A/N: This story was written late at night/early in the morning (depending on how you look at it), after three days of holiday and a countless number of movies and minutes of family time. Sounds corny but it wasn't so bad, anyway, I realized after writing this with the help of my POTC obsessed younger sis, that this works well with the deleted scene form Curse of the Black Pearl, where Jack is on the island with Elizabeth proving that many of his adventures were true by showing her his scars. So I suppose this explains the two bullet wounds on his chest and you should defiantly check that out.

Disclaimer: I do not own Pirates of the Caribbean or any of its recognizable characters, they are property of the original owners/creators and I make no profit off of their wonderful inventions.

Life is Good

Jack pounded on the wooden door as hard as he could, a normal knock being produced as his knees struggled to support him in the doorway of one of Tortuga's less visited houses.

"By the gods Jack, what happened to ye?" Gibbs yelled as he opened the door and called over his shoulder, throwing one of Jacks arms around his neck and half dragging, half walking him into the house, "come on, I'll get Marie."

Jack groaned as Gibbs laid him on a couch and then rushed to the door, shouting as he went, clattering around in his hallway as Jack lifted his shirt up to survey the damage.

He winced as he saw the bullet wounds, both on the left side of his chest, probably only narrowly missing his heart. He hadn't had anyone to remove them; he could still see the slight shine of the metal, red blood not staining it as it gushed from the entry points soaking what was remaining of the fabric that he hadn't pushed far enough away.

"Jack?!" he heard a woman's voice ring out as she entered the living room and ran to his side, grabbing his hand and looking at the wounds, "what have you gone and gotten yourself into now? And one on the leg? I though I told you to be careful."

Her tone was scolding but also worried as she spoke, placing his hand beside him as he smiled at her and using a small knife to cut the fabric of the shirt away from his torso, not willing to move him and take it off.

"Here's the kit," Gibbs yelled as he rushed back in, unrolling a piece of cloth and revealing some medical tools, passing Marie a particularly nasty looking one and then turning back to look at the damage Jack had gotten himself this time, "remove the two on the chest while I look at his leg. Who did this to ye, Jack?"

The younger pirate tried to answer but ended up coughing instead, wincing as he did so and then full out gasping as Marie dug the cold tool into his injury and tried to grip the bullets, having to focus all his attention on not moving his arms or biting his tongue.

"Jack, breathe! Dad, he's going blue," the girl yelled as she continued to work, flitting worried glances at the pirate as Gibbs moved to his side and slapped his cheek to make him open his mouth, making him bite down on a cylindrical wooden instrument he picked up from the cloth case, "first ones out."

"Don't worry about screamin' Jack just breathe," Gibbs instructed loudly and quickly as he went back to work on the bullet in Jacks leg, using a thin knife and manoeuvring it around in the cut to try and make the bullet move into view of the surface, causing Jack to groan loudly against the thing in his mouth that now prevented him from biting his tongue, "the one in the legs ready, I need that Marie."

"Two seconds, father," she breathed as she wiped at the sweat on her forehead and then ripped her hand up quickly, tearing the bullet from Jacks chest and causing him to arch his back against the couch and scream in pain, "sorry. Here, I'll go get the bandages."

Jack moved back to his original position and squinted down at Gibbs in pain as he breathed in shallow breaths, hands balled into fists at his sides as they rested against the couch's roughish fabric.

"Mary mother of… brace yerself Cap'n," Gibbs said frantically as he looked up at Jack and nodded sympathetically at the emotion showing in the younger mans eyes, looking back to his work and then twisting the tools and eliciting a gruesome squelching sound before he could pull the bullet out, "Jack? Jack?"

Jack could hear Gibbs yelling but couldn't bring himself to open his eyes more than a crack, not even as he felt the hard taps batter against his cheek and then the sharp pull of a tourniquet above the sore spot on his leg.

