Reconciliation

Disclaimer: I don't own Pirates of the Caribbean or the Legends of the Brethren Court. If I did, Diego would have only been kissed by Carolina in Book Three: The Turning Tide, and not by Marcella as well. In fact, if it were up to me, I wouldn't even have Marcella in the books at all.

It had been about a month or so since Captain Jack Sparrow and the crew of the Black Pearl had departed from India. They were now headed to Madagascar, an island of the coast of Africa. It had been a largely uneventful voyage so far. There were the occasional fights, squabbles and odd things. But nothing was ever too serious. These things had practically become routine occurrences on the Pearl. They'd been happening ever since the crew's adventures began.

There were the usual things. Jack and his first mate, Hector Barbossa, always argued with each other. Billy Turner constantly moaned about how, at this rate, it looked like he was never going to get home to North Carolina, to be with his wife and young son.

Alex was a zombie- a REAL zombie. He had been given to Jack by the mystic, Tia Dalma. Despite his horrid appearance, Alex pretty much left everyone alone. But they were still repulsed by him. One reason for this was the disgusting stench that wafted from body. And also, Alex was always loosing body parts, that were constantly falling off from his decaying form.

Catastrophe Shane was a sailor who truly lived up to his nickname. This guy was literally a living catastrophe, and a walking disaster just waiting to happen. Shane was at his most dangerous when he was around weapons. This is why the crew frequently had to tie Shane to the mast, and hide all of their weapons.

Jean Magliore was about one of the only sane and normal people on board the Black Pearl. He and Jack had know each other since they were both young boys. Jean spent most of his time helping Jack navigate the Pearl through the sometimes rough and treacherous waters that She sailed upon.

And then there was Marcella. Where to begin when talking about her? Jean had told everyone that she was his cousin. This was pretty much the only thing those two had in common. Marcella seemed to be the most irritating girl on earth. She was also very whinny and spoiled. There where times when Jack thought about throwing Marcella overboard. But he would never actually do it. Jean would kill him if he did.

With all the typical things happening on the Black Pearl, there was one thing that was very wrong. Diego, a young Spanish boy on the crew, and his best friend, a girl named Carolina, were barley speaking to each other. What's more is that they barely made any friendly human contact with each other what so ever. The falling-out between Diego and Carolina had begun shortly before they left India. Their behavior towards one another naturally concerned most people. They knew something was wrong. And they knew it was something serious. But no one dared to question either Diego or Carolina about it. This was something that could only be resolved by the two of them alone. Diego knew what was really bothering Carolina. He was going to do whatever it took to get to the bottom of it, and make up with her.

It was early one morning. The sea was calm. The sky was blue. The sun cast it's merry light upon the water. It's rays lit up the waves. It looked almost like they were tiny gems, bobbing up and down in the surf. In short, it was beautiful day.

Jack had asked Diego to go down to the cargo hold, and get something for him. It only took Diego a few moments for him to find what he was looking for. Jack, predictably, wanted a bottle of rum.

I should have known, Diego thought amusedly to himself. He allowed just the tinniest trace of a smile to pass across his lips.

As he was preparing to make his way back up onto the deck, that's when Diego saw her. Carolina sat on the bottom step of the staircase leading below decks. A sad expression clearly shown on her face. She also looked like she had just finished crying. Despite her tear-streaked face, and the dim light that surrounded her, Diego had to admit that Carolina still looked absolutely beautiful.

On the inside, Diego felt torn. He wanted to talk to Carolina. He knew this might be the only chance he got to reconcile with her. But he was unsure of how to do it. He finally walked behind the stairs, and came up right next to where Carolina was sitting.

"How long do we continue not talking?" Diego asked her. Although this question was addressed to Carolina, he didn't look at her as he asked it. He couldn't bring himself to face her right in the eye.

"I don't know. You tell me", was Carolina's reply. He head was hung low, and turned slightly away. She, too, wasn't able to look at Diego. Carolina stood up to leave. She really wasn't in the mood to talk to Diego. Carolina's words stung him. But at the same time, they also provided Diego with a new sense of courage. Using his new-found strength, he carefully grabbed Carolina by the shoulders. He slowly backed her up against one of the ship's boards.

"I know you saw what happened between me and Marcella back in India", said Diego. "But I swear to you, it wasn't at all what you though it was."

"Is that so, Diego?" asked Carolina. "Please do elaborate. Because I'm pretty sure I saw you and Marcella kissing."

"That's where you're right", Diego admitted painfully. "Marcella and I did kiss. But you probably thought I was the one who kissed HER. You're wrong here. SHE was the one who kissed ME. I tried to stop her, but I was completely powerless. Marcella had me locked in this sort of death grip. And that's how it really happened. You have to believe me. I don't care if you don't, though. I'm just telling you the truth."

Carolina straightened herself up. She dried her eyes. Taking a deep breath and clearing her throat, and taking a deep breath, Carolina looked directly at Diego.

"I believe you", she said.

"What?" asked Diego.

"I said I believe you", Carolina repeated. "I now realize that it was Marcella, and not you, Diego, you started that kiss. I'm so sorry for the way I've been acting. Please forgive me."

"Why are you apologizing?" asked Diego. "You didn't do anything wrong, Carolina. YOU weren't the one who got kissed by Marcella. But I was. If anything, I should actually be the one who's apologizing to you. Because of all the pain I've caused you, and myself."

I'm apologizing for the way my behavior has been as of late", said Carolina. "It was way out of line. And again, I'm sorry. It's all my fault anyway."

"What do you mean by that?" asked Diego.

