XXX Abandon Ship XXX

Following their little findings and revelations, every soul aboard saw a change of character between the former wicked Jack and spitfire Angelica. What was once discomfort and the desire to control had become comfort and desire for company. She or he followed he or she wherever it was he or she or she or he went. More than not, they were speaking with each other about a great many things.

Whenever one had the opportune chance to listen in on their conversations, most would hear talk of nonsense, nothing and everything that mattered to them it seemed. Past memories. Past experiences. Past travels. Past adventures. Future wishes. Nonpermanent future plans. Temporary engagements. Nothing and everything.

Their latest comfort together happened in the warm southern Colonial water. Once again, Jack had prepared a fine dining meal held at the helm of the ship rather than in the smack dab middle of deck. Safely tucked behind the wheel, nothing but light and shadows escaped to the feasting eyes of the crew down below.

Two wine glasses gently clanked together, resonating a high pitch chime that caused Torin to raise his twitched ears in curiosity.

"Now tell me you didn't miss this," Jack implored.

Angelica merely grinned while sipping her wine. "There was this one time, a fling mind you, when a very fine Spaniard spent a year's pay on my behalf. Wine, music, candlelight, dancing, dresses, charms. He was a bit better than you a spending a year's pay of money. Every night there was wine and food and dancing and new dresses to indulge upon. What had I to miss about you?"

Jack raised his head and puffed out his chest. "I guarantee I am more handsome than him."

"I actually thought he was you when he introduced himself to me. It didn't take long to realize he was missing your charm," noted Angelica.

"I'll toast to that indeed," said Jack, holding out his wine glass once more.

Angelica drew a deep breath and clanged hers against his with a roll of her eyes. "You're not going to get me drunk Jack; you never did succeed before and therefore you will not now."

"No, no, no. I want you to remember tonight. How often do you get the honor of dining in front of the Captain in his element at the helm while captaining a ship? Who else in the world would have half as many skills and talents as me to host dinner and captain a ship?" said Jack.

The spitfire Angelica tilted her head to the side as she thought "real" hard. She turned back to Jack and smiled. "I'm sure I could take you up on that offer should you so desire."

"I know you would and I know you could," said Jack nodding his head.

Both captains sat quiet as they indulged upon their roasted, honey covered chicken, buttered shrimp, fresh rye bread, steamed vegetables, baked potatoes, and the waiting fresh apple pie. Neither bothered to pay heed to the gawking that was transpiring upon the crew as they peeked at them. Which question was it they wanted answered: what were they doing or what were they eating or how did they come by such a succulent feast? The questions were simple: they were enjoying a dinner, they were eating good food, and a certain friend of Jack's who just happened to have no business beyond world's end was bored enough to get food for the Captain's Dinner no extra favored owed.

Torin alerted the two of an intruder with a low, startled woof.

"Yeah, yeah I know, I know pup. Hello," replied Philip, approached the two but not without a pat on the head to the dog. "I know you said no intruders to your Captain's Dinner, but I think you should see this and confirm what it is I believe it is."

"Well, seeing as you've already interrupted," began Jack unpleasantly. "What is it that I must see and confirm what you believe it is?"

Quite simply, Philip handed him a glass. "Just look behind you. I think that's Charleston."

Humoring him, although not pleased at all that his dinner was ruined, Jack raised an eyebrow as he snatched the glass away from the former missionary's palm.

In the distance, perhaps a league or near two leagues away from their current sail, orange and yellow lit the distance. Haze hovered above the glowing light and that particular light cascaded across the coastline, brightening up the night like a false sunrise.

His face twisted into a grimace. Setting an entire city ablaze was not Barbossa's style. Well, it wasn't his style often. Only once before had a city suffered his wrath and that city happened to be Port Royal seven years or so ago. Now with limitless power, one Hector Barbossa knew his limits were limitless. He could do what he wanted without the fear of reprimand.

Power corruption plus Barbossa did not have a pleasant outcome.

Jack did nod his head though. "You know, Barbossa makes an acceptable replacement for Blackbeard. They're both becoming powerful, heartless, soulless, cross grind curs. I wonder what Charleston did to Barbossa."

"This wrong," Angelica spat. "Why would he do this? All those innocent people, lives destroyed because one man wanted to show off his little powerful sword. Why would he do this Jack? There must be a reason. As you said once, it's not his style unless he wants something."

"I dunno, but we'll find out soon enough," said Jack.

"If the Royal Navy hasn't gotten to him first," Philip's quiet voice sounded beside them.

The three exchanged glances as they sailed past the false sunset. Barbossa was more out of control than they thought and time was running out. They had to get that Sword from Blackbeard's replacement before more of the world was destroyed. A world controlled by Hector Barbossa out of revenge for his twisted, hairy right leg didn't sound appealing one bit.

