Jack laments the loss of the "Black Pearl" to Anamaria. PROFOUND spoilers for DMC.
A lone pirate sat hunched at one of the smaller corner tables, a single blackjack in his fist. He didn't seem to be aware of the chaos around him but instead stared moreosely into the dark depths of the cheap rum. Ragged, tangled hair fell into his face, obscuring eyes surrounded by dark circles that had nothing to do with sleeplessness. Jack Sparrow. What on earth was he doing here? He'd collected a crew and shipped out months ago. What was he doing back so soon? Whatever had happened it couldn't have been good, his characteristic smirk was nowhere to be seen. Taking a long sip from the blackjack, he then eyed its interior for a moment, contemplating the lack of rum inside. Raising it, he signaled to the barmaid who, despite her harried activity, was nearly as broad as one of the ships floating in the harbor outside. Jack, for all his fondness for alcohol, was paranoid about overindulging since being kissed by the sun, he already staggered plenty when sober. If he was ordering a second drink, it had to be bad. Well, misery, they said, loved company. Forcing her way past the rowdy patrons, she placed her hand over the rim of the cup.
"I've got this one," she told the thick barmaid who nodded and went to fetch a fresh pitcher.
Jack blinked at her hand, his eyes following her arm upward until he saw her face.
"Anamaria." The clouds cleared for a moment and his eyes seemed to brighten as he gave one of his crooked grins.
"Jack Sparrow," she nodded, a small smile of her own playing about her lips. "What brings you back so soon?"
"That's...a bit of a long story," he stalled, eyeing the boisterous crowd elbowing close on all sides. It was unlikely in all the chaos that they'd be overheard. All the same, his guarded expression said all too clearly he had no wish to discuss whatever it was in the open. Nodding she turned and headed for the door Jack would follow. He knew where to find her.
It was a pleasant spot situated high atop the towering cliffs that surrounded the rocky harbor. While the cliff face was sheer and straight, the land behind it rolled gently down in forrested hills towards the lowlands where the riotous village lay. They'd sat here and talked things over after landing that first time after leaving the plantation. Port Royal had been overrun by soldiers that day and Jack, nervous about her being recognized, had opted to drop her somewhere less...vigilant. Tortuga wasn't exactly a safe port for a woman, but she was less likely to be turned in to the authorities, mainly because there weren't any authorities to be had. He'd stayed with her a bit before heading back to a more civilized port. Why, exactly, she wasn't entirely sure. Perhaps he'd still felt insecure about his stumbling, perhaps he was worried about her safety. Maybe he just didn't want to part company. She had to admit, she'd been a bit reluctant to see him off herself. Before he left they'd agreed to meet here should either ever come to Tortuga again.
"What took you?" she asked as stumbling footfalls and then the man himself became apparent. He offered a sheepish grin, more chagrined than sorry.
"You know me and inclines."
She did indeed. She'd been the one to get him back on his feet, after all. The slope behind the village wasn't impassable, but it was steep and rocky as well as dark in the forest with only the light of the stars. Uneven terrain in daylight tended to make Jack uneasy. It only made sense he'd be a little late. Without further comment he plunked down on the brush beside her and just stared out at the moonlit water for a moment.
It had been the better part of five months since she'd seen him last. She'd already signed on to a different ship, otherwise she might have gone with him. Heaven knew the man needed someone around to keep him out of trouble. Wherever Jack Sparrow went, disaster, it seemed, followed close behind. Running into him at the Faithful Bride had been a considerable and rather pleasant surprise. Every time they parted company, it was hard not to wonder if they'd ever meet again. After all, what reason did he have to seek her out?
Leaning his elbows on his knees and his chin on his wrists, he sighed. Not knowing what to say, she sat with him in silence. This was unlike the Jack she knew. Even half-fried with sunstroke he'd always had as much of a smile on his face as he could manage. The man sitting curled in on himself next to her was anything but cheerful. Certainly he'd had moments where he was too lost in his own thoughts to smile, but this went beyond that. There was tiredness in his eyes and a sag to his shoulders. He almost looked...beaten. Defeated. Something had to have happened. It occurred to her that the Black Pearl was not among the vessels drifting in the harbor. Oh dear.
"It didn't go well, I take it?" she said at length.
"No," he replied, "not at all."
"What happened?" The idea had been to search for the key to the Dead Man's Chest. He'd left on a promising lead but since then, she'd had no news. If he'd come back without the /Pearl/...
