(AN: Freakin' wha? I was surprised enough when I wrote my first POTC one-shot, but now I'm writing another?

Ahem. I actually wanted to write this soon after writing "Wondering Why", but I never got around to it until now. This is a companion piece to WW, although you don't need to read either to understand the other. (Although if you're as big of a fan of the subject matter as I am, you might want to read both anyway. ;) )

This time, however, it's from Jack's point of view! It was a fun challenge digging into his psyche, I must admit, and while he's probably a bit out of character, I just had too much fun writing this. So please forgive me.

I still don't own Pirates of the Caribbean or any of the characters, by the way, regardless of how many Jacks Sparrows I have in my dorm room. (A poster, a McDonald's toy, and my baby, my eighteen inch tall talking figure, is the current count.) Don't sue me. Yeah, you know.

Thanks for reading, and please review! Maybe I'll make this into a trilogy and write Will's take on the situation… you never know… if I get plenty of reviews, I just might…)

O.o.O

Captain Jack Sparrow had always prided himself on, well, a number of things… but one of the top ones being that he was always a step ahead of his adversaries. Especially his female adversaries.

But when Elizabeth Swann's lips met his in what was the most passionate kiss he had ever felt, he could only marvel that she had bested him.

For it was only at that moment that he realized what she had been doing that entire time. She had been purposely leading him on, so that, should a time of desperate peril come for her—and it had—he would be stirred to action driven by his growing affections—and he had. Score one for Miss Swann.

And Jack realized that she was still playing that game. Kissing him like this was a bold move, a very bold move. Elizabeth wasn't one to do things on impulse—not just yet, of course. Perhaps in time…

No, there was no time left. Jack vaguely suspected just what she was doing. What she planned to do to him. He should have broken away while he could, but he couldn't… or just didn't want to. All he could focus on was tasting her, the sweetest taste he'd ever known, he couldn't get enough of it…

The cold click of the handcuffs only confirmed what was fast becoming obvious—he loved her. He loved her deceitfulness, her cunning, her trickery. And when she pulled away from him, glaring at him with an icy stare, all he could do was smile.

You see, there were plenty of women who loved him—he was Captain Jack Sparrow! And yet again, there were plenty of women who would be only too glad to chain him to a doomed ship.

But Elizabeth was different, for she was both these things.

Yes, she was both! She certainly hadn't planned for falling for Jack in the process of making him fall for her, but it was only inevitable, after all. Few women were immune to his charm, and a feisty soul like Elizabeth, who was already drawn to a free spirit—it was only natural.

"It's after you, not the ship," she whispered bitterly, sounding more like she was convincing herself than him. Jack couldn't stop smiling at her. "Not us. This is the only way, don't you see?"

She moved in as if to kiss him again, and Jack even leaned in to reciprocate same, if only to confirm to her what he was now dead sure of. But Elizabeth drew back, just before they could kiss again.

"I'm not sorry," she hissed.

Oh, he had taught her well. She was a damn good liar. He had almost believed her.

He opened his mouth, wanting to tell her that he loved her. …But no, that was just too sappy. What kind of pirate's last words were "I love you"? Especially a pirate of Captain Jack Sparrow's reputation! Still, he couldn't leave this earth without telling her how he felt… or at the very least, that he approved of her actions…

"Pirate," he finally said, with an approving smile.

Elizabeth drew back, with an expression of horror of what she'd done, although she was fiercely trying to disguise it as disgust at Jack. She spun around and climbed into the longboat, not looking back.

And all Jack could do was smile. The woman had played with his affections, made him do very un-pirate like things, had actually earned his respect and affection, and had left him to die, and all he could do was marvel at how much he loved her.

Hmm. Left to die.

She had been cold and ruthless in the condemning, and he greatly admired that, but for goodness sake. He didn't want to die helpless.

Funny. Only hours ago Jack had feared death, more than anything else in the world. But now, suddenly and strangely, he wasn't afraid to die. In fact, he was actually ready to face death.

