Hi there! Well, here it is, my first fan fiction. I hope you like it and enjoy it as much as I did writing it, please R&R. Enjoy!

Freedom Makes Us Who We Are

Jack guided the Pearl smoothly over the waters, knowing full well the cargo that he held. Elizabeth and William were sleeping in his cabin. It seemed, finally that they had gotten tired of the sea and wanted to go back home. Who wouldn't? After the journey that they had gone through without him, he too would love nothing more than to go home. But the sea was his home, the Pearl, his beloved ship was his again and this time there were no souls promised to raise the black ship out of the blue waters that had given it birth. Jack steered the wheel slightly to the left, always being gentle with his ship. Many wondered why he loved the ship so, but like he had told a young Elizabeth, a ship was not just sails and keels and a mast. A ship was really freedom, perhaps in its symbolic form. Jack could not recount how many years the Pearl had seen, or how many countries and lands it had been to. Or how many times it had escaped being sunk by the royal navy. Like its captain, it always seemed to pull through.

Now heading to Port Royal, the Black Pearl slid smoothly along the waves, which lapped gently at its sides. In the bleak of night, it would not be askew amongst the many ships that docked there, and William and Elizabeth would land on the shores of Port Royal safe and sound. Why shouldn't they? They had after all brought him back from the dead. Jack Sparrow shivered as he thought of the slimy, rotten breath of the Kraken. He could again feel the slime crawling on his skin ever so slowly. Jack pushed the unpleasant memory away and thought of an equally unpleasant one that had taken place only minutes before. He remembered Elizabeth's lips on his, pushing him back against the mast…and then the horrible click of the shackle that had imprisoned him to await for his doom. But he had come back alive, and that's what mattered. He felt not ounce of anger towards the governor's daughter, for in the end, her curiosity had won out. Just not the type of curiosity that he had wanted. With a deep sigh, Jack leaned on the wheel. He was not as strong as he seemed, and the years seemed to be catching up with him. He didn't know if it was what he gone through with the Kraken, it was said that its breath and spit was toxic enough to poison a man. Or perhaps it was that awful sense of betrayal that he had felt when Liz had left him chained to his own ship. For one small moment while they shared that passionate kiss, Jack thought that perhaps she did care for him, but as fate had played out, he learned the hard way that she would have eyes only for her blacksmith and her blacksmith alone.

"Eunuch." He said to the darkness, grinning widely. Perhaps freedom had a price, because at his age he should have been living at a nice house, surrounded by his children and a loyal companion whom he would grow old with.

"If that 'ad ever happen, I'd pro'bly bore meself to death."

Jack chuckled and kept his hands steady on the wheel. They were getting close.

As the first rays of the sun began to poke out from the long night, none of them expected what was waiting at Port Royal. Maybe they had been too hopeful and eager to return to normalcy, too eager to move on. Jack spotted it first. The blue uniforms of the royal navy. The shots started coming and everyone came out, weapons at the ready. Not a word was said between the crew as they loaded guns or cannons, brandishing cutlasses and swords. Jack began to shout orders, all the while dodging incoming bullets as best as he could. He turned around, ready to go to his cabin and prepare the leave of his beloved ship once again, but he stopped in his tracks. Standing before him stood Will and Elizabeth, hands joined, each holding a sword, ready to fight. Jack stood there astonished, he would've have thought that they had been hiding or planning to escape. He briefly grinned at them.

"I'd a thought that ye would be planning to escape by now."

"We go down with our captain." They both answered, grinning, but their eyes burned with devotion and stubbornness. Jack had never had anyone proclaim their loyalty to him so plainly and truly, and the painful reminder of the mutiny burned in his mind. They had risked all to come and rescue him, even sailing to the end of the world. He could not possibly hope to ask for more than that and the loyalty that they were showing now. They deserved the happiness and company of each other, something that he had not be able to have. They did not deserve this.

A bullet hit the wood near Jack's feet and it jumped up and "bit" him in the leg. He cried out a little, but taking the advantage of the couples' confusion and worry. He kicked Will and Elizabeth's sword from them and pointed his sword at Will. The blacksmith looked at him puzzled and disappointed. Jack growled in annoyance and suffering upon seeing the look of disbelief on their faces. I don't care if they hate me forever as a betrayer, but they will not die now.

"Now move o'er there if ye please." Jack said nodding towards the edge of the ship where a longboat hung. When they did nothing Jack dug the blade of his sword gently into Will's chest, drawing a bit of blood. They now looked at him with eyes of pain. The pain of feeling betrayed. How many times had he felt that same pain, and wished to never feel it again? Jack nearly let them go at remembering his own dreadful experiences, but it was determination and that love that drove him on. They were his friends, and they would not die like this. Friends. That word tasted sour and yet sweet in his mouth. All the friends that he'd had had betrayed him or left him, they had not stayed with him till the end. Like them. But despite what he was doing a voice somewhere in him urged them to fight back, to stay. Not if he could help it. The crew could take the other lifeboat and row to safety, but he was going to go down with his ship. This time of his own free will.

"Get into the boat, now!" he yelled hoping to make them understand why he was doing this. They got into the boat dumfounded, too confused and lost for words. Jack began to lower the ropes of the boat and it was then that comprehension dawned in their eyes. But now it was too late.

"Jack! Please you don't have to this. It is our choice to stay!"

