Disclaimer: I don't own Pirates of the Carribean
Author's Note: I am so terribly sorry for the long wait. I've been on several unplanned trips, and (unfortunately) there is absolutely NO service or internet connection where I went. This is the first time in quite some time that I've had any sort of time or computer to write for this story. I went back and re-read the first two entries of this fic, and it inspired me to begin Chapter 2. Thank you all so much for the patience and reviews! Is this story better than the original so far?(; I hope so! Like always, reviews are appriciated & encouraged! Thanks guys, and enjoy!
SOMETHING YOU NEED TO READ: Okay, so in the movie, we first see Angelica London. But Jack's life changed when Ricki entered it, so obviously, things would not go the same way as in the film. In the film, Gibbs ends up on a ship with Barbossa & destroys the maps, and Jack ends up with Angelica, on the Queen Anne's Revenge, alone. In this story, Gibbs and Jack and Ricki end up seeing Angelica before she goes to London (and before she begins impersonating Jack), so Gibbs does not go with Barbossa, the maps are still intact, and a few other things change. Okay?(: Thank you!
Life on her father's 'borrowed' ship, The Lady, was far different than the life of solitude that Ricki had grown accustomed to on her own ship. There weren't many crew members, and the only familiar face was that of her father's old friend, Gibbs. Ricki had once had the older man wrapped around her little finger, and that relationship was once again established now that they were both a part of her father's life.
"Tis good to see yah again," Gibbs had grumbled awkwardly, placing one arm around Ricki when he saw her again for the first time in years. "None of us thought that...well, we're jus' glad you're back."
Ricki had flashed Gibbs her trademark smirk, placing a confident hand on the man's shoulder. "I'll admit, I'm sorry that you had so little faith in me, Gibbs. You were always the one calling me my father's daughter, and did he not return from impossible circumstances as well?"
For that, Gibbs had had no answer, and from that moment on, Ricki considered him a friend and ally once more. It wasn't long before Jack had pulled them both into his private quarters, explaining to them his plan of action.
"The Fountain of Youth, m'dears." he'd said, giving them a toothy grin.
"Jack, we've been over this," Gibbs had immediately, his body visibly loosening as though he had already given up. "We searched for that damn Fountain everywhere, and we've yet to find a single drop of its water. As I've been tellin' yah for the last several months, we should make our way somewhere else - I've been hearin' rumours about the treasure of Kidd -"
"No." Jack had said immediately. "I will find that Fountain or die trying."
"Dad," Ricki had responded, internally cursing herself for trying to act as a voice of reason. Truth be told, in the weeks that had passed, Jack had made Ricki want to find the Fountain almost as badly as he did. "Gibbs is right. We've been trying to find the Fountain, and we have nothing to go on but your maps, which aren't even working. What if we went after Kidd's treasure, and then went back to searching for the Fountain? Perhaps all we need is a...break."
After much persuasion on Ricki's part, Jack had been coaxed into focusing the attention of the crew on trying to find the treasure of the infamous Captain Kidd. While he had led the search himself, Ricki had often found Jack looking to his compass, and she couldn't help but wonder if her father's heart was truly with them, or with the Fountain of Youth. For nearly a month, the captain and crew of The Lady worked hard to reach many islands and, unfortunately, many dead ends. Piracy seemed to be much more complex than Ricki had remembered it, and it wasn't until The Lady had reached the island of Santiago that Ricki was able to feel herself relax at all. In a cove, on the south side of the island, a haven for pirates existed. There was a port for ships, and an old tavern which Ricki swore she could both hear and smell from a mile away.
"Come on, love." Jack said, pulling his daughter by the arm towards the tavern. "The crew's nearly mutinous. We need some new strapping young men." Jack glanced at his daughter to see if she was at all intrigued by the idea of younger men aboard the ship, but her face remained blank. He sighed.
"I wasn't going to argue with you," Ricki stated simply, pulling her arm free of her father's grasp. "But I don't have to like being stared at by a bunch of drunken -"
"There now, lass." Gibbs said, placing a calloused hand on Ricki's shoulder. "Settle down now, yah hear?"
"I'm not a child," complained Ricki sourly, speeding up so that she was several paces in front of her father and his first mate. "Don't coddle me."
