In the Mind of a Pirate

(Introduction)
The Minds Eye

Will sat silently in the hold of the ship. He was all alone but his thoughts were heavy like a physical presence.

"I have to save you for her." He said aloud, as if Jack could hear. But he was dead. He was far away now. Will didn't know how far, but Tia Dalma was still having things packed into the Edge Racer, that ship she had conjured out of seemingly nothing. It was nothing like the Black Pearl, but it was still like no ship Will had yet seen.

Will was getting tired of the sea. It seemed like the sea was taking everything he loved. First his father, now the only ship that could save him, and it seemed Elizabeth too.

She had hardly spoken in the past couple of days. And whenever he went to hold her she simply lay her head on his shoulder saying nothing, refusing to hold him back.

If she was so lost without Jack, he would find him, to find her again.

Jack opened his eyes.

This was something he didn't expect, being dead as he was.

He saw black, so he closed his eyes again. He saw Elizabeth, and shook his head to try to rid himself of her image. A lot of good her memory would do here.

Wait a moment, where was here? He felt very sure he was no longer in the beast. Maybe he was already in the locker. "That was right fast." He said to no one and his voice echoed his question in answer. "Right...fast...fast."

His eyes were beginning to adjust to the unearthly light that was darkness.

He was standing on the deck of the Pearl, Moving through the void of blackness that was the path to the locker, Guided by the form of the Kraken ahead of him.

"Not so bad." He said to it.

He had no idea.

(Chapter One)
The Same Again

Elizabeth stood at the railing of the new ship, and stared out into the sea. It was a sight that she had often taken joy in, even when she lived in port royal she had loved to stare at the sea from her window. There was a wild reliability in that sight. The tide left and it came back, more reliable than clockwork but wild like a storm is wild, and beautiful like a sword in the hands of a master. Like Will. The sight had lost its majisty. It had become bleak like Elizabeth was bleak and depressed, like a the heavy weight of realization was physicly crushing her.

"Oh, God." She thought to herself. "How I wish Will and I could be the same again." She meant it with all her heart. She wanted to fall into his arms like she once had and know that he loved her and that, even more importantly, she loved him. Oh and she did, she could never stop loving Will and that was what hurt.

But it wasn't the only think that broke her heart. The memories peirced her heart like a cold blade in the dark. She hadn't expected this. Why had it always seemed so easy. Life was so fragile, and Will had never seemed bothered by the sights they had seen on their first adventure. She hadn't been either. Though pirates hadn't been what she thought they were. Especially Jack. He was an Enigma like no one she had ever met.

A deep sigh escaped her lips, and blended with the sounds of the waves lapping up against the sides of the boat. She closed her eyes but all she could see was his face and tear began to roll down her face again, cut trails across her dirty cheeks.

What hurt the most is that Will couldn't understand what was wrong. She could not bring her self to tell him the truth, not about the kiss, not about the murder. So she took her solice in solidtude and spent her time isolated from the rest of the crew, keep busy with her duties, and her thoughts.

Barbossa put his boots on the table in the captains cabin. Yes, it felt good to be captain...hell it felt good to be alive.

"Thank ye Tia. I owe you a debt." He grinned a grimy grin in her direction and then turned his attention to jack the monkey, who had managed to get hold of a cigar and was now chewing happily on one end.

"A debt you won' be payin' back no doubt." Tia looked back at the Captain with distaste.

Barbossa laughed and nodded, "Even so." He took a large wet messy bite of an apple, and tried to get his cigar back from jack without being bitten.

"I decided, knowing there would be a need. When a woman knows what must be done, her must sometime sacrifice da good for da greater good." She crossed her arms across her chest and gave the man the monkey a side long look.

"I will take that as a compliment." Said Barbossa, then he shouted, as jack jumped at him and a trickle of blood started from his dirty finger.

Tia Dalma drew herself up, and glared at the man before her, "Don't" She said and then swept out of the room. Leaving an invisible aura of mystic and magic behind her. Barbossa laughed, what harm did the spite of one voodoo witch do him? He was alive and Captain once more.

"And once again we are going to meet our friend CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow." He scratched the back of jacks neck, having forfeited the cigar. "And we will give him what we owe HIM. Oh, we can't have proper revenge if you're dead. When all this is finished, we will catch up like old friends will." Barbossa laughed an evil laugh, and no one heard him but the monkey, who hardly cared.

Cutler Beckett sat, musing and watching his new comrade move ravenously through yet another goodly sized steak, grinning all the while.

