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The Pirate Mood Ring

132 moods in alphabetical order

 
Writer Key: Dove Linaelyn Melusina Stowaway
 
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  Accomplished by Stowaway  
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He polished the gleaming blade with care, turning it in the light to admire the sinuous pattern of fold lines in the steel, before attaching the braided tassel to the pommel. He weighed the sword across his fingers, checking the balance; tossed it high and caught it. Next, he wiped the scabbard and sheathed the weapon. He set it aside on the work bench while he turned his attention to the rosewood case, buffing out the final coat of wax and oiling the hinges and catch.

This was his master piece; Will Turner would be a mere apprentice no longer.
 

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  Aggravated by Stowaway  
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Anamaria just stopped herself from jumping as an arm- Jack's, of course- slipped round her waist as she stood at the Pearl's wheel in the middle watch.

"Leave off," she growled.

Jack chuckled. "Darling Anamaria," he murmured in her ear.

"Not your darling," she snapped, "nor any man's. Now leave off; you're drunk."

"Not so's you'd notice," Jack replied, chin resting on her shoulder.

She stomped hard on the toe of his boot with her bare heel. Jack yelped and let her go. He did it on purpose to get her goat, Anamaria knew. And it worked, every damn time.
 
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  Amused by Stowaway  
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They are wary of her, but not wary enough – yet.

Jack, she will allow, respected her powers more than the others (as well he should, knowing what he does) but even he could be led by the nose. It makes her want to chuckle, but that might frighten them – poor things – so she smiles instead.

She smiles, offering refreshments. She plays upon their hopes and fears until they are ripe for the plucking, ready to fall into her hands to be used as she will. Yes, even he, apple in hand, will serve her.

Ah, but it is to laugh.
 
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  Angry by Stowaway  
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Gillette stood on the Fury's deck, quivering with wrath, in a spreading pool of sea-water. The ruffians surrounding him snickered, jeering. "Not so fine now, eh, Captain?"

Pitched over the side when the attackers rammed his ship, he'd ended up here, his wig, coat and shoes gone. They'd taken his sword.

The crew parted. To his horror, Gillette found himself facing a woman.

She looked him up and down, her glance lewd. "I like a ginger man, now and again," she grinned. "Should I keep him? No?" The crew roared with laughter and, at her signal, tossed him back overboard.
 
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  Annoyed by Melusina  
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Estrella tsked over the torn hem and the stains on Miss Swann's party dress. She never had a thought of taking care of anything; that's what came of having everything handed to you on a silver platter your whole life.

Do you think Estrella would mope and sigh if she were going to marry a handsome, well-connected man like Commodore Norrington? Not hardly! If you can't marry for love, you might as well marry where love might bloom. Miss Long face should remember that before Norrington got the wrong idea; if he broke things off, where would she be then?
 
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  Anxious by Melusina  
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In the dark it was easy to touch them both, to feel the contrast between the threaded satin of Elizabeth’s dress and Jack’s rough wool coat, to pretend that there was nothing unusual about Jack’s hands on him while he tasted Elizabeth’s mouth. Gradually, they divested one another of their clothes, until the rising moon shone down upon Elizabeth’s naked form.

Will was struck with a painful misgiving. “This isn’t the wedding night you should have had.”

She pulled him down to her and he slipped easily into her body, gasping.

Triumphantly, she whispered, "But it's the one I wanted."
 
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  Apathetic by Stowaway  
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The Pearl was adrift on a sunless sea. Grey sky, grey water; there was neither wind nor sun nor waves nor shore nor life. Nothing moved in the air above her - no cloud, no bird; beneath her keel lay an abyss wherein no thing swam save her captor.

She spun helplessly in a slow circle, caught in the diminishing eddy stirred by the kraken as it submerged. It had left her here and gone, bound on she cared not what errand for that devil at whose command the monster had reft her of all.

Jack, her Captain, was gone.
 
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  Artistic by Stowaway  
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They had drunk, to be sure, a great deal of rum the night before. Ignoring the pounding in his head, Jack dipped the tiny brush into the ink and continued his careful work, limning a very passable likeness of the Black Pearl on the living canvas of James's back.

Finished, he sat back admiring the view; grinning as a brilliant notion occurred.

No, he mustn't.

Giving in to temptation with, it must be admitted, very little struggle, he signed his drawing with a flourish. "Property of" on the left cheek, and "Captain Jack Sparrow" on the right.

James slumbered on.
 
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  Awake by Melusina  
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Curling up closer to James, Jack inhaled the intoxicating scent of the previous night's lovemaking which lingered on James' skin. James pulled away, grumbling sleepily, and Jack rubbed up against him again, more than ready for another round.

"Leave off," James mumbled. "I'm trying to sleep."

Ignoring James' protests, Jack pressed himself against James' backside and nibbled on his neck. In response, James elbowed him firmly in the gut.

Gasping in pain, Jack abandoned his efforts. A few moments later, James rolled over and grasped hold of Jack's cock.

"I thought you were sleeping."

"I was. But I'm awake now."
 
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  Bitchy by Melusina  
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James’ Great Aunt Henrietta peered dubiously through her pince-nez at Cecilia, and, directing herself at James, said, “She is a pretty girl, but your bride is very witty, is she not?”

James smiled warmly at Cecilia. "She is an accomplished and well-read young woman, it's true."

They beamed at one another happily, until Great Aunt Henrietta gave a disgusted harrumph. "A bluestocking, in other words." In an acidic tone, she continued, “I despise wit in a lady, it’s vulgar.”

Smiling sweetly and putting on her most vapid look, Cecilia retorted, “How lucky for you that you’re entirely lacking in it!”
 
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  Blah by Stowaway  
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Elizabeth sighed when her father tapped upon her door. "Come in," she said, after a moment.

"Still in bed?" he asked, taking her hand and placing a kiss upon her hair. "Are you ill, child?"

She shook her head, giving him a wan smile. "No, Father, I am well." In truth she felt no discomfort; nor ease, for that matter. Pleasure and displeasure were strangers to her since Norrington's proposal. "A little out of sorts, perhaps."

"I am going to Somerset," Swann said. "A change of scene might do you good. Will you come?"

"If you wish it, Father, yes."
 
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  Blank by Melusina  
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James' grandmother's ring cut into Elizabeth's hand; it was just the slightest bit too small, and there was a small red mark on her finger where a rough spot on the setting was rubbing her skin. She could have sent it to a jeweler to be repaired, but she couldn't be bothered. It didn't matter.

She'd made her bargain, and the rest of her life was simply paying her debt. She owed it to James to play the part, now fiancée, later wife. The ring was part of the costume, so she wore it, no matter how badly it pinched.
 
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  Bored by Stowaway  
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"Guard duty again," Murtogg grumbled, pushing his supper around the plate. "It's all we ever do. Bloody exciting life, this, Mulroy."

"I dunno," his friend replied. "Doesn't seem too bad to me. Beats hell out of guard duty on the Dauntless, don't it? Here, we get into town now and again."

Murtogg shrugged.

Just then, there was a frightful roar and the entire fort shook.

"Be careful what you wish for, mate," Mulroy muttered in his ear. They scrambled to the ramparts, muskets in hand, just as the second broadside hit the town.

Barbossa's assault on Port Royal had begun.
 
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  Bouncy by Stowaway  
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Parrot shifted from foot to foot, bobbing his head. His claws gripped tight once more to a familiar shoulder. The scent, the gait; everything was right again.

He shuffled along the upraised arm to perch on the hand, where he clutched tight with his claws and spread his wings to flap vigorously for a long time. He screeched his glee and sang snatches of song.

Taking wing, Parrot flew in a wide circle round the ship, before landing once more on the beloved shoulder. He nibbled fondly on the ear and danced awhile longer. It was good to be home.
 
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  Busy by Stowaway  
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"I won't be a moment, Mr. Fellowes," Will said.

His customer nodded, turning back to his study of the swords displayed at the front of the shop. Will joined him there. They were discussing the merits of basket hilts when the journeyman interrupted with urgent questions regarding an inscription on a blade. As Fellowes departed, after bespeaking two blades, another customer entered just as a harassed Will was about to resume his own work. Leaving his journeyman to carry on, he headed up front.

"Need more helpers," the journeyman opined, under his breath.

Will sighed, nodding. Another thing to do.
 
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  Calm by Melusina  
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Weatherby completed his business in London rapidly. With Sophia and the babe gone, there was nothing to keep him in England; the appointment in Jamaica had been impeccably timed. It would be good for Elizabeth to have something to take her mind off her loss.

Weatherby felt no sadness at closing up their London house; that life was behind him now. He made all the arrangements with his agents and took leave of his friends with nary a qualm.

This departure was nothing to Sophia's. He'd already faced the worst parting of his life; after that, nothing could touch him.
 
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  Cheerful by Stowaway  
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Will smiled to himself as he worked, these days. And hummed. And even, now and then, when no one was nearby, sang. Oh, to be sure, there were times when he would consider all the ways in which this… this fairy tale he found himself in the middle of could go horribly wrong, and then the crease would appear between his brows and he would fall silent for a time.