"Dad, I heard yelling, I have the bandages," he heard Marie shout as her footsteps echoed into the room and stopped near him, hands finding his chest and pulling on soft fabric then pressing down hard and causing pain to his upper body, "he's loosing too much blood, hold this while I get the water."

"I can't right now," Gibbs was yelling at his daughter as she looked at him in panic, finally letting go of the cloth and relieving the pressure on Jacks chest, bringing cold hands to his face, "any more blood loss from this end and he'll loose the leg!"

"Jack," he heard her voice and felt her breath on his face, trying to open his eyes a little more as her hands assisted his efforts, "look at me. You have to look at me, we need you awake your own life depends on it. Jack! Focus, hold that cloth to your chest."

He felt her hands shove something in his and struggled to keep hold of it, finally managing to open his eyes and see her dress disappear round the corner and the cloth beginning to soak red as he did as asked.

"Marie!" Gibbs yelled before he looked back up at Jacks face, smiling in a way that made Jack feel no better at all, "what did you do to a man to get this in return Jack?"

Jack smiled down at his friend and coughed a little, closing his eyes and then snapping them back open as he heard footsteps entering the room, unable to talk still as they used damp cloths to clean each set of wounds and then Marie switched to his leg and brought Gibbs forward.

"Just a little longer now," Gibbs said to Jack as he motioned for him to bite down on the wooden instrument again and then lifted a blunt needle to Jacks attention and gave a grim smile, "Maire, hold pressure."

Jack winced as Gibbs stitched each of the cuts that had splintered around his bullet wounds and then relaxed for a moment as he switched with Marie again and began to sew together the large gash made by the other pirate's sword on his leg.

"Guess I really did it this time," Jack laughed as he breathed out and then winced and hissed against the pain of his leg, allowing Marie to begin dressing his wounds in bandages and cloths, "another close call eh?"

"Too close Jack," Marie scolded again, back to her normal behaviour as they all realised Jack was going to be fine in a matter of weeks, "I'll dress your leg and you're done. I'll have Daniel and dad move you upstairs."

As Jack made to protest Marie moved away and Gibbs began to clean the medical instruments in a bucket of water by the makeshift bed, looking up at Jack and watching as the young pirate struggled to keep his eyes open.

"Ye cut it fine Jack," Gibbs said as more footsteps were heard entering the room, less dainty than the others and obviously belonging to a man; most likely Daniel, "ye cut it too fine."

Jack smirked his signature smirk as he was moved upstairs, promptly falling asleep and beginning to snore, dreaming of rum and gold and the Black Pearl as night turned into early morning.

**********

"Jack, Jack wake up," he heard as he opened his eyes slowly and surveyed his surroundings, hand shooting to his chest and finding it well stitched and cleaned, something weighing down on his stomach as he moved his leg about, "Jack stop moving! I brought you some breakfast; Nicole made it and gave it to me. I'm still not a very good cook but I know you like my sisters."

"Thanks love," Jack smiled after taking a minute to collect his bearings and then moving to eat, seeming to sit up without a care in the world even though he was sure his eyes betrayed that, "got any rum?"

"It'll be tea for you whilst you're in my house Jack Sparrow," Marie chided lightly as she brought the china to his lips and helped him drink before placing it on the nightstand next to a glass of water, "and don't go asking my father either, you'll just get him in trouble and since this is the fourth time he's saved your life this past two years I'd hope you'd not be wanting to do that."

"Wouldn't think of it love," Jack smiled as he closed his eyes against the pillows that were propping him up and then opened them to watch Gibbs graceful, dark haired daughter whisk herself out of the room, "wouldn't think of it."

**********

"Jack! You're blooming mad if you think I'm letting you leave this house in that condition!" Marie yelled as she chased him down the stairs, black curls pinned up on her head and blue dress held off the ground in her hands as her father tried to catch her shoulder, "Jack Sparrow!"

He spun to face the angry woman and take his chances, he was two years older than her and one year younger than her sister Nicole, glad he wasn't facing the latter because he wouldn't stand a chance against her fury.

