Hi (insert your name here)! This is NOT my first PotC story (I've written five with six in the process). This originally started out as a one shot, but by popular demand, it has developed into a cute little story that does not overpower the main storyline or have any big secrets - it's just as it appears. A young girl is interested in Jack's compass while he argues with it in Tortuga in DMC, and Jack gets impatient because he'd rather not have a four-year-old point out to him that his compass chooses not to work for him. So, with that, enjoy my little 'puff of fluff' for you all, lol. That was really strange, because I have never used that term in my life before... Anyway, just enjoy the story, and please review! I reply to all out of common courtesy - you review, and I reply. Give and take, Reader and Author. I love all of you that read, even if you don't review! Thanks so much!
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A Dislike of Circles
Jack stood idle amongst the drunks and wenches of Tortuga's finest, the bunch that had claimed the Faithful Bride tavern as their own. He was oblivious to the ruckus (it becoming much too common to his person), staring at his compass closely as it spun around in all directions indecisively. He shook it some in frustration.
From behind, Gibbs approached Jack. "Well, cap'n," – Jack started and looked away from his compass – "I've set the table ready and spread the good word," Gibbs told him. "Eh… They should be comin' any time now."
"Great," Jack drawled loosely, spotting an empty barrel against the nearby wall. "I'll be within earshot over there."
He pointed and made his way over, not giving his first mate a second look over his shoulder. He took a seat on the barrel, leaning against the wall dejectedly as he brought his compass up from his side. He opened it, but it only spun inconsistently even more.
He gave it a small snarl, the nerve between his lip and nose curling.
He snapped it shut, opening it quickly. Nothing.
He did it four more times in the same way.
All right, Compass, Jack thought. This is getting ridiculous.
He tried a lighter approach next, voicing that he knew what he wanted with false confidence, only to open the compass and see it slowly spinning in vain of his words. He shook it with deep frustration now.
He then heard a small giggle.
Jack stopped, looking slowly down at the compass, fearing he was going even madder than he already was. Was his compass laughing at him? He straightened up, looking around uncomfortably. Another giggle.
He whipped the compass open and brought it to his face, but it kept spinning lazily about. He made another snarl, pinching an eye shut and poking the compass's face angrily. See here, compass-
The next giggle was louder, more defined.
Now he was certain that it wasn't his compass this time. Jack quickly threw his head to the left of his compass, and a small girl with stringy blonde hair and a raggy dressed stood before him. Her hands were bunched in front of her mouth as she grinned and laughed at him.
Jack looked back at the compass, his suspicions of it taunting him leaving now that he had found the source of high-pitched giggling. We have an understanding, then, he thought to his compass. The girl laughed again at his over-exaggerated facial expression, and Jack leaned back against the wall giving her a contemplative look as he opened the compass yet again.
"I'm glad you're having fun," he said to her boredly as she laughed more. She stayed put, still watching him look at his compass somewhat dejectedly. He narrowed his eyes at her.
"Oh, shoo," he said. Jack shook the compass threateningly. "I'm busy."
The little girl came to his side, looking at the compass with him. He was shocked as she tilted her head and looked at his compass contemplatively.
"I think it's broken," she stated.
Jack sighed, not in the mood to care. "Me, too."
"It doesn't point N," she said, doing just that for him.
"No, it doesn't," said Jack matter-of-factly. The girl looked at him puzzled. "It points to whatever you want the most," he told her. What harm could there be in telling a four-year-old that? Jack thought. She'd like an outlandish tale, I suppose.
"Do you like circles?" the girl asked.
An odd look came from Jack. "Circles?"
The girl pointed again. "The arrow goes in circles when you hold it," she laughed again. "You like circles a lot!"
"I like when things work, too, darling," he said, lifting the compass from her reach with some impatience. "Now if you'll excuse me."
He snapped the lid closed. I know what I want! And I want it now!
More spinning. More frustration. More shaking. More giggling.
Jack gave this little girl a strange glance again because she would not leave him alone. She grabbed his arm and pulled it down, laughing when she saw the compass again.
"You like circles!" she said again.
"No!" Jack said sharply. "I hate circles! That's why the compass is broken!" He threw it in his lap angrily. Instead of the girl being taken aback, she merely threw a leg up over him. Jack was shocked even more at her behavior, but he helped her sit up before she fell over onto the floor. Once in his lap, he watched her take the compass and open it.