But then a servant would come from Government House with a note from Elizabeth inviting him to dinner, and he would know once more that it was real. And smile.
 
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  Chipper by Stowaway  
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He whistled softly through his teeth as he rubbed down the dainty mare. She nipped at him playfully; he laughed and swatted her flank. "None o' that, you hussy," he told her. Sprite shook her head; went back to munching her hay.

In the tack room, still whistling, he polished the mare's bridle until it gleamed. The head groom, peevish, told him to leave off the racket.

But hadn't Miss Swann given him, Joe Barnes, the youngest stable boy, a whole silver penny today? "Because," she'd said, "no one takes care of Sprite half so well." Joe whistled louder still.
 
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  Cold by Stowaway  
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Elizabeth huddled a fur tippet around her, ignoring the never-ending amusement of her cousins, clad in their summer gowns and wearing the gauziest of shawls. This weather could not be natural, her uncle's assurances notwithstanding. She shivered miserably as Cousin Antheia let down the window of the coach, "To let in the lovely, warm air."

Two months she had been here, visiting her family in Kent. Everyone spoke of what a fine summer it was, but she had begun to think they were all mad.

England had grown grey and damp since she came away. She wanted to go home.
 
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  Complacent by Stowaway  
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Governor Swann contemplated the parchment before him with great satisfaction and a stir of anticipation.

Young Post Captain Norrington was made Commodore at the tender age of thirty. No doubt about it, the boy was marked out for great things. Admiral, in due time, of course, and then… Who knew how high such a man might rise?

Now, with this promotion in his pocket, Norrington would (finally) ask for permission to address Elizabeth, Swann was sure of it. Well, he knew what his answer would be.

Then he could retire, with his darling child advantageously settled.

An excellent match indeed.
 
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  Confused by Melusina  
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When Will finally asked Elizabeth about the kiss, she cried and grew sullen, then stalked off in a huff. Afterwards, Jack appeared with a bottle of rum and passed it silently to Will. Normally it would have offended Will's sensibilities to be drinking so early in the day, but under the circumstances, he considered it medicinal.

Jack didn't speak until the waxing moon was large on the horizon. Will started and realized he was drunk.

"What do you intend to do with your bonnie lass, when this adventure is over?"

"Don't mock me!"

"Not a chance, son, not a chance."
 
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  Contemplative by Melusina  
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The pale morning light washed across the dingy sheets, softening all Anamaria's hard edges; in repose, the angry set of her mouth had relaxed into a small smile. James flattered himself that he was somewhat responsible for her pleasant dreams.

He made to touch her hair, then thought better of it. When she awoke, she would be prickly and bellicose again. It was only in the dark, or in these early morning hours before she woke, that he saw this side of her. It was a rare and precious thing to see her unguarded, and he wanted to savor it.
 
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  Content by Stowaway  
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The afternoon shower wakes him from a light doze, drumming on the deck above the bunk. He hears the gurgle of the scuppers and a faint creak as the ship tugs gently at her anchor chain in the breeze. He listens drowsily as the miniature tempest blows itself out and silence falls once more. So unlike the fogs and misty rains of England. Almost, for a moment, he longs for home; dreams of a return.

Just then the warm weight against his side stirs, lips brushing his neck as Jack mutters in his sleep.

Then again, James thinks, perhaps not.
 
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  Cranky by Stowaway  
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"Leave me here to die," Gillette said in sepulchral tones. "I want nothing."

Groves laughed, making Gillette curl into a ball and groan. "It's naught save a hangover, you will be better presently."

"I shan't," the sufferer replied. "Go away."

Still chuckling, Groves pulled the blanket back and yanked the pillow out of Gillette's grasp. "Get up, slugabed!" he cried.

Gillette came to his feet, fist swinging. "Hell and the devil confound you, Theo," he snarled. "Ow!" He stumbled back as Groves threw open the curtains and sunlight flooded the room. "I hate you," he moaned.

Groves went on laughing.
 
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  Crappy by Stowaway  
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Commodore Norrington threw the letter down in disgust. Yet another bureaucratic functionary at Admiralty inquiring, with veiled but biting sarcasm, as to why, exactly, the notorious Captain Jack Sparrow and the crew of the Black Pearl had not yet been laid by the heels. Naval incompetence was implied.

During their meetings (too rare on the one hand and imprudently frequent on the other) Jack took good care never to tell him the precise whereabouts of the Pearl, and James was just as careful not to ask. Nevertheless…

Norrington sprang up and paced his office, scowling. Gah. The situation was untenable.
 
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  Crazy by Melusina  
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Jack had to hand it to the old Watchmaker, if this was hell, it was cunningly devised. Above all, Jack craved variety and excitement; this vast, sandy plain was unchanging. Even the sky was uniformly grey, without sun or moon to break the monotony.

The nothingness echoed in his ears, wearing at his mind like water on stone until his senses came untethered. He wandered aimlessly, shouting nonsensical rhymes and bits of song. He'd played at being daft before, but this was something different -- genuine madness -- and the small part of him that remained despised himself for it.
 
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  Creative by Stowaway  
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They lay panting, sweaty and spent; stuck together in places. The sheets were a mess. The last candle guttered on the table, wax spilling as the Pearl rocked on a gentle swell.

"I don't think," James said, after a time, "that I ever would have thought of quite that use for avocado."

Jack, eyes closed, looked smug. "I told you to trust me," he murmured. "You have yet to learn sufficient appreciation of my artistic temperament, mate."

James rolled, stretched out along Jack's body, nibbling on the offered mouth, and chuckled. "Is that what they are calling it these days?"
 
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  Crushed by Stowaway  
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He was pacing, abstracted, when his friend came in, shaking rain from his cloak. Gillette's greeting died mid-word as Groves looked up. "Good God, what is it?" he cried.

"I made Amalthea an offer today," Groves replied, staring into the fire.

Gillette pushed him into an armchair; obliged him to drink some brandy. "And?" he prompted.

Groves sighed. "No rank below Post Captain has any chance with her."

Gillette winced. Mercenary bitch, he thought, doesn't deserve him. What he said was, "Get your cloak."

They went drinking; but it was many days before poor Groves's spirits improved to any degree.
 
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  Curious by Melusina  
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Exotic gifts arrived mysteriously, dumped on the doorstep or posted anonymously: gaudy, bright jewels entirely unsuited to Elizabeth’s new station as a tradesman’s wife; strange weapons with oddly shaped blades and strange hilts that Will eagerly studied for inspiration; a length of fine velvet, as black as midnight and as soft as down.

"What in the world does he expect us to do with this? It's not enough for a dress, nor even a waistcoat!"

Will looked up from the accompanying letter, his eyebrows raised in amusement and surprise. “Actually, Jack has some very specific instructions right here. . .”
 
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  Cynical by Stowaway  
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Puppets, he thought, was a fitter metaphor than chess pieces, for all that they were, every one of them, his pawns. Pieces on a board did one's work, to be sure, but no matter how one used them they simply stood where one put them, insensate and inanimate. He preferred livelier prey; wanted to see them twitch and jerk, responding to his slightest touch upon their strings. Amusing to watch them struggle, in futile search for means of escape, until he, the puppet master, brought them each into line.

Beckett smirked. Time for the next act.

"Bring me William Turner."
 
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  Depressed by Stowaway  
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Ragetti woke from a heavy sleep when Pintel shook his arm. He spent a lot of time asleep, every minute he could.

"They're bringing food," Pintel was saying. "Come on. Keep up your strength."

Ragetti turned away and closed his eyes. "No point in eating," he muttered. "Still gonna hang."

Keys rattled as guards brought hard tack and water to the Pearl's whilom crew. Ragetti ignored them, even when Pintel put his ration down next to him.

Pintel whispered, "If you don't eat, how you gonna come with me when I escape?"

"Hope's for fools," Ragetti answered, and dozed off again.
 
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  Determined by Stowaway  
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Will scowled and gripped the stylus so fiercely that his fingers cramped as he stared at the exercise on his slate.

He would learn this. He would. Miss Swann expected no less.

Governor Swann had, very kindly, taken an interest in his welfare and had arranged for Will to attend school five mornings a week. Old Brown had grumbled, but went along with it, for a price. Will knew the idea was Miss Swann's, for she had whispered as much to him when she'd visited the smithy with her father.

Will set his jaw. He would learn it. For her.
 
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  Devious by Melusina  
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Exhausted from their labors, Jack and James spent the afternoon lazing on the beach. The sun was warm, and Jack was almost asleep when James spoke. "Damnable thing about the raft; I really thought this one would work."

"No worries, love, we'll get it right eventually."

"I suppose it could be worse. At least we've plenty of food and fresh water."

"And rum. Not to mention engaging company."

"Speaking of which. . ."

There was no more talk of rafts that day, to Jack's relief. There were only so many ways to sabotage the bloody things before James got suspicious.
 
