Raising the Black Pearl

author's note: Obviously, I own no rights worth mentioning to Disney, Pirates of the Carribean (c), Johnny Depp (I wish!) or anything at all related to the movies on which this fic is based. This tale is strictly for fun and not for profit (though if you wanted to send treats I sure wouldn't mind).

story details: several years before the first "Pirates" movie takes place, Jack Sparrow's ship recently lost its captain, and Sparrow took the helm. Unfortunately, the ship ran hard into a rock and sank. As with all Carribean sailors lost to the sea, the bedraggled crew shortly found themselves on the deck of the Flying Dutchman, facing Davy Jones himself, and deciding whether to accept a dark contract.

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"What be your name, lad?" demanded Jones.

"Captain Jack Sparrow, sah."

"-nyup-" said Davy Jones, making a strange movement with his mouth. "Captain, is it? You've gone far for one so young."

"I haven't been captain long, to tell the truth. You see, just recently –"

Jones leaned in close. "Do you fear death, Jack Sparrow?"

"Captain Sparrow, if you please, sir. And in answer to your question ... no. And yes."

"Will you join my crew?" asked Jones. "One hundred years before the mast. Join me and you will fear no storms."

"Seeing as how it was a rock that got us, and not a storm ..." Sparrow stopped as Jones made a move towards him. "I will join your crew, Davy Jones. But first, I'd like to ask you ..." Sparrow stood up a little straighter, looking Jones directly in his fishy eyes.

"I've heard tell that you are the undisputed master of these seas, am I right?"

"Yes, I rule the sea," replied Jones.

"And I've heard tales of a legendary ship, known as the Black Pearl."

"That ship sank long ago. The crew've long since passed to the other side."

"Indeed, but I feel," continued Sparrow, "the wreckage might still have some use in her. If she were to be ... raised up, by a master of the ocean..."

Jones laughed raucously. "The Flying Dutchman's enough for me, boy. What is it on your mind? You wish to have a ghost ship of your own?"

"Not a ghost ship, no. A real ship. On loan," Sparrow answered. "For, say, thirteen years. After that, I'll come back and serve you, as a member of your barnacled boys. Thirteen years with the Pearl, and then I'm yours."

Jones considered. "And why should I do you this favor, young 'Captain' Jack Sparrow?"

"Because if all you want is ordinary sailors, you've got crew enough to last for eternity. But if what you really want, mate, is an experienced captain ... someone to serve as your right hand, help take some of the weight off your shoulders ..." Sparrow raised his eyebrows, "then I'm the man for the job."

"Or at least, I will be," he added, as if in an afterthought. "'Cause y'see, right now I'm just a young lad with potential. Gimme a few years ... and I could really be something. Savvy?"

There was a pause.

At last Jones said, "So be it." He clasped hands with Jack Sparrow, and Sparrow smiled, though Jones' hand was cold and slimy as seaweed. Turning to his crew, Jones ordered: "Set course for the Hanged Man's Cross."

to be continued...