Certainty

Author: The Bell and the Black Dragon

Disclaimer: I make no money from having written this, because only the plot is mine.

Summary: Jack Sparrow doesn't need a compass to guide him— He knows what he wants. Jack/thePearl

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Jack had always figured he would die the moment his Pearl went down. Because the moment he had set eyes on her, he knew without a doubt that he could never again live without her by his side. He would find a way out of his oath—thirteen years was a long time. And if not—he would die fighting to keep her.

It was less about the hundred years of servitude and pain, and more about the watching his Pearl sink back down to the depths where he would never see her again.

But now that time had finally come.

And Jack was sitting in a small rowboat.

He had been rowing with ease towards the spit of land behind him. He knew once he reached land he would be safe. He looked behind him towards salvation. He could make it— But he made the mistake of looking at back his ship.

She was so beautiful. Even in his panicked haze to reach land he paused to admire her. She was still just as beautiful as the first day he had seen her. After Barbossa and his mutinous, reprobate crew were taken care of, Jack had taken every care, no matter the expense, to see that She was restored to top form.

He looked behind him again at land, his escape. Then looked back to the sight in front of him, his Pearl, the screams of the people on board fighting for their lives.

Logic swept in—even if he touched land, he would never be free again. Davy Jones would not be happy with simply taking the Pearl, Jack's only love, back from him. Davy Jones would want his soul, as he had sworn to give it to him. And Jack knew that he would never be able to touch the sea again. He was marked—the Kraken would hunt him, and would hunt him until the day he died or the day Davy Jones had his payment.

If he wanted to live, the price would be the sea. But to him, life was the sea. Living on land? This was a fate much, much worse than death. He would never be free without the rush and roar of the sea around him, the gentle swaying of the ground beneath him, and the creaking of his Pearl surrounding him and soothingly lulling him to sleep at night.

Run or go back, run or go back, run or go back—

Tia Dalma's mocking words came back to him.

Jack Sparrow does not know what he wants?

He was so confused. His mind was telling him, Run, run, save yourself! But his heart was telling him, Go back, fight for your Pearl, your sea, your freedom!

The compass! It would tell him what he wanted. God knows it hadn't been working before, and who knows how it would work now, with all his emotions as conflicted as they were, but he opened it nonetheless, his face betraying his desperation.

He didn't know what he wanted, he needed to see it, to be told, to do something with certainty, and know that it was what he had wanted. He knew that either choice would leave him with an ache in his heart, but to at least know which thing to do. He didn't know. He needed the compass to tell him which he wanted.

He opened it, wishing it would tell him, not only what he wanted to do, but which of his two options was the right one.

But it wasn't meant to do such things. It handled wants, not truths.

He opened the compass and watched the spinner roll madly for a long moment, begging it to tell him what he really wanted— and then it pointed towards, him, or more accurately, the land behind him. He felt his air passage relax slightly for a moment—he knew what he wanted. His heart had chosen life.

But then he felt his gut tighten once more— the damned spinner was moving again!—it stopped, and now it pointed directly in front of him, towards the Pearl. He felt his stomach unknot once more—he knew what he wanted, he had just been unsure—

But then it switched again…. Then switched back. He wanted his life, no he wanted to go back to the Pearl, no he wanted life, then he wanted the Pearl, life, the Pearl, life, the Pearl—

It kept switching from one to the other, wavering uncertainly all the time, but never stopping—life, Pearl, life, Pearl!

He threw the compass down in frustration, knowing that this decision, the hardest he had ever faced, was one he had to face alone.

Life, Pearl, life,Pearl, life—

Then he realized… life was the Pearl.

For a moment he sat, conflict etched painfully in his face, ache in his heart so strong it hurt to breathe—And then he began rowing madly back towards the Pearl.

If she was worth his soul, then she was worth his life. Because thirteen years later, when he looked at the Black Pearl he couldn't imagine life without her. This ship, the only woman who had ever captured his heart, had captured his untiring love and loyalty—his fealty until death.

He had to go back, fight, and help those on board. He knew it would be fruitless to fight, but he didn't see how he could live with himself any other way. No Pearl? No sea? Hadn't he said it earlier? The sea was his only love.

He relied on that small hope to keep his heart beating. And if he survived… he would use his life to do the most important thing he could with it—stop Davy Jones's heart from beating. For his Pearl deserved vengeance, and who would care to exact it but him? No one. And he would not let his Pearl slip down into the sea unnoticed. He was the only one who truly saw her for what she was, saw the true beauty in her. She was too glorious for such an uncaring fate.

He would either die upon her, or die avenging her.

He felt strength and confidence enter back into him. Certainty returned to him, stronger than it had been since before the long doubt that had been instilled in his bones since the first time he realized that the compass wasn't working.

But certainty was restored. It had taken him ten years to get revenge on Barbossa for taking his Pearl, but he had gotten it. No one would take his Pearl away, not even the person who had given Her to him.

He needed to get there and help. He could feel it within him, the knowledge that if he got there, he might be able to help, to save everyone on board. He held more than faith, or blind hope for it—he held certainty of it.

And he would. For just like the late Hector Barbossa, Davy Jones had tried to take the Pearl from him, and forgotten one very important thing—he was Captain Jack Sparrow.

He rows towards his Pearl, his fate, love, death, and his destiny, and he knows he needs no compass to guide him—

Jack Sparrow always knows what he wants.

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