Part 1: Negotiations
A young woman sat stiffly in a chair, her back facing the door of the small cabin. Her long ebony hair hung loose, freed from the hat and bandana that usually kept it hostage. Her clothing was casual sailor's garb, sporting stains from the long days of working on the sea. Her dark, creamy skin caught the light of the single candle as it played across the cabin, casting oddly shaped shadows in its wake.
A gentle creak followed by casual gaited footsteps alerted her to the other presence now occupying the cabin.
"Jack, what're ye doin' here?" She asked, forcing her tone even. She didn't even have to turn around to identify the intruder--Jack never knocked.
"Can't I visit without an interrogation, luv?" From the playful tone of his voice, she could tell he was grinning.
The thought that he could still be cheerful despite all that had transpired as of late vexed Ana. She stood from the chair and crossed her arms over her chest, not bothering to turn and face him before ordering, "Git out."
Jack's grin fell instantly, even without seeing it, she knew by the change of his tone of voice. "An' why would ye be orderin' that?"
"What ye did was completely uncalled fer." She retorted, her voice dripping with malice as she angrily shut her eyes.
"I know luv, but I-"
Jack didn't get a chance to finish as Ana turned swiftly, her fist connecting solidly with his jaw. He stepped back, obviously caught off-guard by the attack. He raised his hand and began tenderly rubbing his sore lower jaw.
"Was tha' really necessary?"
"Aye. And don't try t' deny it." Ana replied coldly, turning her back on him once more, her hair flinging about her shoulders by the movement.
Jack shifted his jaw awkwardly to make absolutely sure it was still functional, then slowly dropped his hand to his side. He regarded the stance of the woman before him and determined that talking would probably do no good at this point.
"Now git out." Ana added, her voice composed of sheer ice.
That statement confirmed Jack's suspicion that Ana didn't want to talk. He nodded solemnly, the trinkets in his hair clicking a bit, and stepped out through the door, closing it firmly behind him.
Ana waited until the sound of his footsteps had grown fainter and finally disappeared all together before letting out the breath she hadn't even noticed she was holding in. She sank to the rough mattress of her cot and rested her face in her hands with a sigh.
Why did this always have to happen? It was the same story every time. Jack would go off, be himself, do something stupid, and end up upsetting her. Then, when he would try to apologize, she would drive him away for a time until they finally made up. The whole process would then just repeat itself. However, this time might be different; he had really crossed the line.
She shook her head in an attempt to banish the thoughts. To her amazement, it worked.
Lifting her head up, she kicked off her boots. After lining her boots up side by side on the floor near the cot, she put her feet up. She then laid back and stared blankly at the ceiling...
...early morning beams of creamy golden sunlight filtered in through the single cabin window, falling on Anamaria's sleeping form. She tried to close her eyes tighter against the light, but to no avail. With a defeated sigh, she sat up, only to have the soft blankets slip away from her shoulders.
Since when had those been there?
Ana shrugged off the thought and dropped her feet to the floor. She rubbed her hands over her face before standing up. After swiftly straightening her clothes, shoving her feet into the boots, tying back her hair, and donning her had, she turned for the cabin door. She automatically reached for the doorknob, but something intercepted her hand a few inches early.
She looked down at the intruding object in surprise, only to find a delicate bouquet of richly colored deep purple flowers bound with care to the doorknob. She stood staring down at the vibrant blossoms in utter shock before realizing there was a small tag tied around the stems. With deft movements, she freed the card and brought it up to eyelevel in an attempt to read the messy handwriting. Whoever had written it had obviously tried their best to make it as legible as possible.
I'm sorry. Please forgive me Ana.
Tears pricked at the corners of her eyes of their own accord and she blinked fiercely to hold them back. This time was different. He was acknowledging how much he had hurt her--something he had never done, save through spoken words. And even then it had always had a sarcastic or playful undertone no matter how hard he tried to hide it. This time, it was actually sincere.
Ana paused at the door to Jack's cabin. She had left the bouquet in her own quarters, hanging upside down to dry, but she kept the note clenched in one hand. She brought her fist up with the purpose of knocking, but thought better of it at the last minute. Instead, she silently opened the door and slipped in, shutting it behind her.