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  Dirty by Dove  
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Will slid to a stop at the bottom of the muddy slope. The sounds of their pursuit were growing closer, and Jack yanked Will to his feet and flung him forward.

"Go, go!" he urged, breathless with exertion or exhilaration--Will could not say which.

They ran through a dense thicket of broad-leafed trees, cut across the corner of a cane field, and stumbled to a halt on a craggy ledge.

"I don't know how I let you talk me into this," Will panted, pulling several twigs from his hair.

Jack grinned, teeth gleaming in his mud-smeared face. "I do."
 
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  Disappointed by Melusina  
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The Pearl's tattered sails hung slack in the still air. Hundreds of gulls swooped around the rigging, calling indignantly at the intruders. White feathers drifted in the air and the dark deck was spattered with bird droppings.

Elizabeth stood on the deck, watching the water eddy and swirl around the ship while the others searched in vain. Their steps echoed eerily on the boards as they spread out, repeating, "Jack? Jack?" until their voices blended and ran over each other, mimicking the harsh cries of the gulls.

One by one they returned, confirming what Elizabeth already knew: the ship was empty.
 
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  Discontent by Linaelyn  
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Marty had spoken strong words of concern but Gibbs was reassuring, as always. They'd been weeks, nay, months without a proper piracy, and Jack seemed strange...er.

The others in Jack's motley assortment could look elsewhere for a berth. Gibbs, though a drunkard, would be welcome on many a crew, naval-trained as he was. Anamaria had a ship of her own now, her sex and race notwithstanding. Even tongueless Cotton wasn't as trapped aboard the Black Pearl as he was.

No one wanted a dwarf aboard. "Bad luck," they all said.

Bound on a fool's errand with a ship of fools.
 
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  Distressed by Stowaway  
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When Cook limped into the kitchen at Government House (she'd brained one raider with a kettle, wrenching her knee) it was to see two of the scullery maids weeping, wringing their hands distractedly, while the pastry chef sat amongst the wreckage, holding his head. The other servants had gone.

She looked around her once-orderly domain and felt tears prick her eyelids. Her face hardened. "Fetch brooms and mops," she snapped at the maids.

"Oh no, ma'am, I daren't," one wailed. "Pirates!"

"The pirates are gone. Now move before I take a stick to ye." There was work to be done.
 
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  Ditzy by Melusina  
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Elizabeth opened her eyes wider and smiled apologetically. "I'm sorry sir, I must have misspoke. I didn't mean that book, I meant the one on the next shelf up. With the red binding."

The bookdealer sighed. "That's the third time ye've changed yer mind, Miss." But he ascended the ladder to the book she'd indicated.

From the dark corner, Jack motioned that he needed more time.

Elizabeth laughed artlessly. "Stupid me! That color will clash terribly with the library rug. I'm sure Papa would rather have the one with the green binding." She pointed at the far shelf. "Over there."
 
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  Dorky by Melusina  
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Will was returning from the fort when he saw Miss Swann walking on the High Street with her maid, looking clean and composed in a white dress. She waved gaily as she approached, but the warm greeting on her lips failed as Will, too intent on her to watch his step, stumbled and fell, splashing muck all over her dress.

The street echoed with laughter. Will bumbled to his feet, stuttering out an apology. She smiled sweetly and said it was nothing, but Will couldn't forgive himself for making an ass of himself in front of Miss Swann -- again!
 
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  Drained by Stowaway  
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Governor Swann sat in Commodore Norrington’s office, staring at nothing. Tired… so very tired. Was it really just twelve hours ago that the world had changed?

Then: a peaceful evening stroll with (please God) his future son-in-law.

Now: the waterfront in ruins, townsfolk dead or injured, the Navy hard hit.

Then – it seemed another lifetime – his worst fear was that his headstrong daughter might refuse Norrington.

Now his darling child was gone – abducted for he dared not think what purpose. And that impetuous boy planning who knew what foolhardiness…

Swann groaned softly. Norrington would find her. They would find her.
 
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  Drunk by Linaelyn  
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It was a bit like floating in calm seawater: a weightlessness, and sound all muffled and strange. Running his tongue over them, he noticed he couldn't quite feel his lips, and when he tried to speak, the words didn't come out properly. His nose was numb too, though his tongue could still taste the ale without any trouble. In fact, this one was sweeter than the first three (or was it four?) cups had been.

Young Will sat at the trestle in the tavern, and Master Brown brought him yet another.

"Drink up!" Brown slurred, "Y'er a proper journeyman, now!"
 
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  Ecstatic by Linaelyn  
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Together, they had lifted the curse of the Aztec Gods and destroyed Barbossa and his crew.

Together, they had stopped the hanging and freed Captain Jack Sparrow.

Together, they had battled the Kraken and escaped from Davy Jones.

Together, the had traveled to World's End and returned with Jack and his precious Pearl.

Together, before the eyes of God and everyone (even Captain Sparrow and Captain Barbossa and Captain Norrington) they had joined in holy matrimony.

Together, they had somehow managed, despite death and doom and tragedy, to arrive at "happily ever after."

Against all odds. Against everyone's expectations.

Together.
 
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  Embarrassed by Stowaway  
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Captain Carter prided himself on his seamanship. He liked to think that he could out-sail and out-fight any pirate or coasting smuggler in the Caribbean. His Redoubtable had the best record of victories of all the Jamaica squadron. He'd boasted of it more than once and, perhaps, too loudly. It was taken, in certain quarters, as a challenge.

He suffered, therefore, considerable mortification when Redoubtable was neatly dismasted and boarded by the 26-gun sloop Fury. Fuming, he stood with the remnant of his men; the pirate captain approached. Rage became apoplexy as Anamaria, grinning, broke his sword over her knee.
 
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  Energetic by Stowaway  
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Jack the Monkey scampered up the shrouds to the maintop and thence to the crow's nest, earning a curse from the man on watch with a bite to his ankle.

Before the pirate could retaliate, Jack shot down a forestay to a point where he could leap to the foresail yard. He stayed there some time, gibbering and grimacing, jumping up and down and daring the man to shoot him.

Eventually the game palled and he shot down a back stay and dove through the open hatch in search of the ship's cat, then to the galley to torment Cook.
 
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  Enraged by Linaelyn  
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The slavers had always come to these shores, ever since his grandmother's grandmother's time.

The slavers came and took the foolish and the the unwary; he was neither. He was strong. He was wise. He had completed the warrior's rites.

Yet even a warrior may be overpowered by superior numbers. Many hyenas may bring one leopard to bay.

His training served him well. He slowed his pounding heart, controlled his labored breathing. The hatred surging through him would not control his actions. Only careful calculation would save the leopard now.

Bo'sun bided his time, waiting for his chance to come.
 
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  Enthralled by Melusina  
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Bereft of wig and coat, James sat at his desk, his head bent low over his correspondence. The freshly-barbered nape of his neck was pristine, with a single streak of dried soap.

Unobserved, Jack sat in the window and let his eyes linger on this enticing prospect. He imagined running his tongue along the smooth skin, the sound James would make, and all that would follow. Unable to pull his eyes away, he fell gracelessly into the room with a thud.

James chuckled. "About time! I was beginning to think you were going to sit there all night. . ."
 
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  Envious by Melusina  
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"Mary, mother of God!" Gibbs stared unabashedly at the pretty blonde whose body was entwined with Anamaria's. "Warn a man next time afore you bring your whores aboard."

"Shove off, Gibbs, unless you're willing to kick in and share." She figured this would get rid of him in a hurry, but he must have been as tired of his good right hand as she was of hers, because he jutted out his chin and said, "I've got gold, same as her."

Therese's blue eyes narrowed avariciously as she gestured toward the bed. "In that case, the more the merrier, eh?"
 
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  Exanimate by Melusina  
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Hector's been alive and cursed and good and truly dead; resurrected's not like any of those. He can enjoy all the pleasures of the flesh, just as he did when he was alive, but he's haunted by the knowledge of what's to come, when he's no longer undead, but merely dead again.

It's enough to make him hate Tia Dalma, for all that he owes what life he has to her. He's not her lackey, to come and go from death at her whim. Still, where there's life, or even the imitation of life, there's hope. Hector waits and hopes.
 
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  Excited by Stowaway  
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“Miss Elizabeth,” Estrella exclaimed, “give over, do! We’ll never be ready in time for the ceremony if you don’t stop fidgeting.”

The bride held herself still for a few moments before she forgot her maid’s injunction and was jigging up and down, and craning her neck to see her gown in the mirror.

Estrella huffed an exasperated breath and muttered, “If we hadn’t already done your hair up so nicely, I’d box your ears, see if I don’t.”

Elizabeth laughed and, whirling round, caught the other in a tight hug. “You wouldn’t!”

The maid laughed, too. “No, Miss. Not today.”
 
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  Exhausted by Stowaway  
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"That," Gibbs said, gasping, "was the worst storm I've ever seen nor heard of." He lay stretched full length on the Pearl's main deck as she rocked on the choppy swells of the hurricane's passing. "And we was only on the edges. God help any ship caught full on."

