Notes: Complete, one of a set of interconnected ficlets - the links are below.
Character(s): Jack Sparrow/Charlotte
Summary: Fate will find you wherever you may be - even on a pirate ship in the Caribbean.
Unnoticed, Jack watched as his guest gave an impromptu celestial navigation lesson to the ship's boys, who were paying rapt attention. They never paid that much mind to his lessons, he thought, amused. Then, of course, he didn't have quite the same charms as the Widow de la Fuente.
Clearing his throat, he barked with no real heat, "There now, rapscallions, Cook is holding your supper. Be off now!" Laughing, the boys took their leave of the grownups. Closer now, Jack was pleased to see more colour in Charlotte's cheeks than there had been previously. "I hope the lads weren't being a bother, m'lady."
"On the contrary, Captain, I find their company quite invigorating." She held out her hand, which he took, helping her from her seat. "They are bright youngsters, and delightful company."
"Would you care to take a turn around the deck? " Extending his arm, Charlotte placed her hand in the crook as she nodded. "Doc Adams left very explicit instructions as to your care in his absence; light exercise was high on the list." It had been ten days since the lady had regained consciousness, and each day her strength increased. They strolled in silence for a few minutes before Jack asked, "Forgive me, m'lady, but might I enquire as to how a lady such as yourself obtained such a comprehensive knowledge of navigation?"
Laughing softly, she drew to a halt, looking over the railing to the brilliant blue waves below, glittering in the Caribbean sun. Then she cocked her head, a look in her eyes he couldn't quite decipher. "Tell me, Captain Sparrow, do you intend on holding me for ransom?"
"Would you like me to?" came his lightening response, and he inwardly cursed himself. Always with the speaking before thinking, Jackie! But instead of outrage or fear, her reaction was outright mirth, and he took an inward sigh of relief. "You are no prisoner, and once you are well enough to travel, I give you my word that I shall take you wherever you may wish to go." Though I hope your wish will be to remain here. But those words were silent ones.
Nodding, she looked up at him thoughtfully. Then she said, "It is a pity, Captain, because my father is a very wealthy man. I wonder that your reputation as a pirate is deserved after all."
He was taken aback, so serious was her tone, but then he caught the sparkle in her eye, and he grinned. "Truly, m'lady, I shall endeavor to live up to my reputation in future."
"I am most pleased to hear it, Captain Sparrow." Now she was grinning as well, and he thought her one of the comeliest lasses he had ever set eyes on. "My father is to be blamed for my most unladylike knowledge," she said, answering his question with mock despair. "Due to him, you will find, Captain, that I am an abject failure in regards to the graces valued in the fairer sex."
"Is that a fact? Your father, was it?" Jack asked, playing along, sounding concerned.
"Indeed. You see, he owns a merchant fleet, and I am his only child. So when Father was able, he would take me to sea with him. Oddly enough," she said innocently, "he was never able to retain a governess for long, so the crew had an undue influence upon my upbringing."
Jack nodded sagely. "Is that so?"
"A sad tale, to be sure."
The Pearl hit a swell, and Jack wrapped a steadying arm around her, their bodies touching. "However, I do see a silver lining," he said softly at her ear.
"And that would be?"
"You'd be the bonniest first mate to sail the Seven Seas."
"First mate?" Her eyes gleamed. "I would have higher aspirations than that, I assure you." She stepped away from him, with what he could only hope was a touch of regret. "In case you have forgotten, we still have a duel to complete. Perhaps you'd care to renegotiate the terms?" She batted her eyelashes outrageously, and couldn't quite stifle her giggle.
His lips curved into a slow half smile. "That could be arranged." Touching her cheek with one fingertip, he leaned in a little. "Always supposing you'd be willing to accept my stakes."
She matched his smile, replying softly, "I believe you shall discover that I have a penchant for doing the unexpected, Jack."
"And I'm thinking that even after a lifetime, Charlotte, a man would never find you ever anything less than unexpected."
The Strangest Places
Do No Harm
Hand of Fate
Over the Horizon