"Ah, but I'm sorry mate, I do have to do this." With that said between them, Jack cut the ropes and the boat fell on the blue waters. Thankfully the tide was sweeping away from the ship and the boat began to go farther and farther away. They yelled at him and cursed him for being so stubborn, but Jack turned a deaf ear and went back to the crew.

"Alright, all hands to the boat, prepare to abandon ship!"

But the crew did not hear him. They made no move towards the boat ready to take them to possible safety.

"Did ye not hear me?"

"Aye, we heard ye," Gibbs spoke up "but we are not leaving ship."

"And why is that? A captain has given ye orders now follow them!"

"We left you behind once, we will not do it again. The crew stand by their captain no matter what!"

"Wind in the sails, wind in the sails!" cotton's parrot added. Jack looked to the bluecoats and then to his crew. They are not leaving you behind this time Jack they truly care about you. They will go down with their captain. They will go down with you. Jack couldn't help but feel overwhelmed by the sudden turn of events. Supporting himself on the railing of the Pearl he shouted out.

"Prepare to fight!"

"Bloody pirate!" Elizabeth cursed as the pearl began to shrink slowly. But the words were empty, not really as angry as they pronounced. Will nodded but said nothing, looking in the opposite direction. He couldn't help but feeling that he had betrayed a friend. Jack and them were not merely acquaintances as he had said, but friends. Friends. They had learned that on their journey to the end of the world, in their trip to rescue him. At first he had hated the pirate for stealing his bride to be. But as Elizabeth had confessed to what she had done, the anger towards him evaporated. Elizabeth. He looked over to his wife who was crying bitter tears. He tried to hug her, but she pushed his arm away.

"I betrayed him again Will. I left him there to await another Kraken."

"It wasn't your fault. He forced us to leave."

"Still! I could have fought back!" now Elizabeth gave in to his embrace, crying on his shoulder.

"We." Will said, "we could have fought back," Will's brow furrowed in thought and an idea came to him. He smiled, determination flowing in his veins,

"And we still can."

The navy rushed at them with swords and muskets. The real force was to come later, the best of the navy waiting to see if the pirates could hold this first wave of attack at bay. Commodore, now just captain, sat on a horse, watching the battle taking place on the black ship. His commander looked at it and smiled coldly.

"Send in the rest of the troops, and kill everyone who is on that ship. We end this today."

James looked at his commander in shock.

"Sir, shouldn't we capture them and take them on trial? There may be innocent people on that ship." He said thinking of the blacksmith and his wife. And then he thought of Jack Sparrow, but he didn't know why.

"Trial? Those pirates are murderers and thieves. Anyone in their company is no better. You'll do well to remember you place Norrington. As I said, it ends today."

James didn't realize the rashness or stupidity of his actions until he was galloping towards the ship, shots missing him from his own troops. He took the animal as far into the sea as possible, before jumping off and swimming towards the black ship.

Jack stabbed another young soldier and watched him crumple to the ground. Normally he tried to spare the lives of the young ones, but this one was particularly ferocious. Still not a very good excuse, he thought as he slashed the chest of another. His arm was bleeding and he was limping slightly, but he didn't care. He had to fight. He knew the next waves of dedicated soldiers were about to storm his ship and he would fight until he could fight no more. A man lifted a gun and pointed it at him. Jack stood still, waiting for the gunshot that would surely end his life. He watched in surprise as Elizabeth decked the man in the face, and Will stabbed him in the chest. Elizabeth came to him and slapped him.

"Don't you ever do that again Jack. It is our choice and our choice alone." Will nodded shortly before giving a weapon to his wife.

"I thought I told ye to go off and live happily ever after." He asked.

"This is our life Jack," Will answered "our place is here, with the crew and our captain. You."

For the first time in so many long years, Jack felt tears forming at the corners of his eyes. And for the first time he had nothing to say. Nothing he could say. His heart stopped for a moment when he saw the former commodore climb onto his ship, sword at the ready. James shrugged and grinned.

"The blue coat didn't look good on me anyway."

Will and Elizabeth seemed surprised at the ex-commodore, but Jack only smiled.

"Couldn't keep the sea out of yer blood could ye…pirate." James smiled in return, remembering that when his own people had cast him out, the people who he had fought against his whole life, had been the first ones who offered him help to get back on his feet. Captain Jack Sparrow, had been the first one to help, he couldn't deny that.

The second waves of soldiers were preparing to charge. Jack took the lead of his crew, Will, Elizabeth, and James standing behind him, swords at the ready. Tears streamed down Jack's cheeks. They were not of sadness but of joy at having finally accepted the truth. He had friends after all. He had loyalties and crewmen ready to sail and fight under his command. He had led a life of adventure on his Pearl; he'd led a life of legend and myth. He'd lived in freedom. Jack looked back to his crew. All with set faces ready to fight, ready to die for him and their ship. Their captain and their crew. Gibbs stood on one side, grinning like a mad man. Elizabeth and Will were holding hands, smiling like fools. Even James had a smirk on his face. Jack turned around and looked at the bluecoats with gleaming eyes. Some seemed to shrink away, while others took a defiant yet frightened stance. Like he had done to the Kraken he smiled, gold teeth showing and glinting in the Caribbean sun. His dreadlocks fell gracefully on his shoulders, the many beads and trinkets woven into his hair, sparkling in many colors. Some of the kohl rimming his eyes had run, but not much. The clothing that covered his golden skin was spayed with the scent and salt of the sea. Jack gave a ferocious yell, and they charged… Ready to die for the freedom that they searched and believed in. The freedom that they lived for and breathed. The freedom that made them who they were.