Disclaimer for Entire Story: I do not own Pirates of the Caribbean, as I'm sure you all well know. But I tip my hat to its creators, and hope they don't mind me playing in their sandbox.
Warnings for Entire Story: Cursing, drinking, brief nudity, violence, abuse.
Authors Note: Renamed from The Travels of Captain Jack Sparrow and His Nettie on 06/06/2012. This chapter was edited and re-posted on 06/08/2012.
Arriving in Port Royal
"Fifteen men on a dead man's chest." Leaning back against the sides of the boat, the young woman who sang looked up at the bright blue sky and snow white clouds that dotted it occasionally. "Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum," she went on quietly. It could barely be heard over the flapping of the single sail and the slap of waves hitting the tiny boat she was in, the Jolly Mon written along the side. It was also the only thing to be seen for quite some time.
Sighing, she closed her eyes. "Drink and the devil had done for the rest." Lifting a lazy hand, she pushed aside her bangs, which were sticking against her forehead thanks to the heat and sweat. "Yo-ho-ho -"
A loud snore interrupted her song, though she didn't seem to be very surprised about it as she opened her eyes. Instead she stood slowly so she wouldn't rock the boat, and stretched with a soft yawn, raising her arms high towards the sky and smacking her lips. "And a bottle of rum," she finished.
The young woman only seemed to be in her late teens or very early twenties, who certain wasn't plain looking with bright silvery blue eyes, shoulder-length inky black hair that was pulled into a low ponytail and a long white scar on her left cheek that stood out on her tan skin. But at first glance, she looked like a man, because the fact was that she seemed to have very little curves. She also wore loose and baggy clothes that once belonged to a man, and they hid any curves she did have. But if anything, she certainly did look like a pirate.
Lowering her arms, the woman glanced over to the other side of the boat and frowned when she saw a familiar brown bottle in the hands of the sleeping man. "You just had to drink the last of it, didn't you?" she grumbled. "You better be glad we're landing soon."
In response, the man gave another loud snore before mumbling something about rum as he turned to the side and let drool run down his chin. While he also looked like a pirate, from his large hat to the sword at his side, he certainly didn't act like one.
Almost ready to shake her head in disbelief, the woman was about to wake him and tell him they were getting closer to land when suddenly, they hit something with 'thud' that shook the boat. Stumbling forward when caught off guard, a splash caught her attention. Now with wide eyes, she looked down to see a thin layer of water in the wooden boat that was coming from a good-sized hole in side.
"Oh shit," she cursed, sounding very unladylike. "Damn, damn, damn!" Looking around for something to use so she could get the water out, which was coming in fast on her end, and finding nothing at the moment, she instead resorted to throwing it out with her hands.
"Jack, get off your bum and help me!" Glancing over at the man and surprised to find he hadn't woken up, the woman called out his name again. "Jack!" When he still didn't even stir, she took a deep breathe before shouting, "Captain Jack Sparrow!"
"Eh? What's with all the shouting, Nettie?" Jack muttered as he finally started to wake up, almost hitting himself in the head with the bottle when he went to rub his eyes. "Are we near land yet?"
"I hope so, cause we're sinking, damn it!" Nettie cursed again as she threw out another handful. "Now help me get the water out of the damn boat!"
It took Jack a few more moments, but when he realized it what was happening as water now started seeping through his boots, he scrambled up and tossed the empty rum bottle aside as he tried to get the water out with a bucket he found nearby, something Nettie had apparently overlooked. "Bugger," he muttered. "Please tell me we're near land."
Pausing in her scooping, Nettie looked up, searching for land. "Aye! I see the docks..." She trailed off as she saw a small spit of land jutting out into the harbor, and even from though they were a good distance away, she could clearly see three skeletons hanging by their necks from a strip of wood. Next to the swinging corpses was a sign: PIRATES YE BE WARNED. An ominous warning that any and all pirates should not even try and get into Port Royal, that they should all head back before the same thing happened to them.
In respect for the dead, Nettie took a moment and bowed her head to them, and out of the corner of her eye, she saw Jack doing the same, taking of his large hat and saluting. "Bad luck, mates." Then he turned to her. "How much farther?"
Looking to port again, Nettie took a moment to mentally calculate the distance. "About a hundred yards. If we keep going this a speed and don't sink, we shall reach the docks in... five minutes." She looked to floor of the boat, the water higher than it was just a few moments ago. "If we don't sink, that is," she drawled. "Which is exactly what we're doing right now. Now come on, keep chucking the water out."
Jack mock saluted her. "Aye, aye, Cap'n." he said with a fake slur. Nettie rolled her eyes and instead of saying another sharp remark, snatched the hat out of his hands and started to dump out water with it. It certainly worked a lot better than her hands.