And if the Royal Navy had gotten to the pirate then they would be in control of the Sword and most likely that sword would return to the King who would then keep it as a prize for the Crown and the thought of the King of England unlocking its power was truly uncomfortable.

A chain of events was weaving itself together link by link every day and that chain was extending further and further into the reaches of the Locker, where their souls would travel if they were not able to stop the growth. The three of them were in over their heads way more than they thought.

Uncomfortable with that thought, Jack pressed his hands together as he bowed out between the two of them. Ever faithful, Torin stood, his claws scrambling to find grip on the wood as he chased after his master. Locking himself in his own solitude, Jack flopped onto his cot rather than hammock that night. His only light source was that of the moon's rays.

Suddenly the situation and gravity was weighing down upon him. He was in way over his head than he had been with anything in his life before. When Will told him Charleston was set ablaze by Barbossa, he thought it may have been the dock. When Jack saw how Charleston had been set ablaze by Barbossa, he knew Will meant Charleston. Knowing the Spanish, they too were hot on pursuit. How could one man simply set Charleston ablaze? And, of course, they Royal Navy was obviously going to be on Barbossa's wake.

The Royal Navy, who will never stop hunting down Jack Sparrow until his body hangs.

The Spanish, who want to remove the additional years through means of bringing back the Inquisition.

Angelica, who was completely in love with him all over again.

The Black Pearl, trapped in a bottle doomed to sail within walls of glass for eternity.

Lily-Rose, the one thing he couldn't live without, the one thing that he loved more than his own life, hiding away.

John and Jackie, ever plaguing his mind with his former self and his potential future self.

A voodoo doll, his very life hanging literally on threads.

Time was running out, and when the hourglass did seep the final grain of sand, something inside his recently rapidly growing old bones said those little grains of sand would converge in one place at one time in one final showdown and it was the showdown that worried Jack Teague.

His eyes turning to the darkened skyline, Jack suddenly felt shivers passing from the nape of his neck downward through his spine and chilling the bones in his body. He felt like he wasn't going to be alive after that showdown. Jack Sparrow may meet his match on that day, and what at day it would be.

And if he was going to die on that day like the tingly feeling going down his spine was hinting then that would be a day to remember and the day he would forever become immortal in the history books.

Jack changed once those little ideas protruded inside his brain. He was quieter than his already unusually quiet nature and when he did speak, he spoke to himself and two others. His body language changed between three people and he had a tendency to shift personalities upon the deck for all eyes to see.

"I say you are frightened and your frights are getting a hold of you."

"Aye, get a grippie on yourself mate. Yer losing it like Tortuga loses clothes at night."

"For once, I agree with our flamboyant friend over here," noted John, motioning behind him as he crawled up Jack's left for arm before setting on his left shoulder.

Jackie smiled, all gold teeth exposed as he contently settled himself on Jack's right knee.

"Are you two sure I'm just losing it? Because I know what losing it is and I've been doing it for about five years now. So in reality I'm not doing anything out of the ordinary because I've been losing it ever since I first invented you two in the Locker and therefore I'm just behaving as my normal self. Right?" Jack asked his companions.

The two miniature Jacks glanced toward each other, both shrugging and nodding.



"Oh, good then," Jack said to himself as he settled against the side of the wooden hull once more. Both hands folded and nestled behind his head while his legs stretched out and ankles crossed. His two companions, insulted that their placements were disrupted, converged at Jack's thighs. Jack looked down upon them again. "What do you think of Barbossa Teach?"

John pressed his palms together apologetically. "I'd rather not discuss him in front of you mate."

"No need to discuss it ye pitiful excuse for a pirate. I think good sir Barbossa Teach is under attack. Me deadlights do believe that we have reached Ocracoke Bay," noted Jackie.

"Wot?" Jack cried as he bounded to his feet, glass in hand.

Peeking through the glass, he noted a military ship heading towards a ship with red sails. Guns blazed on both sides. Jack recognized one ship. Queen Anne's Revenge was under attack by the Royal Navy and it appeared she was not getting out of the fight.

Before Jack's mouth barked orders, Angelica was already at the helm doing so rather spectacularly. He quickly rushed his feet upward to reach her.

"Any ideas what we do now Jack?" wondered Angelica.

"Uh, we get Barbossa and the Sword meaning we join the fight," said Jack.

"Good, I've been bored behaving as your good little temporary fiancée," Angelica told him with a steadfast gaze toward her prize.

