Yup I'm back, err, again. I know, I know, it's been a VERY long time, but I haven't forgotten you, in fact there's been this annoying nagging sensation in the back of my mind, I'm pretty sure it was nagging me to finish what I started! Updates will be slow, but I will do my best, also, I've found that I'm really maturing as a writer so this may be a little different to what you'd expect from the other Diamonds and Pearls stories.

Once again, thanks for waiting.

Alex

PS: WARNING: Flamers will awake at night to find Karma-the-Vengeful-Elephant standing by their beds, ready to perform whatever nasty tasks it will take to make you PAY!

The first letter.

Jack sat up suddenly, the sinister sense of a nightmare ebbing away. He glanced around his quarter's feeling thoroughly depressed, but come to think of it, why did he feel so thoroughly depressed? Outside the window, the sky above the high cliffs of Tortuga, was steadily growing lighter in the first rays of the dawning sun. The Black Pearl swayed slowly, as if trying to cradle him back to sleep. He fell back against the pillows of the large bed and let his mind wander.

The bed felt unfamiliar, he didn't sleep here often and he felt uncannily disorientated.

'Jack!' The door burst open.

He gave a start. 'Wha -? Will? It's dawn, boy!'

Will frowned. 'It's dusk.'

Jack frowned and sat up, moving his legs over the side of the bed and looked back out the window, facing west. Sure enough, the sun was not rising. It was setting.

Will saw the confusion on the Captain's face. 'Have you been asleep all day?'

Jack put his hand to his head, trying to remember, without success. He looked back up at Will, awaiting an explanation.

Will shrugged. 'There's never enough rum.'

At the mention of rum, Jack jumped up and beamed. 'Where's the rum?'

'The rum is gone,' Will snapped in agitation.

'No,' corrected Jack.

Will frowned in confusion. 'No?'

'No.'

'No?'

'No.'

Will sighed in exasperation and folded his arms over his chest. 'Do explain.'

'The lingering problem is that there is no rum. If there is rum, the problem diminishes, so we can establish that the problem is the problem and the problem may be diminished through various problem diminishing techniques, so the said problem may be diminished with the simply answered question of how. How in this case coming under the category of…the Faithful Bride.' With that, Jack strode past Will, leaving him to question his own intelligence.

That evening Jack sat in the far corner of the main room rum in hand, drinking away, and basking in the attention of half the bar.

'…and so I shot him and stole his silver,' he finished loudly and glanced at the pretty young woman on his right. He took a swig of his rum. 'Wasn't so much silver left by then thought, but plenty of gold, of course…'

'Of course…' the woman echoed admiringly from Jack's side.

Suddenly a call came from behind the crowd, barely heard over the shouts and shots of the tavern.

'Sparrow! Captain Jack Sparrow!'

Jack looked up. 'That's m'name!'

A young and ragged looking boy pushed his way through the crowd clutching a piece of parchment tightly in his right hand. 'Got a letter.'

Jack's eyebrows came together. Who'd be writing to him?

The boy held up the letter and extended his right hand expectedly. Jack rolled his eyes and tossed the boy a shilling, seeing that the letter was indeed legit. He dropped it on the table before the Captain and scurried away, into the crowd.

Jack eyed the letter, then stuffed it carelessly in his pocket. He looked at the woman at his side from the corner of his eye.

'So where were we?'

Early the next morning Jack meandered his way back to the Pearl, weary and inebriated. As he boarded, he thought glumly of how Will would react to his late (or was it early) wanderings ("You're supposed to be Captain!"), but then again, Will wasn't his mother, even if he did act like it. Then as Jack collapsed onto his bed, another thought occurred to him.

What was Will doing here anyway? Why wasn't the whelp… where did he come from?

There's something worth looking in to…

If he remembered.

Jack awoke unaided that evening, groggy-headed and confused. A strange feeling left him as he sat up, one he couldn't quite place; in the end, he left it to a large headache.

The day progressed in a haze of confusion. First, Marty miscounted supplies; twice. Then someone set fire to the skysail, making a quarter of it blacker than usual. This was followed by three hours of interrogation as to who pushed Mr. Gibbs overboard in the middle of the night. It turned out to be Anna-Maria, in a fit of fury, as Gibbs had hidden her hat earlier that day; Jack sympathised. Finally a question arose that would keep everyone guessing as it really had no answer, and no particular comment from Jack; just what exactly were they doing in Tortuga and why?

Jack avoided answering by stealing off to his tavern again. It was unusually empty, but it was early in the evening, not even six. As Jack went to pay for his first rum of the night, he felt something in his pocket amid the clutter, something that would not usually be there. He flopped down at a table, deep in the confines at the back of the tavern and dug his hand back into his pocket and pulled out the letter. He'd forgotten he'd put that there… It was plain and thin with a blue wax seal on the back bearing a lion's head. The writing on the front (written by someone who, at least, knew that it was Captain Jack Sparrow) was oddly familiar too.

He pondered over it for a moment then tore open the envelope (careful to preserve the wax seal), pulled out the letter and flipped it open.

Missing something?

Course you are.

Find it in La Romana.

When the moon is at its peak

At the Inn you used to seek.

Jack frowned and flipped it over, but found nothing on the back. This was odd; certainly odd. The fact was that the letter, no matter its length, hit the nail on the head. The misplaced feeling in the pit of his stomach was a loss of some sort, but what he'd lost, he wasn't sure of. He stared at the familiar handwriting, thinking.

Yeah, I know I haven't changed it much from the first time I posted it, but there are a few, especially as I had to start all over again from last time.

YES LADIES AND GENTS,

THE WEST COAST EAGLES WON THE AFL GRAND FINAL AGAINST THE SYDNEY SWANS...

BY ONE POINT!

GO THE EAGLES!