This is a nice hat.

I tried it on and tested out the general feel of the thing.

Not as nice as mine though….

I need to get rid of it. I had only just reached the top of the stairs when the new hat began to really annoy me. It just didn't feel right on my head. It's far too clingy. Like a barnacle on a boat. I hate barnacles.

I got to the top of the stairs and saw a very jolly looking man sitting in a better hat than my own. I swapped them, which made him even more cheerful than he already was. "Thanks mate," I smiled and gave him a friendly nudge, which sent him toppling cheerfully down into the chaos below.

What a nice man.

Terrible hat though… even worse than before.

This one was itchy. The worst kind there is. It should be made illegal. I turned to the door and was greeted by three running men- or… rather, two of them were running and one was being carried by the two who were doing the running. I could only assume that the destination of the one being carried is the drunken rabble below the stairs. I halted them and they looked at me as if I had just ruined all the fun in the world.

I put the itchy hat on the man's head and stepped aside for them to continue. They cheered.

Just making things right with the world.

I lead the way out of the tavern, turning to check that Isabelle was still behind me. I noticed that Gibbs was also tagging along in that way that he does. It made me feel slightly annoyed that he was here, but I couldn't explain why. Isabelle was still looking thoroughly shell-shocked at what she had just seen. So much so that she missed the group of drunken men leering at her from the shadows in that way that only drunken men can leer. Something flared up inside me. I could have punched them all. At the same time. But I didn't. Sensing danger, I put my arm around her shoulders and pulled her close as we walked back to the docks. I motioned for Gibbs to stand on her other side. Just in case.

Nobody's hurting my Isabelle. Ever.

She looked up at me, a tiny bit confused. I smiled down at her to put her at ease and she smiled back immediately. I was cross at you for something a while ago… how is that even possible? "All right, love?" I asked her. She nodded, still smiling in her usual brilliant way. I realised that I was still smiling too.

Is there a record for longest smile?

I wanted to say something more to her, but I wasn't sure what. "I cannot believe that James is in Tortuga," she said in a way that made me chuckle.

"He probably can't believe that you are in Tortuga," I countered. I could see that thought amused her.

"If he tries to kill me…" she began.

"I won't let him," I said before she could ask for my help. She nodded and looked away from me, in the direction that we were going. She still looked happy and content. I still felt happy too. "Although…" I said after some thought. "He's more likely to take out his rage on me than you. You are, after all his sister and I… well I'm the pirate who took her hostage."

"Set me free more like," she grinned, which intensified my happy mood. I think my happiness is drunk and breeding. "Well… at least for a little while."

Suddenly her smile faded at what she had just said. I felt like someone had just burst me. Oh, yeah… that issue.

Don't go. Don't ever go.

"You'll be going back then?" I asked, trying to keep my tone light and nonchalant, but it was somehow ridiculously difficult. I felt odd again… and a little bit queasy. She looked at the ground.

"Yeah… I'm not sure I'll have a choice." There's always a choice. "And anyway… I don't belong here."

Yes, you do my darling, crazy, stupid Izzy.

Say something.

C'mon, Jack-y say something to make her stay.

"Best make the most of it, then. Eh, love?" I felt like all my vital organs had sunk down to my feet and sat there, stewing in misery. She nodded, looking serious for a moment. Then a smile spread across her face the way warmth does from a fire on a cold night. I watched it spread slowly from her lips to her eyes, as she took the hand that was draped across her shoulder in her opposing one and spun away from me, unravelling herself from my grasp but keeping our hands entwined. Without pausing to give me any warning she began to run towards the docks, dragging me with her.

At first, I didn't understand, but the more that we continued to run for no reason, the more my previously burst happiness began to piece itself back together again. I looked at her and I forgot everything in that moment. I just lived it. I'd almost forgotten that you could run without having something to run from.

This is why I need her.

Take your own advice, Jack-y… you best make the most of it.


"Captain Sparrow!"

Who the hell is that?

"Come to join me crew lad? Welcome aboard," I said cheerfully.

Hope it's not somebody trying to kill me.

"I've come to find the man I love," was the worrying reply.

Well that was unexpected….

I am not okay with this.

"I'm deeply flattered son," I said out of politeness, "but my first and only love is… erm…the sea."

"Meaning William Turner, Captain Sparrow."

Oh, thank God.

