Author's Note (SammichCoquette): It's been a wild ride, peoples - that and a chapter change and some...ahem...minor adjustments. That and I have to promise never to do a hostile takeover again...(sowwy, rae!) Anyhoo, without further ado...

Disclaimer: We do not own Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean...


Booted feet trampled raucously down the stairwell, ultimately depositing the party in a dimly lit compartment lined with barred cells. The girl was carelessly tossed into the nearest one, the door slammed and locked by the Bo'sun before she had a chance to object her "rag-doll" treatment. Warily she watched the man called Bootstrap as he carried her brother down the stairs, depositing him in the cell opposite her and then briefly glancing at the form of the Bo'sun as he locked the door. Despite the fact that he held his head down, she knew he could feel her austere glare and wasn't at all amazed when he surrendered to it; the sympathetic stint apparent in the lenient way in which he regarded her caused him to blush slightly at her firm look.

The transaction was cut short, however, as the first mate smugly approached her cell.

"You could've put him in here." she glowered at him.

"We weren't sure whether ye might use th' lil' 'un as a weapon." he leered eerily at her. She sulked for a second, wondering what had happened to her staff and what it would be like to strike the proud look off his face.

"An entire brigand of presumed men, terrified of a girl not even…" she looked Barbossa up and down distastefully, "…half their age." she finished triumphantly, causing the man's blue eyes to darken before he looked away.

"This is an intre'stin rod ye have 'ere missy." he stated, eyeing her now compact staff. "How do three small poles suddenly combine into one?"

Meanwhile, Mauricio stared silently and wide-eyed at the exchange taking place; Bootstrap looked back over at the boy and approached him.

"'S all righ' son." He whispered once he was sure the Bo'sun was out of range, "Yer sister?" he questioned, taking the time to carefully examine the small boy for signs of injury. He had a vicious-looking diagonal cut running from the middle of his forehead and over his right brow to a point near his hairline; the injury, in question, was laved in blood that still seeped, despite apparent attempts to smear it away. His hair was damp and the dark strands fell over his eyes, still eclectic in their hue. His clothes were thoroughly permeated by the sea as evidenced by the way in which they clung to him as he shuddered, his lips turning a faint shade of blue in the sodden cell. He noted also that the boy seemed to be pained at breathing, which he figured meant the child had broken a rib or two.

"The lil' lady seems t' have a way with words, that she does, and jus' migh'ta struck the captain's fancy." Continued Bootstrap in response to the boy's stiff nod. Returning his glance from Barbossa's banter, he realized that his attempts to sooth the boy had only alarmed him.

"His fancy?" the child squeaked, his eyes now wider than before and his mouth hanging open slightly. Bootstrap immediately realized the implication and was honestly shocked that a child already knew of such deviance. Of course, he could tell that Jack wasn't poised towards the girl in such a manner – or at least he thought so. One could never be sure with Jack and women, particularly those that desired to cause him bodily harm.

"No, nothin' like tha', jus'," Bootstrap stuttered, "He, uh, respects 'er."

"Then why are we locked up?"

Bootstrap sighed.

"Well you saw the lil' show yer siblin' put on earlier…" he trailed off. Mauricio shook his head.

"Oh 'at's righ'. Ye were puttin' on a show yerself." He feigned disapproval and frowned at the boy, leading Mauricio to turn away, trying to hide a smile and an accompanying blush.

"She jus' scared us is all," the older man continued gently. "Once we find out exactly what's going on, ye'll be out." he offered hopefully to the child's crestfallen look. "Okay, lad?" Green met blue as the boy raised his head, and while the frown remained, he made clear his silent approval.

"'At's a good lad." Bootstrap stood up from his crouched position. He smiled brightly, as the boy again nodded, accepting the compliment. His optimistic smile faded once more as he turned his attention to the girl. He had acknowledged her as a dangerous captive and it was times like these that made him glad he wasn't the one in charge.

Deciding he should really leave lest he suffer scorn for his sentimentality, Bootstrap reached out to ruffle the boy's hair, not expecting the hiss and surpassing shock as the boy drew away from his touch. Upon further inspection, he saw that a section of hair above his other eye was unusually rigid and sticky, causing him to tense, shifting uncomfortably in his skin – the boy's hair was stained crimson. Looking at Mauricio's face again, his emotions were raging, like a switch had been flipped; instead of curiosity or even apprehension, his was the look of one desperate to hide grave discomfort. Smiling grimly he approached the brig's other occupant to listen in on Barbossa's conversation with the girl.

