Title: Return to Me
Prompt:: someone needs to rescue Jack Sparrow
Characters/Pairings: Barbossa, Jack, Elizabeth, Will, Gibbs, Tia Dalma
Warnings: little bit of gore I guess, and a m/m -kiss kind of
Summary: Dead men tell no tales, but they can be restored.
Spoilers: Not really, unless you don't want to read about the way I see World's End.
A/N: This is my sort of interpretation of what World's End would be like and was inspired in part by the dead army from Lord of the Rings and a lyric about "phantom ships lost at sea" from a BBMak song (woo! Anyone remember them?). Date posted elsewhere: 1/28/07



The voyage had progressed as any other. It was the destination that was unknown.

The uneasiness had not plagued the crew until the clouds had begun to hover in the sky throughout the entirety of the days, foreboding and threatening rain – banishing the sun. The wind that sped them onward possessed a new chilling bite to it, and all was cast into gray shades. Even the ocean lost its sapphire hue along with its untamed personality. Everything had lost its life, plunging them into utter stillness.

Barbossa paced the deck leisurely with a look of satisfaction gracing his countenance. He remembered the introduction of the unsettling calm with a pleasant bitterness, amused at the fact that he was not the one to occupy the lonely location they were sailing to this time. He knew that an even higher amount of content would come from seeing the defeated man enslaved within the dismal shield, and a laugh sounded lowly as he thought of the man's reaction once he figured out who had saved him.

He paused when he heard footsteps following behind him, and Tia Dalma came to stand by his side.

"It be close, don't it?" she asked quietly.

"Aye; once we hit the fog, it'll be right before us."

"Have you a mind to take any of 'dem ashore wid you?"

He nodded and grinned slyly.

"I know what you're t'inking, Captain, but I suggest you do otherwise. 'Deir precious minds be filled wid awe and it be dangerous. I want 'dem all in one piece just as he."

"I suppose I have no choice then, Miss Dalma. I'm never one to betray a woman's wants."

She let out a small noise of approval between her smiling lips and lightly touched his arm before sauntering away. He remained in place for a minute until the wispy clouds descended to hinder everyone's vision.

"Let go the anchor!" he shouted, making the crew jump from the sudden order.

They had arrived.


The captain's cabin was not immune from the icy air even though numerous candles were burning. The warmth seemed to be robbed from the flames.

Will, Elizabeth, and Gibbs had filtered into the room and waited for whatever instruction Barbossa wanted to give them.

"You three are to come with me," he began. "We'll depart from here as soon as I'm done tellin' you all that ya need to know." He waited a minute before continuing in order to confirm that his audience was listening carefully. "Mr. Gibbs, you will row, and ye must go slow."

"Aye," the man responded confidently, though his face revealed that he was confused as to why the pace had to be unhurried.

"You two," he said as he pointed to Will and Elizabeth, "will clear the path, but ya must handle them carefully. And do not set them too far out from their original spot."

Elizabeth glanced at Will with concern, but the blacksmith's eyes stayed locked with Barbossa's.

"What's blocking our path?" he questioned.

Barbossa smiled wickedly. "You'll see, lad. Now, this is the last thing I'll tell ya before we reach the shore, and it is the most important so far. Whatever you may think ya see, you do; your eyes won't deceive ya, but you cannot touch it. Whatever goes by, let it pass and do not let your fingers make contact."

The three exchanged silent, befuddled expressions as Barbossa strode past them to the door.

"Time to go," the captain stated before he exited with his choice of crewmembers following after.


The cold increased drastically as the longboat inched closer to the site. Will, Elizabeth, and Gibbs constantly shivered, but Barbossa was unaffected. After a few trips to World's End, he had become somewhat resistant to the harsh factors that existed.

"It's time to clear the path," he said casually to the engaged couple.

The instant Elizabeth peered over the side of the boat, she immediately wished she had not. Decomposing corpses were suddenly scattered about in the tranquil waters and more could be seen for miles around them.

"Get to work," Barbossa commanded impatiently when the two did not respond.

Will was the first to lower his hands to the surface and shifted a body to the side. Reluctantly, Elizabeth mimicked the action.

A dull horn blew in the distance and a horrendous scream pursued it. The trio stared at Barbossa for an explanation, but his gaze was fixed in the direction from where the noises had sprung from. They turned their eyes to see as well, and each ceased to breathe.

Merely a few feet away, the apparition of a young girl hovered above the water. Blood gushed from her gouged throat and oozed from her eyes and mouth. The red liquid could be seen on her hideously marred body through her tattered clothing. With anguished filled, blue orbs, she observed them unblinkingly and extended a hand toward them.

