Almost 10 months later…
"Ron, listen boy, ye can't take it."
Jack raised his gaze from an old kitchen table and scolded wearily his year old son, who had once again staggered with his little feet to the corner, where a flowerpot was and now pushed his hand into the soil to then, of course, to put it into his mouth.
"Flo-wer, Flo-wer…" Ron repeated and ripped a leaf of the houseplant after he had first fallen onto his little bum on the floor when dad had forbidden the fun.
"Aye, it's mom's some willowherb…" Jack mumbled wearily and rubbed his forehead with a frown. He had been awake too long already. "Ye can't eat dirt."
"Flo-wer…" Ron raised disappointedly his hand towards the potted plant and glanced his father, who sat at the table as a storm lantern quietly lightened his tired face. Dad's another, blind and scarred eye had been covered with a black eye patch and a cigarette burned leisurely between the man's fingers.
Dad had been smoking a lot at that night. He only had few cigarettes left, though the sun would rise soon.
Dad is strange this morning, Ron's little head pondered as he yearned next his red ball on the floor. The boy got up on his feet and toddled with swaggering steps towards his toy.
Dad didn't play with him like he used to do, just glanced constantly towards the bedroom. Maybe the reason was mom's strange screams, which emanated behind the closed door or that old woman, who had ran the whole night between the kitchen and the bedroom with some item in her hands like towel or basin filled with hot water. Ron didn't understand what happened at his home. The big brother had been sent to the neighbor at the other side of the island for the night.
Elizabeth's painful shouts of pure pain and screams, which Jack had listened since yesterday evening, had fallen silent a moment ago. The man stubbed out the cigarette hastily on the ashtray on the table, though he knew that Elizabeth hated when he smoked inside.
Oh God, how he needed rum! But Elizabeth had forbidden drinking when he looked after Ron. But this situation made him nerve-wrecked and the only cure was always rum…
Suddenly the bedroom door opened once more and Jack turned quick as a lightning to look what would happen now. There stood sweaty and old woman, whose hair was ash grey and face wrinkled. Jack had fetched her last night from the other side of the island when Elizabeth's contractions had started. They hadn't dared to do this alone this time, because according to a doctor and a midwife there was a risk in this childbirth and someone had to take care of Ron.
"Say somethin', for godness sake!?" Jack shouted unnecessarily rudely and jumped on his feet from the chair. He was distraught because of waiting and worry. Ron startled that and dropped his ball on the floor behind Jack's back. The child's lower lip began to tremble.
The old woman came to the kitchen from the doorway and Jack saw that her white apron was stained with blood. The woman's hands were covered with dried bloodstains. Jack felt that his stomach turned upside down and he stared at the woman. He asked again with a weak voice:
"How is Elizabeth?"
The woman came to stand in front of Jack and grabbed the man's hands with bloodstained fingers. The man flinched instinctively backwards, shivers travelled through Jack's body and the silence around them could have been cut with a knife. Why didn't he hear anything from the bedroom..?
Not even the baby cry…
Suddenly the woman smiled with her mouth that was filled with black teeth in bloody gums. Jack felt shivers again and the pirate couldn't stop staring at that ugly face and eyes, which were blurred with cataract.
But the woman said: "God bless you, sir." Jack's eyes widened. The woman squeezed her nails into his palms. "You have a little daughter. Very small and quiet, but healthy. Beautiful, healthy daughter."
Jack walked with sleepy Ron in his arms into the bedroom, where was humid, bad air. The window had been opened, so that the air would change in the room, but still the smell of the blood floated everywhere. A little lamp lightened the room at a bedside table and next to that was a vat filled with bloody water. But Jack didn't remember it anymore when he saw Elizabeth, who sat in the messy bed. Her sweaty face was wet of tears, but she was smiling. Her wet hair was all around her forehead and nape of the neck, but oh, how beautiful Elizabeth was! Sweet smile and red cheeks made the woman, who wore the old, shabby nightdress, look like an amazement to Jack.
