Gibbs, Jack, and Anamaria meet for the first time. Written from Gibbs' POV. First ficlet for this fandom, so it does have one misconception about Anamaria's boat.
I was a storyteller, but not of my own adventures. I told stories of the black Pearl, and Captain Jack Sparrow. I repeated tales I heard from others, mostly, but they were from trusted people. That night I recited the tale to a table of listeners.
"-cursed men sail their ship around the Caribbean, still looting though the money won't satisfy. They find ships and destroy them, leaving no survivors." I ended my tale, looking at the men surrounding me. They seemed to believe my words, though I had heard of a boy who survived the pirates' attack. My thoughts were interrupted by a rough voice.
"No survivors?" the stranger asked, "Then how do you know all this?" The stranger wore a three-cornered hat , covering his dread locked hair and shading his face. He smiled at me, and his gold teeth glittered. I found myself unable to answer his question, so I stayed silent. I stared at the stranger, feeling annoyed. When I didn't answer, the other men moved away to search for more interesting company, or more capable storytellers.
"You lost me my audience," I told him. He smiled again. I continued, "They were my source of a drink tonight."
"Ah, I apologise then, Mister-" the man paused.
"Mister Gibbs," he continued, "To show you that I am most heartily sorry for driving your audience away, I will buy you a drink. I am also hoping that you will listen to a business proposition."
"Aye," I said, thinking of the drink, "I'll listen to ye."
The man walked over to the bar with an slightly unsteady gait. He seemed to have a conversation or argument with the barmaid as he ordered our drinks, but he came back with two mugs. I took one and drank from it, waiting for him to tell me what he wanted.
"Well, Mister Gibbs," he said, and took another drink, "I need a ship, and a crew I can trust in the face of certain peril." He thought for a moment, and asked, "Do you believe those stories you tell?" He'd moved his hat away from his face, and I could see his eyes were fixed on me.
"I don't believe all of the stories," I said, "but some of it surely is true." I noticed he smiled at me.
"If you're interested, you could find out more about the truth of those stories," he said. He moved closer, so I could see the exact glint in his eye. "Savvy?"
I understood his meaning. The stranger intended to go after the Black Pearl, or perhaps the infamous Captain Jack. A daft idea, but it tempted me. As did the idea of seeing how this man would captain a pirate crew. He looked almost incapable of standing, but his eyes were alert enough. This could be a good source of money, and a chance to encounter the stories I had told.
"I'll find us a crew," I answered, once I made up my mind.
"And a ship," he reminded me,
"And a ship," I said, but I had no idea of where there was one seaworthy enough to be of use. Too many ships on the island were wrecks, sailed here as a last resort. Seaworthy ships never stayed here for long.
"You will be paid," he assured me, and took a swig of the rum. I nodded, knowing the discussion of pay would come later. Though, at that time, I thought of something.
"Who are you?" I asked.
"Captain Jack Sparrow," he said. He looked at me, as if hoping for a reaction. I didn't believe him, and he could see that. He held out his hand, and I pulled the sleeve up gently. The pirate brand on his wrist wasn't recent, but it wasn't too old. Only one organisation put the mark there instead of a man's forehead.
"The East India Trading Company," I said quietly, then noticed the tattoo above the brand. "By the blazes, you are Captain Sparrow." I had told many stories about this man, and he now sat in front of me, offering me the chance to see the Black Pearl. I felt surprised that this man should be so infamous.
After Jack noted my reaction, he said, "Find a crew, and we'll meet at noon by the dock." He grinned at me. "And if we don't find a ship, Gibbs, we can always commandeer one."
"Aye," I said.
Jack left the table and walked out of the tavern, leaving me to think about my available prospects for a crew.
I managed to find a trustworthy enough crew, but no ship I asked about seemed capable of making a long journey. I didn't even consider them surviving an encounter with the Black Pearl. I told this to Jack once I had found him.
"Don't worry too much, Gibbs," he said. "How are our crew?"
'Waiting at the dock for you," I replied, so we walked down the crooked path. On the way, Jack stopped and looked at one of the docked ships. She was small and fast, but more importantly, she was in good condition.
"Whose boat is that?" Jack asked.
I thought for a moment. "She's owned by a young barmaid, I don't know which one."
