AN: A light, fluffy first Jack fic, inspired by the white-washing scene from Tom Sawyer. This one's for Flygon Pirate!


Day three at sea. Minor leaking in port side stern. Rum supply dwindling, remaining rum to be rationed.

Oh, and I've decided on three things.

First and foremostly, er, firstly and foremost, regardless how good a man Joshamee Gibbs may be as a pirate, first mate, or even a friend, he's a bloody sleepy drunk and I'll never trust him so much as with me hat again, let alone the Pearl.

And secondly, any debt I owe based on friendship or conscience to my mate William Turner-you might know him as Bootstrap—is entirely and completely absolved in all manners and respects whatsoever. Not only did I not kill his gangling whelp to get back the Pearl nigh three years ago, I brought the boy back from the dead at the cost of 1) my own immortality and 2) the only woman I ever gave a damn about. I say we're bloody square.

Now where were we? Ah, yes. That brings us to conclusion three: Hector Barbossa is a marauding cad. I'll drink to that.

He's also a fool-and I'd drink to that too if I weren't rationing the rum. You see, Hector is of the opinion he has the charts to the Fountain of Youth, but I've got 'em right here in me waistcoat. Hector is also of the opinion that he's won the Pearl once and for all-wrong again, mate. Hector can have the bloody Pearl…for the decade or so he lives. He can't have her forever-unless he lives forever.

Unlikely. I've seen his nails an' his eyes. Too much rum'll do that to a man. And too much time spent in Tortuga with pleasurable company. An' this time, there ain' no Sea-Nymph to-

Compass?

Damn. I forgot. Rationing the rum makes this entire job bloody impossible. Stupid compass. I ask you, what is the point of a compass showing you what you want most if it's always changing? It's ridiculous, really. But nothing a bottle of rum can't fix-

Much better. Guess now we've got to write a list: re-stock rum, acquire sultry wenches, find the Fountain of Youth, obtain immorality, er, immunity, that can't … inmortuary, inmoramus, inmore, inmore-

-Immortality, you inebriated, malodorous buffoon.

Yes, thank you, I was getting to that. Obtain immortality, and capture the Pearl.

You forgot a ship, Jackie-boy.

That would be the Pearl, mate.

-The ship you need to commandeer in order to get the Pearl, you bloody imbecile.

Yes. That ship. I was getting to that, too.

And a crew. You'll need a dependable bunch of lads to help wi' this one.

I'd already thought of that meself, thank you. Now, as pleasant as your company is, gents, I must kindly remind you that neither you nor you, but I am Captain Jack Sparrow, meaning I am Captain of this vessel, in charge of the log, the crew, the rapidly depleting rum stores and the book keeping. And oddly enough, I have no record of signing two crew members aboard in Tortuga. So you two are either going to shut it, and now, or I'll take you into the nearest port and have you both hung for stowaways, savy?

Night falls. The rum supply is exhausted. I'm exhausted. Been rowing three days by meself in this bloody boat, and it ain't getting any easier. Those two miscreants are still sitting silently in the stern, jus' staring—and addin' weight, I migh' add. They're not very bright, but their flattery is heart-warming. I cin see 'em now, still dressed up like me, poutin' and plottin' in the bow. Annoying as hell as paparazzi, but they're good and loyal. I've been fightin' them away for years…

Oh, what the hell. Persistency deserves reward. And tired Captains deserve rest.

"Oy, you there!" I bark, and they sit straight up. "Misters Sparrow and Sparrow! I've changed me mind. I need two lads the likes of you to help me bring this vessel to shore. You cin stay-but you've gotta earn your keep!"

They go to the oars and I'm impressed. As strong as the whelp and if possible, even dumber, haulin' away like it was a privledge, not drudgery. Bigger suckers than Jones' pet ever had, that's for sure. "Haul harder, you scabberous dogs! You call yourself sailors? There's more to be coaxed out of this boat, you lazy land-loving pigs! Haul!"

My spirits are up as the wind catches our sail. Hector may have the Pearl for now, a bigger crew and more rum, but he doesn't have what I've got, even when all I've got is me compass, a skiff, a map, and me head on me shoulders. Hector may be faster and stronger, but he's still and always will be behind. Because when it comes down to it, at the end of the race, I'm Captain Jack Sparrow, savy, and he's just bloody Barbossa.

I smile, and flick the compass shut. Sometimes, simply being content with one's self is all a man could ever want.