Elizabeth had become a mother again.
In the woman's arms was a little bundle and Jack saw brownish-black hair. The bundle didn't move at all, but Elizabeth's smile told everything necessary. The child was alive and healthy. Jack put Ron at the end of the bed and the boy immediately began to rub his face into the blanket. Jack glanced at the child and hoped that he would finally fall asleep. Jack sat carefully at the edge of the bed. Elizabeth kept her gaze in the baby and whispered to her:
"Look, little one, your father came to see you…" Then Elizabeth raised her face into her husband and said with glistening brown eyes: "It is a girl after all, Jack…"
Jack was quiet for a moment. He was surprised, though they had known all the time. He was unspeakably happy. Happy that his wife and child were alive after the rough and painful night. And they had a new member of the family. Little daughter.
First and last daughter.
"Just like Tia said…" Jack mumbled with confused look on his face and bent to look at the newcomer. Elizabeth raised the bundle towards Jack and had encouraging smile on her face.
"You can take her…" Elizabeth said quietly and Jack reached to take the baby carefully in his arms. But first he bent to kiss Elizabeth on her forehead.
"Me brave, little Elizabeth…" The man whispered against it.
Then Jack carefully moved the child on his arms. The man pulled the sheet away from the baby's face and his heart was fully touched when he saw the world's most beautiful, little, red face. The child was like a feather in her father's arms; she was quiet and just moved her little lips against each other. The girl's eyes were tightly closed.
"Me daughter", Jack sputtered and Elizabeth bit her lip as new tears streamed on her cheeks. "Me little daughter…"
"Jack, you'll know what name she will get…" Elizabeth sighed as she tried to calm her emotions and to be able to talk. "Tia knew it, like she knew that this Miss will be our evenstar."
"Aye… Jacqueline Ivy Elisabet Sparrow", Jack mumbled the name, which they had decided together long time ago and he couldn't remove his eyes from the baby. The man was silent long time and swayed the child in his
Suddenly Jack said playfully: "Thank God, she got yer nose."
Elizabeth laughed and rubbed her aching ribs. "Don't be silly, my dearest! At least I love your nose." Jack laughed too and Elizabeth reached to give a little kiss on Jack's nose like a prove of her words.
"She is so beautiful…" Jack mumbled again as he turned serious. "I can already see meself chasing wooers with a pistol in me hand!"
Elizabeth laughed again as she protected her aching middle body with her hands and said uneasily: "There are still years until she begins to get interested with boys. Don't worry."
"I quess. But she is truly a beauty…" Jack said almost respectfully. Then the man continued: "Hmmh… but what else could she be when ye are her mother." Jack turned to Elizabeth with a grin and bent again towards her.
The woman rolled her eyes and at the same time Jack caressed her lips with his.
"You flatterer…" Elizabeth mumbled and caressed Jack's cheek that was covered with rough beard as the man kissed her gently on her mouth.
The girl in Jack's arms was truly a beauty. It was easy to say, though she had just born. Her face was perfectly formed, her hair was as dark as her father's and brothers'. Night dark eyes were now closed, but when the child opened them, eyes were as deep and expressive as her father's.
"Look how calmly she sleeps…" Elizabeth sighed and leaned her head against Jack's strong shoulder and they looked at their newborn daughter together. "I think she will be a very kind, little lady…"
"Ye think so?" Jack laughed and suddenly the girl opened her eyes and looked at them. Dark, mysterious eyes glanced both of them and then closed again.
"I'm not sure, luv", Jack mumbled and kissed Elizabeth's forehead. The woman glanced at him, but she did say anything, just looked at the miracle that they had done together.
"I'm not sure at all…"
Written by: Heidi
And I want to mention that I don't own PotC or its characters, but the story and my own characters belong to me.
A/N: Curiosity III coming sometime in the future…