Jack's soul suddenly warmed as he stole a smile for himself behind her. She said it. She admitted she was playing his temporary fiancée. It was a start toward his ultimate plan for the future. Hearing her say it couldn't possibly ruin the rest of the day. In fact, he felt like fighting for the Sword even more now. Once they got the sword then they could simply release the Pearl and sail to New Orleans. Over a bottle of bourbon he could end the doll's connection and celebrate being alive. Angelica was always cute when she was drunk.

"Jack, pay attention," snapped Angelica.

"Yes, deary," Jack replied in a singsong voice. "And I would assume you have a plan of attack, yes?"

"We sail, we jump ship, we grab Barbossa and the Sword, we abandon ship, and we embrace the oldest and noblest pirate tradition," replied Angelica, her voice unusually thick with her Spanish accent.

"I like it," relied Jack smoothly.

Though both knew her plan of attack was sound in reasoning, it was by far not as simple as both wished. Being behind the Navy did have its advantages as always, yet it was in front of the Navy Jack wanted to be. He had one goal in mind: retrieve the Sword of Cortes. There was no such desire in him to destroy Barbossa. He would do whatever required to retrieve the Sword and if that meant destroy Barbossa then down with the ship Barbossa would go as every good Captain should do.

Quickly, both Angelica and Jack grabbed Gibbs and Philip to replace them at the helm while they rushed to the captain's quarters and armed themselves.

Arming themselves required a quick change of clothes and assembling armaments. Knowledgeable of attacks and skilled at weaponry, both eased their belts and buckles around themselves. Weapons and ammo already on person and swords sharpened, attack was second nature for the two of them.

Slightly beating her at the art of arming himself, Jack pulled a piece of cloth from the table and stood behind her. He pulled her hair behind her head, fastening in securely out of her face and then adjusted her belts to her person more securely.

She quickly flipped around to grab her pistol and found herself face to face, nearly lip to lip with Jack.

Both gasped at the slight movement, stunned and shocked. For some reason, a reason unknown, the idea of jumping aboard a ship already under attack by a force they were trying to avoid to retrieve a weapon of unthinkable power had passed through their minds. They were focused on each other as two lovers would have done before saying their goodbyes as if they knew they would never see each other again.

Jack's hand found his fingertips touching her chin then working upward until he cupped her face. He had to do this. He was ready for this. The timing was opportune. Everything inside of him said this was the moment.

Angelica leaned her face into the cup of his palm, her breath suddenly stolen from him. She was only slightly more aware of the situation, yet she was content standing before him with his hand on her face. Her mind suddenly returned to the past, toward a memory he was probably recalling as well.

"I can fight Jack. Let me do this," teenage Angelica hollered as she fumbled with her belts.

"I'm afraid not luv. Ye just aren't good enough yet. Ye have the fight and the spirit not the skills ye need," Jack told her.

"You taught me how to fight with a sword," protested Angelica.

Jack turned around suddenly, raising a finger in the air for dramatic emphasis. "Teaching, teaching ye to fight luv. You're still learning to use a sword."

"Then I'll stay back from the heat of battle and fire a pistol. I can help," Angelica told him, desperately trying to sway his mind.

"You stay," Jack told her.

He turned his back again to finish settling his pistols in his pocket. His sword was sheathed and then he whipped around to make his escape, but found himself face to face with Angelica, her lips right before his.

She too happened to whip around simultaneously as him, his lips right before hers.

Both startled and stunned, they were unable to move away from each other's presence. Two sets of brown eyes gazed into the others as if memorizing every feature of their lover like this was the last moment they would be together.

"I have to go luv, and you stay here," Jack told her.

"I'm not letting you leave me behind again. Last time you left me behind, I watched them carry you back with a knife in your side," Angelica reminded him.

"It was just a scratch and I was walking," Jack told her innocently.

Angelica shook her head, not buying his usual claim that he didn't nearly die from being stabbed. Warmth stung her eyes and she forced herself not to blink.

Jack's hand found his fingertips touching her chin then working upward until he cupped her face. He had to do this. He was ready for this. The timing was opportune. Everything inside of him said this was the moment.

Angelica leaned her face into the cup of his palm, her breath suddenly stolen from her. She moved her head upward.

Jack's head lowered slowly.

Both sets of brown eyes shut just millimeters before their lips connected but not before-

"Jack, Angelica. Go. Now."

Shaking out of it Angelica turned away from Jack and rushed passed Philip, Jack following on her heels. As custom and seemingly the simplest means possible, both grabbed two loose lines hanging from above. For a brief moment as he swung across Tristan to Queen Anne's Revenge Jack noted how whenever he needed to swing from ship to ship, rope was always the most successful means of doing so and it always just happened that it always worked.

