upon his lap in her excitement making the various beads and trinkets jangle amongst his mass of hair.

Jack heard Arianne sigh in apparent disapproval but ignored it and simply closed his eyes, wrapping his arms around his daughter holding her tightly against him. He'd never felt such pure elation before this moment, such enormous joy over having his little girl in his arms once again, and so could not stop the tears of happiness that welled within his eyes and broke free to roll down his cheeks silently as he hugged her tightly.

"Papa, why are you crying?" the child asked, concern clearly evident in her tone and expression as she pulled away from her father, looking him over with deep concentration. Jack could do nothing but shake his head and smile before pulling his daughter against him again, catching up on all the hugs he'd missed over the previous months.

Finally the pair drew apart grinning widely at one another, and so for the next couple of days Jack was happier than he could ever be. He told Lily-Rose of his adventures across the globe, weaving intricate tales of sea monsters and mermaids that delighted the girls imagination. He loved the way that she would sit upon his lap, staring at him with wide eyes in awe as she listened so intently as he told her the tale, describing the exotic lands and far off places he had visited.

He hoped that these times would never end, for he had not felt so at home in many long months. Unfortunately though Arianne it seemed was still adamant with her plans, and it was after much arguing that Jack had to relent to her wishes.

The day finally came when he had to say goodbye to his little girl and from the moment he awoke on that fateful dawn he knew his heart was to be broken. He'd spent little time in the night sleeping for the thoughts of his having to say goodbye plagued him thoroughly. Instead he had watched by Lily-Rose's bedside, looking over her as she slept, savouring every little detail of her small figure.

In the hours of the night that passed he memorized her face, burning into his mind the sight of her so he could never forget it. No matter how much time passed he knew he would always look back to the night when she slept so soundly, unaware of the sadness to come the next day, her features so sweet and peaceful as she dreamed on oblivious.

And so it is ten years later as Jack lies awake once again feeling the ache that ripped through him on that mournful day. As much as time had passed and the pain had dulled a little, the thought of her crying eyes and mournful pleas for him to stay still causes Jack the wish to return to her again, no matter what the consequences.

It seems that it is especially now that these thoughts plague him, for it is one week since he returned as rightful Captain of the Black Pearl, and he had therefore achieved the goal that had kept him fighting onwards for all these years. Now what does he have left to do? A life of looting treasures and running from officials he's sure, and whilst it was not a bad life by any means, a large part of him is still missing, lost never to be found, dead and never to live again.

But never can he return to his child, and he knows that it shall do him no good to continue reminiscing. Looking down at his own bare chest he stares at the slightly faded letters of her name, not ready to quite let go of thoughts of her yet. These letters serving as the only physical reminder of his young daughter, and the reminder of his promise to give his soul. His daughters beautiful name, printed upon a dead mans chest, all he can do is wait until the time when the ruler of the oceans depths shall take what's rightfully his, and maybe then Jack can sink into the oblivion of death and let the hurt leave him.

He shan't forget his daughter, not whilst he's living at least. He can't help but wonder where she is now and what she's doing. Would she have remained for the rest of her life with her mother and grandparents in St. Louis, or would she have discovered an adventurous streak within her that would take her on a path more similar to her fathers?

Jack smiles fondly as he thinks to her, his little daughter who he shall always picture as being a tiny little angel with curling blonde hair and hazel-brown eyes. Despite the ten years that have passed by, and despite the reasoning that he knows she will be growing into a woman by this time, Jack still thinks of her five year old face when he pictures her, and this shall be the image he shall carry within his mind for all eternity.

FINI