"May I suggest a sip of wine and a moment for digestion? It would hardly do if you came all this way, regained your life and then die tragically by the hands of a badly swallowed chunk of steak."

Beckett himself had eaten a small salad, having slowly lost his appetite through the past couple of days, which he had finished a good twenty minutes ago. Still he dabbed at the corners of his mouth for the hundredth time, now the cleanest surfaces in his immaculate dining room, and watched James Norrington finish his meal.

Norrington had changed in appearance drastically in the past few months, though Cutler didn't know this, but his finer clothing still suited him. He had abandon all thoughts of wearing a wig and kept his hair tied back simply and his lace sleeves clean no matter how roughly and quickly he ate his meals. He finally pushed his plate away. A young Negro slave came to the table to clear it. Cutler had many slaves, and he used them often, but not always gently. The idea had always made Norrington uncomfortable, and he avoided looking at the boy. Instead he looked at Beckett.

"Can you think of a better way ate ones freedom than with good food and...good company." He didn't sound sincere in his opinion of the company, "This is only my third fine dinner since I became a new man, as it were. I plan..." James paused and took a look drink form his wine glass. "To have many more and to enjoy all of them."

Though Beckett would never admit it, the newly reinstated commodore made him uneasy. He reminded him far too much of a younger Jack Sparrow. Arrogant, insolent, and always acting like he was two steps ahead, because he was. But YOUNG Jack had never been ruthless, and Norrington had no such compunctions.

"Would you like to come with me, I want to talk to you about something." James finished of his wine in one swig, like a regular buccaneer, and said.

"Anything for my benefactor, Lord Beckett." Beckett led Norrington to his favorite room, his office and map room. The map almost completed, as was Beckett's triumph.

"I am sure that you remember Governor Swann's daughter, hmmm what was her name?"

"Elizabeth." James answered quietly, quite a bit darker than what he had been a moment ago. Lord Beckett smiled at having hit a nerve.

"Well, as I am sure you know, having traveled with her for a while, she was last seen in the company of some pirates, and other criminals against the crown." Beckett clicked his tongue as if it was just a shameful thought.

"Yes, and what about it?" the commodore snapped, no longer feeling in good spirits.

"Oh, Commodore! What is this, no compassion? Oh, but think of the safety of the poor girl. A woman of her kind among, dare I say it, pirates. And Jack Sparrow too, I don't think she has much of a chance do you." Norrington raised an eyebrow. Beckett knew as well as he did that Elizabeth sailed with Sparrow of her own free will. What was he playing at now?

"I think it is our duty to help her, don't you? He poor father would be devastated should anything happen too her. And you know of course I have promised her father I would help her in any way I can. I think it is best if you and I go personally, and soon, to look for her ourselves. Don't you?"

Norrington's brow knit together in a deep and decided frown, "You mean to kill her?" The thought was painful even after everything she had put him through.

"No, no, what a thought! I mean to find her and help..." Cutler paused to laugh unable to contain it anymore. "in any way we can. What do you say, I am asking your professional opinion?"

"You want to control her father." Norrington nodded, finally understanding.

"Nothing gets past you does it?" Then as an afterthought, "Then there would be a marriage in it for you." This merited a laugh from Norrington.

"You really don't know Elizabeth." He said.

They began preporations then very next day.

Will took a deep breath, so deep it hurt. Elizabeth just stood there never looking up from her long vigil of the sea, the sea's emotions echoing her own. Dark and turbulent. Will aproached anyway, everything he wanted to say ready to leap off his tounge but when Elizabeths eyes met his he choked. Nothing came out of his open mouth, his mind screamed, "Say something you fool." but silence deafened him.

Elizabeth was the first to speak, "Are you alright Will? You look, uh, ill" He did, but he recovered well and spoke at last.

"That was the question I came to ask you." It wasn't, but the lie sounded like the truth and it rolled off his tongue like it was tired of lingering there.

"I am...I don't know..." She looked out into the sea again. Will thought he knew what, or rather who she was thinking of. He was right, Elizabeth saw that final look Jack had given her every time she closed her eyes, and when she opened them too. She heard his last word to her in ever creak of the ship, every lap of the ocean, and even when Will spoke somehow her mind mangled the words until the whole world was whispering "Pirate...pirate...pirate."

She thought that she would feel warm tears starting in her eyes, but they were dry. She couldn't cry anymore, not even for him, not even for herself.

"You may yet see him again, sooner than you think." Will said, though every word was a physical blow.

"Will, what did I do to deserve you? You don't...know some things about me. You should hate me." Will thought he knew, thought he could forgive her. Thought he had forgiven her.

