It was a cool night in Tortuga. The sky was clear, and all of the stars and the moon could be seen. Of course, the pirates were still as rowdy as usual. Even such beautiful weather had no effect on the men once they had one round of rum and ale.

And then there was the man sitting by the window...

Captain Jack Sparrow was sitting at a table near the window, deep in thought as he stared at his mug of ale. A lot of things had happened in the past year or so, though he wasn't thinking about any of that now.

"Is there something wrong with the ale?" A bar maid asked, concerned. She was a teenager, with slightly tanned skin, black hair that was tied back in a red ribbon, and bright blue eyes. She was wearing a white shirt, brown vest, red sash, and a brown skirt over her brown boots.

"You don't look like much of a bar maid." Jack mumbled, glancing up at her for just a moment.

"I'm actually just working here until I save up some money." She said, smiling.

"What for?" Jack asked, gesturing for her to sit across from him.

"I want to buy myself a ship, hire a crew, and go on some adventures." She said, sitting down. "Oh, and my name is Hotaru."

"'Firefly', right?"

Hotaru nodded. "My mother loved fireflies."

"How old are you, exactly?"

"I'm fifteen years old."

'Same age I was when I ran away.' Jack thought, smirking. His adventures as a teenager were chaotic-to say the least- and something he hadn't thought about in years. Actually, Jack never really thought about anything that had happened in the last several years. For the past ten years, all Jack ever thought about was either getting the Black Pearl back or saving his own skin. "I seem to be thinking more than any drunk should be, considering the amount of rum I've consumed..."

"Thinking about what?"

"When I was your age, I also wanted to go on a grand adventure. Find lots of treasure. Have no body telling me what to do except for myself." Jack said, leaning back in his chair. "I ran away from home, found an old boat, and found a good crew. We had a few adventures, though things always took a turn for the worst because I was being stupid. Nearly killed all of them several times. More times than any proud captain would admit."

"Then what happened?"

"I joined the East India Trading Company. I was told to transport 'precious cargo' as they called it. When I found out it was people, I turned my ship around and let them go." Jack said, as the smirk slipped off his face as he glanced down at the branding. Jack could remember the night he got that branding as though it were just the night before. "Beckett was no too pleased with that. Not at all."

"He gave you that?" Hotaru asked, noticing the brand on Jack's arm. "'P' for pirate, right?"

Nodding, Jack took a swing of ale. "Burned my ship too. I was scheduled to be hanged the next day. Luckily, my Da happened to be in the area and broke me out of prison." Jack said, smirking. He had never been so glad to see Teague as he was that night. "So of course, I'd turn around and do something stupid."

"Which was?"

"Da had given me some medicine to help with the pain. An hour later, I decided that I was capable of pulling the remains of my ship out of the water and sail on over here."

Hotaru laughed. Then she looked up at Jack. "Sorry. It's just...you seriously thought you could do that?"

"I am Captain Jack Sparrow." Jack said, smirking. "I nearly drowned, having gotten tangled in the ropes. Then Davy Jones came, ready with an offer. I get to be captain of my ship for thirteen years, and in exchange I work for Jones for a hundred years."

"And you thought that was a fair exchange?"

"I really loved that ship." Jack replied happily. "Besides, I was planning on being rich and finding Ol' Fish Face's heart before then. So, once Jones raised my ship back from the depths, I renamed her. The Black Pearl."

"The Black Pearl?" Hotaru asked in shock. "The fastest ship in the Caribbean? The one that was full of cursed sailors and that creepy cursed monkey?"

"Yes, that one." Jack said flatly. It annoyed him to hear about the Aztec curse. The Black Pearl was the only thing in this world that Jack treasured more than his own life, and thinking of how Barbossa carelessly treated her made him want to strangle the other man. "I hired him here, then two years later, he lead a mutiny against me and marooned me. So, I cleverly-"

"I know this part. You waded out to the water and waited there for three days until some sea turtles came. Then, using the hair from your back, you roped them together and made a raft." Hotaru said. "Mr. Gibbs told me all about it."

'No...I drank rum on the beach for three days until the Rumrunners came. Jack thought, shocked that any sane person believed that story. "Sure. That's what happened."

"But what happened after that?" Hotaru asked curiously, leaning over the table.

"Eh! Hotaru!" The owner of the Faithful Bride shouted. "I aint payin' you to socialize! Get back to work!"

Hotaru pouted, sitting back down. "Sorry. That's my boss. He's such a pain sometimes..."

Jack stood up, smirking. "I should get going any way. I leave at dawn tomorrow."

"But your story?" Hotaru asked, disappointed.

"Mr. Gibbs knows everything from where I left off." Jack said, smirking. "Though I think the best stories are your own." With that, he placed a small bag in Hotaru's hands.

Hotaru looked in the bag. Inside were lots of coins and an old, rolled up map. "Why-"

"Just me being stupid, I guess." Jack said, turning around and walking away. "Me being stupid."


Jack summarizing the events before 'Curse of the Black Pearl'...honestly, I kept them short and not very detailed because I have trouble imagining Jack sitting there for long periods of time talking about his own mistakes. If he were talking about himself being awesome, then he'd be there all night...

Who better to tell all of his mistakes to than someone who reminds Jack of himself as a teenager?

Don't we all have those moments when we look back and think 'Wow. That was really stupid. Why did I think that was a good idea?' That was my inspiration to write this one shot...that and the lack of chocolate...