"You have no respect for others, do you?" he asked nonchalantly. The girl sat, looking at the compass spin in her hands, too, except she was more patient than he. Jack sighed, able to sympathize with her. "You must like circles, too." The compass still spun around. The girl sighed, and Jack heaved as well. "What's your name, girl?"
"Cre-da," she said in a singsong voice, still watching the compass.
Jack nodded at her name, but then she let out a gasp. He leaned forward, and the arrow pointed due west, right at the wall.
"You like walls?" Jack poked amusingly.
"No!" Creda protested. "I hate walls!"
"At that, my child," – Jack took the compass out of her hands and closed it with a curt smile – "is why this bloody compass is broken. Now, again, if you'll leave me to my business…"
He picked her up and stood her on the ground again, turning away to mentally argue with his inanimate object of a navigational tool again. Several times he shook it, cursed it, and almost threw it without disruption. The girl was gone, thank god.
"How we going?" Jack asked Gibbs suddenly, ready to throw the compass at the wall and break it. He knew better, though. First impulsion thoughts of his were rather violent.
Why had he traded the monkey? He could be shooting it now.
"Including those four?" Gibbs asked with some heavy sarcasm from the table. "That gives us… four."
Unimpressive count, but they could be in the hole.
Actually, he was. Ninety-five in the hole. Jack listened as Gibbs began to speak to another man. Ninety-four if this gent signs up!
Wait a minute. He knew that voice. That unpleasant, foreboding voic-
A hard tug came at his hair, and he clapped his hand over the spot, looking all around for the culprit. The familiar giggle came from behind the chair, and Jack rolled his eyes, reaching back and pulling Creda out by her arm. She tried to hide her smile as she waited to be reprimanded.
"What do you want?" he asked hastily.
"Your beads are pretty," Creda said. She reached up to touch another. "I like that yellow one-"
Jack caught her hand and held them both under his. "No!" he said in a hushed voice. "Now get out of here!"
"But I wanna come with you! You're funny!"
Come with me? he thought in repulsion.
Norrington (he knew it was him) knocked over Gibbs and the table, and Jack quickly turned back to Creda and picked her up as she squeed happily. He hoisted her onto her back, and she laughed more.
"Shh," Jack said quietly over his shoulder to her. "No noise."
"Kay," she whispered with a nod.
He passed behind a few people, grabbing a palm frond from a large vase. He held it up, hiding behind it, but Creda only tried to peek through the leaves at the poor excuse of an ex-commodore waving a gun and rum bottle around as he shouted.
"So am I worthy to crew under Captain Jack Sparrow?" Suddenly, the gun clicked onto them, and Jack stopped mid-step. "Or should I just kill you know?" Norrington asked with a contemplative arrogance.
Creda hung onto Jack's neck and giggled some as he went back and forth between either sides of the posts. Norrington's gun followed, but they seemed to get away just in time, making it as fun as a game.
"You're hired," Jack said with a nervous smile.
"Sorry," Norrington drawled vengefully. "Old habits and all that."
This time Jack didn't move, and a tiny panic crept into Creda until a few men ricocheted the gun upwards, and before she knew what was happening, all of the tavern occupants were brawling and screaming to the tune of a happy jig.
"Time to go?" Jack asked Gibbs, still harboring the girl on his back.
"Aye!" Gibbs stopped, looking at the bright-eyed child with a presently calm face. "Who's the maid?"
Jack looked over his shoulder, almost forgetting about the girl. "What was your name again?" he asked her.
"Creda!" she shouted over the loud noises surrounding them.
"There, you see?" Jack said to his first mate. "Creda. Savvy? Now on the move, wouldn't you say?"
As they weaved through the fights and flying beers, Jack suddenly took Creda off of his back and stood her in the middle of a bunch of extremely tall people. She looked around scared until he saw the tails of his coats, running up and tugging on them desperately. Jack turned, ducking down to her eye level as a plate busted on the wall above his head.
"Up again!" she said.
"You stay down here where it's safe," Jack told her. "Trust me."
"No! Up!" she whined.
"Jack! Come on!"
Jack and Gibbs went up a set of stairs, and Creda tried to keep up, watching Jack switch hats every few heads. She became amused by this and took the hat from a lazy drunk next to her with a smile, its large brim falling over her eyes. When she lifted it, Jack was gone, and she looked around in the chaotic mess. Down by the door, the end of Jack's red bandana and coat were whirling around the corner out of the tavern, and she hurriedly made her way down and out, hoping to find him.
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