So, this story revolves around one small change - Will Turner just wasn't that into Elizabeth, but the events that kicked off The Curse of the Black Pearl still occurred.
Elizabeth had no unconscious ambivalent love for Will to distract her from being mildly swept off her feet by the dashing Sparrow.
And Sparrow had nothing standing in his way to prevent him from winning a real classy lady's heart... nothing, that is, except for himself.
Set after Jack has saved Elizabeth from drowning, and consequently been arrested, thanks to the combined force of our alternate, just-doing-his-civic-duty Will Turner, and the valiant John Brown.
So, about this Playlist business. I basically have some fantastic soundtracks in mind for some parts of the action. I like extra atmosphere.
For example, right now, whether on Spotify, Youtube, wherever - you are going to prepare these particular songs:
1. 'My Mind Rebels Against Stagnation' from Sherlock Holmes.
2. 'Progeny' from Gladiator.
And when I indicate in bold that you should play that particular song... Well. Play it.
Oh, the ocean waves do roll
And the stormy winds do blow
We old sailors are skipping at the top
While the landlubbers lie down below, below
Oh, the landlubbers lie down below.
The sun was just beginning its descent, and the imbeciles were still whistling at the dog.
Did they do this all day long?
Jack, on the other hand, hadn't moved yet.
Nor did he intend to.
Not until food arrived.
If it arrived. He hoped Port Royal would at least have a catering service.
He still had his hat, though, and that was one thing.
He had tilted it down at a rakish angle, so that one of his eyes was hidden in shadow, and he looked aloof and brooding.
If he was going to be lumped with these amateurs, these grimy bilge-rat kind no good for anything but swabbing boards... well. He was going to do it with dignity.
He was, above all things, very bored.
The sound of the door at the top of the stairs squeaking open made him look up with interest.
Then he went back to his original position quickly - whoever it was, he wished to make an impression.
Impressions were important things, when one was (as yet) unknown in said part of town.
Bloody blithering idiots. Did they all live under rocks or something?
"Miss." a guard's voice rapped out respectively.
His thoughts were interrupted by the rustle of an expensive gown on the rough-hewn steps.
He stayed very still, trying his hardest not to look, though he already had an inkling of whom it might be. If he looked, he would ruin the brooding atmosphere he had worked so hard to maintain. And especially in front of this one -
"Captain Sparrow." the piercing, demanding voice echoed from just ahead of him, as her dress now rustled against the small bench and she took a seat.
"Afternoon, Miss Swann!" one of the devils in the cage next to him piped up.
"Blimey, but it's been a long time since I seen you last! Yer must 'ave grown about a mile!"
"Captain Sparrow." she said again, ignoring the blaggard.
Jack finally deigned to glance up at her, narrowing his eyes in what he hoped was an infuriating but simultaneously charming stare.
He saw her noticing the darkness of his irises, and the way the black kohl pencil around his eyelids made them stand out strikingly.
He held back a smug grin.
"An' what brings you to me, young 'Lizabeth, Miss Swann?" he corrected himself before she could protest.
He loved getting there first. The indignant set of her jaw made him more self-satisfied than ever.
"There's no need to be like that." she retorted, "I'm not here to gloat."
"Can I jus'say, Miss Swann, you're looking mighty pretty, an' what a nice dress -"
"Shut it!" Jack snapped at the slimy lugger, who crawled back into submission, "Don't address the lady with yer filthy tongue."
"Well, I wouldn't quite say that." she said tentatively, but glanced more respectfully at him nonetheless.
"He recognise you 'cause you been visiting before?" Jack smirked.
She shifted uncomfortably under his knowing look.
"Why?" he furthered, enjoying himself.
Her eyes snapped up to meet his with a steely gaze.
"If you must know, Captain Sparrow, it's because the Governor's household becomes tiresome, and because Port Royal is rich in servants but poor in choice of company."
Blow the man down. The girl gave no quarter.
"Can't you call on your Commadore fella?" he bantered back, "He should fancy another stroll atop the battlements, I'll bet ye."
"Hardly." she huffed, "He bores me rotten. I'd rather take another fall."
"I know you would, luv, s'long as I was there to catch ye again."
She waved away his arrogant comment, but he could see a pleasing blush in her fine high cheeks, and she almost cracked a smile.
She had called him Captain three times now.