Side by side, the two conquering pirates planted their feet on deck, in the heat of battle. Immediately, they found themselves surrounded by marines, clearly mistaking them for crew of the Revenge. Cutting them down, Jack strode forward while Angelica had another intention in mind. Jack pushed aside every marine who dared get in his way, sighting a feathered hat that was unmistakable.

"Barbossa," he hollered at the top of his lungs. "Yoo hoo! Hector, come here!"

His sword through the belly of his enemy, Hector Barbossa stopped his actions. His head tilted to the side. No, it couldn't be. Why would Jack Sparrow be here? How did he get here?


"Jack?" Barbossa hollered behind him, turning.

A yelp passed through the pirate captain as a sword belonging to a marine raised over head. Before either had the time or recognition to react, there was another sword through the belly of the marine not belonging to either of them.

Jack pushed the body from his sword. "Why am I always saving your hide?"

"I never asked ye to do so Jackie," noted Barbossa.

"Isn't it time we embrace the oldest and noblest pirate tradition?" Jack asked unusually sweetly and regaining his nearly forgotten Captain Jack Sparrow charm.

"Aye, now that ye mention it. Not a bad idea," admitted Barbossa as a bullet whizzed past his hat.

Hightailing it out of there, Barbossa pushed Jack into a marine while he fled across deck to the balcony outside the captain's quarters. "Gentlemen of Queen Anne's Revenge, I hereby resign my commission aboard this vessel of infamy and therefore embrace an old and noble tradition in piracy."

With his last word, he slashed through a marine who seemed to have an affection towards, for he was not more than five paces away since his arrival aboard the ship. And with his man cut down, he bowed his head and arms gracefully forward.

"Abandon ship."

Jack rolled his eyes as he recognized the voice to belong to Scrum. That pirate sure wasn't what pirates used to be. With the fighting heating up, Jack whipped his head around and his body trailed. Where was Angelica? His heart suddenly thundering in his chest, Jack's eyes scanned all dark haired bodies aboard the deck only to realize there were more dark haired persons than before.

The Spanish.

"Angelica!" Jack hollered, sudden fear taking over him. "Angieal! Angelica!"

Both the Royal Navy and the Spanish on one ship, both after him. Odds were not in his favor. The Royal Navy would never stop hunting him down and the Spanish knew one of the two was immortal. Hollering her name was lessening his odds of escape, for they were coming after him.

Slashing through both English and Spanish blood, Jack's desperate search continued as he leapt over bodies, so that he could manage to wiggle his way into the belly of the ship. Suicide described a man who willingly went below the freedom of escape from the deck of a ship to succumb to the bowels below. But Angelica was not among the freedom of escape and therefore she had to be below deck for some reason.

Rather than hollering for her, he cut his way through using any method he could think of, including barrels, hooks, and leaping through the cargo. Something was telling him to seek her out in her small little hole in the wall that she called her quarters. She had to have been there. But why? Why would she hide out in her quarters? She told him she would assist him in retrieving the Sword. She knew what was at stake and she ran away from him.

Finally, and with a leap over two fighting men, Jack managed to slam the door shut to her quarters. He leaned against the wood, inhaling deep breaths finding that was a more difficult task than was said.

Angelica whipped out from a door in the wall, dragging with her a chest of incredible size and what appeared to be equally incredible weight.

"Wot are you doing?" Jack demanded. "We don't have time for this Angelica. The Spanish are here."

"Then help me Jack," Angelica spat.

"We have to go. Just leave it," Jack told her, pulling at her arm.

Angelica pulled out of his arm by digging her heel into the top of his toes and threw her weight into the chest once more.

"The Spanish Angelica. You know 'determined to make them suffer through every year of their immortality for disrupting what the Lord did not give'. Does that not ring any bells in your head? You risk torture for a chest?" wondered Jack.

"Yes," Angelica cried.

With a cry of frustration, Jack pulled at the other side of the chest, lifting it from the floor. "You're going to be the death of me you know that."

"Jack, we have no disadvantage. I have a boat outside my window," replied Angelica.

"You're improvising. That's good," noted Jack.

"Actually, I'm planning. Planning has always been more successful for my standards," said Angelica.

"Ha! Why have a plan when all plans never go according to plan and when they go astray no one knows what to do therefore improvisation is the way to go," Jack told her.

"Speak for yourself," said Angelica with a grunt as they lifted the chest onto to window ledge.

Both lowered the heavy old chest through the window. Angelica jumped into her little boat while Jack balanced the chest on the windowsill.

A cry of pain escaped through Jack's teeth as he arched his back and hands slipped from the chest, sending it falling hard onto the bottom of the boat.

"Jack!" Angelica screamed, scrambling to climb back to him.

His eyes glanced downward. With each breath, the blade that was emerged from his chest rose and fell.

