Ayu: I personally apologize for Ana'slaziness. She hasn't even touched the site in over a year.
Hanah: And on top of that, she wasn't even writing half the time. (smacks Ana with a pillow) Dammit, Ana! Why are you so lazy?
Ana: ... (bursts into tears) WAAAAAAH! (bows repeatedly) Gomenasai! Gomenasai!
Ayu: She took Japanese while she was away.
Ana/Ayu/Hanah: Let's get it started!
Hanah: (whispers) By the way, Ana still doesn't own PotC. And if you don't know anything about Jeanne, it would be best to read the first story.
Chapter 1: Making Her Mark
The marketplace of Madras, India was overpopulated as usual. Traders and merchants with wares of all sorts had their tents lining the streets, eager customers flocking to them like moths to a flame. A few British soldiers stood guard every couple of blocks to keep order in this place, seeing as it was part of their territory. Little did they know chaos was right around the corner. This place was a shopper's paradise, but it was also a thief's paradise.
Down the crowded streets a slender woman leisurely strolled through the city. She was clad in a turquoise tank top with a matching sarong reaching her ankles, blue-green shoes on her feet. A pair of large hazel eyes cautiously darted from side to side from beneath the shade of a silk scarf wrapped around her shoulders and over her head and nose to keep out the sand the wind kicked up. She looked just like any other patron from the neighboring Arabian lands. She was different, though. She was not here to browse; she was here with one specific target in mind.
She stopped walking when she saw a poster nailed beside one of the tents, an eyebrow rising. A girl with long, dark hair and large eyes was sketched onto it, a sinister smirk playing across her face. She ripped it from the wall and read it over, her eyes going wide.
WANTED. Jeanette Monroe. Charge: Piracy, Interfering in East India Company Affairs, Hijacking, Sabotage, Mild Arson, Vandalism, Assisting Fugitives from Justice. DEAD OR ALIVE. 5000 guineas if dead. Negotiable reward if alive. Signed, Lord Cutler Beckett
Her eyes slowly shifted as she folded the poster and casually tucked it underneath her scarf, then resumed her previous business.
She walked down the path, examining every item beneath the merchant tents. Every now and then, she'd ask a question about the location of certain wares. Other than that, she said nothing, simply walking and searching.
The sun was directly overhead, now, the heat bringing a sweat to her forehead. She looked up, using her hand to keep the bright rays out of her eyes. The day's already half-spent… she thought to herself. How does he know it's even here?
As she looked down again, another piece of parchment caught her eye.
The centerpiece among a table arrayed with bangles and jewels was a faded yellow diagram with Chinese lettering at the top of it. She glided over to the tent where it lay, looking at it intently. To anyone else the elegant strokes of blue and black would have been nothing more than a piece of abstract art, but she knew better. This was exactly what she was looking for.
The young merchant running the stand came out from beneath the shade of the overhang upon seeing her. The maiden looked up at him through the silk of the scarf. A flirtatious smile danced across his face. "My, aren't we mysterious… Did the lovely lady find something she likes?" he asked, his voice thick with an Arabian accent.
"Yes." She tapped her finger on the diagram, "How much for this?"
His smile dimmed for a moment and he hesitated for a moment, simply staring at her. "Wouldn't you like a nice jade bracelet from China?" he offered, trying to draw her attention from the diagram.
"How much for the painting?" she asked again.
He picked up a gold necklace adorned with aquamarines. "How about this fabulous necklace, imported all the way from Jamaica, to complement those lovely eyes of yours?"
Her patience was wearing thin as her eyebrow ticked. "How much for the painting?" She asked with a little smile, struggling to keep her voice chipper.
His eyes shifted nervously to a ruby ring. "Or how about this—"
The woman's desire to control her temper evaporated. Before he even blinked, she had seized him by the throat and pulled him forward to look into those eyes he had just fancied, now hardened and dangerous. "How much… for the bloody painting…?" she snarled.
Just then, strong breeze whipped over the marketplace and blew the scarf clean off the woman's face, revealing waves of dark brown hair and a pair of shocked hazel eyes. The black skull and crossbones tattoo with piercing red eyes on her left shoulder is what attracted the merchant's attention, though. His eyes went wide as he locked eyes with her again. "You're a pirate…" he breathed.
Jeanne sighed and rolled her eyes, releasing her hold on him. "Yes, how very observant of you."
She took his chin in one hand and leaned over the table, gingerly pressing a kiss to his nose. His cheeks turned a brilliant crimson, which only grew darker when she stood upright again. A light giggle escaped her as she tucked her hair back into her scarf, turning on her heel and tossing a wink over her shoulder. "Ta."
The young merchant was completely stupefied, hardly able to even utter a goodbye as she walked away. He took a breath and brushed his clothes off, trying to get himself together. As he glanced down to rearrange his inventory, he saw that the painting was gone. His eyes went wide and his face flushed again, this time in anger.
"Hey!" he called out, his eyes cutting to Jeanne, who had broken into a sprint. "Pirate!" He called to the many soldiers around him, pointing to the brunette's shrinking figure, "Pirate in the market!"