The first reason for this, Jack reflected as he searched for some way, any way, to get himself free, was mainly because he had nothing to live for anymore. His bloody ship was already destroyed beyond repair, and it could only get worse from there. He didn't have the bloody heart of Davy Jones for leverage. He couldn't have the bloody girl, even if he somehow managed to survive. Elizabeth was no fool. She was going to do the smart thing and marry the respectable, moderately well-off blacksmith who had pined for her for years.

But there was another reason too, one that wasn't simply "what choice do I have?" The stories of the famous Jack Sparrow were already the stuff of legends, but dying a dramatic death cemented his place in pirate lore.

Firstly, he was going down with his ship. Always a romantic notion.

Aah, a lantern! Jack drew his sword and carefully stretched to pick it up with the blade, knowing that one mistake would send it out of his reach for good.

Secondly, it wasn't just a little fishy that was bringing him down. It was the Kraken, for goodness sake. The bigger the beastie that takes you, the more you are remembered.

Aha! He had it! With extreme care, he brought the lantern over above his chain and broke the lantern, letting the wax flow.

Thirdly, and probably most importantly, he would be remembered as dying for love.

There was, of course, a small chance that the tale of what Elizabeth had done would never reach anyone's ears, but said chance was extremely small indeed. Jack suspected that dear William had unintentionally borne witness to the kiss, and even if he hadn't, the guilt of what Elizabeth had done would drive her to reveal all. "Oh, Will, I had to do it! He was attracted to me and I used that to my advantage! I only did it to keep us safe—I never felt anything for him, it was all deception!"

Yes, Elizabeth was a good liar. Will would probably believe her. Elizabeth may eventually believe her own lie, even.

However, Gibbs would probably overhear. He had a habit of such. And Gibbs, loving a good dramatic story as much as the next pirate, would latch onto one word and one word alone: kiss.

From him, the story will spread, until it turns into a plight of the aristocratic woman who loved a pirate but had to leave him to die for the good of all, despite the fact that he loved her in return.

In this case, the story would be twisted into the truth.

Jack was finally able to pull his wrist out of the manacle, silently applauding himself for managing to break free.

Wait… what on God's green earth was that smell?

He turned around slowly, recognizing that he had only freed himself just in time.

The beastie was back.

With a mighty roar, the Kraken showered Jack in a sea of muck and grime, with the force of a hurricane. A bit disgusted, Jack wiped the spittle off his face, muttering, "Not so bad…"

He then noticed what else the Kraken had blown out amongst the mucus. "Oh!" he cried, picking up his slimy but still intact three-cornered hat. He put it on and, despite the situation, smiled. At least he'd die in style.

As he drew his sword, ready for his final fight, his thoughts again centered on Elizabeth. It was a small comfort to know that, for awhile at least, she'd be happy. She and Will would get to safety, go through a brief mourning period, then return to Port Royal and finally get hitched.

But ten years from now, Lizzie would most likely have grown tired of her role as a wife and mother. For baby Alice isn't taking breast milk very well, and Martha's at that age of toddlerhood where she has to pull out and make a mess of EVERYTHING. Luckily Providence is past that stage, but she's six years old now and really must learn embroidery, stitching, and all those other womanly tasks, of which Elizabeth simply doesn't have time to teach.

And then there's her oldest children, the boys, Will Jr. and Johnny, always getting into fights. More often than not, Johnny's the instigator. Will Jr. is just like his namesake; quiet, dutiful, heroic, and usually well-behaved. But it's Johnny who inherited Elizabeth's spunk and determination, and thus he is her favorite. She calls him "Jack", but only when Will isn't around to hear it.

She's trapped in her house, a very nice house, as William has made a name for himself, caring for the children, and Will thinks, what with the way business is going, why don't they have one or two more?

She won't be able to handle it. She'll crack. One night she'll run off, to the seas, the only place where she ever found freedom.

Jack always thought she'd make an excellent pirate. She will probably be just as remembered as Captain Sparrow. And maybe, someday, it might be realized that she was the strong-willed lover and murderer of said Captain Sparrow.

She would go down in pirate lore too. There were great things in her future. Jack could only think of this as he faced the Kraken for the final time. He had taught her well, taught her everything he knew. All that was left for him now was to make his final exit.

"Hello beastie."