The Sea Labyrinth
Fandom – Pirates of the Caribbean
Rating – PG13/R
Disclaimer – I do not own POTC. I am borrowing without permission but with every intention of giving the characters back to Disney when I am done.
Warnings – I'll list them as I see them.
Summary – Jack Sparrow has been hauled back to Shipwreck Cove by the behest of his Father, Captain Teague. He tries to make the best of it, that is, until by chance he comes across a dead man's treasure map. Of course, because this is Jack Sparrow we are talking about – it just isn't any, normal buried treasure…but a magical buried treasure.
Chapter 1 – Home Waters
Former Captain Jack Sparrow lounged in the heavy heat of the island. Shipwreck Town was a massive floating intricately woven thing of docks. The structure that made up most of the shelter from everything of cozy homes to ail houses and whore houses were made out of ship hulls that had seen the last of their days upon the sea. Under foot the boards crackled as people passed, the water lapsed at the pilings and above head the sea gulls chirped and fought over food.
The island itself was an odd thing for an island. It was almost a perfect circle with the crispy white sand of all Caribbean beaches. The water inside the island was salt with the exception of a well that was surrounded by natural stone. This well was the centerfold of the town and was mostly kept under guard from befoulment. At any one time there could be found a ship gaining water and other goods from the market. Jack wasn't any where near the well – though as a lad he had fetched a bucket or so a thousand times for Grandmamma. That old bat was now in her late 90's and Jack had no doubts that she'd see her one-hundredth birthday.
Instead of watching the line at the Well, Jack had taken to an empty barrel set off on a side dock that no one occupied during the noon heat. He sat with is jacket to the side and his tri-cornered hat low on his brow as he watched the inlet to the cove. It was covered by several cannons – though, at this time of day, no one manned them. In the harbor could be seen several ships waiting to be on their way on another sailing adventure. The Misty Lady, Teague's own ship, was the biggest of the lot; and how Jack loathed that ship suddenly. He'd been very happy on his own little venture, just minding his own business when The Misty Lady had come bearing down upon his little ship. That whole experience was embarrassing and he hadn't quite come upon the notion to accept his luck.
His venture had gone by the way side because his Father had demanded it of him. His former crew set sail – because they wanted no business of Jack and his family affairs – and that'd been the last he'd seen of that lot. Good riddance, he declared privately. They'd probably maroon him fast enough. As it was, he was now in the small town he'd grown up in and had always endeavored to stay the hell away from. Teague may be Keeper of the Code and the unofficial Mayor of Shipwreck Town – however, his Son hadn't a thought in his head to succeed the former. Which was probably a good thing considering pirates and their ill moral dilemma; or, more aptly Dilemma of no morals. Save the code and half the time no one actually took it seriously.
It'd been a week since he'd been hauled back to the Cove and Jack was sick of it. He was sick of his cousins, aunts, uncles, and other random family members always being on his case. He'd gone off to be an honest sailor. He had a heck of a time of it and then he'd crawled back into the world he knew, and lost again. To them, he was a failure. To his Father…well, it wasn't as if he knew Teague all that well. He wasn't sure what the older man thought of him, though he quite liked to think that the man didn't give half a farthing. Which would be more to Jack's liking.
As it stood, he wasn't about to get out of the cove any time soon. There were too many eyes reporting to his father, and it seemed that a family member or two were always in eye site. In fact, they could very nearly be sitting a ways down the dock. Jack hoped that he'd sat here so long that they'd either buggered off, or had fallen asleep and maybe he could make a quick escape. Not bloody likely, but he was fond of the idea nonetheless.
There was a bell sound from the upper reaches of the town. It struck the time and Jack sighed. Dinner would be in an hour; had it been that long? He thought it had been noon. Obviously he'd drunk more than normal for his own clock to get screwed so badly. Grandmamma had wanted everyone to come together at the same time, drunk or sober. He had to make his way back right now if he was to dodge her throwing knives. He sighed and slowly pulled on his heavy frock coat. He didn't hear movement as he meandered around the corner and met up with the normal day traffic.