"I let jealousy and pride take control of my true feelings", Carolina explained. "Even though I just said that I now know it was Marcella who kissed you, it wasn't like that at the time that it had happened. When I first saw it, I thought you were really kissing her."

"I know", said Diego. "And that was by biggest fear. I've been trying to tell you this ever since we left India, but you just kept ignoring me."

"I was afraid to face you", said Carolina. "Because I though…" She stopped. She couldn't bring herself to finish what she was saying.

"You though I loved her", said Diego. He was feeling very confused right now. "What in the world would ever give you an idea such as that?" he asked.

"I don't know", said Carolina. She shrugged. "It DID look a pretty serious kiss to me."

"Well, that's Marcella for you", said Diego, with a laugh. "She always has to over-exaggerate everything."

"Another fear that's been on my mind for quite some time now", said Carolina, "is that I'm too good for you. "And Marcella is more closer to your social class. She is a commoner, after all, just like you."

"Carolina, listen to me", said Diego. "I can't believe what I just heard. You really think you're too good for me?" he asked. "Don't. Don't you ever think like that again. Not even for a second. Sure, there have been times where I've thought I was never GOOD ENOUGH for you. But never the other way around. Carolina, to me, you were always so perfect."

"But look at us, Diego", said Carolina. "I am, or was, a Spanish princess. And you were just a simple stable boy."

"True", said Diego. "I often worried about propriety, and what people would think. That's why, when we were younger, although you and I have always been friends, I was so shy and awkward when I was with you and another person. Particularly your father. I know how much he disapproved of me, and our friendship. But everything changed when I heard about your impending arranged marriage to El Cruel. This was their nickname for the Spanish governor that Carolina had been betrothed to. "I risked everything to save you."

"And I'm very glad you did", said Carolina. "If you hadn't, I'd be married to El Cruel by now." She shuddered as that thought crossed her mind. Both Carolina and Diego were silent for a brief moment. Then he turned towards her.

"Carolina", he said, "I should have told you everyday from the moment I met you: I love you." Carolina felt her breath hitch in her throat. Time seemed to stand absolutely still for her after Diego's revelation. Had she really just heard what she thought she did?

"I love you too, Diego", Carolina finally managed to squeak. Her voice was just barely above a whisper.

"I already knew that", said Diego. "It became apparent to me when you kissed me back in India, after the fiasco with the elephants. Don't you remember?" he asked.

"How could I forget?" asked Carolina. "That was one of the best experiences of my life."

"Mine too", said Diego. "I dreamt of being kissed by you ever since I was a young boy. I was so thrilled when it finally happened. Not many words can describe how I felt. It was like a dream come true. And yes, Carolina, you are a much better kisser that Marcella." Carolina smiled at this. "Your lips felt so soft against mine", Diego continued. "They were like silk. When you held me, I never wanted you to let me go. And I didn't want to let you go either. I felt so safe and secure in your arms."

"How did that compare to you experience with Marcella?" asked Carolina.

"Oh, kissing Marcella was terrible!" said Diego. "I don't think she's ever kissed anyone in her whole life. It was like she was trying to bite me. And the way she held onto my neck was very painful. Marcella's fingernails didn't feel like normal human fingernails at all. They reminded me more of a cat's claws. These really hurt for days afterwards." Diego pointed to his neck. Carolina could just barely see the faint outline of scratch marks on the skin. She gasped at them.

"Marcella did these to you?" she asked. Diego nodded. "Where is she?!" asked Carolina. "I'm going to kill her! Nobody hurts Diego and gets away with it."

"Now, Carolina", Diego said cautiously, "you're not going to kill the girl, are you?" he asked.

"Of course no, Diego", said Carolina. She smiled innocently. "I was only joking."

"Come here", said Diego. He pulled Carolina close to him and kissed her. They continued to kiss until a shout came from the deck.

"Diego! Where are you, lad?! And where's my rum?!" Captain Jack Sparrow yelled.

"I'll be there in a moment, Captain", Diego called back. "Come on", he said to Carolina. He took her hand in his. They walked up to the deck. They were both glad that they had admitted their feelings for one another. Neither Diego nor Carolina knew what the future held. But come what may, they would face it together, side by side.

The End

A/N: 1.) I am very proud to present what I believe is the very first and therefore ONLY Diego/Carolina story in existence. And it's all courtesy of your's truly, me. I'm not really surprised by this. It makes perfect sense to me that I'd be the first one to write a Diego/Carolina fic. Because I was one of the very first people to announce my love for this pairing. And now, there are several other people who support this pairing. That makes me very happy. But this ship needs a lot more shippers. DIEGO/CAROLINA FOREVER!

2.) Any of this look familiar to anybody? Yep, that's right. I somewhat based this on some of my favorite Willabeth moments from the movies. It's set below the decks of the Black Pearl. Just like the "How can I trust you?" scene from At World's End. Diego asks "How long not talking?", just like Will did. And again, that was also from At World's End. Then there was the confession of love, which is of course similar to that scene with Will and Elizabeth in Curse of the Black Pearl.

3.) If this, or anything similar to it, does NOT happen in Legends of the Brethren Court Book 4: Wild Waters, I will kill Rob Kidd. Alright. Maybe I won't do anything that drastic. But I definitely will boycott any further books that Robb Kid may write, whether they be Pirates of the Caribbean related, or not.

4.) When Diego compared Marcella's fingernails to a cat's claws, that should tip you off as to who she really is. For she is not Jean's cousin. She is actually his sister, our beloved Constance, back in her human form. This hasn't officially been confirmed in the books, but if you've read all the books in the series so far, it's becoming more and more painfully obvious with each new book.