When they were finally back at sea, it wasn't until several days later that Lily realized just how exhausted she was. Despite Norrington's protests, she had virtually thrown herself into working on the Pearl. Norrington wouldn't listen to her about returning and Jack was of no help whatsoever. In fact, he was another reason she was working so hard. While her brother told her she had no need to be working on the ship like a pirate herself, Jack continuously agreed. However, his motivations were much different from Norrington's, and though he managed to be subtle enough for Norrington not to catch his meaning, Lily could tell by that little smirk of his that he had other thoughts.

She gave them both the satisfaction of seeing her turn in early one night, stopping her work and heading into the cabin and Jack's bed once more, something she had grown accustomed to by now. It definitely smelled like Jack, though that wasn't entirely as unpleasant as she had first expected. A strange mix of dirt, sea salt, rum, and strange spices. Odd and comforting at the same time. However, she suspected Jack of ending up in bed with her; that morning she was vaguely aware of him in the room, mumbling to himself and the door clicking shut. Lily could only imagine what he was talking about, but preferred not to. She was torn on whether or not to ask him if he had slept there, eventually deciding against it in the case that it encouraged him.

"Sleep well love?" he asked once she emerged. One look at his grinning face told her all she needed to know and she ignored him the rest of the day. The looks he kept throwing her way was earning him notice from Norrington, who was already quite uncomfortable with the idea of Lily sleeping in Jack's quarters—especially on nights he was unable to account for Jack.

"You know love," Jack started as Lily went up to the bridge in order to get a better view of the ship as she took a breath, "it wouldn't hurt if you'd just admit it."

"And what might that be, Captain Sparrow?" she asked, clasping her hands behind her back and not doing him the pleasure of looking at him.

"That you enjoy my…company."

She couldn't help but glance back to check his expression. Half grin on his face of course.

"I enjoy nothing of the sort," she said, turning back around.

"Oh come off it already little Miss Norrington," he said, leaning heavily upon his words. "If you didn't, you'd be long gone by now—brother or no brother."

Lily left. She couldn't bear to stand there and listen to him prattle on about her fancying him—even if he was half right.

"You'll admit it to me someday!" he called after her.

"Leave me alone Jack!" she called back.

Jack laughed quietly to himself and gave the wheel a half turn. Back to Jack again, was he?

------------------

That night Lily decided she'd had enough of the rat-eaten clothes Gibbs had dug up for her. She was going back to the maid's dress since she's managed to wash it somewhat and it was just as easy to work in as it didn't require her to pick it up every time she needed to rush somewhere. She had considered taking the next day off but decided against it as she didn't feel like giving either her brother or Jack the satisfaction of seeing her go back to being more of a lady.

She had just stripped out of her clothes and was about to slip on the bodice when the door opened and Jack stepped in. Gasping in surprise, Lily snatched the bodice to her front and pressed back against the shelf of random books and knickknacks. Jack looked up at her and seemed unfazed by the state she was in. Then it seemed to dawn upon him and his eyebrows went up.

"Oh. Sorry."

He shut the door behind him, remaining in the room. Lily cleared her throat loudly. Jack stared at her.

"Did you want something Lily dear?" he asked. Lily gaped at him. Did he not notice she was utterly naked behind this piece of cloth?

"Jack, would you please leave?"

"And why would I do that?" he asked, sounding as though it were the most nonsensical question in the world.

"Because," Lily said slowly, reining her patience, "I am in the middle of dressing."

"All the more reason for me to stay, love. Please, continue."

She was positively gawking at him now.

"No, I will not continue!"

"Well then darlin', I guess you won't be getting dressed, ey?" With that, he went about his business, leaving her to stare in disbelief.

"What are you doing in here anyway?" she finally asked, knowing this time he could catch her meaning.

"Your bloody brother took the hammock, so that means you get to stick it out with me again."

"Don't lie to me—I know you were in here last night sleeping."

He stopped what he was doing and turned his attention on her. "All right then. I was in here last night. I did sleep in the bed I am merely lending to you while you still happened to be in it," he had begun walking toward her, "and I admit that I enjoyed doing so and I am sure that one some level, in your little head, you do as well." Lily pressed back against the shelf more, but there was nowhere to go, and he was only a foot or so away now. "As for lying about Norrington in the hammock, I am doing no such thing. I'd suggest you take a look for yourself, but seeing as you're not decent enough for the deck of my ship—something I believe I disagree with—you can forget all that," he stopped inches away, his face looking down into hers, "and just stay here with me."

"You planned this didn't you?" She could just see it behind those deep brown eyes of his. "You could easily tell him to move and he would do it."

He seemed to ponder her question for a bit. "I can't say I expected you to be half undressed—" he eyed her, "—or wholly dressed, but you're right, I did plan this a bit. I could tell him to get out, but he just seemed to be sleeping so well…"

She should have been repulsed. She should have been trying to escape. But instead she found herself frozen on the spot, mesmerized by that ever-knowing little smirk of his. One of his hands was sneaking up into her hair, the other settling behind her arm. Why was she letting him do this? He was the farthest thing from a gentleman—a rotten thief who only desired one thing from her. A damned pirate who had only saved her life twice. A rum-drinking dog who had done nothing but help her from the start—

"You're thinking too much love," he said, his face close enough for her to feel his warm breath on her lips.

"I can't help it," she managed to say, trying to suppress a shiver and failing to do so.

His grin grew wider. "You need to learn how to stop."

It didn't matter; she felt like telling him he was making it impossible anyway.

"You know something love?" he asked, his voice quiet, his lips just barely brushing over hers. The bastard. Was he enticing her? Daring her to make the first move? Somehow that wasn't surprising.

"I hear there are edible flowers in the world," he continued, "and I've been wondering for quite some time now; what does a lily taste like?"

Without giving her the chance to reply, he put his mouth over hers, his hand gripping her hair and body pressing close. He was the very epitome of lust and desire. When he broke free, Lily was left breathless, forgetful of her current state as Jack smiled to himself.

"Mm, strawberries," he said, and Lily began to vaguely wonder how that was possible. "I think I'd like to know," Jack continued, reaching up behind her to take down a bottle, "how rum tastes with strawberries."

He uncorked the bottle and took a long drink before kissing her again. Jack was a damn good kisser, and any hopes Lily had of not encouraging him utterly disappeared. The combination of skill he commanded and the taste of a rum-soaked kiss was intoxicating in itself. His tongue deftly explored hers as though it had any right to, the same way his hands had slowly been sneaking to the front and carefully pulling the bodice free to expose her to him completely.

"Mm," he muttered as he pulled away. "Very good." His eyes traveled to the ivory column of her throat. "How about rum and cream?"

He dipped his head and Lily forgot all thought and let go to the feel of his warm mouth on her skin and his hands pressed on her back and waist. Pirate.

It wasn't much longer before she found herself exploring him as well, the two scars on his chest left by bullet wounds, the ugly, twisting scar on his left forearm, the "P" brand on his right, just under the sparrow, flying free in the setting sun. She forgot all about the flavor of wine and reveled in the taste of rum while Jack enjoyed his combination of rum, strawberries, and cream.