"She is a pretty boat," Jack said thoughtfully. "We'll take her." He said it plainly, as if it would be no trouble at all.
"Bad luck to have a woman on board, Captain Sparrow," I protested. "Worse than ancient idols or albatrosses."
"Gibbs," Jack said, finally turning to face me, "did I say anything about having a woman on board?" He walked ahead of me, making his way to the docks. After a bit, he turned back and said, "Seeing as we'll be close to certain death and all that, call me Jack."
"Right you are, Jack," I said. I followed him to where the crew were. I would remember his words later and realise he did warn me; now I did not dwell upon his meaning.
We determined that all the crew were capable, even the more unusual ones. We turned away the ones who seemed too shifty, or impatient for money, and kept the ones who wanted the work.
As I looked at the resulting crew, I noticed a stranger I had not approached about this. I mentioned it to Jack, who walked over to the stranger. I did not know who the young man was, but he wore a bandana and had sidled to the back. His stance alone warranted suspicion.
"What's your name, lad?" Jack asked. He removed the bandana and long black hair fell down to the young man's shoulders. Young woman's shoulders, I corrected myself, for she was a woman. Her hair was untangled and her face was plain; both qualities were a rarity on the island. She was no whore. Jack took a step backwards, surprised. "Or lass..."
"Anamaria," the woman replied. Her expression never changed.
Jack seemed interested in her. I wondered for what purpose, but stayed silent. I recognised the woman. She worked as barmaid in one of the taverns, and often worked as a pirate. A troublesome woman, she was. I recalled with worry that it was her ship in the harbour. Her father, a pirate, had given it to her before he died. I'd heard a few stories about him.
"Come to the tavern with me, and we'll discuss your joining the crew," Jack said.
I watched, amazed, as the young woman let Jack put his arm around her shoulder and lead him away. Any other man who so much as spoke to Anamaria in a tone she didn't like ended up writhing on the ground, and unable to speak in a low tone for weeks. Abruptly, Jack turned to speak to the crew.
"I'll see you here tomorrow, if you're interested," he said, and added, "Gibbs, you'll need to come with me."
I followed them to the tavern, glad of the prospect of drink. I noticed Anamaria had taken advantage of Jack's turning around to remove his hand from her shoulder, which fact calmed me considerably. I felt annoyed with the brazen lass for fooling me and expecting that her ship guaranteed her a place in our crew. I fumed until we reached the tavern. I sat next to Jack and drank as much rum as I could at once, to try and calm myself down.
"Drink, love?" Jack offered, holding out a mug to Anamaria. She drank from it and put it down on the table. I was sober enough to notice that Anamaria had let Jack call her "love" without a fuss, so I took another drink.
"Captain-" Anamaria began, but Jack interrupted.
"Quiet love," Jack said, "I'll explain our situation. Now you have a very pretty ship, which will be ideal for our travels. You are apparently a very remarkable captain, but, rather unfortunately, you are a woman."
Anamaria cursed in Spanish and hit him across the face. I felt slightly better, as I'd hoped she wouldn't take the insult. Jack merely took another draught of his rum, then turned to speak with me.
"Leave me to handle this, Gibbs," he said. "I haven't forgotten our agreement."
I decided to say nothing. I felt the effects of the rum now, and didn't trust myself. I hadn't lost my reason yet, though I noticed Anamaria trying to calm down.
"My deepest apologies, Anamaria." Jack stroked her black hair with his bandaged hand. I had thought myself beyond surprise, but the young woman seemed not to mind his hand, with its dirty bandages, touching her. She appeared to like Jack, however much of a drunken rogue he was. I knew what she liked about him, I admitted to myself.
"Captain, you haven't yet mentioned my conditions for joining your crew." She moved his hand away, but she still didn't look annoyed. It served to remind them both what they were there for. I didn't like that they had forgotten, even for a moment.
"The main condition is that you let us use your ship," Jack said, then recited his standard conditions. "Each crew member will get an equal share in the plunder. If it happens that we don't get enough, we raid a few ships or ports until we do."
"Well, Captain," Anamaria said, and gave me a smug look, "It seem we have an accord."
"It seems we do, love," Jack said. He acknowledged me once more, by placing some coins down on the table and saying, "Buy yourself another drink, Gibbs."
I nodded to Jack. I felt I'd need a lot more drink. This was going to be terrible bad luck.