Cotton nodded. Marty grunted agreement, too worn out to speak.

Jack stumbled down from the quarterdeck and collapsed with his back to the mast. "Anamaria," his voice was hoarse from shouting against the gale, "were any lost?"

"Two; Simmons and Layton," she replied, laid flat and panting.

"God rest their souls."
 
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  Flirty by Melusina  
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Jack caught Elizabeth's hand in his own. "Not like that." With infinite care, he unfolded her fingers, freeing her thumb. "You'll break your thumb, throwing a punch like that."

Her skin prickled beneath his practiced touch. She attempted to pull her hand back, but his fingers tightened around her wrist. Elizabeth gave an inadvertent shiver.

He acknowledged this with a flash of gold – nothing got past him – and then carried on as if nothing had happened, carefully pressing her fingers back down onto her palm so that her thumb rested alongside them. "There." He offered his chin. "Now try it."
 
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  Frustrated by Melusina  
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"Well, that didn’t go as planned."

Jack suspected that it was almost worth it to James to stay imprisoned, so long as he had the satisfaction of knowing that Jack had been wrong. Jack would've liked to wipe the smirk off James' face, but that would have necessitated letting go of the windowsill and dropping ten feet to the ground. All in all, it probably wouldn't be worth it.

"I'm taking suggestions, love."

"I have an idea. . ."

"Yes?"

"I just need to hear one thing before I share it."

Jack ground his teeth together. "You told me so."
 
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  Full by Stowaway  
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The Black Pearl limped into Nassau port for repairs and the crew, after weeks of short commons, had all but stampeded ashore in search of a meal. Most of them had ended up at the Mop and Kettle; Fat Marthe was famous for her cooking.

Elizabeth pushed her plate away. "I can't eat another bite," she said. Will made no answer, busy with his third (or was it fourth?) helping of fish chowder. Jack picked over the bones of a roast fowl and nibbled cheese.

"Good feeling, though," he said, "not being hungry."

Elizabeth smiled, patted her stomach, and nodded.
 
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  Geeky by Melusina  
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James watched intently as Jack sketched in the coastline with a few deft strokes. He cocked his head, and then resumed, indicating the shoals that lay offshore.

James closed his eyes, picturing the scene again. "The bay is further west; there's that rocky bit here, before you get to it."

Jack sucked on his bottom lip thoughtfully before redrawing that stretch of coast.

"The river--"

"Aye." Jack was already making the corrections.

It was midnight before they agreed that the map was accurate, and their eyes were red and strained. Tedious work, but well worth it in the end.
 
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  Giddy by Stowaway  
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"And when he asked me to dance, I thought I should swoon clean away!" Amelia Palmer declared, raising a dramatic hand to her forehead.

The ladies withdrawing room at Government House susurrated with ecstatic sighs and exclamations. Amelia’s audience - composed entirely of very young ladies - closed around her in a tight knot, heedlessly crushing of their brocaded skirts. Chaperons watched indulgently from across the wide chamber.

"What happened next?" Elizabeth asked, in a whisper.

"Well," Amelia simpered, "he did say he intended to call upon Papa tomorrow."

A chorus of squeals greeted this stupendous news, until the duennas restored order.
 
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  Giggly by Stowaway  
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She clapped both hands over her mouth, eyes dancing and cheeks flushed, but could not muffle her hilarity. Her father frowned at her, which just made matters worse.

"Elizabeth," he began, with some foreboding, "whatever have you done…"

At that moment, a shriek of feminine outrage startled the company, who turned to see Lady Benchley's wig clutched in the tiny paw of the Countess of Prestongale's marmoset, which was capering across the drawing room floor. The incorrigible creature had somehow escaped its confinement below stairs.

Ten year old Elizabeth, banished in her turn, still thought it a very good joke.
 
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  Gloomy by Linaelyn  
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Black oblivion. Piercing cold. The crushing weight of a mile of water above him.

"If this isn't Hell, then it's a fair facsimilie," thought Bootstrap Bill.

His luck had run out some time ago, long before they'd strapped him to this cannon and dropped him to the depths. Long before he'd failed to stand against the mutiny, even. No, his luck had been abysmal since he'd asked Jack to take him to crew on the Pearl.

Abysmal. Here he was, down in the abyss, with no chance for rescue. No chance even for release in death.

Hope deserted Bill Turner.

with thanks to estellongshanks for the idea
 
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  Good by Stowaway  
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Norrington stood on the quarterdeck, hands folded behind him, watching the topmen set the foret'gallant with a sharp eye. They knew their business, as of course they would, on such a ship.

He thought of his extraordinary good fortune. To have been in the right place at the right time and to have caught the Admiral's eye. His father had written congratulations.

First Lieutenant aboard Dauntless, bound for Port Royal. It was a prime posting; with extremely good prospects for prizes. Prizes meant prize money, and the battles to win them meant excellent chance for promotion.

Norrington smiled to himself.
 
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  Grateful by Melusina  
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"Lieutenant -- Captain Norrington!"

When James turned, Will stood behind him, red-faced and panting.

"Yes, Will, what is it?"

"I wanted to catch you before the Interceptor sailed." He thrust forward a small package. "To congratulate you on your first command."

Unwinding the shabby fabric, James discovered a small, sturdy dagger.

Will blushed redder. "I made it myself."

"It's fine work for an apprentice." The dagger was nicely balanced and the hilt fit neatly into James' hand. "Thank you."

Will looked up and squared his shoulders, giving James a glimpse of the man he'd grow into. "No, sir, thank you."
 
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  Groggy by Stowaway  
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(afterpiece to linaelyn's Drunk)

Will opened his eyes and shut them again, throwing his arm over his face for good measure. The light in his (windowless) attic was painfully bright. He groaned. What was wrong with him? He remembered the tavern, and Mister Brown buying him ale…

"Will," Brown repeated, shaking him and holding the candle up to shine in his eyes. "The farrier's broken his arm and we've got ten cursed mules to shoe. Shift yourself, boy."

It was several moments before his meaning penetrated the fog in Will's head. When it did, he winced. It was going to be a wonderful day.
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  Grumpy by Stowaway  
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Jack's foot slipped on the crumbly slope and he cursed under his breath. "Whose bloody brilliant idea was it to take this route?" he grumbled.

Gibbs, right below him, made shushing sounds. "Quiet, Cap'n," he whispered, "we're in earshot of the place. And t'idea were yourn."

Jack hauled himself up another foot. "Why didn't you stop me?" he whispered back.

A soft snort. "Stop you? How?"

Jack felt around for the next finger-hold. "I'm amenable to reason."

"Mother of God give me patience," Gibbs snapped. "Amenable as any mule."

"Well, I still don't like it," Jack said peevishly.

Gibbs sighed.
 
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  Guilty by Melusina  
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Tia Dalma eyed Elizabeth skeptically. "You tellin' me you ain't never laid with a man? Pretty girl like you?"

Pretty is as pretty does, Elizabeth thought, and what she'd done was ugly. She felt it like a stain on her skin. No matter how she scrubbed her hands, she couldn't seem to get them clean. "Yes, I'm--" Not innocent. "A maid."

"If you want to help, you'll have to fix that." Tia Dalma flicked her eyes at Will. "You willing?"

The thought of using Will as a means to an end turned Elizabeth's stomach. "Yes."

What had she become?
 
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  Happy by Melusina  
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Outside a storm raged, rattling the windows, but inside Will and Elizabeth were snug and warm in their bed. By the golden glow of the lamplight, Elizabeth read her novel; Will was nearly asleep. His head was pillowed on her breast and he could feel her heart beating steady and slow beneath his cheek, while she gently stroked his hair.

She started suddenly and cried. "There!"

Grabbing his hand, she pressed it against the hard curve of her belly. Something rippled beneath his palm, a faint but definite tickling.

"Is that him?"

She grinned, "That's him. Practicing his footwork already."
 
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  High by Melusina  
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(afterpiece to my Nervous)

The ocean spread out below Elizabeth, blue and empty as far as the eye could see, and above her the sky was clear and blue, with a few clouds gathering on the horizon. The wind that propelled the ship forward buffeted her, tugging at her shirt and pulling the hair from her braid. It was a bit like falling, except that falling was terrifying and over in a second, and this was exhilarating and it went on and on. She inhaled deeply, smelling salt and rain on the air, and thought, no, this is nothing like falling. It's like flying.
 
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  Hopeful by Melusina  
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Elizabeth understood little of what her captors said, but she recognized the word mujer -- woman -- and with a sinking heart, realized they'd seen through her disguise. A respite arrived, in the form of a small boy with a message. The soldiers greeted this with much excited chatter, and, reaching an agreement, left her chained to the wall.

When they returned, there was a familiar flash of red amongst the dingy uniforms, and her spirits lifted. Beneath the scarf, Jack's face was urbane and amused; he gave no sign of recognition. But it was enough that he was there.
 
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  Horny by Stowaway  
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As he climbed to the Commodore's window, Jack wondered what sort of welcome he'd find this time. There was no telling with James, he thought, for under that stoic exterior Jack had found a mercurial creature; unpredictable as the sea.

