Chapter One: One Tortugan Night.
Captain Jack Sparrow sauntered towards the harbour of the pirate port, Tortuga. He was returning from the crowded tavern, The Faithful Bride, at which buccaneers, pirates, thieves and wenches of all sorts were currently drinking ale and rum like the fish of the Caribbean drank water.
He hummed lightly to himself as his knee-high brown leather boots clacked on the cobbled street.
"…and really bad eggs. Drink up, me hearties, yo ho! Yo, ho, yo, ho, a pirate's life for me…"
A worn-looking tricorn hat sat upon his mane of black dreadlocks, over a red bandana, while his kohl-lined eyes pointed skyward, observing the clear night sky. His black moustache bent slightly as he grinned.
Clear skies. Moderate breeze. Superb sailing conditions.
He quickened his pace, swaying slightly due to the many bottles worth of rum coursing through his veins.
His white shirt billowed in the wind, over his mahogany-coloured trousers that were tucked into his boots.
His rough waistcoat was thrown over his shoulder nonchalantly, obscuring from view the peach sash that was tied around his waist.
He had almost reached the end of the street when he heard a drunken exclamation from nearby:
"Fancy gettin' a clairvoyance readin', eh?"
Jack turned to see two staggering men, each clutching a bottle of strong rum, leaning outside a nearby tobacconist's.
"A seer's in the port, Ern! Yeh keen on findin' ou' wha' lies ahead, Ernie Boy?"
"Nah, not tonigh'. I fancy tryin' our luck at The Twelve Daggers. Damn Faithful Bride's barmaids…what they got against bar-fights, eh?"
Clairvoyant, eh? May pay 'em a visit…"
"Oi! You!" he shouted at the man named Fredrick as an afterthought.
"Yes? Wha'chyew wan'?" the man blinked stupidly at him.
"I heard you talking about a seer, mate. Where, if the mood struck me, might I find one?"
"Pettigrew Inn, innit?" Fredrick yelled before stumbling off in the general direction of the Twelve Daggers.
Bloody drunkards, thought Jack with disgust as he took a lengthily swing of rum from a bottle clutched in his hand.
He strolled of at a leisurely pace towards Pettigrew Inn, a public house that was little more than a large, dilapidated cottage.
Jack had been skilfully inventing an excuse to be allowed entry by the doormen, but, surprisingly, there were none. He pushed on the wood of the door, finding himself in a small, dark main room. A man sat at a grand desk in the corner, dipping his quill into a small pot of ink. He began to write, the scratching of the quill filling the otherwise silent room. A fire crackled merrily in the hearth.
"Resident, are you, sir?" the grey-haired man did not look up from his work.
"Indeed, mate, that I am."
The man nodded in a gullible manner.
"In you go, then."
Raising a hand in nonchalant thanks, Jack sauntered up a spindly set of stone stairs, finding himself in an even more poorly-lit upstairs hallway. Only one of the four pine doors emitted light from beneath, hinting that a candle or fire was burning within.
Raising a hand, he paused for a moment, and then knocked three times on the wood of the door.
After a moment, a female voice was heard from within. "Daft, drunkard pirates… third one in an hour…"
The door opened, and a woman poked her head around it.
It was safe to say, Jack thought, she was the most unusual-looking woman he had ever seen. Her soft, raven-black curls hung loosely around her shoulders, standing out in stark contrast to her snow-white skin. Her slender form was dressed in an oriental-looking silk green dress, embroidered with miniscule white lilies.
But it was her eyes that stood out the most. They would seem familiar to almost any sea-faring man who ever gazed upon them, Jack was sure. They were large, framed by thick, dark lashes and were a blue-grey colour, the type of colour the waves of the ocean turned before a storm.
She had an unsettling sort of dreamy quality about her. Whether it was good or not, he couldn't say, but it made her presence surprisingly intimidating.
"Can I help you?" she asked after a moment of silence.
"Aye, luv. I came to see the seer?"
"You're looking at her."
Jack was taken aback. He had been expecting an old mystical crone, not this fresh-faced woman.
"I suppose you'd better come in, Mr…?" the woman stood back to allow him into the room.
"Smith, or Smithy, if you like, luv."