"Hey, that's me hat!" Jack whined like a child, and this time Nettie didn't even pause in giving him a glare.
"Trying not to sink here! Worry about your hat later." Ignoring her captain as he whined again, Nettie focused on keeping them afloat.
Despite both of their efforts, five minutes later both Nettie and Jack were standing in the crows nest as their boat slowly sunk to the ocean floor, even as they approached the docks with their abandoned bucket floating ahead of them. Nettie looked up the taller Jack, glaring. "I hate you," she said as she adjusted the satchel that now held all of her belongings, except for her knife, which was shoved into her sash and hidden until she might need it to defend herself.
"You really don't mean that, love," Jack said with a grin, his teeth that had been replaced with gold shinning in the sunlight. His hat, which was still very wet soaked his hair, water droplets running down his dirty cheeks and leaving streaks behind. "You never do."
"Oh trust me, I mean it this time," Nettie said firmly, even though both of them knew she wasn't really serious. "I can't believe this! You couldn't a have stolen a nicer boat? Or even one that wouldn't sink when it hits... well, whatever we hit."
She cut him off with a sweep of her hand. "Don't try and sweet talk me, Sparrow," she said sharply, and Jack flinched. He knew it was never good when Nettie used his surname. "Lets just get going and find ourselves a new boat, maybe even a meal and drink, since someone decided to drink the last of my rum. The one I actually earned for once." Her glare sharped as she said the last part. She had actually worked for that back at their last stop.
And while it looked like Jack wanted to say something back, he wasn't given the chance when suddenly the boat lurched forward again - possibly hitting a rock this time =and so surprised by the impact they both started to fall.
Jack did fine, wrapping his arm around the mast just in time from dropping into the water. But Nettie on the other hand had nothing to hold on, and with wide eyes started to fall forward. And she probably would have hit the water, save for the fact that Jack shot his arm forward and wrapped it around her waist, snapping her back into an upright position without any trouble. "Easy there. No need to jump overboard," he said jokingly.
Her cheeks turning a light pink, Nettie was saved from any further comments as the boat, all but the crows nest underwater, reached the piers. And with an ease that almost looked practiced, Jack and Nettie jumped onto the docks just as their boat came to a sudden stop right in front of it, even though it was still sinking slowly. For a few seconds, they just stood there and ignored the looks they got, especially from the dock-master, before Nettie reached around and pulled Jack's arm off her. "Come on now, let get going."
Giving her a nod and a smile, Jack turned back for a moment, taking a spare bit of rope from a post nearby and tied the little bit of boat he had left to the dock. Nettie rolled her eyes at the action, but didn't say anything. That's Jack how was. Then he turned back to her and marched forward, swaying slightly and acting as if he was drunk, with Nettie only a step behind him.
But just as they made it past the dock-master, the man recovered from his shock. "Oi!" he thundered as he came up after them. "Hold it right there!"
Jack stopped at the outburst and slow turned around, looking at him with confusion, while Nettie shook her head ever so slightly and turned with him. "Yes, sir?"
The man pointed at the boat, barely above the water. "It's a shilling to put up your boat here."
Blinking, Jack looked around the man, staring at the spot his boat had once been. "Oh?"
"And I shall need to know both your names," the dock-master told them, nodding to his ledger.
Well, the last thing they need were their names in writing. Smiling sweetly, Nettie stepped forward so that she was only a foot away from him, watching as the man blinked in surprise at her sudden closeness. Still smiling, she reached into her sash and pulling out the small coin purse that she kept the last of their earnings in. "How about three shillings, and you forget our names?" She pulled three coins out of her purse and holding them out on the palm of her hand, tempting the man since he was obviously easily swayed by money. "Mm?"
"But -" Jack started to protest, but Nettie shot him a look, and he went instantly silent.
The dock-master looked to the coins, then to Nettie, then back to the coins again. "Welcome to Port Royal, Mr. Smith and Mr. Johns," he said happily, snatching the coins from her hands and stuffing them in his own coin purse greedily.
Even though the spot above her eye twitched at her 'name', Nettie gently took Jack by the arm and started to lead him away. "Come along, sir. Best get some real food in you and out of this drunken state," she said with fake cheer.
Shaking his head at the odd pair, the dock-master turned away to write the new names in his ledger. He was busy enough not to notice Nettie turned back, lunging forward and snatching his pouch without a sound before urging Jack to hurry up in whispered tones.
As soon as they were out of sight, Nettie growled. "That's for thinking I'm a boy," she said as she opened the pouch and yanking the money out. "I was thinking of not taking it, but no. You just had to think I was a boy," she said angrily as she pulled out her own pouch, tossing the stolen one aside.