"Nothing you could do, have ever done, or will do, or are doing, could ever, ever make me stop loving you. Nothing, never." Elizabeth thought that was the most beautiful thing she had ever heard, and she did feel a tear in her eye. And they kissed.

But of course it was nothing like it had once been. There had been a time when every one of his kisses had thrilled her, filled her with the most fantastic notions and ecstasies, but now she only saw HIM, and remember that fatal final kiss. It would never be the same again.

"There is something I need to tell you, now." She took a deep breath, so deep it hurt.

"Elizabeth I kn-" Will was cut off, by Gibbs' deep drawl call him to help with the rigging. "We'll talk in a mo-"

"Will!!" Gibbs called in obvious distress, Will kissed Elizabeth one more quick time and ran off, a load off his mind, now thinking that she was not too far gone after all.

Elizabeth sighed with exaspirated at the bad timing, "Men!" She whispered under her breath. She jumped at the sound of a slamming door. Tia Dalma immerged from the captains cabin.

(Chapter Two)

The Tear Chamber

The trip ended suddenly, with a jolt that woke Jack, who had some how managed to sleep on his way to hell.

He awoke stiff and sore, from sleeping on the cold hard deck of the Pearl, and disoriented, for all around him there was nothing but black endless corridors stretching on into whatever bleak forever was left to him down here. He stood and spun about, there was nothing but the same all around, hundreds of dark passages all indistinced and evil looking in the black.

Jack became aware of a dark coldness gripping his boots. The Black Pearl had vanished from beneath his feet and there was water on the floor, ankle deep and freezingly cold.

Tears, he knew instinctually, and suddenly he was aware of the blaring silence, the tangable sadness, the crushing black.

"The Locker." He said in a quiet voice like cannon fire in the silence. Everything was terrible, everything was tragidy. And of course Jack thought of Elizabeth. Dispair, a cruel commrade and ever ready to join you in your darkest hour, lay its hand on Jack. Jack felt himself starting to slip away into the black, possibly to join the pool of tears at his feet, or to add to them and never see light again, or Elizabeth.

That was when he began to run, he didn't know where. All he knew was that anywhere, anyone of those corridores must lead to a place better than this. There was a faint splash behind him. And then nothing, not even the sound of his boots on the ground. He found the hallway to be far worse than the chamber of tears. There was a pressence there, like a wisp of wind with a mind of its' own that pulled at his hair and clothes. Once he thought he felt clammy dead fingers brush against his face and that is when he ran faster than he had ever run in his life. A howl started up, tragic, angry, and wretched. It filled his ears, his heart, his lungs. Just when Jack knew that he must collapse and go mad...The light came.

It was the flickering light of a single candle. Jack found himself sitting in a rough wooden chair. It was like some sort of demented salvation, he thought, but then, of course he saw the sinister figure standing just out of the lights grasp, and he knew that he knew this room.

"Damn." He stated. It was and accurate assessment.

Tia Dalma look rather put out by something, her shoes clacked on the deck with graceful ferocity. She was hissing something under her breath that sounded like the crackling of a fire, but as she brushed by she seemed to notice she had an audience and her face changed character, splitting into a black toothed grin.

"Elizabef," Dalma greeted her, drawing out the E and slightly mangling the name until it fit her strange way of speaking "I hope I find you well, though I see I do not. What is troublin you now, has got somefin to do wif your man?"

"Oh it just we...how did you know?" She grinned again, beautiful and frightening.

"Jack Sparrow once said, 'There be nofin more obvious or dangerous than a woman troubled' when he foun' me in a foul mood." She became far away with memory.

"Jack Sparrow said that?" Elizabeth found her intrest had been peaked inspite of herself. "Where you and Jack..." She motioned with her hand, unable to find the right word, and wondering if there was one for what they "were".

"Once upon a time, but that were a long time ago." Tia nodded. Then became whistful once more. "Though a part of me never stopped lovin him. I loved many men afore him, an' after him too." She smiled at the memories,"But once you been got by Jack Sparrow, you never stop lovin him, though you don' know when you started." Elizabeths hands started to tremble a little. The thought of Jack was nearer now than it had been since the ship. Tia seemed to sense her distress, her voice becam soothing and soft. "We will fin' him. Him is Jack Sparrow, he were not ready to die."

Guilt racked Elizabeth's body, her eyes stayed dry but she was almost over come having to bear it all alone. If only Will had stayed and listened to her. If only Jack was here, if only, if only.