"You," came a voice behind him.

"Hasn't your mother told you it's not nice to stab someone in the back?" Jack questioned as he turned around to face the Spanish speaking sailor. He gave another cry as the blade was pulled from his body. "And you, this is all your fault. I got stabbed because of you."

A pistol sent a bullet flying through the air, followed by another and another. Chaos ensued in the small room. Bullets, swords, and knives flew about and carelessly at the two of them with one purpose: to destroy the Sparrow and Blackbeard's Daughter.

Instinct and adrenaline fueling him, Jack pressed his palms into Angelica's back, pushing her out the window into her little boat and therefore safety.

Quick thinking and with his famous improvisation, he leapt onto her bed, bouncing to her door where he noticed a lantern. How handy those things had come for him in recent years. Fire licked at the wall opposite of her bed and he bounced back across the room.

"Gentlemen," he said with a quick bow and flashed a smile before throwing the lantern against the warm wall.

With the explosion slightly propelling him, he leapt out the window, diving into the water. Keeping himself protected from more flying lead and knives, he swam farther under and between the wreckage, keeping an eye on the surface for a small boat. He found some peace swimming under the waves with the light shining in the waters above.

Actually, he found an unusual amount of solitude beneath the waves. The sun shimmered above him like a watercolor painting that was alive or a stream of water and constant light. Little particles in the water shimmered with the watery rays and further down onto the ocean floor, painting light among the reefs and colorful critters.

He never before appreciated the serenity of life underwater and he'd spent probably days underwater through the entirety of his life and swimming. Breathing wasn't necessary anymore so he had time to enjoy the peace. His hair and limbs were numb, flowing however it was the waves took them. Weightless, his eyes shut. Calm, he nearly felt he could sleep on the ocean floor. He always did want to test the theory of a sea bed. Sea sponge always did look unusually inviting. His head nodded forward. Sleep was his friend at the moment. He was tired from battle and the water was warm and comfortable.

His body was pulled by the current gently laying him on the seabed where he felt like curling up and resting. Eventually he would find his way back to Tristan. Being King of the Merfolk he was pretty sure he could hitch a ride from one of them back to the ship.

Instead of reaching the sea bed, cold, salty air reached his face and wood his body. Realizing he was no longer under the water breathing in the sweet water, his lungs immediately rejected their newfound source of oxygen and returned to what it was they were designed to breath. Water poured out of his body in the form of heavy, deep gasps. His serenity ended with harsh, dry air.

A hand rubbed his back soothingly as he expelled water from his lungs.

"Remind me not to inhale water again," he managed through gasps.

No words were spoken between him and the mysterious hand as he coughed and resumed breathing. His own breath steadying again, he nodded his head.

"Jack," Angelica whispered.

"Yes?" wondered Jack as he lifted his head.

Shutting her eyes, Angelica's arms flung around Jack's body, holding him close to her.

Accepting her embrace, Jack's palms pressed against her back. Nauseous because of the lack of hair and vision dotted with black spots, his eyes shut as he further leaned into her. His hands dropped and forehead rested against her shoulder and neck.

"That chest better be worth it," he muttered.

"It is, I promise," replied Angelica.

"Jack, are you okay?" Philip asked softly, kneeling beside them. "Are both of you okay?"

Jack waved a hand. "Peachy," replied from Angelica's shoulder.

"Sí," replied Angelica.

"Um, can you two remove bullets and not lose years?" wondered Philip.

"I dunno. Why do you ask?" inquired Jack, turning his head so his cheek was resting against Angelica's shoulder allowing his eyes to see forward.

"Because you two are covered in them," replied Philip. He offered them a weak smile.

And because of that Jack pushed from Angelica's arms and she too pushed Jack away from her. Their eyes stared at the companion before them. Both saw the same appearance, bullet holes and, in some areas, bullets. Chest, stomach, arms, legs. Gashes and gouges also lined their bodies and were visible between the shredded clothes.

Eyes, lots of eyes were upon them. They felt the curious, concerned, wondrous stares and gazes. Mouths were agape and no words were spoken between any man to another.

"So, you're both immortal then?" assumed Scrum. "Hm, that's one way to get by in the world never being lonely."

All signs of life suddenly returning to him, Jack grabbed Angelica's arm to quickly pull her into the Captain's Cabin. His curtains were quickly pulled shut and the door locked. He slumped against the door, recent events taking their toll on him. His eyes turned to Angelica who turned her gaze back to him, into his eyes.

No words were spoken between them, but words were not needed to explain their mutual feeling. The Spanish knew. The Spanish knew they were immortal; they had all the confirmation they needed.