"I'm fine love," Jack smiled as he gestured to his person with his hands, ignoring the looks Gibbs was giving him over his daughter's shoulders, "honestly, and I have very important business to get back to. So if you'll excuse me."

"You can't leave yet it's only been six days!" Marie shouted as she moved to block the door, Gibbs standing back and running a hand over his tired face and looking as his daughter tried to stop the pirate from leaving, "you aren't half as stupid, old or invincible as everyone thinks you are. Leave and you're bound to run back into that other man and have him run you through."

"Highly unlikely," Jack said as he moved into her personal space and raised his hand to make more gestures, glancing at Gibbs and then moving further into his daughters presence, "considering he isn't alive anymore, savvy? Now move aside Marie, I have business to attend to."

"Enough," Gibbs said as Marie slapped Jack hard across the face, and glared up at him, both seething at each other and forcing the portly man to intervene, even though he was well aware Jack would never hit a woman, "Marie, I went through this with you and Nicole; no matter how much Jack needs to stay, if he doesn't wish to you can't keep him against his will. He knows where to find us if he needs us."

Marie seethed again and then stepped aside from the door, not wishing to test the mans patience and then turning to glower at Jack as he reached to leave. He didn't want to, but he had to find the Pearl. Marie and Nicole were as dear as sisters and Gibbs was the closest to a father he had known considering his lack of association with his own, but he had to go, he couldn't waste any more time.

"I'm sorry," he said to the girl with a regretful and somewhat pained expression, opening the door and stepping almost all the way back before returning and wrapping his arms around her, something he hadn't done since they'd each turned twenty one, then moving to Gibbs and bumping his fist, "take what you can."

"Give nothing back," he got in reply with a good laugh before Gibbs shook his hand and then pulled him into a sort of one armed hug, "take care Jack, I don't want to see you half dying on my doorstep again."

Jack nodded and looked at Marie again, taking off his hat and saluting her, then smirking and returning to leave out the door, hearing her call after him, "but don't hesitate if necessary!"

The pirate smiled as he made his way down to the dock and looked about, noticing a boat with a sail all prepared to leave, a good looking dark woman sitting inside it with a bottle of rum and twirling a daisy in her hand.

"Can I help you?" she asked as he made his way over, allowing him to step on board and take a seat, examining her map and then smiling at her again, "if it isn't Jack Sparrow! Still looking to go to Port Royal? It's a fair many days journey."

"Aye I am love," Jack smirked as he took her rum bottle and uncorked it with his teeth, and taking a swig and then leaning back to look at her properly, "if you're not busy tonight Anamaria would you like to join me in the tavern for dinner?"

The woman smiled and nodded and took back her bottle, having a drink and following Jack off the boat, laughing with him as she without knowing; supported him most of the way to the nearest open bar.

**********

"Bugger," Jack said to himself as he hit his head on the mast of Anamaria's boat at roughly three o'clock in the morning, watching Tortuga shrink into the distance with his family and his old time friend whose boat he was now 'borrowing' still most likely asleep.

"Three days journey with this bearing," he murmured to himself again as he poured over his charts and notes, "one on this one and then I need a ship and its back to Tortuga for a crew unless I can pick one up halfway there on that bloody little island… what's its name… Van Demons land or something to that effect."

He sat back in the boat and drank from his bottle of rum, revelling in the augmented spices aroma it produced, mixing with the scent of the sea and the faint smell of clean fabric from the new shirt he was wearing.

Life was good. Fate and luck seemed to be on his side and had saved him from death again with the help of his most loyal friend and his daughter, Marie and Gibbs making a nice change from people he either didn't know or couldn't understand, even if they did include occasional appearances from Nicole and her stuffy husband Daniel.

Yes life was good, definitely better than the alternative, he thought again, sipping from his rum and allowing his eyes to close, images of his makeshift family and assortment of friends flashing through his mind as he hummed softly to himself. Life was good.

A/N: thanks for reading. Ange.