Either she knew how to sweeten him up as much as he knew how to sweeten her, or she was a right decent wench if ever he saw one.
Unless she was mocking him.
"So's you come down here to 'ave tea and fine delectables with us noble gents, when you gets bored of the high life, eh? That it?" he snorted derisively - not one to be taken in by flattery, not he.
"Well... not precisely."
"Well then. What happens?"
"I come to hear the stories."
"Rather you used to come, Miss, if you please. We ain't seen you round these parts for nigh on four years, ain't that right, Tucky?" the knave shouted out once more.
"Yeah, s'right!" seconded another.
Jack kicked the cage bars between them.
He looked up at Miss from beneath his rakishly angled hat, and smirked a gold-spangled smirk.
"So, it's my specific company you're a-seeking, is it?"
She looked slightly taken aback, went to say something, stopped herself, then -
"Well, I wanted to see how you were doing."
He laughed aloud from his belly, genuinely amused at her childish, concerned curiosity.
"And to hear a story, if you've got any new ones. They ran out four years ago which is why I stopped coming." she remarked, half to the bilge rats.
"Aye, I has a story or two for the lady."
Jack grinned, partly because he had found someone who would listen to his arrogance, and partly because he knew she was scamming.
"Go on then." she pushed.
A few seconds of silence.
"Once... upon a squiffy bloody time, there was a Captain of a ship, whose crew had betrayed him, though he was a very good Captain." he recited with calm bitterness, "And this Captain happened upon a port, while he was making his way across the sea, to find his lost love -"
"Who was she?"
"What? No, no - the ship. He was looking for his ship." he muttered angrily, "Keep up, luv. So this Captain, he comes ashore, and he is 'aving this fine old chinwag with some stiff nautical gentlemen who don't want him to take one of their boats - when he happens to see a yellow dress falling through the sky, toward the water."
Elizabeth saw where this was going, and frowned with disappointment and cynicism.
"- and then he rescued her, like the bloody fool he is. And now here he's washed up, measured for his chains, and likely a noose fairly soon." he finished, glaring back with equal disdain.
Elizabeth sat very still looking him square in the eye for a moment.
"Is it true your crew abandoned you?" she asked quietly.
He scowled, wishing he'd said nothing of it.
"What did they do with you?"
"Marooned me. On a godforsaken spit of land, with nought but ocean for company."
"What did you do?"
He couldn't resist. He leaned in naturally, preparing to make an atmosphere.
"I went mad for a while." he half-joked, "Then... Oh, but this story's too good to waste on yourself."
"Tis not." she retorted like a bad tempered girl, "Tell me."
She looked at him incredulously.
"Don't ask me how I managed it. I was part addled, at the time."
"I don't believe you."
"You don't 'ave to. Good story though."
"Yes. Could do with a little elaboration." she raised an eyebrow, humoured.
"So could your's." he came back, with a cheeky curl of his lips.
"Where did you get that medallion?" he murmured intensely, narrowing his eyes at her again.
She crossed her hands in her lap and looked down.
"Come come, luv, don't be shy. Own up. Theft is a trifle, jus' take a look at us."
"Yes, well I'm not you. And I didn't steal it, I kept it safe."
"Does the lucky fella you're keeping it safe for know this?"
"... No." she admitted uncomfortably, "We were very young. I don't think he remembers."
"Who is he?" he pressed.
"Just a boy we found in a shipwreck. Alone. We took him in and made him the blacksmith's apprentice." it was her turn to smirk, "I believe he was the one who helped to capture you."
"What, that whelp?"
"I hear he gave you a bit of trouble with his sword collection. I wish I'd been there to see. My blacksmith friend, turned pirate-catcher!"
Jack squinted at her, and decided to brush lightly over his embarrassment.
"Uh-huh. And this boy who happened to be alone in a shipwreck, what was he doing?"
"He said something about his father, but other than that... he doesn't like to talk about it."
"What's his name, this blacksmith friend?" he said the last word with a twinge of sarcasm.
She heard it, and beat him down with that powerful flash of her mahogany-hued eyes.
She was a lass, this one. She had a right kick to her.
"Will Turner. What's it to you?"
'My Mind Rebels Against Stagnation'. Play it!
Explosions lit up in front of his waking eyes.
Jack tried not to look excited, but his whole body tingled with the tension of sudden possibilities.