"Elizabeth!" I turned to her, wondering how I had not recognised her voice before. Has her voice always been this manly? As Isabelle ran to embrace her friend I turned to Gibbs. "Hide the rum," I ordered. Gibbs looked suitably alarmed and sprang into action. Good lad.

"I know Will came with Isabelle to find you," Elizabeth didn't even bother with any form of actual 'hello' or greeting, which I thought was highly rude of her. "Where is he?"

Oh… this could be potentially difficult.

"Darlin', I am truly sorry to have to tell you this, but through an unfortunate and entirely unforeseeable series of circumstances that have nothing whatsoever to do with me…" Good… that'll cover me from any form of suspicion that may be coming my way. "Poor Will has been press ganged into Davy Jones's crew."

I could feel Isabelle's disapproving glance at my blatant lies about Will, so I avoided her gaze completely. Thankfully, she didn't say anything to arouse Elizabeth's suspicions. Which I found slightly suspicious.

"Davy Jones?" Elizabeth questioned.

"Oh please… The Captain of the Flying Duchman?" Commodore Goon appeared from nowhere and threw up rudely on the dock near my ship. Throw up on my ship in an inappropriate place and I'll turn you inside out.

"You look bloody awful, mate, what are you doing here?".

He wiped the sick from his mouth. "You hired me," he reminded me. "It's not my fault if your standards are lax."

Nothing about me is lax.

"You smell funny!" I retorted. It was something I'd been wanting to say from the moment I had first met and caught whiff of him. He really is repulsive.

"Jack," Elizabeth said. Oh, you're still here. "All I want is to find Will."

You two don't seem to talk about much else. Have you ever actually both been in the same place at the same time for longer than two minutes without distress falling upon one of you two damsels?

"I know…" I nodded. Try and look sympathetic. It's ridiculously difficult to sympathise with someone whose only desire is a Eunuch… wait… only desire… I'm a genius. "Are you certain? Is that what you want most?"

If the answer is yes then you are a very sad, but useful individual.

"Of course!"

Aha… I thought as much.

"Because… I would have thought that you would want to find a way to save Will most."

She looked highly suspicious of me, which was a little bit rude but possibly justified given that I had been known to slip her the occasional lie. "And you have a way of doing that?" she asked.

"Well," I began. "There is a chest…"

"Oh, dear!" Commodore Goon butted into the conversation where he was not needed, wanted or asked to be a part of.

If you weren't the sibling of someone important I'd shoot you now.

I continued what I was staying, rising above his childish behaviour while he threw up all over again. "A chest of unknown size and origin."

"What contains the still beating heart of Davy Jones," Pintel finished for me, as he and his one-eyed idiot strolled past carrying a crate of something that smelt a little bit odd. Ragetti mimed ripping a beating heart from his chest.

Am I the only grown-up in this whole world?

"And whoever possesses this chest possesses the leverage to command Jones to do whatever he… or she wants." And by 'she' I mean you… "Including saving brave William from a grim fate."

And by that I definitely mean you because nobody else really cares about that.

"You don't actually believe him do you?" Goonface gooned in again.

I am getting so, so sick of you.

"How do we find it?" I was glad to see that even Elizabeth ignored Ex-Commodore Goon. I took out my Compass and showed it to her.

"With this," I said with some degree of pride. "My compass, 'tis unique." Like me.

"'Unique' here having the meaning of broken?"

If that is ever the definition of 'unique' then you have a 'unique' personality… and face.

"True enough," I admitted, trying my best not to punch his face. "This compass doesn't point north."

"Where does it point?" Isabelle asked. I looked at her.

"It points to the thing you want most," I told her and something deep inside me started to ache. "In this whole world."

Could it be you?

I watched her smile.

"Jack," Elizabeth's voice reminded me that she was still here whining away. "Are you telling the truth?"

Why does everyone always question my honesty?

"Every word, love," I promised, pushing my Compass into her hands. Better remind her or what it is that she wants… if she's dim enough to want to marry a Eunuch, she's dim enough to forget what she wants most. "And the thing you want most in the world is to find the heart of Davy Jones, is it not?"

"To save Will!" she said, just to clarify. I should keep a bloody tally of how many times one says the other's name.

