Barbossa sat in the shade on a rock, whistling to himself as he worked on the small piece of wood he was carving. After a moment, he glanced up overhead at where Jack was perched out of reach. "Yer gonna have to come down at some point," he said pleasantly, scrutinizing his work and then re-applying the dagger to a corner.

"Think I'm doing just fine up here," Jack called down from where he was leaning back, wedged between the 'V' of two palms that had fallen together, with his arms folded behind his head.

Neither said anything else for several long minutes, and the only sounds were those of the breakers tumbling over the sand, and the cry of the seabirds that wheeled overhead, until suddenly Jack shouted.

"Oi! Is that a ship?"

Barbossa stood quickly and scanned the horizon, squinting after a moment when he could make out nothing, either nearby or in the distance. "I see no ship," he said with a frown, and then he glanced up to see which direction Sparrow was looking in.

He found Jack gazing down at him expectantly with a smirk plastered firmly across his lips. "Made you look," he said in a satisfied way.

Barbossa snarled wordlessly up at Jack, and sat back down under the tree, muttering to himself under his breath about his current lot in life.

Deciding to take his frustrations out on the younger pirate perched in the tree, Barbossa spoke again after a moment in a casual conversational tone. "Yeh know, I still fail to see why 'tis ye go by Sparrow," he said, a note of derision slipping into his voice.

"Why not?" Jack asked from overhead where he was now picking under his nails with the point of his own dagger. "We sparrows are a colorful and gregarious lot, quick, deft, well-traveled and widespread...why one might even say ubiquitous."

Barbossa snorted. "Aye, ye might say colorful and quick...but the crew would more say flamboyant and flighty," he said, taking some satisfaction in the frown that crossed Jack's features when he glanced overhead.

"Hector, you and I both know there is none aboard my for your scraggly-bearded self, who might have the faintest inkling what flamboyant means," Jack said back knowingly.

"Ah, well, Jack, mayhap they not be familiar with the term, but the concept," Barbossa smirked, "now that ye've acquainted my crew thoroughly with."

"Yes, well I must write meself a reminder then," Jack said, mimicking holding a quill in the air. "Note to self:"

Barbossa rolled his eyes and shook his head, returning his attention to his carving and remaining silent.

"What," Jack called down after a moment, "no witty remark? No droll riposte?"

Barbossa replied haughtily. "I'll not be wastin' any more of me breath on the likes of you, Jack."

"A wise decision," Jack said back, causing Barbossa to glance up. "Heaven knows you have so little of it left at your advanced age."

Barbossa gave him a look that would kill, if such things were possible, but Jack didn't notice as he suddenly sprang to his feet, placing a hand against one of the trees for support, and shading his eyes with the other as he stared out at the cove beyond the beach.

"It's a ship!" he said.

Barbossa ignored him and flicked a few more fragments off the wood in his hand. "I'll not be fallin' for that again," he said. "Ye'll have to find another manner of amusin' yerself, Sparrow."

"No, Hector look…it's the Pearl!" Jack said.

Barbossa continued to pointedly ignore him as he carved, until Jack suddenly slid down the trunk and landed deftly on his feet and grabbed up his boots, heading for the beach. He frowned as he watched Jack hopping around to put them on, wondering what had gotten into the idiot now, until his gaze traveled past Sparrow to the small black silhouette that was rounding the point near the cove.

"Blast and bugger me!" Barbossa said, gaining his feet in an instant. "'Tis the Pearl!" Dropping the chunk of wood he'd been carving, he quickly followed after Jack, both of them removing their hats and waving them to signal the ship.

It didn't take long for the Pearl to drop anchor, and to the marked relief of both pirates, it appeared as though a boat had been lowered to the water, meaning that they'd only have a few more minutes to be stranded with only the other for company.

Gibbs was with the landing party as the boat ground into the sand, and he nimbly stepped ashore. "Captain...s," he said, enthusiastic but then wisely making sure he did nothing to offend either. "Apologies fer takin' so long, but we managed to put things right enough on the Pearl."

Jack planted his hat firmly back on his head. "Ah, well done, Mister Gibbs. I am prepared once again to take command of my lovely ship," he said striding forward toward the boat with purpose. He tripped, nearly falling a second later, as Barbossa stuck out a foot and then stepped ahead of him.