The tavern was everything Ricki had dreaded - loud and obnoxious and crowded. She couldn't believe that only two short months previously she had been desperate enough to enter one on purpose. Granted, that decision had led her to her father, but still. If it could be helped, Ricki preferred to stay on the ship whenever they made port. This time, however, her father had insisted that she come with them. "It will be good for you, love." he had told her. "Besides, I'm not going to get anything accomplished in Santiago if I have to spend the whole time worrying about you." Ricki had argued, but in the end, she had submitted under her father and agreed to accompony him and Gibbs to the very tavern they were now entering.
While Jack and Gibbs began to make their way through the tavern searching for willing workers, Ricki took to searching the place for an empty seat at a semi-quiet table. While piracy and the life that went with it was what she had chosen, part of her would always belong to the proper upbringing she had been given, and she continued to have at least some class, even while her once beautiful accent became rough and her clothes became torn and worn.
No place in the tavern was actually empty, so Ricki settled for the quietest place, which happened to be a table in the corner that seated only one other occupant. Ricki didn't bother to ask if the woman sitting there minded company - she took a seat and sat there, staring forward. It was nearly a quarter of an hour later before the woman spoke to Ricki at all.
"Looking for work?" she questioned in a thick Spanish accent. Ricki turned her head slowly.
"I'm not interested," she said quietly, pulling her hat down so that it covered her face with shadows.
"Pay is good," the woman bargained, running a dirty hand through her long hair. Ricki wondered what on earth she was thinking - no one would take her seriously if she was offering them work. Women were thought to be bad luck aboard ships (Ricki should know...half of the men her father offered work refused simply because she existed) and anyone would be wary of this dainty creature actually captaining anything.
"I'm not interested," Ricki repeated. "And a word of advice - put your hair in a cap or something. No one is going to take you seriously, being a woman and all. We're thought to bring bad luck when aboard vessels."
The woman laughed bitterly. "You think I don't know that? I've been around much longer than you have, my dear, and I know far more than you do."
"Then you would think that you would have enough sense in that pretty head of yours to know how to successfully employ a crew." Ricki quipped, turning her head from the woman once again in favor of staring at the wall.
"You think you could do better?" the woman asked sarcastically, reminding Ricki a bit of the way her father spoke of those he deemed below him in the hierarchy that was the world. Ricki chuckled slightly to herself, turning to once again face the woman.
"I know I could." she said confidently. "I've learned enough from me dad - I could have enough men to crew an entire ship by sunset if I 'ad a ship worth gettin' a crew for."
"I have a ship," the woman said eagerly, jumping at the opportunity Ricki had unknowingly presented her with. "So again I will tell you to join - the pay is good, and what we are after is worth more than gold."
"Been there," Ricki snorted. "Let me guess - the Fountain of Youth?"
"Yes," said the woman with an edge of suspicion. "You have been to the Fountain of Youth?"
"Have a map to it," said Ricki simply. "My father has proven that he cannot read a map or compass to save his life, however, because we have yet to actually reach it."
"Is your father here?" the woman asked Ricki, having enough sense not to ask her to once again join her crew. "Does he have those maps with him?"
"Yes," said Ricki hesitantly. "Good luck gettin' them, though. They don't leave his side."
"Bring me to him." the woman commanded, and - after a moment - Ricki obliged.
It's your funeral, she thought. She navigated her way through the throngs of people, checking behind her only once to be sure that the woman was following her. It took longer than Ricki had planned on, but she was finally able to locate her father after nearly ten minutes of searching. He and Gibbs were speaking alone, with roughly fifteen lads standing in a row about a meter away from them.
"I see you're having luck," said Ricki loudly, successfully capturing her father's attention. She rolled her eyes.
"It's seventeen more than we had this morning, love." said Jack, nodding his head in the direction of the lads.
"There's a woman," began Ricki, gesturing behind her. "She wants to see your maps."
The woman stepped forward, but froze the moment she saw Jack. Ricki noticed her father tense up as well, and Gibbs was staring anxiously between them. She wondered if perhaps this woman was one of the many her father encountered who wanted to give him a good slap across the face. But when two, and then three minutes passed without an angry outburst, Ricki assumed that that was probably not the case.