"Brilliant job, love," Jack said with a laugh while Nettie counting all the coins carefully. "I knew there was a good reason I put you in charge of the money."
"You didn't," Nettie reminded him, glancing up at him. "Remember? I took the purse away from you when you kept spending all the money on rum." She tossed the newly acquired money into her own pouch, drawing it closed and stuffed in into her satchel. "Mm. Enough money to buy food for a few days, maybe even a cheap room from a night." She sighed heavily. "But not enough to buy even a broken boat." She shook her head. "Great. We're going to have to commandeer another ship. Better be a bloody decent one this time around."
"Big word from such a little woman."
"Says the man who can't even steal a decent boat," Nettie shot back. "I don't know where you got that one, but next time I'm picking out the ship."
"Aye, my Nettie. You know what's best, as always," Jack teased, lifting a hand to ruffle the top of her head. "Who knew I got such a smart little thief." He was surprised though when she didn't try and dodge it, or even bat it aside as his hand landed on her head heavily.
"I know," Nettie whispered, her eyes looking to the ground and her hands curling into fists at her sides. "I'm just your little thief. Just like always."
"Damn it, Nettie... That's not what I -"
Shaking her head, Nettie took a large step forward, his hand falling away. "I know you don't. But that how I feel sometimes, alright?" She sighed. "You know what, never mind. I'm gonna go get us some supplies, Captain." Jack almost flinched at the way she tried to brush it off. "I'll meet you at the Port Royal docks in half an hour." She didn't look back as she quickly moved forward, leaving Jack alone as she almost raced towards the market place.
Sighing, Jack placed his head in his hand, shaking it so that his dreadlocks moved with it. "I'm such an idiot," he muttered. Why did he always managed to say the wrong thing?
Sometime later, Nettie cursed under her breath as she tried to pick up speed without drawing too much attention to herself. She had picked up some supplies, including some rum for Jack, and had tried to make her way to the Royal docks without getting too lost. But as soon as she started along, Nettie felt eyes on her.
There was someone following her.
At first, she thought it might be a pick-pocket. Times were certainly getting desperate enough. But they weren't giving up like one normally did when they saw that they had be spotted. And soon enough she felt more than one pair of eyes watching her. Mentally angry with herself for not watching her back better, Nettie wanted to turn and fight them so they would get off her back. But listening to the clock chime, she knew that she didn't have the time. There was also the fact that Jack would have her head if he heard she was fighting without him.
Not glancing back, Nettie slipped into a nearby alley and got ready to run at full speed so she could give whoever was following her the slip. But as her eyes adjusted to the dark lighting, she yelped and skidded to a stop.
A dead end.
"Dammit!" Nettie hissed as she turned around, ready to back out the alley and run like hell. But it was too late. She gritted her teeth as she saw the three figures that were now standing in the alley entrance, blocking her escape.
Instead of stepping back though, instead of pressing herself against a wall and hope that they would leave her alone, Nettie took a step forward. "Let me pass," she said simply but firmly.
The middle one, who was also the tallest and ugliest out of the bunch, laughed as if she said some hilarious. "Well, give us what you got there, lad, and we'll see."
For the second time that day, the spot above Nettie's eye twitched as she growled out, "Bugger off, the lot of you. I'm not given it to you." Her hand started to flutter at her side, she really wished she could draw her weapon of choice, the knife hidden in her sash. She didn't really want to bring it out though unless necessary though, since she tended to get more violent once blood was involved. Besides, she could do a lot of damage with her hands and feet alone.
"Tryin' to order us around, are you?" said the man in the middle again, clearly acting as if he was the leader. "Probably think you're a pirate, dressin' up like that." He scoffed. "Ain't gonna work with us. Now give us what you got, 'fore we are force to hurt ya."
"And again, bugger off," Nettie said, her hands tightening into a fists. "Are you deaf or just daft? I'm not-"
The leader lunged forward with a yell. With a light leap to the side, Nettie barely had time to dodge the leader as he shot towards her with a punch. Instinctively her hands went to her sash, but before she could even touch the handle of her blade, another one of the men came forward and tried to punch her in the stomach. He almost succeeded had she not jumped back in time, though her back hit the wall with a 'thud'. She wanted to curse, but held her tongue. The men were faster than they looked, but she knew she was still faster. Still, it didn't help they were all in such a narrow area, and they took up a lot of room.
Something caught the corner of her eye, and Nettie only managed to registered a blur before a fist managed to hit her square in the chest. The wind knocked out of her, Nettie felt herself crumple to the ground as her hand went to her now aching chest. "Bloody hell," she coughed, trying to regain her breathe. The leader had finally managed to catch her.
