So this was revenge. The acrid smell of gunpowder and smoke. The sharp blast of a bullet released from a gun.

A pistol with one shot, meant for one man.

And now the gun was empty.

His eyes never let Barbossa's face, even as the man looked down with shock at his blood—his crimson, scarlet blood—pooling through his shirt.

He looked back up into Jack's face. Jack who had not moved, had not blinked, who carried the most serious expression Barbossa had seen on him since he, ten years ago, told Jack that The Black Pearl wasn't his ship anymore, wasn't his freedom to command.

"I feel…"

The shock. The astonishment. It was apparent in his voice, on his face, the shock of feeling not only something, but all at once—everything, after years of nothing.

It was sudden and instant. The change of expression. The slight tilt of the head in wonder.

Darkening with knowledge and pain.


And then the light left his eyes.

And as he stood with this gun, carried ten long years only for this purpose—Jack rather thought he had expected to feel differently.

Justified, maybe? Relieved? Righteous?

Maybe he thought that once he had finally killed the man before him, he would release a breath he had unknowingly been holding for all those years, feel his body loosen from ten years of tension he had not known he carried.

Jack wasn't sure what he would have expected to feel.

But as he stood with his gun still directed unwaveringly at Barbossa's heart—beating for the first and last time—and watched the man slowly fall backwards, he could feel none of these.

Because he felt cold as well.