"Sorry, am I missing something?" Ricki asked, re-adjusting her hat again. "'ow do you two know each other?"
Jack was the first to regain his composure. He slid a sly smile on his face, and approached the woman next to Ricki without further hesitation. "Well, well, well...never thought I would see you again."
"Likewise." the woman said in a cold, clipped tone. Ricki decided that it sounded familiar, and watched her father and the woman with interest.
"And what is a pretty thing like you doing in a place like this, love?" asked Jack, making Ricki chuckle. The woman scowled.
"If you'll recall, Jack, I am more than capable of taking care of myself. I have been for a long time."
"And you seem to be doing so well on your own." laughed Jack, taking in her tattered clothes and dirty face.
"Oh? And after twelve years what do you have to show for yourself? I didn't even see the Pearl out there. Lost it, did you?" the woman shot back immediately. The way she was standing, the look in her eyes, Ricki recognized them. And it was in that moment, that single moment, that Ricki knew the woman in front of her.
"Mum?" she whispered, nearly inaudibly. Her mother - Angelica - turned slowly to face Ricki. Ricki took her hat off, and smoothed her hair. Her father had told her several times within the past two months that she looked much like her mother, and she wanted to prove to Angelica that she was who she said she was.
"Excuse me?" Angelica breathed, scrutinizing Ricki with her gaze. "I am mother to no one."
"And lying can be added to your list of crimes then, Angelica." Jack smirked. He walked towards Ricki, stood beside her, and casually put his arm around her. He continued to face Angelica. "Didn't she turn out beautifully?"
It was just one moment more that Angelica held the hardness of her gaze. Ricki could see the moment that her mother truly knew her, because her beautiful green eyes welled with tears, and - after only slight hesitation - she rushed forward to embrace her daughter.
"It's not possible," she murmured, stepping back to survey her daughter. It was true, the two looked very similar - the same long, brown locks, the same nose, the same hands...
"It's very possible," Ricki corrected, finally allowing herself to smile at her mother. "I...never thought I would see you again, mum."
"How?" Angelica asked thickly, turning to look towards Jack. "How did you find her?"
"Alas," Jack said dramatically, smiling easily and standing in between Ricki and Angelica. "I didn't have to do a thing, love. It was she who found me."
Angelica turned to her daughter, who sighed and explained her story to her mother. Angelica listened intently the whole time, pausing to gasp and interject at the appropriate points in the story.
"You sailed alone?" Angelica gasped. Ricki nodded.
"But I found Dad," Ricki smiled, turning to her father and beaming. "It was worth it in the end.
"Come with us," Ricki continued, taking her mother's hand in her own. "Come with us, and don't worry about finding a crew - join ours."
"Er," Jack began, but it was easy to see that he wasn't about to be listened to. Ricki and Angelica were in a world of their own.
"Oh, Ricki..." Angelica sighed, cupping her daughter's cheek with her hand. "So beautiful."
Ricki chuckled lightly, reaching to her face to wipe the one tear that had dared to fall from her beautiful doe eyes. Only seeing her family once again was strong enough to invoke such a reaction from her. "I'll take that as a yes, then?"
Thinking of nothing but her little girl, Angelica nodded, and Jack led her outside to discuss some 'things' that Ricki was apparently not allowed to hear. Gibbs went with them, leaving Ricki alone with the seventeen boys that were to be joining her as part of the crew of The Lady.
One of the young men approached her from behind, and asked, "So...Captain Sparrow's your father?"
Ricki turned on the boy, narrowing her eyes slightly but without being outright mean. "Yes." she said defensively. "What's it to you?"
"Nothing," the boy said coolly, not seeming at all offended. "Sheer curiosity is all."
Ricki loosened up a little bit, and offered the boy a small smile. "Ricki." she said, introducing herself.
That's it for today! A huge thank you to VivaLaPinkAndBrina for all of her help, thoughts, and suggestions on this story! She's been with me since the first one, and I thank her for her continued support. I hope everyone enjoyed the story! I just couldn't wait to get Angelica in there :) The adventures and action begin in Chapter 3! Review!