He swung a leg over the sill and dropped lightly to the floor, only to be seized upon and slammed against the wall. Hard thigh between his, hard mouth crushed to his lips, hard cock pressed against his hip.

Jack moaned encouragingly and wriggled one arm free to pull James closer.

Oh yes, this was the mood he liked best.
 
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  Hot by Melusina  
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The smithy was sweltering, as always. The fire raged in the forge, making even the tropical heat outside feel like a blissful respite, and Will's shirt was damp with sweat from his labors. But Will couldn't blame his fever on the forge nor the weather – he'd grown accustomed to both. It was Elizabeth alone who made his blood boil: her wicked kisses and teasing fingers and the indecent (but so enticing) way she touched him when they had a moment alone.

There was no dousing this fire, not until their wedding night. Two months to go; until then, Will burned.
 
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  Hungry by Stowaway  
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Barbossa held his quarterdeck, boots planted wide on the planking he could not feel. Pride kept him stock still, pride and caution. The crew watched; any sign of weakness could mean the end of his hold on them. They were too close to success for him to falter now.

Port Royal was theirs. Barbossa bared his teeth. Soon. Soon he would taste life again. He wanted to feel wind again, salt spray. He wanted to smell the tar that bubbled from the deck in noonday sunshine. He wanted a woman, he wanted wine.

Most of all, he wanted an apple.
 
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  Hyper by Stowaway  
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Oh, Jack was in rare form tonight, Gibbs thought. Lookit 'im, near about bouncing off the walls, he was. The whole common room rocked with laughter at his sallies.

Jack always livened up whenever he had an audience, but tonight's tale was better than most.

They'd stopped Captain Gillette's frigate and relieved him of all his powder and shot, stripped him, without firing a gun. Sent him running back to Port Royal in a fine temper.

Gibbs chuckled as Jack leapt onto a table, miming Gillette's fury to gales of mirth.

Yes, the wild mood was well earned, this time.
 
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  Impressed by Stowaway  
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He really was an astonishing rogue, Groves thought, later that day, when the Dauntless's rudder was repaired and they were under sail at last. Too clever by half, of course. A danger to law and order, naturally. Damnably attractive even so with his cheeky swagger and dash, his wicked eyes and golden grin.

Poor Gillette was very nearly beside himself with rage at being out maneuvered by the man. And the Commodore, for all that he was perfectly civil to his officers, was in a black mood as well. But Groves still thought him the best pirate he'd ever seen.
 
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  Indescribable by Linaelyn  
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"Pull the grates! Get all the gunpowder onto the net in the cargo hold!" Will ordered.

Elizabeth followed close behind him, surely the one whom Will would entrust with this task. He passed her the best of the remaining guns.

"Whatever you do, don't miss."

"As soon as you're clear," she replied, cold steel in her voice.

In the span of less than a heartbeat, each warred with the other; wordless, each knowing what passed in the other's thoughts.

They exchanged a miniscule nod. Will won.

Elizabeth would shoot the powder-kegs, even if he failed to leap away.

Elizabeth lied.
 
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  Indifferent by Stowaway  
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The thing about Mercer was that he simply didn't care. He looked upon his world unmoved; going where he was sent and doing what he was told with unruffled calm. He knew Lord Beckett valued him for his absolute sang froid, but he didn't care about that, either.

It made him very good at his job.

He had disposed of inconvenient witnesses, collected ransoms on already-dead hostages, spied, blackmailed, committed arson, served as gaoler and executioner, tortured and broken innocent men (and women, if it came to that) and sold their children into slavery.

And he just did not care.
 
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  Infuriated by Stowaway  
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She should have known better; hell, she did know better. Anamaria stood on the (empty) beach, scowling at the gouges in the sand, the only traces left of the Jolly Mon, that were even now being erased by the tide.

He'd wheedled and cajoled, pestering her long after any sensible man would've given up and left her in peace. Everyone knew that 'no' meant 'NO' from Anamaria.

Everyone except Jack Sparrow.

She'd let him buy her a meal; why not, if he was fool enough to offer? And rum, of course. He'd dosed the damn rum.

And stole her boat.
 
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  Intimidated by Stowaway  
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Seven of them. Seven bloody agents of the bloody East India Trading Company. All wide awake, all staring straight at him. Jack shifted a little in his chains, trying not to jingle the damned things, looking for a comfortable position. There wasn't one, apparently.

He still heard Black Bart's laughter, heard him proposing the wager. And he, like a fool, had taken it, so certain he would win.

Jack'd rather die than admit it (and, come to think of it, he might), but perhaps, just perhaps, he'd bitten off more than he could chew this time.

It didn't look good.
 
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  Irate by Linaelyn  
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He wasn't accustomed to such fierce opposition. Truth be told, he wasn't accustomed to any opposition, ever.

The Master had summoned him so much more often of late, and the prey were none of the storm-weakened morsels that he preferred.

This last ship had fired cannon and smaller guns, which was only to be expected from a vessel too large to easily devour in a single gulp. That burning, limb-rending explosion had been too much, however.

Again, he rose from the sheltering sea to swallow the creature with the indigestible hat and the Black Spot --

-- or die trying.
 
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"Really, Mister Sparrow," Norrington scowled, "your timing is more than a little suspect."

Jack's smile widened. "That's Captain Sparrow," he said, all bland insouciance. "A little courtesy if you please, considering who's in whose debt here."

Norrington huffed a breath through his nose and turned away. Damn the man, he thought.

"James, mate," Sparrow went on and Norrington stiffened at the insinuation in the pirate's tone. "You ought thank me. You need us to tow you off this sandbar..."

"We were chasing smugglers," he replied, goaded.

"Who work for me," Jack replied, grinning.

"I might have known."

"Yes, you might."
 
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  Jealous by Melusina  
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Will is -- not to put too fine a point on it -- spying on Jack and Elizabeth. Her head is inclined towards Jack, and he's teasing her about something (Will can tell from the matching grins on their faces). They're not touching; it's all very proper, and yet the air around them shimmers with possibility.

Will trusts Elizabeth, truly he does. But there's something in Jack that calls to her; Will sees that now and suspects it's something that's entirely absent in his own makeup. She loves Will. He knows this. But is that enough to hold her attention?
 
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  Jubilant by Stowaway  
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Pausing in his labours, Jack stood for a moment, grinning like a fool. The sound of a fiddle came faint from the party still in full swing topside. He laughed aloud and began to dance, alone in the great cabin of the Black Pearl, stamping and twirling like a dervish; sash flying, beads clicking.

"Mine at last!" he crowed, "Mine again at last."

Finally, winded, he stood, hands on knees, and chuckled, amused (if somewhat embarrassed); grateful the door was locked.

Straightening, he danced a few more steps and tossed yet another armload of Barbossa's effects out the stern windows.
 
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  Lazy by Stowaway  
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Jack yawned, opened his eyes, blinked, and yawned again. For a time he stared at the hypnotic motion of the palm fronds swaying in the breeze, dark against the cerulean sky. He turned his head – pillowed on James's hip – looked at the Pearl, anchored in the tiny bay; smiled. His girl. Looking in the opposite direction, he saw his crew, all but the two on watch aboard ship, lying scattered – sound asleep - across the sand under the trees like jetsam; the bonfire and rum casks beyond.

Something needed doing; he couldn't remember what.

No matter. There was always tomorrow.
 
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  Lethargic by Melusina  
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Jack sprawled on the sand, watching the tide come in. There was nothing to be done, no reason to scurry about. His ship was gone (damn Barbossa's black heart) and it looked bloody likely that he'd die here. There was no fresh water, and precious little food; a man might survive for a time on rum, but eventually Jack would be faced with the choice of starving or putting a bullet in his brain.

Still, there was rum, and that made it easier to forget his predicament. As soon as he could walk again, he'd have to find another bottle.
 
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  Listless by Stowaway  
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Fog and drizzle; for two whole days the weather had been grey, wet and wholly unsuitable for outdoor exercise. Elizabeth stared out the window, her mind a blank. She couldn't see the harbor or even the town. She sighed.

She started guiltily as her governess looked up. Miss Whitecliffe abhorred idleness and had set Elizabeth to work upon a sampler, but the embroidery had lain forgotten in her lap for the past half hour. She snatched it up and set a stitch. Miss Whitecliffe shook her head; turned back to her mending.

Elizabeth stopped and stared out the window again.
 
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  Lonely by Linaelyn  
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So many officers had been lost. Battle, hurricane, intrigue – all had conspired to empty Port Royal of any the governor might have turned to in this hour. Those few who remained were careful to avoid any entanglements, since that aborted wedding day when Beckett had brought the world crashing down.

Sending her away out of Beckett's reach had been the best he could do. She was mulish and disobedient, but he had been the same, young and in love with his poor, doomed Sophia.

And now she was gone.

In all his three-score years, Weatherby had never been so alone.
 