It seemed that the others of his family had better things to do than to keep an eye on the rag-a-muffin of the group and he didn't see any of his blasted cousins as he passed through the market, by the Well and into a very random door. This door opened onto a private dock. To one side was a hall way of sorts that had no shutters. It was open to the water to the left. In this privileged gulf of the cove, his family resided. Only the older members of the family lived in the house year round, though, Jack always had a room of his own – as did the other children.
Grandmamma smoked her pipe as she rocked away the afternoon. In the kitchen Jack could hear the clambering of the women and what dolts they'd gotten to help in their adventure of cooking. The old woman brightened when she laid eyes on Jack. She held out a hand and Jack went to her. She gripped his hand lovingly. Though he wasn't going to be taken in by her trickery, she either was glad to see him, or was going to give him a knew one because of some mistake he'd made that day.
"Where've ye been boy?" she asked. She was missing several teeth, she hadn't gotten any gold replacements and so the gaps made her looks older than she was.
"Around, Grandmamma," Jack replied with a smile of his own, "was there something ye needed from me?"
"Aye, yer two little cousins be the source o' my woes," she was suddenly as dark as a storm upon the horizon. Jack didn't dare let go of her hand. He held back a sigh as he asked: "what 'ave those two buggers done now?"
"They stole some 'o me tobacco!" she waved her pipe under his nose. Jack never smoked, mostly because he was far too busy running from something foul and Grandmamma wheezed far too much for his liking to take up smoking as a hobby.
"An' no one about's wants to go and get ye some more, is that what ye want from me?" Jack asked.
Grandmamma nodded and from her blouse she pulled out some coin. She handed an exact amount to Jack; "Ye've never skipped out on me, boy, go an' get me some tobacco for me pipe,"
"Aye, Grandmamma," Jack squeezed her hand. She let go and he saluted her. Then he turned out of the private dock and back into the market place. It took him no time to find the vendor and to re-negotiate the pricing of the tobacco. In moments he'd returned.
"An' extra coin for ye, Grandmamma," he hand her the left over money along with the tobacco. He bent far enough to give her a gentle kiss on the cheek. Even though she was a smarmy old bat, Jack rather liked her. She was the only woman in his life he actually cared about. She was just as forth coming as his Father. She didn't take with genteel parenting – as she considered it bad form to not discipline a child for bad behavior. And some how, Jack saw past her salty dog ways and loved her for it.
Grandmamma pocketed the coin; "Jackie," she smiled, "thank ye for doing an old lady a favor," she stood, refilled her pipe and lit it. Jack smiled and gave her a small salute.
"Boy, there you are," Teague stood at the door. Behind him was the dinning room with people all ready gathering, "where ye be?"
"Now, now, Edward, I sent yur boy here on an errand fur me," Grandmamma jumped to Jack's defense. He decided not to say anything to aggravate the situation. Teague looked drawn and worn out. Whatever he'd been doing on the far side of the cove wasn't going to plan and Jack knew better than to start things now.
"Well, Quick Draw's got the grub on the table," Teague grunted, and then he turned back inside. Jack held out his arm to his Grandmother, she grunted and muttered curses under breath as she stalked passed him. Jack followed and shut the glass door behind him. Inside, the dinning room was all abuzz. Ace was drunk and telling stories that no one was listening too. Valerie was inspecting her finger nails, which were polished to a shine a ship's boy could never make justice of for a ship's lamp – Terrence and Laurie were sitting next to Valerie, smirking at Jack as he sat down next to Grandmamma, which was the seat no one ever wanted. However, Jack was quite sure she wouldn't try and kill him tonight. She had her pipe and extra coin in her bodice. Despite her grumbling about Quick Draw – otherwise known as Anna – she was settled with a tot of rum.
On the table before them was any mention of delicacies. Roasted pig, figs, Coconut Chicken slathered in a white sauce and hot as hell, Coconut rice and beans, Cornmeal pumpkin fritters, Curried Chicken Peas, Fried ripe Plantain and Jack was sure there would be some puddings and cake for afters.