Jack slumped down the door until he sat on the floor with his legs spread before him and hands flat on the ground. He then shut his eyes and breathed heavily. "I think I can feel the lead in my bones."

"I think it's time we removed that bullet that embedded itself in your chest years ago," noted Angelica.

Reluctantly, Jack nodded his head. "And I know just the person who can do it."

"Gibbs?" assumed Angelica.

"No, our dearest friend of the Dutchman," replied Jack.

"Jack, he has a duty to complete in a world that is not ours," reminded Angelica as she too settled herself on the table, beginning to feel slightly heavier than normal.

"He'll do it. He likes me," Jack said confidently as he waved his hand in the air.

"Jack," Angelica whispered.

"All right, all right," replied Jack. He pressed his palms on the ground and feet forward. Both palms walked up the door as his feet pushed him upward as well until he was standing. "Then we help ourselves seeing as this is your fault. A chest. I'm walking ammunition because of a chest."

"Shut up and sit down," Angelica snapped.

Obliging her, Jack collapsed onto the window seat. He figured since they were removing bullets he may as well sit in the sunshine so she could see what she was doing. Though he was immortal, it was most uncomfortable feeling heavy weight lodged in his organs and bones. None of it hurt anymore thankfully; it was just uncomfortable.

Seeing movement beside him, Jack rolled his head to the left.

Angelica pulled a chair forward where she set the small medical supply basket on the sea and she pulled another chair to seat herself. She glanced to Jack apologetically as she ripped the rest of his clothing and belts from his person, although she knew Jack would understand.

"Make yourself useful," she told him, handing him a magnifying glass.

"Let's just get this over with," Jack said softly as he held the glass over the left side of his breast. "May as well start with the oldest one, eh?"

"If you insist," replied Angelica, though it was her to speak of it first.

Out of force of habit with medicine, Angelica poured pure alcohol over the tweezers. She placed bandages around Jack's side, neither knowing if he would bleed or not, yet both presuming he would.

"If you don't mind my asking, how did you get this?" Angelica softly asked as her fingers opened the wound.

Jack drew a deep breath. "Long story short, my father shot me to get me to stay away from him. He and all his infinite wisdom thought keeping me away from him would give me a better life to lead than his own. After me mother died, he abandoned me to a friend in London where we both ended up joining the Navy as you know. I met back up with him after I had become Captain Jack Sparrow. He was afraid I would turn into wanted pirate scum who made his way stealing, cheating, and lying as he had done most of his life. He wanted his little Sparrow to have a better life so he hoped I would hate him if he shot me. The problem was he shot me twice in his desperation. One bullet he removed that night, the other had to stay as you now feel. Just pull Angelica. Honestly, waiting for me to allow you to pull a bullet from me chest is hardly—ow! Yeah, like that."

"You're welcome," said Angelica, sweetly.

Before she set the bullet in the bowl she had prepared, Jack snatched it away from her possession. His fingers twirled around the ball, impressed it still had its shape. He felt the markings and the lead. After all these years, his body was free of a wound that destroyed him and his father once and for all. Teague had won the battle after the little piece of lead entered his body. All hopes of a relationship and companionship were lost between them.

Jack had suddenly learned to fear his father rather than respect him. It was after he awoke that he left his father's life as permanently as he could being Lord of the Caribbean and Keeper's son. They kept their distance with no communication and Jack was determined to continue out his day's pirating to spite his father's wishes. He was in too deep to turn out. Already wanted by the Navy and making a name for himself, Jack Sparrow slowly became who he was known for.

Yet, for all their avoiding each other and lost relationship, they found certain comfort from one another when time forced them to be together and he always found himself recalling those moments. No words, just company for an hour or two. They lived for those moments.

But, that was years ago, and their relationship was quite strong nowadays. They finally found a father/son relationship they could agree on all thanks to a little girl and a few talks.

Discreetly, Jack slipped the bullet into his trouser pocket as he moved the glass to his belly as Angelica prepared to remove another bullet from his body.

The actual process of removing bullets had a worse bark than bite. Just as they thought, the process was quite a bit bloody, considering they were digging metal rods through flesh and pulling apart open wounds for the actual removal. Painful was not the word that described it; uncomfortable was a more appropriate word. Only one bullet caused Jack pain and that bullet was secured in his trouser pocket. He supposed that one was a bit painful because he received it before his immortal years.

Tweezers and fingers dug between bones and organs. Worst of all, Jack helped Angelica snap bones and reset them after lead was removed. He silently panicked only once and that was because he was holding one half of his spine in place while Angelica held onto the other half after she had dug deep into his body for a bullet. He did feel himself gag once or twice while Angelica kept two fingers pressed against his stomach, pushing it nearly all the way to his right side.