Half of what she saw surprised her, the other half didn't. The part that didn't shock her in the least was that Jack was still lying sound asleep in the bed, wearing only his breeches. The sheets were entwined around his body in a tight knot. The morning light didn't seem to bother him in the least, and she soon discovered why; that was what surprised her. True, Jack was known to have a drink of rum before bed, he claimed it helped him sleep easier. But this, this was downright wrong. A grand total of three empty bottles littered the cabin floor near the bed.
Something had to be wrong for Jack to drink like this the night before they left port.
Ana slowly and quietly made her way towards the bed, artfully avoiding the discarded bottles so as not to startle the drunken man.
When she was halfway across the room, an indecipherable mumble caused her to stop dead in her tracks. Jack rolled onto his right side in his sleep so he was facing her and repeated the phrase in a drunken slur.
" 'm so sorry 'na. Shouldn' o' said tha'..."
Ana couldn't help but smile lightly despite her confused feelings. How should one react in this situation? Jack was obviously upset that he had upset her and that she was so upset she couldn't get her feelings straight. The battle between anger and love caused a severe case of inner turmoil.
Ana fought to ignore her warring feelings and slowly meandered over to the bed. After a slight moment of hesitation, she sat lightly on the edge of the bed.
"Jack?" She asked, her voice barely above a whisper.
A small groan was all she received in response.
Ana gently placed a hand on Jack's shoulder--incidentally it was the same one holding the note. She gently shook him, trying to wake him as nicely as possible. "Jack, wake up. We need t' talk."
Much to her surprise, the pirate captain opened his eyes ever so slightly. "Ana?"
"Aye," she replied, not removing her fist from his shoulder.
" 'm so sorry, Ana. I shouldn'-"
"I know Jack. You were murmuring that in your sleep."
Jack's eyes widened in surprise, but quickly narrowed back to slits as he realized just how bright it actually was in the cabin. It was then that she noticed the kohl was smudged. From what, she didn't know. "Can ye e'er fergive me?"
"Aye. But can you forgive me?"
Jack's brows furrowed in confusion. "Fer wha'?"
"Fer always pushing ye away. I don't know why I do it...I love you, Jack Sparrow." Ana replied, looking down at the sheets.
"I s'pose, but there's conditions, luv."
Ana looked up at the hint of playfulness in his voice and saw it reflected in his still rum-hazed eyes. "An' what would those be?"
"When I die, I want ye t' do two things fer me," Jack began.
"Jack, just how drunk are you that yer contemplatin' death?"
"Ne'er ye mind tha', luv." Jack scolded quickly, clumsily wagging a finger at her. "Firstly, I want ye t' give up piracy-"
"What?!" She said, her voice nearly shrieking into the confines of the cabin.
In a hiss of pain, Jack's hands shot up to clutch the sides of his head. " 'eadache, luv."
"Yer own fault." Ana replied firmly. Unconsciously, she lowered her voice as she continued. "Now, why in thunder would ye want me t' give up the only thing I've come t' be good at?" A small grin tipped one side of her mouth. " 'fraid I'll be a better captain than ye?"
Shaking his head, the beads collided in various sounds and pitches. All playfulness and light dropped from his face, leaving a shadow of concern in its wake. "Nay, luv. I say 't 'cause I wouldn't be there t' watch yer back."
"And since when has that e'er been a problem?" Ana replied playfully. "I'm normally the one who watches yer back." Desperately, she tried to lighten the tone of this conversation as it spoke to a future she'd never once contemplated. Most pirates she'd known didn't think in terms of the future. The again, when was Jack ever like 'most pirates'?"
"Ana, please, jus' promise me?" Jack pleaded, his voice more serious than she had ever heard before.
Ana sighed in defeat, realizing just how much this must mean to him. "Aye."
"An' secondly, I got ye tha' bouquet fer this reason..."
"Save a flower petal in remembrance o' me?"
"What kinda request is tha'?!"
"Ana, please. Do tha' and I promise I'll come back fer ye no matter wha'."
Ana was silent for a moment, contemplating how sound in the mind her captain really was at this point. She reluctantly agreed, "Aye, but ye best come back fer me."
"I promise, luv."
A smile tugged at Ana's lips as she leaned down and placed a kiss on Jack's cheek. "Git some rest, Cap'n. I'll cover fer ye."
Jack smiled up at her gratefully and nodded once before closing his eyes and rolling away from the sunlight.