Teague sat at the head of the table since the former Patriarch of the family had keeled over suddenly a year ago. Silence was quick and sudden. They all sat staring at the food while Teague took his time. Finally, he said a small prayer and the lot of them dug in. Meals with his family were quick and sometimes fatal. He barely missed Valerie's knife. It'd have gone right through his hand and stuck to the table if he hadn't moved faster for the same piece of meat. He'd learned as a child that you had to faster than everyone else at the table.
Their plates full, conversation started up again. Grandmamma put out her pipe and stowed it in her bodice. Teague ate silently but kept a firm eye on the lot of them. Terrence and Laurie were fighting over a roll and Valerie was in conversation with Anna. All in all, it was normal till Grandmamma suddenly put in "Flint is in the cover," – the dead weight of silence could have crushed a ship after that.
"Flint…?" Ace grumbled, "Why'd he show up all o' sudden like?"
"I 'aven't the foggiest, but he be here for something, mark me words," Grandmamma waved a fork in Ace's direction; Jack ducked a jagged edge which almost poked his eye out.
"Oi, so why bring it up if ye don't know what'cha mean?" Anna gripped from across the way.
"Watch yur smart mouth, there, girly!" Grandmamma's hand twitched but she didn't pull out a dagger. There was an un-even truce between them, no fighting at the dinner table. Jack wasn't about to let the sudden turn in conversation deter him from his food and kept eating.
"Well then…wot ye bring him up fur?" Terrence asked.
"Why, he's here fur something, right sure," Grandmamma replied, "and I bet I's knows wot he wants," she gave jack a sharp smile.
"I haven't met him," Jack muttered.
"I knows that, boy," Grandmamma rolled her eyes, "that ain't wot I meant,"
"Than what did ye mean?" Jack asked, perplexed but willing to weather her.
"I meant that he's after some shine the likes ye've never 'eard of 'afor!"
There was an appreciative gasp of "oooh!" around the room.
"Will ye tell us 'bout it?" Laurie asked.
The family, now calmer, took to their food again as Grandmamma stumbled into her tail. "Well, I dunn know iffin it be true," she said, "but I 'eard that Flint knows the wearabouts of a very magical treasure…"
Jack didn't react. He knew about Magical treasures all right!
"This be better'n that boy Hawkins got," Grandmamma took a long sip of rum, "the treasure is deep in the ocean, yet ye can apparently not die. It's protected by a maze oh the sorts no man 'as ever seen. There are any sorts of entrapments and the dead – as I 'ear tell o' it, pile up a fair ways,"
"Ewe," Laurie screwed up her nose. Terrence shushed his sister.
"An'ways, once ye get to the end, ye have a rout to always get back to the treasure trove without going through the maze again, and ye have a haul o' gold that'd make ye a Monarch!"
There was an appropriate awed buzz of excitement after the story.
Jack felt the thrill in his bones. The need to get his hands on such treasure almost had him moving for the door. Though he couldn't let on that he really, really, wanted to go in search of Flint and figure out if the man actually had said such treasure. And knowing his Father – Jack wouldn't be able to get away any time soon.
"As good as that sounds," Teague put in, "we've got bigger things to contend with," he snorted into his rum.
"Ye're not talking about the missing supply ships, are ye?" Ace asked.
"And what do ye plan on doing 'bout it?" Valerie asked.
Jack speared more pork since Valerie was distracted. She glared at him before pouring herself more rum from a carafe near at hand. Jack just grinned at her.
"I am going rendezvous with the Star Explorer; it's a small ship and I know her Captain. I'm going to escort her into port," Teague gave them all a glare, "It's not going to take care of the problem though,"
"You mean that our own supply ships are being preyed upon," Jack muttered.
Teague gave him a look but it didn't look disappointed. Valerie glared.
"Wot's it to ye?" she asked, anger laced her voice hard as lightning.
"Wot?" Jack snorted, "I can give to the conversating?" he mocked.