He noticed the woman smile for the first time, but it was the sort of twisted smile that one gave when fighting back the desire to laugh.
The room was simple enough, with a small, lighted fireplace, a white, four-poster bed and a small wooden table in the corner, with two cushioned chairs on either side of it.
"And I daresay you have a name?" Jack ventured as he sat down.
Guinevere didn't reply.
"Ah." Jack grinned. "Fleeing from the law? Price on your head? You 'n me both, luv."
"To be one with abilities that I have is a harsh life, Mr. Smith. When I was eighteen, I lived in a village that was also called home by a lord and his son. Now, the son was arranged to be married to a girl whom he had never met, a girl whose family's riches his father wanted in dowry. Worried and full of doubt, one day the son came to visit me to ask which the correct path was for him. I held a reading with him, and discovered the maid of his household was madly in love with him. I told him this, because I never lie in a reading. The next day the son eloped with the maid, and I was forced to leave town, with a lord that never got his money on my tail. The King's men would happily see me dead."
"I know the feeling."
"On with the reading, Mr. Smith. Now, I shall need your hands."
"What evidence have I that this ain't a hoax? You really do see, then?"
"Sometimes. Occasionally I will get nothing, but I never lie. Your hands, Mr. Smith."
Smirking, Jack laid his rough, ring-covered hands in her smooth, pale ones. Guinevere closed her eyes.
"What an adventure," she murmured, concentrating hard.
"Which one be you referring to, darling?"
"Now," she said softly, her eyes still closed. "What do you seek to know?"
"I wish to know, lass, if the item I desire is possible to reach. Does it even exist in the Known World?"
Guinevere opened one eye wryly. "If one desires something enough, does it matter? The Agua de Viga rests in a place of solitude, Captain Sparrow. But it is indeed possible to reach."
Jack was impressed. This girl was a true seer, and a skilled one at that.
"I would ask why you wish to drink from it, but it would seem pointless." Guinevere said with a small smile.
"Wait! What'd you just say?"
"I said I'd ask why y—"
"No, forget that, you just said my name."
Guinevere grinned. "One cannot stay even a night in Tortuga without hearing the tales of the infamous Jack Sparrow. One particularly good storyteller could even describe you in looks."
"Captain Jack Sparrow. Captain."
"Yes, excuse me. You seemed to enjoy using a "Mr. Smith" alias, so I decided to humour you."
Jack scowled slightly. But he needed this woman for vital information. Swallowing, he plastered a plainly forced smile on his face. "You know of the Fountain, then?"
"I have heard stories of it. The Fountain of Youth, The Pool of Eternity… it goes by many names. Drink from its crystalline waters, they say, and live for evermore."
"Aye." Jack grinned more genuinely, his black-coffee eyes filled with enthusiasm.
"Tell me, Captain," Guinevere said slowly, the dancing flames of the fire casting flickering shadows across her face. "You plan to quench your thirst for immortality at the Fountain, this much is clear. But, purely out of personal interest… Do you or your crew know those waters well enough to sail them without fear?"
Jack narrowed his eyes, puzzled. "Luv, my faithful crew and I are, in a sense, still amateurs when it comes to travelling to such places. But, purely out of personal interest," he smirked throwing her own words back at her. "Why do you ask?"
The mystic was silent for a moment, chewing her lower lip. "When I sifted through your mind… I saw a woman. She was a priestess of some sort?"
Jack nodded. "I imagine you saw the fate of said priestess?"
"Hm. Yes. Well, it would appear you are now short one accomplice with expertise in the area of my profession."
Jack was surprised. "What would prompt such an offer of charity, luv? Do you too wish to drink the water of infinity?"
"Me? Oh, no. It sounds like quite an adventure is all. I'd like to join you on your venture, Captain Sparrow."
Jack said nothing for a moment.
"And there's the matter of my payment for this reading. Three shillings."
Jack reached into his pocket, but felt only one coin. Bugger. "Lets say one shilling, and you can come."
A/N: Like it? Hate it? I can continue or stop now, but only once I get some feedback from you, the reader! So reviews are appreciated!
And, by the way, I'm determined not to turn Guinevere into a Mary Sue, so if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to let me know!