"Now come on, just give us your bag and any money you have, lad," the leader said with a triumphant grin. "We don't wanna hurt you."
"Yah right, you big ugly oafs," Nettie growled as she stood with a sway. And she almost smiled when she saw the anger in all three of their faces. When one was angry, it affect their judgment, something that was needed when fighting. Of course, it was dangerous, she had to fight against three angry men at this point, but now she wasn't against using her knife.
Pulling it out, Nettie let it dance between her fingers. "Come and get it," she hissed, and almost grinned when they all took a step forward.
"What do you three think you're doing?"
Everyone in the alley turned their heads towards the voice. Standing behind the three wanna-be thieves was a young man, maybe around her age, with shoulder-length dark brown hair that was pulled into a ponytail, like her own, and brown eyes that unlike Jack's, reminded her of chocolate. He was dressed plainly, but acted like he spent a lot of time with the upper class.
Faintly, Nettie wondered what the young man hoped to accomplish, but then she noticed his hand go to his side. A swordsman. Huh, this could get interesting.
"Go away, smithy. This is none of your business," barked the leader.
Drawing his sword, the stranger shifted into a stance that would make it easier for him to fight. "Maybe not. But I could make it the business of the soldiers down the road. I'm sure they won't be happy to find out that you three are trying to rob someone again. Didn't they say that this was your last chance?"
Roaring in anger, the closest man ran to the man. While the two men that stayed behind cheered him on, Nettie flipped the knife in her hand and knelt down so she could ram the blunt end into the back of the knees of the leader. He howled in pain and sank to the ground, giving Nettie the chance to place her knife to his exposed throat, though she made sure not to press hard enough to draw a little blood.
"Oi, what are you -"
"Silence," Nettie snapped. "I've had enough of your blathering, you good for nothing idiots! And you come a step closer to me or the "smithy", I will not hesitate to hurt him. Understand?"
"I said understand?" Nettie repeated with a hiss, pressing the knife a little more firmly and letting a few more drops of blood touch her blade.
"We - We get it!" yelped the leader. "Just let me go!"
"Tell your buddies to go away now," ordered Nettie calmly. "Once I can't see them anymore, I'll let you go."
The leader did as he was told, and the other two men didn't hesitate to run off, clearly not interested in fighting someone who had managed to take down such a large man. Waiting until she couldn't hear them anymore, Nettie leaned down and said with a grin, "I'll let you go, big man. But I just want you to remember this - you got beat by a girl."
As the man sputtered in disbelief, Nettie removed her knife and stepped back, letting him scramble to his feet and run without even a glance her way. "Well that was fun," she said cheerfully, cleaning her knife on her sash before stuffing it back inside.
"Are you alright?" the stranger asked as he watched the man run off, sheathing his sword after a moment and looking at her with faint concern his eyes. "What was going on?"
"Nothing much," said Nettie with a shrug as she walked over to him. "They were just trying to steal my purse. Nothing new around here, apparently."
"As of recently anyway... Were you serious?" asked the stranger after a moment. "You're a girl?"
"Aye. I'm not completely sure why people keep thinkin' I'm a boy though..." Nettie finished with a mumble before sending a grin the strangers way. "Anyway, thank you for the help. You gave man a decent enough distraction to bring the big one down, otherwise I'd have to use some real force to make 'em leave me alone." She almost laughed when he looked at her with shock, as if he never heard of a woman fighting before.
"Er... You're welcome?" the stranger said hesitantly, apparently still trying to wrap his mind around the fact she was a girl. He got over it with a shake of his head. "Are you hurt? If you are, I can take you to the nearby doctor."
"I'll be fine," Nettie said with a wave of her hand. "They only managed one hit, and it barely hurts anymore." That was a only a half lie, her chest still hurt, though not as badly. But the main thing was that she didn't want any doctor, especially when she didn't have the money.
"If you're sure..."
"Don't worry about it." Nettie looked over the stranger, humming a bit. He was good looking, she admitted that. They didn't make them like that in any of the God forsaken places Jack had made them stop in. "What's your name?" she asked.
"Ah- Will, Will Turner," he answered hesitantly.
Nettie smiled genuinely at him. "Well Mr. Will Turner, you have my thanks." And then she stood on her toes, for he was just a smidgen taller than Jack, she noted before giving him a very brief kiss on his cheek in thanks. Instantly, his face turned a bright pink, and she laughed a little. "I hope to see you again," she said truthfully before turning on her heel and running down the street with a grin. Turner had looked so stunned.
Poor thing was probably not use to girls yet...