The British soldiers lining the corners suddenly rushed out, their bayonets at the ready. Jeanne smirked when she looked over her shoulder. "Well, well, well…" She stuffed the parchment underneath her scarf. "Looks like the fun has begun."
The other people in the marketplace scrambled about as they tried to avoid the soldiers racing after the impish woman. She dashed to and fro, artfully weaving between tents and dodging people and animals as she did so. Her opportunistic side kicked in when she saw a spice tent and a path of hot coals coming up ahead of her. Grinning, she grabbed two heaping cupfuls of coriander and cumin as she passed it, much to the merchant's displeasure, and then did a flip over the path of coals, throwing the spices down behind her.
The soldiers skidded to a halt when a wall of smoky, aromatic flames sprang up in front of them with a loud crackling pop. The wall came down just as quickly as it went up, but the pirate woman was nowhere to be found. Their eyes scanned up and down the street and, unable to find her, they prepared to give up pursuit. The commanding officer let out an exasperated sigh and looked up at the sky, only a double take when he saw a flash of green above him. There was Jeanne, running up a flight of wood-post steps jutting out of the wall. "On her heels, men!" he shouted, leading them toward the archway that led into the main square as she jumped over the wall.
Jeanne made a rather bouncy landing on top of the awning of another merchant's tent, breathing a sigh of relief at her good fortune. At the very moment she went to stand, she fell right through it, landing flat on her back on some conveniently located sacks of grain. After she and the old man running the stand shared a confused glance, she got up and got right back to her primary goal: escaping. The patrons and merchants stared at her for a moment, wondering why she ran, but they all fled when they saw the soldiers file in to pursue her.
The soldiers stopped for a moment, getting in position and taking aim. "Ready. Set. Fire!" the commanding officer ordered.
Jeanne heard this and sucked her teeth. She snatched a large circular shield from a nearby tent as she passed it by and looped her arm through it, using it to block the bullets she was unable to dodge. Their contact with the shield rang out in her ears and when it stopped, she lowered it to see them chasing after her once again. Pulling the shield off of her arm, she tossed it to the ground in front of her and leaped over to jump on top of it. She rode it across the square, sparks flying from beneath her due to the friction between the shield and the paved ground. Another group of soldiers ran in and blocked the only exit, aiming their bayonets at her. Her eyes desperately scanned the area for something, anything; she was running out of ideas.
Close to the exit, she saw a horse, the reins not tied to anything, and something clicked. She snickered as her brain set things in motion. She crouched down on the shield to give herself more speed. As she came to the horse, she reached up and grabbed the reigns, lifting her legs to swing herself onto its back as well as launching the shield into the air, which gave it the momentum of a discus as it flew towards the exit. The soldiers jumped out of the way to dodge it, save for one, who got knocked out cold by the large object. Jeanne grinned at this. "Fabulous party, gentlemen! Remind me to bring drinks next time!"
She slapped the horse on its hide and it reared back, galloping towards the exit and leaping over the fallen soldier. "After her!" the commanding officer shouted.
They ran after her, a difficult task on foot when chasing a horse. Jeanne looked over her shoulder and then snapped the reigns, causing the horse to speed up. "Ready!" she heard from behind her, "Set!"
"Do they ever give up?" She muttered as she looked behind her again, seeing the soldiers in position, bayonets at the ready.
She lowered her body onto the horse's back as the bullets flew over her. She snapped the reigns once again and coaxed the animal in a south-western direction.
A schooner was anchored at the southern harbor. Aboard it were Will, Elizabeth, Gibbs, Pintel, Ragetti, Marty, Cotton and his faithful parrot, Tia Dalma and Captain Barbossa, along with adorable monkey Jack. Barbossa was standing at the helm while Gibbs, Elizabeth and Will were on the deck below. Will was pacing back and forth rather impatiently, his eyes constantly cutting to the docks. Barbossa looked down at him, his eyes narrowed. "I am beginning to doubt sending that child was the most brilliant idea, Master Turner." Barbossa called down to Will, "'Tis already well past high noon."
Will glanced up at the once deceased pirate. "Jeanne is twenty-four years old, first of all." How ironic that he would be the one saying that now. "And she is not a wanted woman for nothing."
"Aye, you should be glad to have her on our side." Gibbs agreed readily, "Jeanne is one of the craftiest, stealthiest pirates ever to grace this crew."
Elizabeth was leaning on the rail, looking over the dock for any sign of Jeanne's return. She squinted a bit as a cloud of dust came into view. She blinked as it came closer. She heard a familiar voice shouting, but the words could not be interpreted. The cloud then became larger and Elizabeth saw that it was Jeanne, on the back of a horse. Will saw her as well and ran over to the bow. Once again, she shouted to them, but was barely heard. "What?" he asked in a shout.
Jeanne cupped her mouth with one hand, her face turning crimson as she shouted her message one last time, as loud as she could, "Weigh anchor and start shoving off! Now!"
Barbossa heard her order as well and saw the soldiers behind her and rolled his eyes. Somehow this reminded him exactly of Jack. Elizabeth ran to open the sail as Will and Gibbs began to pull the anchor up. Barbossa spun the wheel and the boat began to turn. He looked at Gibbs down on the lower deck. "Stealthy, eh?" He asked with obvious sarcasm.