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  Loved by Melusina  
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Usually Elizabeth fidgeted through the service; Weatherby was well-pleased at her unusually devout manner this Sunday. From time to time she consulted her prayer book and a beatific look slipped across her face. As unlikely as it seemed, perhaps her recent adventures had put the fear of God in her.

Cautiously, Elizabeth glanced again at the note she'd slipped into her prayer book. Blots and crossed-out words marred the text, but the sentiments were what mattered, and those she heard as if Will were whispering them in her ear. Rereading his words, she smiled to herself, confident in his affection.
 
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  Melancholy by Stowaway  
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Estrella wiped her eyes and sniffed dolefully as Elizabeth ceased speaking and closed the book.

"Thank you ever so much for reading to me, Miss Elizabeth," she said. "A body likes a good cry now and again. What dreadful adventures to be sure!"

Elizabeth raised her brows. "Well, I think the heroine was a ninny," she declared roundly. "I would have hit the Count with a candlestick and escaped."

"Oh, Miss," the maidservant exclaimed, shuddering, "you'd never, ever have succeeded. What of the Bandits?" She pondered the heroine's plight with sorrowful relish. "Any road, it was a lovely sad tale."
 
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  Mellow by Stowaway  
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Jack inhaled another lungful of the oddly-scented smoke, held it, exhaled slowly. It had a musty-spicy sweetness to it, not unlike certain incenses he'd smelled on the Main, up in the hills, where the natives' influence had changed even the rituals of the Church. He rolled his tongue against the roof of his mouth to taste it again, pleasantly fascinated with the faint tickling sensation so induced. He closed his eyes and concentrated, running the tip of his tongue over his palate, teeth and lips, mesmerized.

Jack lay back and laughed. Someday, he'd smoke this with James. That'd be… interesting.
 
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  Mischievous by Stowaway  
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Jack licked across a flat nipple and then blew gently, feeling it peak against his lips. There was a gasp and creak as his captive struggled in his bonds.

"This isn't funny, Jack," James snarled.

Jack looked up with a seraphic expression, the effect ruined by his impish grin.

"Au contraire, Commodore," he murmured, demure and dulcet.

James yanked again at the silken scarves that held him. How the devil had he let himself be lured into a brothel? Bound spread-eagled to a harlot's bed while Jack…

"Let me go, dammit!"

Jack unbuttoned James's breeches.

"Not quite yet," he chuckled.
 
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  Moody by Melusina  
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Jack's moods were a mystery to Will: one day Jack was gloomy and grumpy, the next, giddy and full of cheer. Flirty, amorous behavior followed on cold indifference, and there was no telling when lazy lethargy would be replaced by hectic joie de vivre. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to it, and Will felt he would go mad himself trying to predict Jack's volatile humors.

Finally, Will had had enough. "What the devil is it now? Why must you be so bloody unpredictable?"

"I'm predictable," Jack insisted indignantly. "You can always count on me to be unaccountable!"
 
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  Morose by Stowaway  
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Lieutenant Gillette stared into his tankard with bloodshot eyes, head propped on both hands, wig askew. He didn't look up as Groves joined him at the rickety table.

"There's my career shot to hell," he mumbled, accepting a fresh drink from his friend. "Six men to their two and I let them steal the Dauntless."

Groves tried again. "The Commodore's a fair man, Gillette," he said, "He'll not leave you to take the blame alone. He lost the Interceptor, with even better odds."

"So that's his career shot to hell, as well," Gillette replied, refusing to be comforted.

Groves sighed.
 
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  Naughty by Melusina  
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Elizabeth threw another pebble at Will's window. The soft ping echoed in the empty street, and then, finally, the window opened. Lamp in hand, Will leaned out the window, looking up and down the street. After a moment, he exclaimed, "Elizabeth?"

She held her finger to her lips, indicating silence, and scrambled up the wall. Will pulled her over the sill and into his arms, whispering, "What are you doing here?"

"I wanted to see you." She kicked off her breeches and pulled her shirt over her head, smiling lazily at Will's dumbfounded look. "Don't you want to see me?"
 
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  Nauseated by Linaelyn  
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Weatherby Swann knew his death was approaching. Every fiber of him cried out in agony. If only he'd never consented to take this position as governor in some benighted backwater. It had seemed so reasonable at the time.

It was a tragedy that Elizabeth would be orphaned so young, and no kindly, firm hand to guide her through the years ahead.

He leaned forward, heaving the meager contents of his already-emptied gut over the side of the ship.

A single day out of Portsmouth. If only the ship would stop moving. If only he could stand on solid ground again.
 
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  Nerdy by Linaelyn  
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Murtogg stared up at the giant clock face as it was hoisted skyward toward the pinnacle of Fort Charles. "So what's it for, again?"

Mullroy rolled his eyes. "It's to tell the captains what to set their chronometers to, a'fore they sets sail."

"Why can't they just make noon like decent folk?"

"It's so there's no mistaking noon, and they is all on the exact, same noon," Mullroy explained.

"But what if the noon is differn't in their differn't locations?"

Mullroy smiled knowingly. "That's what they call 'longitude' in the captain's cabin."

"Ah," Murtogg nodded, as if he understood. "Longitude."
 
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  Nervous by Melusina  
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Will watched, his heart in his throat, as Elizabeth climbed the ratlines into the rigging. Only a few feet off the deck, one foot slipped, and she kicked awkwardly for purchase.

Will would've rushed to assist her, but Jack held him back, shaking his head. "Let her find her wings."

For one dizzying moment, it appeared she would fall, but she caught herself and continued her ascent, scrambling lightly over the ropes.

When she reached the fighting top, she leaned back, swinging in the wind, and laughed, clear and high.

Jack grinned. "See? If you give her space, she'll fly."
 
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  Nostalgic by Linaelyn  
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This fragment is a partial letter penned by an ordinary sailor of the early 17th century, one Joshamee Gibbs; it was found with others in a cache in a cottage in Kent. It was not published earlier due to the poor condition and the illegibility of the latter half of the text. With further conservation, it is hoped that the missing text may be deciphered.

July 10th, 1702
Nassau, Bermoothes


Dearest Darling Jenny-Bird,

Ten years have gone over since I bid ye be wed with me and pass through life's perils and joys at my side. Ten years and ye may [blurred] me long dead at sea, as I now fear ye must have passed into Abraham's bosom to await our final judgement.

I still recall your eyes as [smudged, blots] if I viewed ye yesterday, but I find that your other features have faded in my memory. Is your nose as I imagine it? Does your smile curl exactly so?

Can it be that
 

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  Numb by Stowaway  
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Brown knew how they laughed at him, but it didn't matter. Nothing did, since his wife died, and the babe along with her.

He remembered being happy, angry, nervous, frightened, excited - remembered cares and joys. His memory wasn't the problem, no matter how he drank. He remembered, but he couldn't feel.

And now they had lumbered him with an apprentice. A likely lad, he supposed, but what had he to say to a youngster like Will? Brown wanted to care for the child, but he didn't know how, anymore.

Lacking words, he taught the boy sword-smithing. And drank harder.
 
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  Okay by Melusina  
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The regret for what might have been receded slowly and the bitterness slower still, but in time, James was able to count himself a lucky man to have lost a fiancée who could never have truly loved him. And at the ball in honor of the Turners' wedding, James was more than delighted to stand up with Miss Lucy Bell.

While James was fetching Lucy a glass of ratafia, Groves caught his eye and grinned. "Broken heart all mended?"

From across the room, Lucy smiled. James returned the smile warmly.

Groves chuckled. "And ready to be broken again, I see."
 
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  Optimistic by Melusina  
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When Jack thinks about it -- which is rarely -- he assumes he'll be dead long before Davy Jones calls in his debt. A pirate's life is short and chancy, and thirteen years is a long time, when you're not but five and twenty.

And if he lives? All the better. Thirteen years as captain of a ship like this is worth any amount of time before the mast. Besides, Jack's got plenty of time to finagle his way out of the bargain with Jones. He'll think of something eventually. Didn't Jack always come out on top in the end?
 
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  Peaceful by Stowaway  
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Elizabeth rocked the cradle with one toe as she stitched, humming under her breath. The fire sent red dancing gleams into the room, but she sat in a golden circle cast by branch of working candles. She moved a screen to keep the light from the baby and sewed on.

Jack lay stretched on the sofa, sound asleep, snoring. He'd arrived after supper, pockets full of gifts and a dozen fresh tales to tell.

Will sat at her feet, against her knees, gazing into the fire with dreams in his eyes. She touched his hair; he looked up and smiled.
 
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  Pensive by Melusina  
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Even on the Flying Dutchman there are quiet moments when Bill's guilt sneaks up on him, and he wonders what might've been. What would the crew have done if he'd stuck by Jack? Would some of the more decent ones have come over to their side? Or would the mutiny have happened regardless?

It was cowardice that kept him from speaking up against Barbossa, fear of dying alongside Jack, in the event that Bill was the only one to take Jack's part. But would a quick, honest death have been so much worse than what he's earned? Bill thinks not.
 
