Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to Pirates of the Caribbean. I'm merely playing around with Jack (no, not in that way!) in the hopes of providing fun entertainment for others.
AN: This is it, the end of the story! Sadly, I have no ideas for another Pirates fic right now, so I'm going to temporarily go on hold in this genre/category. I will be focusing my time on my Batman story and probably starting a new Phantom of the Opera fic, so you'll find me over there if you want to read some of my other works. Thanks so much to everyone for reading this story and for your kind reviews; you guys rock!
Until next time, drink up, me hearties, yo ho!
As the Black Pearl sailed the open sea, that sense of anxiety and near panic stayed close to Jack. With every day that passed, he worried over what he was going to say to Charles Elliot, both in a letter and in person. With less than three months to make a plan, time was not on his side, though Joanna certainly was.
"Don't worry so much," she constantly told him, and always as she kissed his cheek. "Papa will be thrilled, and even if he's not, he won't stay angry forever."
Jack, however, doubted that. One never knew what a loving and protective parent would do, especially when it came to marriages. Elopements tended to bring out the best and worst in parents, and the last thing Jack needed was for Charles to send the English Navy after him. Not that he couldn't outrun the Navy, but with a wife onboard, Jack wasn't going take a risk like that.
When they finally arrived in Portsmouth after three months at sea, Jack was actually armed with a finished letter. It was written with both his and Joanna's words, and in both their writing, explaining what had happened, and that they hoped for Charles's blessing on their union. When they set foot in town, Jack found a young boy willing to take the letter up to the Elliot home at a specific time for a coin or two. With a nice cushion of time between then and when the letter was due to be delivered, the two Sparrows headed to their destination.
Once both he and Joanna had found places to sit outside of her father's office windows, they watched and waited. Charles was already been inside working, as it was early afternoon, and was able to take their letter from the butler and read it immediately. Holding their breaths, Jack and his Vixen sat and watched the man's face.
For a moment, nothing happened. It was as if he had frozen in his chair, staring at the piece of paper in his hands for almost a full minute before reacting. When he did, it was in a way that Jack never imagined.
Charles laughed. Not a meager chuckle or a snicker, but a full laugh as he put the letter aside, poured himself a glass of scotch and held it up in a toast, a broad smile still on his lips as he drank.
Slack-jawed, both Jack and Joanna stared at the strange sight, but quickly recovered. Quietly, they decided to visit the house later that evening, while Charles was working and the rest of the household had gone to bed. They also chose to bring the gifts that Joanna had purchased for her parents on her voyages, if only to pacify whatever hidden, lingering anger her father might have.
It was a little after nine o'clock that evening when the Sparrows slipped into the Elliot home. All the servants were abed, as was the lady of the house. Thus, all was silent as Jack helped his Vixen slip into the study, where Charles was so focused on his work that he didn't notice any movement by the open windows. He got quite a surprise when he looked up to check the clock and saw his daughter standing there by the desk, Jack at her side with a box in his hands.
"Good god, Jack, don't do that!" Charles hissed. "Are you trying to stop my heart?"
Jack grinned. "Charles, if getting that note about my marrying your daughter didn't stop your heart, I doubt anything else will."
Beside him, Joanna rolled her eyes and slapped him on the arm. "Stop it," she chided him before turning to her father. "Papa, you did read the note, didn't you? And you're alright with my marrying Jack?"
Charles sighed and motioned for them to sit down. "I'm not exactly thrilled with you wedding a man nearly twice your age, sweetness, but if that is what makes you and Jack happy, then I've nothing against it. Besides, you're already wed, and I can't very well undo that, now, can I?"
He began to pour them both drinks, but Joanna refused, saying she wasn't much fond of alcohol, and instead sat back with a glass of water as Jack put forth the gifts his wife had bought during her adventures. Each object set onto the desk was followed by a new tale of its origins, and Charles swallowed the stories right up, savoring each detail of where they had been and what they had done. When the last story had been told, namely that of his daughter's wedding, he sighed.
"Well, I must say that I'm very proud of you, sweetness," he said to Joanna. "You've gone and done everything we both hoped you would, and then some. I never expected you to wed, much less fall in love with someone, but I'm glad it's with a man I know who has a good heart."