Surprising, and yet not, once the bones were snapped back into their original form, they mended as they should be.

Feeling back to normal and lead free, Jack hopped from the seat and shuddered dramatically, every limb shaking. His wounds healed before him, including the gashes and gouges received in the heat of battle. He stood in the center of the room, curiously inspecting himself like he was under cursed Aztec gold. Fingers twirled and limbs twisted. His head turned to Angelica who was sitting in his window with her bare back facing him, and face patiently waiting.

It was then that Jack saw he was unsuccessful toward getting her out of the room quickly enough. Two bullet holes ruined her Spanish porcelain, one upon her shoulder and the other near her side, both to the left. Wholly, his body slumped. He failed protecting her.


Hearing her cry out, Jack's head whipped around. His surroundings around him dulled and suddenly slowed. The world nearly came to a sudden stop. Slowly, he watched her fall and yet, she did not touch the cold wood already poisoned with thick, red warmth. His arms slipped under her knees and around her shoulders.

"Aingeal, stay with me. Do not close your eyes. You'll be fine. I'll save you," he whispered to her.

"Perhaps I should have listened to you this time Jack," noted Angelica, pain hinted in her voice, though she attempted to hide the pain she was feeling.

Her fingers gingerly reached towards her left side where the pads felt a hole through her flesh and warm liquid pouring from the wound.

Jack noticed and pressed her palm against the wound, staunching as much of the blood flow as he could.

"Jack," Angelica's voice called softly.

"Yes luv? And ye better not be saying any goodbyes or farewells or bon voyages or adioses yet," Jack told her firmly.

"Kiss me, like you almost did before I ran out to fight a battle I should not have," Angelica requested, pleading in her voice.

Moisture swelled in Jack's eyes. He was very well aware that he and Angelica were sitting in the middle of a dying battle of which his crew was winning the day. He felt his burden slump into his body, seeking comfort and warmth. The color from her face waxed away, he wasn't sure if he could save her. He may have wasted away too much time already and that kiss may have been her only kiss from him or any one in her life.

Obliging her request, he shifted her gently in his arms and then leaned his head forward, lowering his lips onto hers. He felt the desperation in her return and her fingers quivered as they reached for his jaw.

Breathing in gasps, Angelica pulled away from the kiss. Her chest heaved and body convulsed against Jack. Red liquid seeped from the corner of her lips. She weakly smiled at Jack and then leaned her head into his chest, slumping against him.

The cry that escaped from Jack's mouth that afternoon may have carried across the seas on the cold wind of the blood red dusk.

But, of course, Jack did not lose his Angelica that day. She held onto that single thread of life the Fates had yet to cut with their crooked shears. He remained at her side as the lead was removed from her body and stayed the quiet vigil beside her, keeping her warm as blood returned to her form and when she did wake he was the one to give her an earful.

And when Jack returned to the present world at present moment, his fingers had somehow already removed the lead from her body. He had no memory or recollection of digging into her flesh, watching her flinch as he removed the aftermath of the battle. Apparently, his fingers and hands and subconscious worked in autopilot for him. He wasn't quite the most settled realizing removing bullets was of that second nature to him.

A fluffy head and moist tongue startled him from his thoughts. Torin wagged his ever growing hind from side to side, swinging his fluffy tail. His concerned, huge and quite frightened eyes gazed at Jack. A low whine howled from his muzzle into the air.

"I'm fine, Daddy's fine," Jack assured. "Just let me put me clothes back on and then I'll get ye some grub."

And with that thought, clothes were thrown at him smack in the face provided by Angelica of course.

"He was hiding in your quarters between your clothing trunks," said Angelica.

"Yup, he's all my brains and your looks," said Jack with a firm nod of the head.

He was soon dressed in non holy clothes and strode onto deck and made a beeline for the helm where his assumption that Barbossa would be standing was correct.

"I don't suppose your leggy bottle is full," hinted Jack.

"Fresh out lad. Been meaning to refill for a few days now," replied Barbossa, his voice distant and eyes narrow a he gazed at every angle and gleam of the ship, almost like he recognized something familiar.

"If it means anything at all it is refreshing to see you have returned to the proper side and lack of that wig," said Jack, not making eye contact.

"Likewise Jackie, but I suppose ye had ta change yer image if ye wanted to walk in public," replied Barbossa.

"It's not that bad really," admitted Jack tightening the cloth keeping his hair secured behind his neck and glancing at his arms.

"Where to Captain?" asked Philip.



Both Captians' eyes narrowed.

Jack pointed to himself. "This is my ship and therefore it makes me Captain. Angelica has rights as first mate and Philip is quartermaster. There are no ranking positions available at the moment but I shall consider your consideration should a position become available."

