Treasure at World's End by ACM a.k.a. Annie May

Author's note: I don't usually write this kind of fic, the introspective, one-sided love story, but I am new to writing for this fandom. I was inspired to write this because I could find hardly any Barbossa/Sparrow stories and this pairing just seems so right to me. Enjoy!

"Are we to be two immortals locked in an epic battle until Judgment day and trumpets sound?"

When I spoke those words, I knew. That was the only way to spend eternity with a man like Jack Sparrow. He was turbulent, fast-moving, and savage like the sea, and he was faithful only to her. Aye, all we humble pirates heard the calling of the sea, that siren who beckoned us to our lives and deaths, but none did she move so strongly as Captain Jack Sparrow. The man was made of her wildness and every inch of him belonged to her. We who sought his company were merely borrowing him for our purposes, while the sea bided her time awaiting his return. He could not be stopped, not by Death himself. What, then, could a poor old sailor, a mere servant to that same great mistress, hope to gain from loving such a man?

Naught, I knew, and yet I continued my pursuit. No true pirate will turn tail when facing insurmountable odds, especially when a rare treasure was at stake. And, as many a soul had realized, either at the end of his blade or the touch of his lips, Jack was indeed rare. I, like so many others, wanted this more than any treasure of silver or gold, and in the noblest of pirate traditions, I would fight for it. I would do anything for him to look my way, I'm ashamed to admit, and when I failed again and again, I found no recourse but to lead the crew to mutiny. I could not bear his dominating me, controlling my thoughts, compelling my obedience, any longer. I wanted to have power over him. And when he walked that plank at the point of my sword, it was the single moment in which I had the power, in which I was free. And then the moment was gone. And I'll not have anyone else knowing this, but that evening I went back to my cabin and cried.

Yes, I named the monkey Jack. And why? Because he was my constant companion, and I never had to worry that he would betray me or stray. It was a small comfort, a friend of the same name in the absence of my love.

But Captain Jack wouldn't let me be. No, not only did fate punish my greed, but he returned to twist the knife a bit more. When I found him there and looked into his startled black eyes, I just wanted it all to end.

"Kill him," I commanded, as coldly as I could. But there was more to the story, there always was. And slowly he regained his power over a heart that I thought had become cold. But there was always his fire, kindling in me with the deepest of longing. And there was nothing for it. To my last moment, I was his prisoner, in heart and in body. Those words: "I feel cold," nothing could more accurately describe what it felt like to be killed by him. It was an end to my suffering, but it did not satisfy me. I wanted to say, "I loved you," but the words turned to ash in my mouth as I died.

But still he would not let me be. Because of him, because of his debt to the Dutchman, I was allowed no repose. Even death could not separate us, I thought, bitterly or romantically, depending on the particular moment. But I would go to him, even at the end of the world, just to see those black, compelling eyes one more time.

And what a welcome he gave me! Addressing me by my first name, saying "It's been too long!" This was all too good to be true. The feeling could not be mutual. And soon I learned I was right. He thought I was a product of his delirium, and he had the nerve to say he hadn't shot me!

Say what ye will of me, Jack, but I have not forgotten what has happened between us, and it is not so insignificant to me. It had been one night and never again, but I would no sooner forget it, nor did I intend to let him do the same.

I stood too close to him when I asked what he intended to do. I told him that eventually time would run out, even for him. In my heart of hearts, I didn't believe that, but still I feared for him. A pirate fears nothing, but I fear for him. His life is my life. I'm bound to him by fate, it seems, and there is no escaping that which binds thee, not by trick or treachery or by distance or death. I return to pay my debt to him, in sorrow and in love, forever. Ours is a story of betrayal, of ambition, of lust, and dependence, and folly.

We've said our goodbyes in our own fashion. Now it's first to the finish, indeed. I'll find him there, or I'll be there waiting. Either way, I know I haven't seen the last of Captain Jack Sparrow.