"Jackie, I know you want to come with me," Teague put in. Jack held his tongue. He honestly didn't want to go with Teague, "But you need to stay home,"
Jack had one of two ways to play this out. One, he could meekly agree but act as if it was a huge chore to do so, or two, he could argue the point. Either way he'd stay home. Which was what he secretly wanted anyway; though, he wondered if this was a ploy by his father to get him to argue and then grant him permission to go. It would seem as if Jack had gotten the Captain of The Misty Lady to change his mind.
"All right, Da, as you say," and he looked sullenly at his food and swirled the gravy with his two pronged fork.
"Since Jack isn't going…" and Jack couldn't help but roll his eyes at Valerie as she spoke up, "can I come along with you, Uncle? Please!"
Teague chuckled, "of course," – the unspoken I would have taken you anyway rang in the air and Jack tried not to feel overly stung by it. He got what he wanted, Valerie got what she wanted and Teague got what he wanted. So, Jack questioned himself, why did it seem that he was being punished?
Grandmamma slammed her hand on the table; "Edward!" She yelled, "I dunn like how ye be treatin' yur own son!" she pointed to Jack, "ye may not think he be yur son, I ain't got a doubt 'bout it though! Ye should take Jackie and leave Vally here!" and she stomped her foot.
"Mam," Teague leveled as sever a glare at his mother as he could, "I know he's my son by blood," he explained laboriously, "I ain't brin' 'im because I dunn know who would use Jackie to get to me. Until this entire episode is over an' done with, Jackie will stay here," and that was the end of that. Grandmamma sat down and looked at Jack. He shrugged.
"What do ye mean, Uncle?" Valerie piped up, "Jackie is the most honest amongst us, what'd yur enemies wont with 'is bloody arse?"
"That's the problem, an Honest man is unpredictable," Teague muttered, "ye never know when they'll do somethin', incredibly," he raised an eyebrow in Jack's direction, "stupid,"
It was the end of the conversation because Terrence threw some of the rice and beans at Ace, who roared at the kid. The table was over turned and Jack decided that now was the time to slip away. He would have preferred to go back to the lonely dock he'd vacated earlier that evening. Instead, he made for his bed room. He didn't want Teague or any of the other family following him out and finding his secret hiding place. So instead, he settled for the slightly damp and dusty room in the attic of the building is family occupied.
It was a small room with a queen sized bed covered in old velvet and cotton bed clothing. Red draped hung about it in tatters. The fire place was empty but a load of wood stood by in case he wanted a fire. On the shelves were all sorts of books Jack had been given. Mostly they were Valerie's cast offs. She didn't put much stock in reading, though she knew how to read, write her name and keep a sums book.
Jack on the other hand had sought refuge in his books as a young child. His mother gone on her own pirating ventures, his Father busy with some other sea faring way of life – Jack dodged Grandmamma's attacks by sneaking away to his bed room, and the books.
Jules Vern, Sir Francis Bacon, and several others. His favorite among these was Lady Mary Wroth's The Countess of Montgomery's Urania; a story of romance. Valerie had caught him reading it once and she mocked him horribly. Now, whenever she was truly miffed with her cousin, she'd bring it up, in front of people.
Jack learned to ignore it. He'd lived through being eaten by sea monster's, to meeting up with Davy Jones himself. His cousin was a guppy compared to that!
He lit a lamp and opened the closed shutters to the now calm, yet cool bay. A soft sea breeze rustled his braided hair and jingled what little beads he'd woven into the choked ropes. He rolled into the hammock he'd hung by the window; he lent over and grabbed Urania from under a cast off blanket. The old, red leather cover was worn in places. The pages weathered and yellowing. When the black ink began to fade, Jack would carefully fill in the words again, from memory.
"Fie tedious hope, why do ye still rebel*?" Jack muttered under his breath as he opened the book to read.
*From the selected poems of Lady Mary Wroth, Urania, number 27.
A/N – Wow, I haven't written POTC fic in forever. *lol* I am excited about number 4 coming out and I figured, why not try and write something – hopefully finish it – before the movie comes out? Not that it matters if I go and see it or not. *le sigh* Anyway – please let me know what you think of it.