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  Pessimistic by Stowaway  
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Gibbs took a pull at the bottle in his fist. "S'bad luck," he grumbled, "I told him, but did he listen?" He drank deep once more. "'Course not."

"Ye're a fool to stick by 'im," he told himself, for what felt like the thousandth time. He put a steadying hand to the gunwale as his legs buckled. He drank again; squinted shoreward.

He eyed the ravens circling the distant promontory with misgiving. Two days since Jack'd disappeared into that ill-omened place and the crew was growing restless with waiting.

"Naught of good'll come o' this," he muttered, "Mark my words."
 
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  Pissed Off by Linaelyn  
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He could still sense that chill rising over him, feel his life seeping out the single hole in his chest. He could still feel the apple, slipping out of his quickly-numbing fingers.

Barbossa recalled little of the time he'd spent in the hereafter, but every detail of his last mortal moments were etched in his memory as if by acid.

His crew, dead now or scattered beyond the four winds. His ship, pirated out from under him. Even the monkey. The list of Sparrow's transgressions was interminable.

But what rankled the most was the pity he'd seen in Jack's eyes.
 
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  Pleased by Melusina  
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(Afterpiece to my Surprised)

Jack thought it was a fine joke to pawn Lady Aspasia off on Gibbs. But Gibbs wasn't picky; he liked a woman with meat on her bones (Miss Elizabeth was a pretty thing, but had no more curves than a boy, which – given Jack's other predilections – might not bother Jack at all). Besides, it made a change to be treated like a ferocious ravisher.

After a token resistance, Aspasia was willing and eager. They spent a pleasant idyll in Gibbs' cabin and parted with many a lingering kiss and fond word. Gibbs liked to think he'd had the last laugh.
 
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  Predatory by Linaelyn  
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Port Royal was a ripe fruit dangling within easy reach. Barbossa's crew on the Black Pearl had nothing to fear from the guns of Fort Charles. No matter how fierce the resistance, the marines wouldn't be killing the already-dead.

There weren't many pleasures left to Twigg. Food, drink, all the comforts of the flesh -- none kept their savor, not even for a moment. Silver and gold could buy him nothing he desired.

The only joy remaining in his almost-life was to deal out death in new and interesting ways.

"Oy, Koehler! Let's find the armory, first thing," he said.
 
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  Productive by Melusina  
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Humming to himself, Jack carefully pulled another strand of hair from James' wig and twisted a bright blue bead into it. The neat white locks were now thoroughly disarrayed in a tangle of braids, beads, and trinkets.

James had been three sheets to the wind when he fell into the bed, and he dozed on, oblivious to the desecration that was occurring right under his nose. Jack devoutly hoped James would wake before daylight and not notice the improvements Jack had made until too late, but just in case, Jack figured he ought to decorate James' spare wig as well.
 
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  Quixotic by Melusina  
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Will had been content to live without Elizabeth, until he'd seen that she cared for him as well. The prospect of living without her now, of seeing her married to another man, was too painful. Why not throw it all away in a grand gesture? He'd tell her he loved her and repay his debt to Jack (or, more likely, die trying) and she would see him as the hero, good enough for her at last.

But a hero can't dress like an apprentice blacksmith. Will would need a new coat. And a hat. A big hat. With a feather.
 
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  Recumbent by Linaelyn  
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The time before was only a vague recollection, now. The smells had been stronger in the old place, but the new place had much better food. The old place had been dank and dark and dismal; here, the water was clear and pure.

There were always some small creatures nearby to scratch an ear for him or tussle on the ground like pups; the taller creatures frowned on chase-the-stick though, and always brought him back and tied him to the bone-thing when he ventured too far.

He lolled in the sunshine, his tongue dripping.

It was good to be God.
 
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  Refreshed by Stowaway  
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Will whooped, leaping off the ledge, curled into a ball as he hit the water. The wave he raised nearly swamped James, who was vigorously dunking Jack under the waterfall.

He swam across the pool to help, just as Jack slithered free and dove, dragging the other two men under by the ankles.

By the time they surfaced, sputtering, Jack was out of the water, stretched prone in the sun on the rocky shelf above the stream. James and Will joined him there in due course.

"That felt good," Will said.

"Fresh water does," Jack replied.

James nodded.

They dozed.
 
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  Rejected by Stowaway  
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Back in his office, Norrington stood at the window, staring out at the bay, the sea beyond… the black ship flying downwind, all sails set.

There was work awaiting him, preparations for pursuit to be made, but first he would permit himself the indulgence of a moment's reflection. His lip curled. Self-pity by another name.

The fact of her choice had not surprised him; he'd known where her heart lay when he'd accepted her hand. But the manner of it had stung. So public, so unequivocal, so… cruel; the cruelty of impetuous youth. He felt, suddenly, a hundred years old.
 
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  Rejuvenated by Melusina  
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Dark of the moon is the crossroads, the in-between time of death and dark deeds, but the waxing crescent is the time for planting new schemes. Everything starts over then, like sand wiped clean by the tide.

Tia Dalma bathes in the ocean every night while the moon waxes, getting rounder and rounder. Her power grows every evening 'til the full moon, when she's strong, ripe, full of power, and fecund. That's the time for healing and protection, the time for a woman to find a man. That's Tia Dalma's time; when the moon is full, nothing can stop her.
 
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  Relaxed by Melusina  
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Having scoured the grime from her skin, Elizabeth settled back in the water, reflecting on how good it felt to be clean again. The river's current pulled at her gently, and she allowed herself to float downstream.

Her hair wafted behind her and the sun beat down upon skin; other than the pleasant murmur of the river, there was no sound to disturb her reverie. She drifted in the water until nightfall, reluctant to rejoin the others and return to their quest. Here, she had no obligation, no guilt or recriminations; there was only the soft embrace of the water.
 
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  Relieved by Linaelyn  
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The Kraken coiled its slimy tentacle around my torso and I knew I were fishbait, sure as sunshine. I screamed hard enough to blow my beard loose.

Gibbs dropped the poleaxe and snatched at my arms, his grip near strong enough to break bone. "I got ye!" he shouted. "I got ye! I won't let ye go!"

Mere sayin' don't make a thing so. The beast tore me from his grasp and before it could crush the breath from me, I managed one last bellow.

"SHOOT ME!"

Gibbs' aim is always true. I saw the pistol flash.

I knew safety.
 
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  Restless by Melusina  
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James couldn't stop thinking about Jack's mouth: the pliant curve of his lips, the teasing brush of whiskers, the supple tongue and sharp teeth. A pretty mouth and an accomplished one, and thoughts of Jack's mouth inevitably led to memories of the uses to which he put it: Jack's wet kisses, the nipping lovebites he scattered on James' shoulders, Jack on his knees, sucking on James' cock with filthy abandon.

Once again, James looked out the window for black sails. He was beginning to suspect the delay was a ploy to whet James' appetite. If so, it was working admirably.
 
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The offices at Government House were in a state of barely-organized chaos as the wedding day dawned. Servants hustled through last minute tasks. A chest of teaspoons, inexplicably misplaced, was located at last and the butler set three of the footmen to polishing them. The kitchens were a blur of stirring, kneading, basting, roasting, and baking – with houseguests to feed and the wedding breakfast to prepare. The flower arrangements were placed on the tables just as the sun rose in a red sky.

"Rain today," one maid said, as they hurriedly straightened the chairs.

"Bite your tongue!" her companion replied.
 
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  Sad by Melusina  
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Molly had begged and pleaded with William not to go back to that horrid ship. "Merchant sailor" he'd called himself, and he'd seemed respectable enough when they were courting, but after, when she met his crewmates, she understood how it really was. Buccaneers -- glorified thieves and murderers -- and she feared William was no better than the rest.

But she'd made her bed and she'd have to lie in it. And lie she would; the babe would never know his father was a pirate; she'd give him a father to be proud of, even if it damned her soul.
 
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  Satisfied by Melusina  
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In all his ten years, Jack Sparrow had never left the filthy, grey London slums where he'd been born. The Fury's forecastle was no better, but it offered the possibility of another life. A sailor might go anywhere and see anything.

After weeks of cold rain and fog, Jack awoke to balmy breezes and sunny, cloudless skies. The water was bluer than anything he'd ever seen, all crystal clarity and sparkling glare.

This was more like it, he thought. This was what he would have wanted all his life, if he'd only known such a thing was to be had.
 
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  Scared by Linaelyn  
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The drums pounded, day and night. Trapped in the stinking bone cages, John Cotton and the rest of the Pearls dangled far above the abyss.

Heights didn't bother him. He'd spent too many years in the rigging. The gore of the dead didn't bother him. He'd spent too many years with a blade in his hand, drawing others' blood. Even the prospect of being killed wasn't too worrisome; death claimed all, eventually.

But the thought of being carved for someone's meat? His own flesh on a platter?

"Don't eat me! Don't eat me!" Parrot shrieked in the jungle, far below.
 
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  Shocked by Linaelyn  
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There wasn't a sensation of pain, not at first. First, it was the joy of smelling the sea air: crisp and tangy and metallic at the back of his throat.