"Seems nobody was interested," he mumbled into his arms. "They all wanted gold instead. I was willing to make a side-trip since Tia suggested I get there before some other tom-fool but instead I got mutinied upon. Barbosa took me title, me ship, and left me marooned."
Anamaria couldn't help but cringe in sympathy. Jack had told her the crazy story of how he'd won that black ship. It was the first of many he would tell her, and after sailing with him a few times herself, she knew he didn't make these things up. Indeed, it had gotten to the point where if a story sounded plausable, he was probably lying. She wondered what on earth Jack had done to get himself marooned. Mutiny she could understand, few pirates would be interested in such a wild goose chase without some sort of immediate pay off, but marooned?
"But you got away, obviously." She wondered how he'd done it?
"Rum runners," he said, answering her unspoken question. "They'd been using the island to hide their stores."
"Ah." That explained it. If it was one thing Jack could do, it was talk, and he could be very persuasive when he chose to be. There didn't seem to be anything else to say to that and so she sat silently, watching the tide slowly ebb. At least he'd gotten away. The thought of Jack stuck on a sand spit somewhere with only a bottle of water, a bottle of rum, and a pistol with one shot... She shivered slightly at the sudden chill in the otherwise hot and humid island air. Jack's shape still loomed black and warm in the darkness beside her. Even with such disappointment weighing heavily on him, it was good to see him alive and intact. Reaching, she rested a hand on his shoulder, the rough cloth of his coat and wiry muscles of his arm reassuringly solid beneath her fingers.
"Dirty cheat," he muttered to no one in particular. "I earned that ship fair and square. He'd no call to go and steal it like that."
"That's the problem with pirates," she told him, rubbing his shoulder gently. "They steal."
"Ana I sold my soul for that ship and the people on it! I need it if I'm ever to get out of this. It's not just myself on the line. If I can't track down that ship-thieving son of a bilge rat..."
She did her best not to smile as he attempted to find an epiteph strong enough that was not actually a curse word. He was like that when in company of ladies. Not that she was much of a lady but as he'd once told her, she was female and that was close enough. Lifting her hand, she reached to place it on his opposite shoulder, her arm now lying across his back. Ships were like wife and child to sailors and to have another man snatch something like that from under his nose...
"I know it meant a lot to you, Jack Sparrow," she said softly, "but it's only a ship, and you can do what you need to do with or without it. That's the important part, isn't it? Fulfilling the bargain? And once that's done, you'll have all the time in the world to get the Pearl back."
He shook his head. "The Pearl's part of the bargain, Ana. If I can't hold onto her, I can't very well do the rest. I mean yes, I could go and get the key and the chest and all of that but if I haven't got the Pearl to deliver it..." Unable to finish, his voice trailed off into the warm evening.
"I see," she said softly. "If you've been bested by a common pirate, how can you hope to stand up to the Old Man of the Sea?"
"Precisely," he sighed, letting his chin slump onto his chest. That was the problem with Jack's persuing this new career path; he wasn't rotten to the core. While she found it endearing, it was a treacherous weakness for a pirate to have, enabling others to take advantage of him.
"Jack Sparrow..." She reached into the well of his cross arms, fishing for his chin. Upon finding it, she tilted his face back up to meet her gaze. His brown eyes shone quietly in the darkness, full of hurt and shame, belying an expression that asked if she was disappointed in him. Of course she was no such thing. Pushing some of the matted tendrils out of his face, she went on. "Did you forget you already stood up to him once? What's one traitor and a ship full of turncoats to that?"
His gaze dropped briefly, attention turned inward as he stopped to think about that.
"You'll get her back," she told him, releasing his chin and resting her hand on his arm. "Barbosa is only human, the Black Pearl is just a ship."
He nodded quietly, further voicing his agreement by looping an arm loosely about her waist. At any other time she might have smacked him for such a bold advance, except in this instance it couldn't really be called either an advance or bold. He wasn't trying to be fresh, indeed his thoughts were most likely still following the /Pearl/, wherever she was.
"You're right, Love."
Anamaria blinked and looked up. Rarely did he risk pet names with her, knowing she preferred her own to empty, sugary sentiment. Jack gazed down at her, features quirked in a gentle half-smile. The disappointment in his eyes had faded, replaced by a faint glitter she could not identify.
"It's just a ship. Besides," he rumbled giving her a light squeeze, "it's not as if I've lost anything really important."