10 years later

A young woman sat on one of the lonely beaches connected to Port Royal, gazing out at the ocean. She was tall and slender, with dark hair pulled back into a single braid, and dark eyes focused on the horizon. She wore a pale gown and tan flats; her slender fingers held onto an old bandanna with a few silver charms dangling from the top.

She was Mary Turner, the now seventeen year old daughter of Will and Elizabeth, who turned out to be quite a beauty in their opinion. Even though many men on the island attempted to court her over the past few years, she remembered a promise long ago, one she was refused to break.

In deed, when a ship with black sails began to make its way towards the harbor at dusk, Mary stood, shielding her eyes with her hand. Was she hallucinating? With a cry of recognition a moment later, she hitched her skirts and bolted back towards the town, towards the two story house with the green shutters and bright red door. Her mother sat alone in the living room, knitting a blanket, and looked up when the door flung open.

"He's come, oh he's come," Mary breathed, clutching her chest, heaving hard from having run so fast. Elizabeth's own dark eyes narrowed; she appeared much older than she truly was, after a tragedy occurred the previous year. "Jack Sparrow!" Mary added, grabbing her mother's hand. "Come, we must meet him."

Elizabeth smiled at last, setting her work aside, and stood to touch her daughter's rosy cheek.

"Darling, I believe you should go and meet him alone," she replied. "I do not want to be a factor in your decision."

Mary wet her lips, glancing over her shoulder towards the door. "Mother, did not father make you promise to come with me if Uncle Jack returned?" she asked, and Elizabeth drew in her breath, unsure of how to respond. "It is what he would have wanted."

Elizabeth lowered her head, glancing around their comfortable home. "I belive you're right, love," she replied after a moment of silence, and Mary encouraged her to come to the beach.
When they arrived, Jack was waiting for them at the line separating the ocean from the sand, dressed in his usual array of clothing and accessories. He appeared to not have aged at all since she last saw him, when she was seven years old.

"I knew you'd be here," he laughed, stretching out a hand awkwardly. "Though we're down one, are we?"

Mary bit her lip. "Father died last winter," she whispered, and Jack's eyes saddened.

"He did…" his voice was quiet, and Mary felt her throat choking up with tears.

"He was very sick," she explained. "He was never quite the same after we sailed on the Pearl. He tried, but he…" she let her hands drop to her sides, and Jack touched her shoulder, looking at Elizabeth.

"How are you?" he asked gruffly, and she managed a faint smile in return.

"I am trying to live as I did before," she admitted, "though it is not the same. It never wil be."

Jack nodded in understanding. "Aye, I agree," he replied. "I'm sorry to hear about your loss. If you don't want to come, I'll understand…"

Mary's eyes widened. "I do," she breathed. "otherwise I wouldn't have come." she clutched his arm. "Please take me away, Uncle Jack--take the both of us."

Elizabeth watched as Jack thought for a moment, eyeing both women. "Yes, I always have room for either of you," he replied, and Mary nodded.

"Shall we get our things?" she asked, glancing at her mother, who was watching the ocean with once again sad eyes.

"Be quick about it," Jack replied, and Mary encouraged her mother to follow along behind. While they were gone, Jack turned towards the ship in the distance, sighing softly. He had a feeling Will wouldn't be there when he returned, but the reality of it stung. "I'm so sorry, mate," he said to himself, shaking his head.

When the women returned with their luggage, he eased them both onto the longboat, and the journey to the Black Pearl was once again silent.

"You don't look like you've aged at all, Jack," Elizabeth told him with amusement in her voice after a while, and he looked at her with a smirk.

"Believe me, I have more than you think," he answered, and when they reached the Black Pearl, Mr. Gibbs was the first to meet them at the ramp. The crew were very sorry to hear of Will's death, and Jack insisted they hold a small memorial service to their good friend and faithful seaman. Tears flowed down Mary's cheeks as the words were spoken about her father, and could hear his voice as they stood at the rail together looking at the stars.

"He would have been proud of you, girl," Mr. Gibbs spoke, and she turned to him, sniffing and wiping her face with the back of her wrists. "You turned out mighty well, Miss Turner."
Mary smiled at him, leaning on the wood as she peered down at the ocean below. 'I will always try to make you proud, father,', she thought, and she realized just how strongly she could feel his presence on the ship. Jack eventually came up behind her, and encouraged her to come with him to the wheel.

"Welcome back," he announced, placing his hat on her head, and encouraged Mary to take control of the Pearl for the time being. Mary glanced at him with wide eyes, the little girl he once knew still protruding from deep inside. When he walked away, Mary turned her attention to the water, smiling a little, and began to hum. "And really bad eggs…" she eventually sung aloud, and with a turn of the wheel, finished the song: "Drink up, me 'hearties, yo ho…"

The End