Barbossa rolled his eyes. And there it was, Jack was slowly returning back to what he once was. Hungry and quite not in the mood for Jack's antics, the elder pirate strode forward and onto deck with an every other foot clang.

Squinting his eyes, Jack waited for the opportune moment to peek praying to every god and goddess he knew, Calypso oddly above them all, that Barbossa had it on his person or all the effort he just went through would have been in vain.

A Spanish temper suddenly cried out and flared and Jack saw one Hector Barbossa lose balance and fall directly on his rump in the middle of deck. He cradled his jaw gingerly in the palm of his hand. A tooth was spat from his mouth.

Angelica flipped on her heels and was parted a path to Jack at the helm who swallowed and backed away from the wheel with palms raised in submission.

"He doesn't have the Sword on him Jack. I didn't see it," Angelica told him as she folded her arms across her chest, fear in the back of her voice.

"I know he had it on the Revenge, I saw it with him," replied Jack.

"Perhaps he has hidden it?" Angelica said hopeful.

"I guarantee he has it hidden away somewhere and I doubt he alone knows where it has been hidden. You may want to watch your former Revenging crew luv. I fear we have two sides on this ship and I am not being mutinied again," Jack warned.

Angelica nodded, feeling the shift in the air on Tristan as well.

The journey was slowly coming together, another piece added to the puzzle. Sword of Cortez, on the same ship: check. They were confident Barbossa was in possession of the Sword as were they confident Barbossa was going to lay low and wait to strike all those loyal to him and her.

With the Sword in his possession, Jack knew Barbossa felt like he had limitless power and he technically did and he had already proven he enjoyed the power. And for his own part, Jack did feel a pang of fear for the elder pirate so long as the Sword remained in his possession. The Sword was one of few weapons that could kill him.

Heady tonic holding life and death in the palm of one's hand.

Those words were never spoken truer than they were then and that same feeling was returning to him. He glanced around his shoulder feeling vulnerable and quite expected Davy Jones to suddenly appear from the wood in attempt to enslave him in the Locker once more.

His shoulder and back stinging with memories, he bid Angelica a nod. "Mind the waves, stay the course, don't let Barbossa touch the wheel."

His feet rushed down the stairs and returned back to the safety of his cabin where there was one way out but, more importantly, one way in.

Torin perked up from his cushioned corner and Jack realized he had forgotten his dog's promised food. Sighing, he decided to scrounge around his protected cabin for scraps of food knowing there had to be something of satisfaction and proper means to feed his dog.

Just as the fluffy puppy felt himself sinking back asleep, Jack's cry of success woke him with a bark and flip, of his head. Displeased his master woke him again, the pup pouted as he set his jaw between his paws. But, when he was presented with lightly honeyed oats mixed with a bit of vegetable preserve from the freshly popped jar, all was forgiven.

A shaky breath escaped Jack's lips as he settled beside his dog on the cushions. What an exciting productive, day it had been. He and Angelica had a successful argument. Queen Anne's Revenge most likely lay at the bottom of the ocean buried in a watery grave. Hector Barbossa was once again on the same sailing vessel as him and with the world's most deadly shiny weapon in his possession all while probably planning a mutiny. He and Angelica spent the better part of a few unknown hours removing bullets from each other. And to top the day's production, he felt warm liquid seeping through his tunic just below his right shoulder.

And to end the day he was dealing with the Kraken bite seeping its poison down his back probably from the poison in his pores having been opened during the unnecessary battle earlier.

That chest better have been worth all the pain he went through earlier and was currently feeling.

While Jack wrapped his shoulder with the thick black cloth and lay beside his dog preparing for the long, uncomfortable night to come, elsewhere on the ship he was correct about one of his presumptions.

Angelica sat in front of the chest she risked her life to return to her possession recalling just how precious the contents inside were. The rose that Jack had left in the bath for her to admire in Shipwreck Cove was added to the book of her pressed roses from their many meetings before.

A Note from TurtleHeart:

hey guys! i'm back again after a long break. again, a thousand apologies! between my two jobs i get maybe two or three days off a month so as you can see it is a bit difficult for me to write and update and i'm trying to get my acting career started as well.

but, here it is, a new addition at last!

well, watcha thinking this time? how about Barbossa Teach? Jack's and Angelica's little memory of their first kiss? glad the two crews are back together? how about the fact that Queen Anne's Revenge got her true fate?

next up, our adventurers head down to Charleston, Carolina where we meet up with Pintel and Ragetti at their Kroken's Lair and Jack and Angelica fall for each other harder than they have yet.

questions? comments? concerns? likes? dislikes? let me know!

Happy Readings!