As plans rocketed around in his brain he felt he could almost grasp the spokes of her wheel, sense the smooth, old wood and the power behind its spin, the weight of the ship in his hands. He itched to hold his compass.
So close, so suddenly.
"Is it important?" Elizabeth asked him anxiously.
He looked up innocently. He had forgotten her for a moment there.
"No. Not at all." he grimaced in what he hoped was a reassuring manner.
"And the medallion?"
"It's a trinket, belonging to a - great pirate. But he's long dead."
"I won't get in trouble if I get found out, will I?"
"With who, us pirates or the whelp?"
"You, of course. I wouldn't tell William."
"Yer safe, luv, be reassured o'that." he lied smoothly, "Why don't you give it to me though, jus' to be on the safe side?"
"Never! It belongs to William, if he ever asked about it or found out you had it -"
"If it belongs to William why don't you give it back to bloody William then?" he huffed exasperatedly, "No? Then same difference, you or me having it, ain't it?"
"Absolutely not. I'm not about to be tricked - if it wasn't special you wouldn't want it."
He laughed again, taken aback by her intelligence.
She was doing that thing wenches did when they wanted to look but not to get caught looking.
Her sharp halos kept flickering from him to her lap, him to the scoundrels in the next cell, him to the dog in the doorway they were still gesturing at hopefully.
Jack appreciated pretty girls who looked at him that way.
Especially classy, well-dressed ones. It almost made up for the day he was having.
"You didn't come to hear stories." he claimed smugly.
"I've heard your story." she retorted quickly, trying not to go red.
He leaned towards her again, feeling the tension growing between them as he dug further and further into her secrets, and betrayed her real intentions aloud to the room.
"Have you ever thought about it? The wide, open sea?" he half-whispered.
The seadogs beside him unconsciously gathered about a little, looking at him with the wonder of children about to hear a ripping good swashbuckler.
She didn't answer, but the corners of her soft mouth turned upwards.
"Ever tasted adventure? Felt the wind at your back, the spray on your face?" he urged, sensing her soul being drawn in irresistably. He had caught a mighty wild creature at that. What luck. "Ever brandished a sword? Climbed the rigging and sang from the nest, with nought but a bottle in yer hand? Ever sailed to impossible places what nobody else could find? Beyond the edges of a map?"
Her breath caught slightly in her throat, but she remained silent. Wild, but wary.
"You're here because I excite you." his thrilling voice intoned, "You're here because you're bored. An' this Commadore, I'm guessing - he's not for you, luv. Savvy?"
"You are too bold, Captain."
"You know it, 'Lizabeth, darling. You know if I had the ship and the crew and I'd saved your bonny self in a less - physical manner - you'd have to think very very hard about hanging around this pristine place for much longer."
"Excuse me. I think that's quite enough." she snapped stiffly. He could see the guard going up in her eyes, like shutters in windows. "I think I have enough sense - and sense of propriety - to know better than to listen to your sly talk. I won't have it."
"I saved your life, that's got to count for something in your regard."
"You threatened me with a pistol."
"Needs must. Nothing personal."
"Miss." the fella from upstairs said.
"It is getting late." she sighed, and stood up from the bench, dusting her dress off.
Clasping her hands together, she smiled with more falsity than authenticity, but her genuine connection to Jack managed to peek through her strict guard.
Her wide, dark orbs regarded him with more than shallow amusement.
"I must be going."
"Wait, wait!" he said, desperation making him louder than intended.
He reached through the bars and caught the very edge of her sleeve between his fingers as she moved to go.
He couldn't let this slip, not now he was in the know, not now the Pearl was so bloody close -
"Don't leave me here to die." he urged in a low, earnest murmur.
A wave of troubled ambivalence crossed her expression. Her lips poised themselves, slightly parted.
"Please." he added, trying to catch her eye, to rekindle the understanding they had formed in that short space of time, "Don't let an old adventurer perish on your watch, luv, eh? 'Ave an heart."
She looked guiltily at the steps leading upwards to her freedom, then at his tanned arm outstretched to her, and the branded 'P' standing out white on his skin.
She leant in towards the cage, and put her mouth to his ear.
"His name is Jim."
"What?" he snorted as she turned and fled from him, "What is that? That is definitively and entirely not helpful! Come back!"
But she was gone.