Elizabeth instinctively reached for her in return and almost made contact, but Barbossa slapped her arm strongly. Elizabeth grabbed the sore spot and glared at the captain. Will was about to protest; however, a low, rumbling noise sounded in the deep that made him pause.

Elizabeth turned her attention back to the ghost to discover that it was no longer there.

"Row a bit faster," Barbossa muttered to Gibbs.

The crewman nodded and did as instructed.

The couple resumed their wretched task of moving the cadavers as the boat increased speed.

Out of nowhere, hundreds of small phantom ships began to float passed them with wondrous quickness. The image was spectacular; Will, Elizabeth, and Gibbs viewed them with astonishment as they proceeded onward.

The ships led them to their destination, for they soon stopped abruptly. They got out of the sea-craft, treaded across the sandy shore, and Barbossa directed them up the grassy hill they had come to.

"Don't talk unless you have to," the captain said quietly. "And don't touch them."

His company was in complete puzzlement, yet it morphed into sheer bewilderment once they reached the top of the mound.

In the immense valley below, thousands of spirits sauntered intensely slowly around in a circle.

Barbossa was the first to descend and he halted mere feet from the ring. He searched the eerie multitude for the familiar captain as the ethereal beings walked before them. Several minutes went by without any sight of him.

"There he is!" Elizabeth unexpectedly voiced in a hushed tone.

He was unmistakable. With his head slightly bowed, Jack Sparrow crept nearer to them as he followed the invisible path.

He grasped a sword in one hand, and in the other he clutched an enormous, excruciatingly sharp tooth. He was doused with blood and his clothes were ripped to rags. As he drew closer, the four rescuers could clearly see the horrid gashes covering his body. His flesh was mangled; torn gruesomely from the beast that lingered on the ocean floor. His features were utterly somber, hidden behind numerous cuts that adorned his face.

"Stay here," Barbossa whispered and strolled toward the line before any of them could say otherwise.

He waited until Jack was right behind him and then stepped sidewise into the imaginary dome that enclosed the dead. He started to walk, but slowed his pace until he was beside the pirate.

The trail was memorable as Barbossa continued alongside Jack. Only he would be able to restore Jack, for he was the only one who had endured the tribulations at World's End. He was pleased that they had arrived at the perfect time; Jack was still contained within the circle and had not drifted to the sea to haunt yet. If he had, their trip would have most likely been in vain. The ocean was incredibly reluctant to give up anything that offered itself.

Barbossa blew softly on Jack's cheek and whispered, "Return to me."

Jack lifted his head, and his sorrowful eyes started to dart about slightly as if seeking the source of the words.

The living man rested his hand atop Jack's arm, causing the deceased's transparent limb to gradually become real. He repeated the words and caressed Jack's cheek. The translucent skin began to progressively turn firm as his existence was reinstated.

Barbossa swept Jack into his arms and cautiously departed from the ongoing ghosts. Once he was several feet away, he stood Jack up and pressed his mouth to the pirate's powerfully. The moment Jack's lips parted to receive the kiss, Barbossa exhaled a number of breaths into the man's oral cavity. Within seconds, Jack began to respire on his own. Barbossa pulled back, and Jack gasped for air. The older male caught the recovering buccaneer before he collapsed to the ground. He took the unconscious form in his arms once again and treaded quickly to the three he had left behind.

"Is he alright?" Elizabeth questioned rapidly from seeing the exceptionally pale and rasping Jack Sparrow.

"He's fine," Barbossa answered shortly. "We need to get him to the ship."

They dashed up the hill and down to the shore to clamber into the boat. Gibbs and the engaged pair took on their assigned tasks as they began their return.

Jack trembled incessantly; he was tremendously cold, causing Barbossa to hold him tighter against his own warm body. A smirk came to Barbossa's lips when he caught a surprised glance from Will.

Upon boarding the ship, Jack was laid on the bed in the captain's quarters and covered with various blankets. Some of his wounds started to bleed, but Barbossa declared that it should not be worried over. The captain remained alone in the room and stared at Jack with lustful eyes.

"I got ya back; that's what they all wanted," he spoke in a low tone. "I think you and I are finally square in our debts to each other, so I advise you don't come after the ship once I get her back."

He left, laughing as he did so.

Jack opened his eyes to slits and whispered almost inaudibly, "That's what you think. She belongs to me."

The battle for the Black Pearl had begun once again.