"I'm truly shocked at this crew's deficiency in the knowledge of weapons." She boldly professed, "Why don't you ask your dunce of a captain?" she finished smugly, leaning her elbows upon the bars. She glanced at Bootstrap as he loomed behind the first-mate, following his wayward glance to where he was now staring – her poorly bandaged hands. Barbossa himself was now peering as well, which only added to her highly unnerved state.

"Don't tell me you haven't seen blood before either?" she quipped, smoldering brown eyes attempting to sear cool baby blues, succeeding only in chilling them further with the press of a barrel against a dripping chin. Barbossa again glanced at her hands as they slowly descended to hang against her sides, the pistol still engaged with her skin even as she surrendered. He smiled, yellow teeth glinting dully in the nominal light that crept through cracked boards and porthole. Sofia returned the gesture, full lips turned down in disgust and drawing lines on features too young to have them.

"I could well remove ye' of the rest o' ye' injured limbs, miss. It'd be a delightful learn'n experience." He breathed onto her face, determined to get a response but only causing her frown to deepen with the rank odor.

"The only reason ye're 'ere is because we happened t' be passin' by. Any other ship would've continued t' pass by, so if I were ye I wouldn't b' bitin' at a group o' marauders such as ourselves, understand?" He leered at her one last time before withdrawing his weapon and tucking it into his vest, "Th' captain will b' down t' see ye'." He spat, glaring at Bootstrap as he ascended the stairs, a mumble about Jack and his broads accompanying the heavy footfalls to the top deck.

Despite the baleful look she was shooting his way, the gentler man reluctantly moved closer to the vixen, observing how her hands clenched beside her body, pulling the skin taut against her abused knuckles, her body a rigid line as her spine straightened. He idly wondered if her skin had torn from that repeated determined stance.

Slightly cocking her head to the side she examined the peculiar pirate – though his peculiarity had nothing on his estranged captain; his eyes had shifted, a vacant and unreadable expression suddenly taking over as he shuffled yet closer. He had a kind, humble look about him. His shoulder-length onyx hair was loosely pulled back, strands that had managed to elude the clasp framing his sculpted face, with its long, narrow nose and high forehead. His crystal blue orbs offered comfort merely in that they weren't nearly as condescending as his comrade's. Her posture relaxed at his calm demeanor and, perhaps somewhere in the recesses of her mind, she took what the first mate had said to heart. She could be civil with her 'saviors,' as long as the first mate wasn't one of them. Apology was out of the question.

"Que es su nombre?" she petitioned in her native tongue, attempting to cool herself down even as she continued to watch him circumspectly, looking for more signs that separated him from the other brutes she had encountered on the deck above.

Like that incorrigible Captain…

"Que hablaste a mi hermanito?" at her own question she peeked into her brother's cell, nearly doubling over at his crumpled position on the ground. Forgetting the man for the moment, she skirted along the floor of her own cell, desperate to be as close as possible to the boy.

"Mauricio! Mauricio!" she frantically repeated his name, practically clawing at the bars of her prison and urging within Bootstrap a deplorable new awareness he all but ignored, sadly shaking his head and continuing on his way up the stairs. She clenched the bars tighter, however, pink beginning to stain the dingy white of her meager bandages as the panic closed in upon hearing her brother's pitiful moan.

"Sofia…"

"Si, que lo pasa?" her voice came out harsh as every muscle in her body contracted, every nerve ending split on poignant, raw pain.

"No se…"

"No vas dormir!" she cried, irritated by his tired voice and not caring whether or not her own was reassuring.

"Que hacimos?" he asked, uncertainty lacing his voice. Sofia bit her lip and remained silent, telling herself she would under no circumstances lie to him even though she could practically see his tears across the dark expanse of the brig.

"We're going to be alright."


Translations: "Que hablaste a mi hermanito?" What did you say to my brother?

"Si, que lo pasa?" Yes, what's wrong with you?

"No vas dormir!" Don't you go to sleep!

"Que hacimos?" What are we going to do?

Author's Note (GroggyRae): Okay so the second chapter is up. It's short but both of us have been on vacation. But there is much to be revealed….

To Qualerei: Thanks for dropping a line. Really appreciated. I just may try to write like this more often. And your Pirates story is so cool.. I love One Piece and you have the best characters meeting Jack. Oh the tails that will be whipped….

'Til next time.