"Jus' point us in the direction of the scurvy bilgerat who tried to put me off of my ship," he said in a way that caused the landing party to work quickly to launch the boat again.

When the boat came alongside the Black Pearl, Barbossa reached for the first rung of the ladder, but Jack quickly swatted his hand away and reached for the ladder himself, nearly gaining the first rung until Barbossa grabbed him by the coat with both hands and hauled him back into the boat. Barbossa once more reached for the ladder only to have Jack shoulder him aside roughly while the handful of crewmembers began sharing looks and the longboat rocked a little.

Barbossa shouldered him back roughly, causing the boat to rock again and grabbed the ladder. "Captain of the ship goes aboard first!" he snarled at Jack, who had recovered his balance and grabbed onto the same rung.

"The captain is going aboard first!" Jack snarled back, leaning against Barbossa harder, trying to displace him. All hands in the boat unconsciously reached to steady themselves as the boat continued to rock and the two captains continued their shoving for a long moment.

Finally Sparrow sniggered.

"What be so amusin'?" Barbossa asked, still trying to wedge Jack away from the ladder.

"You've got a hull breach on your lower deck," Jack said, nodding downward.

Barbossa glanced down at the front of his breeches, and Jack managed to edge ahead of him as he discovered all was as it should be. He snarled wordlessly and then hauled himself up the ladder behind Jack.

When both had made the Pearl's deck, Gibbs quickly scrambled up the ladder to join them.

"Mr. Gibbs," Jack growled, "bring me the festering maggot that thought he could throw me off my ship again."

"Aye," Barbossa said in agreement, "bring the mutinous wretch forth."

"Takes one to know one, ay, Barbossa?" Jack said sideways in an undertone while they waited.

Barbossa said noting but fastened an icy blue stare on Pintel as the men dragged him forward. "So, ye thought yeh'd like to be captain of a ship, did yeh?"

Pintel looked clearly ill at ease and smiled ingratiatingly. "I jus' thought I migh' like to see what it was like."

"D' yeh hear that, Captain Sparrow?" Barbossa asked sarcastically. "Master Pintel thought he'd like to experience bein' captain."

"Aye, I heard as much, Captain Barbossa," Jack said in reply, clearly non –too- pleased himself. "What say we make him captain of a ship, then?"

Barbossa glanced at Sparrow, having caught the slightest hint of amusement in his voice, as Pintel looked on nervously with the crew gathered around chattering in undertones as they watched to see what would happen.

"What have ye in mind, Captain Sparrow?" he asked, curious.

Jack flashed a subtle grin. "I say we make him captain of his very own vessel," he replied evenly.

"Ah," Barbossa replied knowingly, taking Jack's meaning and beginning to smirk. "I couldn't agree more with ye."

Dead silence instantly took command of the deck, and all eyes fastened themselves on the two captains.

"What?" Jack demanded, looking across the incredulous faces. "We agree on some things...occasionally...once or twice...maybe...erm...oh, bugger, at least on this!"

Barbossa nodded. "Aye, that we do," he said, stepping toward Pintel menacingly as he cringed.


Ten minutes later, Pintel sat with his arms folded petulantly across his chest as he sat in the dinghy trailing behind the Pearl.

"Could be worse, Pint," Ragetti said, from where he sat across from his uncle, cleaning off his eye before popping it back in his head.

"How's that?" Pintel grumbled.

"They might've not made ya captain....what?" Ragetti asked.

"You're an idiot," Pintel growled, swearing he'd never be involved in a mutiny again.


Back on deck, Barbossa, Sparrow and Gibbs watched the two arguing in the small boat beyond the ship.

"How long might we leave them there, sir...s?" Gibbs asked.

"At least until tomorrow," Jack replied, "and then we'll see if we're in the mood to let them back aboard..."

"Or just to cut the rope," Barbossa added wryly, eliciting a rare nod of agreement from Sparrow.

"Very well, then...Captains," Gibbs replied. "Might I trouble yeh for a heading?"

The span of a couple of heartbeats went by, and then he was suddenly shoved aside as each of the two captains each tried to dash for the helm, elbowing each other as they went, each trying to get to the stairs to the quarterdeck first.

He sighed and shrugged and turned to follow, thankful at least that things were back to normal.

Well, as normal as they ever got, aboard the Black Pearl.