"I know it is a load to bear, but it were meant to be. Just like you are meant to be here."

"You know everything don't you? How can you be so calm there, why don't you run and tell the crew," The realization wasn't quite complete at that point, but as she spoke the words their full import sank in through all the denial and pain. "Tell them I kill their Captain." She was trembling visibly now, unbearibly tired and sad and angry all at once.

"I am not the one you needs to deal wif, nor is de crew. You needs must square with him, and I leave it to him to do what he must. I am not angry, it is as I said. I had seen it long before it were come to be. There is a purpose for all this, though we may not know for what it be." Tia was strong and certain and clearheaded about such thing, her feeling for Jack ran deep, but not as deep as some she thought.

Elizabeth shook her head, "I don't see how any of this could be planned, it seem all just to be some horrible miss adventure to me." For the first time since Jack died, Elizabeth almost wished she had some rum in hand.

"Even so." Soothed Tia Dalma, her face serene, her features impishly positioned so that she looked like she grinned even when she frowned. "Now you go talk to yer man." She nodded in the direction of the approaching Will, then excused her self and was gone. Elizabeth braced herself to tell Will all she had meant to, but somehow she had lost her nerve. Or maybe she WAS becoming more like Jack with every passing moment, Just like she feared.

"Elizabeth." Will called to her, his voice clear and calm. Like it had been wanting to say that name with such affection for some time. "Where were we?"

"I hardly remember." She answered, trying to hide her lie in an embrace. Will bent down to kiss her, when suddenly her face contorted, and there came a shout from her own mouth of intense pain.

"Elizabeth!! Whats wrong, are you hurt?" She crumpled to the ground, and Will followed closed behind her to cradle her head in his arms.

"My arm! Oh my arm it burns so! Stop it! Please stop it Will!" Elizabeth clutched at her right wrist so hard she began to loose feeling in her finger tips. Finally the pain lessed but only slightly, and Will was able to pull her hand away long enough to look at her wrist.

It was only there for a second, but what a second it was. Elizabeth saw it, and so did Will. And Tia Dalma knew what it was, even from her place in the shadow of the mast.

Tia whispered so that only she could hear, "They are connected then. We have hope."

There on the white wrist, delicate from years of tender treatment there was seen a ugly burned patch of skin in the shape of a P. A pirates brand. And then it was gone.

The light though welcome after the black of the hall soon began to burn Jacks eyes. An acrid smoke hang in the air, the smell of burning flesh. Only confirming Jacks worst suspiciouns. He breathed heavily after his run, but it sounded like fear. The an that stood behind him held his arm twisted painfully behind his back. His right wrist was tied tightly to the table, so that Jack could almost not lift his head to watch the man in the corner come into the light.

"Are you aware, Captain Sparrow, that these are very dire straights you find yourself in." Jack wanted to say, "Oh thanks mate, but for your warning I could never have guessed." But that hadn't been what he said.

He heard his own voice reply, "Mister Beckett, you know me you know I would never steal from the company! This isn't nessesary or lawful. Not without a trial." Jacks mind continued to scream 'Shut up you dolt, he doesn't care about the law, oh damn.'

"Tsk, tsk. Actually, the king himself has signed this." Cutler Beckett pulled an official looking paper out of his coat. "Do you know what this is? This document gives the East India Trading Company the right to protect its intrests by..." He picked a wicked looking branding iron from the fire. "Marking the traitorous pirates among us."

"Listen to me." The young Jack, Jack now found himself trapped inside was yelling, as if it would do any good. "Cutler, Cutler listen. I am no pirate. I hate them, hate them all, ever single one of them! God, let me go!" He struggled to no avail.

"Jack, Jack, Jack. You never were hard enough for our purposes. And you know too much to stay." Beckett leaned close to speak into Jack's ear. So close that Jack felt the heat of the red metal on his face, and heard the ringing in his ears. "Oh, and I should tell you, I won't be able to be there for it. I do abhor hangings." And then Cutler was done with talk, he marched around the table and held the iron above Jack's arm. Jack gritted his teeth, in his mind and in reality, resolving not to say a word aloud.

Cutler pressed the brand hard into his skin there was a hiss and the pain was unimaginable. Jack closed his eyes and remained silent in his agony. But a scream came to his ears, not his own, a feminine screaming, and then a voice crying for it to stop.

Elizabeth?

Jack's head whipped around so quickly it hurt, looking for the sound that came from just beyond his line of vision. But as he turned light turned to black, and once again there was a splash about his feet, and he stood in the chamber of tears.