Then there was the heat of the night and the smooth wood beneath his bare feet. The grip of his hand around the hard hilt of his sword.

That's what distracted him, and allowed the other man's blade to slip beneath his guard.

Then came the push; then the pain.

Finally, the cold, as his life seeped out onto the decking.

Koehler died with half a smile on his lips.
 
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  Sick by Stowaway  
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Elizabeth sneezed for what felt like the thousandth time and dabbed irritably at her streaming nose with a handkerchief.

She detested being ill. Fortunately, her constitution was in general very good. This cold had struck, nonetheless, at a most inconvenient moment. She could barely lift her aching head from the pillow. She had been forced to admit that she was too ill to attend the Clarke's al fresco party and had sent her regrets in a note whose tone bordered upon plaintive Just when Lieutenant Kinney was certain to propose to Cecily, too.

Elizabeth sneezed. . It was not fair.
 
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  Silly by Melusina  
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". . .she had it in her drawers all the time. But I had it from her in the end. . ."

Elizabeth burst into laughter, inspired as much by the three bottles of wine they'd shared as Jack's innuendoes. Will blinked, clearly not following the story, then began giggling as he took Jack's meaning. His laughter set Elizabeth off again, and she laughed so hard, she tumbled onto the floor.

Will cackled all the harder at this. In retaliation, she pulled him down with her.

With a smirk, Jack slid onto the floor, holding out the bottle. "More wine?"
 
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  Sleepy by Melusina  
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Finally quiet, baby John latched on. Warm languor washed over Elizabeth. He had been up and down all night, refusing to eat, but now the colic seemed to have subsided and he was nursing hungrily, his eyes half-closed in drowsy bliss.

The frustration of the night dissipated like a bad dream, and Elizabeth's own eyes drifted shut. She pulled John in closer, nuzzling his fuzzy head and patting his back as she succumbed to her exhaustion. The bed was soft and warm, and the sweet milky smell of the baby was soporific. In no time, they were both fast asleep.
 
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  Sore by Stowaway  
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Walking home from the fort, only pride kept Will from hobbling like an old man. He ached in every muscle. The fencing lessons with Captain Norrington were grueling; pushing him to his limits and beyond.

Each week Norrington pressed him harder, making no concession to his youth, but treating as a man grown. More than that, on the practice floor the Captain treated him as an equal, a gentleman. Will could find no words for how that courtesy made him feel. To the other officers he was invisible, but Norrington…

Such a man's friendship was worth any amount of pain.
 
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  Stressed by Stowaway  
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The Interceptor fled downwind. They had crowded on every inch of canvas she could bear. The stays hummed, taut as plucked harp strings; her every timber groaned as the masts, tugged by the mountain of sail, sought to tear themselves free. The sails themselves quivered as they were set and re-set to catch every tiny shift of wind.

The doomed brig leapt forward as they lightened her, wringing still more speed from her creaking hull. And yet it was not enough.

The pursuer was in range when they dropped anchor, desperately club-hauling, and the Interceptor stopped dead in the water.
 
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  Surprised by Melusina  
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Jack had hardly set foot on their prize before the fat matron launched herself at him. Pressing her considerable bosom against Jack, she sighed dramatically. "I beg of you, spare our lives! I'm prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice."

Gibbs, damn his eyes, was bent over in paroxysms of laughter.

Extricating himself from her grasp, Jack bowed. "I assure you, Madam, your honor is safe with me."

"But I have it on the highest authority that pirates love nothing more than to despoil ladies of quality!"

"Aye, it's. . .tempting. But -- just this once -- we'll waive the sacrifice."
 
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  Sympathetic by Stowaway  
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The house was empty when Jack let himself in. The study door was open, the room bore signs of a hasty departure – a chair shoved back, an open letter on the floor. Jack, naturally, picked it up and read. Ah. Not good.

James was, as expected, in the garden, staring out over the moon-silvered bay. He didn’t stir as Jack approached.

Jack sat down, shoulder touching James’s, proffered a flask. James drank; sighed.

"You read it?"

"I did. Your mother..."

James nodded in silence.

When the rum was gone, Jack helped him into the house and put him to bed.
 
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  Thankful by Melusina  
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Jack raised a brow at the screaming baby. "What's the matter with him?"

"I don't know!" This set John to crying harder, and Elizabeth shushed him a moment before continuing, "He's been like this for days."

"That reminds me -- Gibbs sent a present." Jack patted his pockets until he found the string of coral beads. "Says these're good for a teething babe." He dangled the necklace in front of John's face and John stopped mid-cry to grab at it. Soon he was gnawing and drooling contentedly. Silence reigned.

Elizabeth sighed and collapsed on the settee. "Thank you. . ."
 
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  Thirsty by Stowaway  
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Gibbs licked dry lips. Negotiating was hard work; perhaps just a drop…

He started as Anamaria's hand clamped onto his wrist, stopping a stealthy reach for his flask. She didn't speak, didn't need to; her glare said it all. Sheepish, he tucked his hand in his belt and turned his attention back to the conversation.

Jack rattled on, hands waving, all sparkle and shine, acting the drink-fuddled fool. The others at the table, as dangerous a lot as Gibbs'd ever encountered, were looking smug; falling into the trap Jack'd set. Now would come the tricky part.

Gibbs wanted a drink.
 
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  Thoughtful by Melusina  
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Beckett was painfully aware of the importance of first impressions, particularly for someone of his stature. In addition to ordering his shoes with extra-high heels and having his coats tailored to produce the illusion of height, Beckett took care to stage his entrances for maximum effect. Whether it was a drawing room or the Exchange, when meeting new people, he ensured that he was positioned to create the impression of power and authority (something that many people foolishly associated with height rather than ability and connections). Start as you want to go on, for first impressions can never be undone.
 
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  Tired by Melusina  
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Elizabeth blinked sleepily at Estrella and shook her head at the proffered tray. "I'm afraid I didn't sleep well."

"You haven't slept in weeks, Miss. I hope you're not coming down with something. It'd be a shame to be ill on your wedding day."

Elizabeth suppressed a laugh. "I'm sure I'll be well on my wedding day."

"Is it just nerves then? You'll see, it'll be right as rain, once you're married."

Elizabeth agreed with a smile. Being married might not cure her sleepless nights, but at least she wouldn't spend half the night sneaking to Will's rooms and back.
 
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  Touched by Stowaway  
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Ragetti looked at the tiny bundle of rags, bewildered. "For me?" he asked again.

Pintel huffed an exasperated sigh. "Didn't I just say so? Open it, you bloody great idiot."

"Alright, alright, no need to be that way," Ragetti replied, working at the knots that held the thing together.

"Don't drop it. Be careful," Pintel exclaimed, hands twitching as if he wanted to unwrap it himself.

Ragetti gaped as the last rag fell away to reveal a glass eye, staring up at him. "Oh, mate," he breathed, "I dunno what to say."

"You like it?"

"You shouldn't have," Ragetti beamed.
 
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  Uncomfortable by Melusina  
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From tip to toe, Jack was shiny, clean and neat: his hat set at the prescribed angle, wig impeccably groomed, coat and breeches spotless, and shoes polished until they gleamed. He looked every inch the dashing naval officer. And from tip to toe, he was itchy, constrained, and hot.

One thing was certain; this was his best disguise yet. No one would recognize him as Captain Jack Sparrow, notorious pirate. He adjusted his cravat one last time (wincing at the way it cut into his throat) and entered Government House with an aggrieved sigh.

James had best appreciate the effort.
 
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  Weird by Linaelyn  
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The Sun take away him eye an' I lightin' the candle. No moon this night, and the stars be hidden in thick gatherin' mists. Only false lights, the candles and the glowin' creatures, for bringin' back those taken to World's End.

This night bring much work an' much pain. Big work always bring the worker big pain.

Water from the Sea and water from the Sky and water from the body that runs red.

I have all the needed t'ings, but for one. I still needin' the one who love him most.

An' then Jack come; he bring the Monkey.
 
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  Working by Melusina  
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Pausing in his labors, James looked around at his fellow Pearls, sneering to himself at their incompetence.

James had never been so free as he'd been in Tortuga. There'd been no bells to call him to duty, no obligation to dictate what he wore or how he spent his day. He'd been free as a bird, as a Sparrow in fact. Free to drink his life away and humiliate himself and behave with as little decorum as possible.

He'd betrayed everything he'd ever stood for, signing onto the Pearl, but as abysmal as this was, it was still an improvement.
 
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  Worried by Stowaway  
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What if she didn't attend the ceremony? What if she left before the reception? What if she wouldn't give him the chance to speak? What if, despite her father's assurances to the contrary, her heart was set on another? What if she rejected his proposal out of hand? What if she laughed?

James Norrington paced his office, fretting and imagining the worst. His promotion ceremony was to take place in half an hour, it was the pinnacle (so far) of a very successful career. He should be full of happy anticipation, but his plans for afterwards overshadowed all.

What if…?
 
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