Jack grinned and looked over at his beaming wife, who in turn gave her father a fond smile. "Thank you, Papa," she said. "I never expected it, either, but it sort of, well, happened. If it hadn't been for Jack's father, Captain Teague, we'd never have known how we felt for one another."
"I'm still not sure if I can believe your acceptance of our marriage, Charles," Jack said, eyeing his friend closely. "I'm half expecting you to pull out a pistol and shoot me where I sit."
Charles smiled and took another drink of scotch. "No worries, Jack," he assured him. "Even though I am a bit angry that you didn't ask my permission to marry my daughter, I understand that your father would have made things rather difficult if you hadn't. I'm glad that you two managed to find happiness and love with one another, though I will greatly miss having you here, Joanna."
"I promise to bring her to visit, Charles," Jack swore. "Next spring or summer, maybe, when the weather's better for sailing in this part of the world."
"I'll hold you to that," his friend replied. "Now, I think we've stayed on this subject long enough, don't you? Joanna, I don't suppose you'd like to hear any news about your friends, would you?"
Some of the gossip and news was good, almost none of it bad, and all of it was interesting.
The good news was that, as expected, Joanna's friend, Amelia, had married a minor nobleman in London, moved into a very fine house in northern England, and was expecting her first child, which she planned to name Joanna, after her dearest and closest friend. That last bit had made the new Mrs. Sparrow tear up slightly.
More good news was that everyone in town believed Joanna to be visiting relatives in the Caribbean, and all expected her to make a fine marriage to a rich man. It made all three of them laugh as they imagined the looks on people's faces if they knew the truth.
"Which they won't," Charles said. "I'll simply tell everyone that you're staying in the Caribbean to become, oh, I don't know, a nun or some sort of thing. Yes, a nun would be a good story, and it would keep your mother from sending me after you to bring you home."
It was a good tale, and a believable one, which made everyone happy. Fanny Elliot wouldn't bother bringing her daughter home if she were to have supposedly taken holy vows, and at least it was a tale that would spare the family any kind of shame. Jack and Joanna heartily approved of it.
However, the most interesting news was that which concerned Joanna's former love interest, Frederick Drake. Apparently the handsome Lord was regretting his choice of wife, and was very vexed with his new bride. Christiana Dalton, as she had once been, appeared to be squandering her husband's wealth on everything that caught her eye. Clothes, shoes, pets, and an endless need to gamble was beginning to take its toll on Lord Drake's finances, and he'd been forced to reduce the monthly allowance he provided for his wife.
"Apparently the former Miss Dalton is attempting to live a lifestyle she has always wanted, but never had," Charles explained to his daughter. "Christiana was raised to think that when she married a wealthy man, she would be able to do whatever she wanted and to spend as much as she could on anything she wanted to buy. Her mother certainly taught her that this would be so, and Christiana was certainly living up to those ideal fantasies.
"Now, however, the chickens have come to roost. Lord Drake has stopped giving her money whenever she asks for it, and decreased the monthly sum he gives her for spending. It is quite embarrassing for him, but needful."
Jack smirked. "Seems the man got what was coming to him," he said while taking a slow drink from his glass. "Then again, maybe I should thank the man. If he hadn't hurt my Jo the way he did, I would never have gotten the chance to wed her."
And there was more. Apparently Frederick had discovered that behind the beautiful blonde hair, sparkling blue eyes and sweet disposition, Christiana was, well, silly. She could be quite charming at first, but try to engage her in a more serious area of conversation and she got quite the blank look on her face. It seemed that a thorough education and a sharp mind were things her parents did not think she would need in the future.
"I'm glad I got myself a clever Vixen, then," Jack declared as he glanced significantly at his wife. Joanna blushed and looked away.
By then, it was after midnight, and Charles had to head off to bed for an early start the next day. He kissed Joanna goodnight, shook hands with Jack, and made them promise to visit him again the next night, a promise they were more than happy to give.
For a week they stayed in Portsmouth, visiting Charles after dark and staying until the wee hours of the morning, talking, laughing, joking, and having a good time together as a family. No one else knew that the house was visited in the depths of night by two pirates.