"By finding the chest of Davy Jones," I said slowly so that she didn't miss it. Don't mess this up for me. She nodded and looked intently at the Compass. I flipped the lid open and backed away from them both, so that my Compass did not confuse itself the way it always does when I touch it. I watched her and listened to the steady rattle of the Compass. Sneak up on it, Jack-y, so it doesn't get itself all in a muddle. I crept up on it to see if it had worked. I crept up on it to see if it had worked. YES! "Mr. Gibbs!" I called. "We have our heading!"

"Finally!" Gibbs shared in my celebration and immediately started giving orders to the crew. I motioned to Elizabeth and Isabelle to accompany me up the gangplank.

This is brilliant.

This is the best thing ever.

Nothing could get me out of this bad mood.

"Jack," Isabelle said quietly. I looked at her and smiled. There was a small, puzzled frown on her face. "Why didn't the compass point to the chest when you held it?"

Bugger.

Bugger. Bugger. Bugger. Bugger. Bugger.

"Yes, Jack," the future Mrs Eunuch was looking highly amused. "Why not?" One of her eyebrows was raised in a way that made me feel very uncomfortable. What is it you think you know? There is nothing to be knowing here. You know nothing about nothing. She handed me the Compass back. No. Before I could throw it at her face she had turned and walked away. The Compass felt heavier than it usually did.

"So," Isabelle pressed. Go away… please. "Why didn't it?"

Don't shout at her… that'll look shifty. "Because," I said, when I realised that I hadn't spoken in a while. "It's not what I want most."

She looked completely and utterly shocked. I feel the same way, love. "Really?" she said incredulously. "What do you want most? The key?"

"No."

I don't like this conversation.

"Then what is it?"

What do I say? What the hell do I say? "I'm between things."

"What things?" she questioned. I began to feel very uncomfortable and warm. "Is the chest one of them?"

I assume so.

"Yes."

Please drop it now, please.

"What else then?"

What is so difficult to understand about the word 'please'?

"I don't know," I said. Please let that be the end of it.

"You can't 'not know'!" she protested. Who are you to tell me what I can't do? "You have to have some idea of what you want!" I don't know what to say anymore… I just stared at her. I don't think there are any words left. "Open it then," she prompted. "Let's see."

"No."

Oh… I do still have one word.

"Why not?" she looked so confused.

Just tell her…

tell her what, Jack-y?

Nothing.

"There's no point! Nothing will happen!" I tried to cram my Compass back into my pocket, but my hands didn't seem to be working properly. Nor did my brain.

"Something has to happen," she demanded.

No… please no.

"All that'll happen is that the needle will keep spinning," I said honestly.

I hope that's all that'll happen.

"Let's see," she said.

I shouldn't do it, should I?

No… no I shouldn't.

I stared at her for what was probably an uncomfortably long time for her, but she held my gaze.

I thought you said you didn't love her, Jack-y…

I don't!

Then what's the problem? Just show her.

But, I…

If she's not what you want, it won't point to her.

But….

Unless she is what you want-

No. No. It's fine I'll do it.

I took the Compass out of my pocket and saw her smile at having gotten her own way. This is the last time you will win anything against me. "I can promise you, love, that the needle won't stop," I warned her.

"Well I want to see," she said. On your own head be it. I felt sick. I opened the Compass up and held it out for her to see. She moved to stand beside me and we watched it spin round and round in circles.

Thank God.

I started to relax because nothing untoward was happening. I told youso, Miss Norrington!

And I told you so too, Compass.

Captain Jack Sparrow does not fall in love.

I looked at her and smiled, I didn't mean to do it, it just happened. She was smiling too, but not at me and not as much. She looked quite fascinated but the eternal spinning of the needle. She's easily amused, that one. She moved closer and leant her head on my shoulder. I moved to put my arm around her and rest my head on hers. Her familiar scent made its way up my nostrils and I smiled again.

I miss that smell when it's not here…

And those eyes… wait, what are they looking so excited about?!

I looked back at my Compass and saw the signs of the needle beginning to slow.

Bugger.

I snapped it shut and Isabelle flinched. She glanced up at me, slightly annoyed as I moved my shoulder away from her head.

"What are you doing?" she protested. "I think it was slowing down!"

"No, it wasn't!" I stuffed the stupid thing back in my pocket and turned my back on her. Don't look at her; don't ever look at her again. Bad things happen when you do. "If you'll excuse me, I have to go and be a Captain now"

That's right, good for me! I've got to get my priorities straight.

Sort yourself out, Jack-y.


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