The horse was now running across the wooden dock and Jeanne was pushing herself to stand on its back, her arms held up at her sides to keep herself balanced as she prayed the wind would be on her side. Once the animal reached the edge, it skidded to an abrupt halt and Jeanne was launched from its back, taking the scarf from her neck and catching the wind in it to get her closer to the boat. She let go of one end of the scarf when she was within swimming distance of the ship, diving beneath the water and swimming towards the rising anchor. She grabbed onto it just as it came out of the water, going up to the bow with it. Will rushed over there and grabbed her wrist. She grabbed his as well and let him pull her onto the deck.
Pintel and Ragetti, came from below deck as Jeanne coughed up some of the salty water she had inhaled in her haste. "See, I told you she'd make it!" Ragetti said to Pintel, holding out his hand, "Now, pay up!"
Grumbling, Pintel pulled out his money pouch and dropped it into Ragetti's bony hands before pulling Jeanne to her feet. Elizabeth crossed over to the young brunette as she got to her feet. "Did you get it?" She asked.
Jeanne's eyes were hard as stone and it almost seemed like the temperature dropped a bit as she looked at Elizabeth, pushing her wet hair from her face. "Yes, I did." She flicked her wrist to unroll one of the papers, revealing the diagram she had pilfered. "The map of Sao Feng's bath house."
Elizabeth swallowed with difficulty under the intensity of Jeanne's stare as she took it in her hand. A slow applause came from the upper deck, calling everyone's attention to Barbossa. "Well done, Miss Monroe." He congratulated her. "Seems I have underestimated you." He took off his hat and gave her a sweeping bow, "My apologies."
She shrugged her shoulders, folding the wanted poster in one hand behind her back. "Quite alright, mate." She grinned. "It happens all the time."
She felt something being dropped onto her shoulders and flinched as she turned her head. Everyone, including herself jumped when Tia Dalma was suddenly behind her. Her shawl had been draped over Jeanne's shoulders. She blinked a couple of times as the dark woman smiled at her. "After such a performance, t'would be a shame to be done in by a cold." She chuckled.
Jeanne could not help but laugh at the truth of that statement. After all, the bulk of her career was built on theatrics. She gave a quick nod to Tia Dalma. "Thank you."
She walked across the deck and passed Will, stealthily slipping the folded wanted poster into his hand. Will raised an eyebrow and slowly unfolded the poster. His eyes flew open when he saw her face on it, his shocked gaze moving to her back as she made her way below deck.
Jeanne was in the small cabin she had claimed for herself at the start of the voyage. She shed the sarong and put her black pants back on, pulling her boots onto her feet. Her locket was the next thing to come on. After grabbing her shirt from a nail on the wall and replacing with the sarong, she walked back out the deck.
Will was sitting on a crate near the stern, the poster in hand, when he saw Jeanne emerge from the lower deck, still wearing the tank top with her shirt tossed over her right shoulder. She crossed over to him, taking a seat on the other side of the crate, her back against his. Will's eyes were immediately drawn to the tattoo on her left shoulder. "How long has that been there?" he asked.
She raised her arms to get her sleeves into her shirt. "Since I was nineteen." She answered as she pulled it over her head, knowing exactly what he was talking about. She placed her hands at the back of her neck and lifted them, pulling her wet hair from beneath the collar of the shirt and pulling it into an easy braid, "So..." She turned her head towards him, "What do you think?"
He nodded thoughtfully, looking down at the poster again. "Actually, it is a very accurate portrait." Jeanne smirked as she giggled. Will held the poster up and looked between the two faces. "Especially when you do that." He lowered the poster. "It looks as though you've truly made your mark on the world of piracy."
"Yes, I have." Her face was serious again. "It's rather bittersweet, though." She fished her first two wanted posters from her pocket, looking down at the words etched onto them. "These were also made by the Company, but neither of them had my face on them." She took the newest one back from Will and stared at it. "This means that Beckett is serious about finding me now… Whether I come to him alive or not…"
It was Will's turn to shift positions, facing her. "The song has been sung, Jeanne. Beckett is trying to rid the world of all pirates. You just happen to be one of the many." He placed a hand upon her shoulder, "That's why we are going to Singapore. All of the Pirate Lords must be present if we are to defeat him."
Her eyes flashed with sadness. "Jack is a Pirate Lord, no?" She asked, turning to meet his gaze. "How can we have all of them if he's condemned to the locker?"
"All the more reason to go to Singapore." He said matter-of-factly. Jeanne's eyebrow arched as she silently questioned the statement. "You'll see."
Ana: I know, I know. After a year and a half of absence, this probably isn't that good. I'm not quitting, though, cuz I'm doint this for someone special.
Hanah: Wow... That is a movie line if I ever heard one!
Ana: It is not! I really am doing this for someone special!
Ayu: (sipping lemonade and watching them argue) Am I the only mature one here? (turns to the audience) If you have a heart, review or Ana will blow a gasket.