Sadly, all visits come to an end. When it came time to leave England, the Sparrows were forced to say their farewells the night before, as they would be leaving with the morning tide. Money was pressed into their hands, money that was meant as a wedding gift, according to Charles. He also issued orders for them to spend it either on themselves, the crew, or on a future Sparrow likely to arrive in the near future. Both Jack and Joanna blushed at that, but Charles patted them on the shoulders and said that he expected to hear from them the moment they found out if they were expecting. His son-in-law gave his word, looking uncomfortable the entire time.
Safe to say, Joanna found herself with child sooner than expected. When this was discovered, both grandfathers were written to, and both men were thrilled at the impending arrival. The Black Pearl's crew celebrated for days, and Anna-Maria was roped into being the child's godmother, a position she felt honored to get from her dear friend, Mrs. Sparrow.
When it was apparent that Joanna could no longer do much work on the Pearl, Jack turned the Pearl to Shipwreck Island, intent on his offspring being born on the pirate safe haven. Since the babe would be a third generation pirate, it was only fair that it be delivered there.
For the last few months of her pregnancy, Joanna walked the halls of Shipwreck, usually in the company of Anna-Maria, Captain Teague, or, more often, her husband. Her belly swelled, her cravings and moods became unpredictable, and those around her began to quiver in fear whenever she passed by, all of them praying for the child to arrive and for Jack Sparrow's Vixen to return to being the sweet girl they knew and loved.
Finally, the day came. A baby girl was delivered safe and sound in the grand fortress, much to the delight of every pirate inhabiting the place. Jack could not have been prouder of his beautiful new treasure, Captain Teague could not stop hovering over the babe's cradle, and even Mr. Gibbs found time to sneak over for a quick look at the little darling. In honor of Jack's mother, they named the baby Lily, after the woman who so longed for a grandchild and for the happiness of her son.
Concerned for the well-being of their Little Flower, as they called her, the Sparrows decided to keep her in Shipwreck, at least for the first few years of her life. A pirate ship was no place for a baby, and though the Pearl's crew was more than willing to help with the looking-after of the tiny Sparrow, it was thought best that Lily remain on the Island.
Not that her parents abandoned her, oh, no. Both Jack and Joanna anchored the Pearl in the Island's harbor and temporarily settled on land to raise their daughter, attempting to give her the best pirate upbringing they could. With so many outlaw caregivers, it was hard not to have a pirate influence on the smiling baby.
As she grew up, Lily Sparrow was every inch her father's daughter. She got into trouble, talked her way out of it, and charmed the daylights out of every person she met. With her mother's vixen-like mind and sly attitude, it was no wonder every soul who met her found her adorable, sharp, and occasionally, sweet. Her grandfather Teague was especially prone to her charms, and was more than happy to spoil the little girl when her parents weren't looking.
When she was six-years-old, Lily was finally allowed to join her parents on a voyage to see her grandfather, Charles, secretly in his house. Like his pirate counterpart, Charles spoiled his little granddaughter, giving her toys, books, and even a toy sword to play with. It was that wooden sword which led her down the path of true piracy, sparking her interest in fighting, treasure, and adventure.
In the years that followed, Lily spent all of her days aboard the Black Pearl, doing chores, learning to fight, and learning how to slip in and out of situations the same way her father did. Jack grew very proud of his Little Flower, and when he began feeling a slight aching creak in his bones, he handed over captainship of the Pearl to her. Joanna could not have been prouder.
And of course, when the time came for his own little girl to get married, Jack was fully ready to do what he feared Charles would do to him for wedding his daughter. When he met the handsome young man who'd stolen his Flower's heart, Joanna had to practically strap him to the chair he was sitting in to keep him from hurting the boy.
It was probably best that Lily married as far away from her father as possible, eloping with her beloved to England, where her Grandpa Charles arranged a nice private wedding at a small church near his home. Jack had been ready to head after them, but Teague and Joanna convinced him otherwise. Of course, it didn't help that Lily was with child at the time, and it took a while to sooth Jack's anger, but things turned out alright in the end. When he looked at his grandson for the first time, all was forgiven, and it was time to raise another generation of sea-faring pirates.
And so it goes on, until the day the seas dry up and the horizon is gone.
AN: The End! Probably no more Pirates stories for a while, but don't be surprised if I toss one out there sometime in the future. Keep me on your Author's Alerts in order to see if I do!
Thanks so much for all of your love and support. You all rock!