Betrayal (4/4) An Accord

By Honorat

Rating: K

Disclaimer: Poor fanfic author's had her profit cut out, so she's trained the parrot to write for her. No one's yet figured how.

Summary: Why does Anamaria decide to return Jack's ship? Final of a series of short fics addressing the motivations of the crew of the Interceptor.

Thank you Geekmama for beta-ing this.

An Accord

Anamaria felt the instant the fight went out of the Pearl.

She and Duncan and Cotton had had a hard time of it for the hour it had taken them to manhandle this ship out of that archipelago. She was grateful she'd never had to pilot a ship in to that blasted island. Fortunately, traveling this direction, the wind and the current had been with them, and the cursed ship, even in her reluctance, had flown like one possessed by demons. Even so, if Jack had taken one minute less to break that curse, they'd have been dead on the rocks.

However, the danger wasn't over. They could still go down in this barely sea-worthy vessel. Anamaria gave the orders for the sweeps to be manned, but she knew they would scarcely begin to control the giant ship, nor would they provide the speed she needed to make port before they lost their battle against the water. They were fatally short-handed. The ship needed sails, but they weren't likely to find any.

The Black Pearl was not helping matters. She was shivering in Anamaria's hands like an injured and frightened wild thing. Released from the binding of the curse, she seemed bewildered, lost, with no purpose and only strangers aboard her. Anamaria felt the implacable resentment falter. The ship couldn't afford to battle her any more. And if nothing else, their struggle through that passage had left Anamaria the closest thing to a familiar hand the Pearl knew.

"Shhhhh!" she soothed, feeling rather like a fool and grateful the rest of the hands were too busy to pay her any mind. "It'll be alright, lady." She ran a hand along the curve of the wheel as she'd seen Jack do on the Interceptor. "We'll find a quiet little harbour where they'll fix you up as good as new," she promised, though what they'd be using to pay for such repairs was a mystery. "We'll buy you a whole new set of sails, spritsails to topgallants, all a nice pretty black." Well they'd probably have to steal them, and dye them. "You've always had black sails, haven't you?"

She'd have locked herself up if they weren't so short-handed. Talking to this ship as though she were human. It was one thing when she was under a curse, but now? Nevertheless, Anamaria could not shake the feeling that the ship was listening to her. Or at least sensing she meant her no harm. The wracking shudders of her hull were easing, and she seemed to be moving more with the current than fighting it.

"Jack always liked your black sails, didn't he?" she asked, and felt the ship startle at his name. If anything, the Black Pearl seemed more aware then she had under the curse. "Easy now," she reassured the ship. "He'll be coming for you soon. Just as soon as he's taken care of that wretch, Barbossa and his crew. He'll be coming back from Isla de Muerta with the Dauntless."

That had been a mistake to say. She felt the Pearl's resistance.

"No. No. She's Commodore Norrington's ship. Jack will be coming after you." That was something she could safely promise. If he survived, Jack Sparrow would move heaven and earth and hell itself to come after this ship. She had good cause to know that. "He's been following you for ten years, you know."

She eased the helm a little, and the Pearl slipped a little more easily through the current. Jack had been right about the heart of this ship. She was mortally wounded, but she had grace and courage. Anamaria did not expect she'd be going down before they could make port.

Anamaria wasn't sure when she'd ceased to think she'd be keeping the Black Pearl. It was one thing to imagine her vengeance against Jack. It was another to involve this innocent ship, who'd waited ten years to have him back.

The End