A/N: My first fic for PotC! This was written for the "Missing Moments" challenge for potc_land on LiveJournal. I decided to write a small ficlet explaining just how Tia Dalma ended up with Barbossa. I'm proud to announce that this fic won first place!

Disclaimer: I do not own Pirates of the Caribbean.

Warnings: DMC spoilers. Maybe AWE spoilers as well. Also, Biblical references- not strong overtones, though.

A Cursed Fruit
By: Nuit Songeur

The woman moved quietly among the ruins, humming a soft lullaby to herself. It was a tinkling melody, that only she knew the origins of. A melody that helped focused her thoughts as she picked up her skirts and continued her search through the cavern's tide pools.

The one she was looking for would not be carried off by Davy Jones. No, this was a different death altogether. A death that Davy Jones would never detect because of the curse. And that was why she searched. Bill Turner was a soul he had discovered by mere accident, coincidence. Though, he would surely never admit to it.

The grotto echoed Tia Dalma's lullaby back to her, the reverbs hauntingly more ominous than his organ. Tia Dalma could be dangerous.

"Tia Dalma can be more dangerous 'dan 'ee," she muttered to herself, the flow of music abruptly stopped. "Now, where are you Captain? You are not finished yet." She turned, her bare foot brushing against something unnaturally smooth, a stark contrast to the sharp and jagged stones. She peered down, lifting her foot up at an awkward angle and saw an uneaten green apple.

She grinned and her rotten teeth became visible.

"We getting close," she quietly cheered. Tia Dalma turned around slightly and saw the body she had been looking for was lying before her, almost in waiting.

"Why 'dere you are," she said, kneeling down to feel his boots. They hadn't rotted which meant the body was probably still in rigor mortis. "And in good condition," she praised. "Don't you worry, Captain, we'll get you all fixed up before da maggots get ye."

She set to work, tying thick ropes around his ankles for easier transporting and paying no attention to his wide, lifeless. Tia Dalma merely made a mental note that the jelly was still in them, which was good. She hated replacing eyeballs with her valued collection. Besides, he had a pretty blue color in them that you didn't find anywhere else.

Tia Dalma heaved on the ropes and began the slow trek back home where she could work her magic.

"Of course, Lord Hector," she said over her shoulder to the corpse. "It all comes with a price. I set you free with dee condition that you will set me free in dee future." She looked down at her other hand that held the precious fruit of life.

"Dee apple," she explained. "Will give you life, just like it did wid Adam and Eve. And just like 'dem, it will make da man slave to dee woman. But, only for a little while," she said with a chuckle, hiding the apple within her skirts. "I only have one use for you."

She continued chuckling and humming to herself as she rowed toward her hut on the Pantano River.

Hope you enjoyed! Please review!