Yes my friends, it's been awhile. I have so many writings going on right now. But I wont complain to you guys, you want to read, don't you? SO here it is! The Ball! I hope I surprise you!

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A Teenager's Guide to Living with Pirates

Chapter 13

The Masquerade Ball

By now it seemed like millions of years had passed, but Jack was legitimately sick with longing for some soothing rum or wine, so finally he had to dig up some unpleasant memories to see how he last got out of an alcohol-free situation.

He was sitting on a couch, a masked young lady with a fruit drink to his right, and a young burly man dancing to the music like a pigeon on his left. The lights were dim and the music was loud, but Jack couldn't stand it. He had spent almost an entire two weeks without rum, and by now he was at an explosive point.

So he thought and he thought, scratching his beard and scrunching up his eyebrows in what he assumed to be the correct facial expression for someone thinking as hard as him. And then, poof! He remembered way back to when he first met Tia Dalma. His thoughts narrated a little something like this-

I was a strapping young lad, then. I went up to her shack with the purpose of finding a good drink. Woozy and excited, my incredibly handsome face had a look of confusion when I cleverly discovered that the shack was in fact a witch's lair. She peered up at me though thick layers of matted hair and dreadlocks, and asked me, "What do you seeeeek?"

She spoke funny.

"Well, pretty damsel," I grinned at her, showing off my beautiful teeth and waving around my pretty hair, "I was wondering if you had any rum... and if you do, maybe I could cozy up a bit and share it with you." I winked at her.

"I do not have rum-"

I shrugged. "Well, see ya!" and I began to walk out the door.

"Waaaait! I have something better than rum."

I glanced at her with an eyebrow raised, "Ma'am, NOTHING is better than rum-" She shoved a small, shiny vial in front of my tanned face, "Oooh, pretty!" I exclaimed, and then grabbed the vial and went on my merry way.

Okay, well maybe it didn't quite go like that. Since then, Jack had discovered that a drop of the liquid in this vial could turn any drink into alcohol. It was fantastic. He could scoop a barrel of water out of the sea and pour some magic liquid into it and bam! It was rum. Of course it still tasted and looked like sea water, but drinking it, he could get so drunk he passed out.

Jack looked at pigeon-boy and then the lady with the drink... the drink...

PUNCH! That was the solution, punch! Jack could pour the vial into the punch bowl and then- Oh this was such a good plan! So good, that he put it into action right away!

Meanwhile, a dark-skinned lady with a deep purple mask dotted with black rhinestones walked up to the drinks table. Among the many soda cans and the ice box lay a large plastic bowl. Inside this bowl was some vampiric concoction that these kids called fruit punch. She pulled a vial of clear liquid out from behind her, and thought a moment.

This potion was incredibly dangerous. A love potion is always dangerous, but this one was incredibly potent.

She glanced up at the boy in the white mask, frowning and leaning against a wall on the side of the room, other boys walking past him like he was invisible and girls teasing him about his boring mask. His deep blue eyes darted around the room like he was looking for someone.

Tia Dalma looked back down at the vial. It was strong, yes, and it had many side effects, and it couldn't be mixed with Alcohol (but there was no alcohol at this party.). And the chances of her plan working at all were very slim. But if she could help that kid, it'd be all worth it. Her supernatural duty would be fulfilled.

The liquid dripped down into the bowl, and with it destiny was sealed.

"Hey, can I have some of that?" A man in a dark blue mask grabbed the ladle and poured himself a cup of the now-tainted punch.


My throat felt incredibly dry and scratchy as I hung out with Julie and watched people dance. She was really proud of herself for throwing this ball but I don't think she was happy about the fact she wasn't dancing. Julie had given herself a strict rule at the Ball that she couldn't dance unless a boy asked her, just to see what would happen, but so far no one had asked her and she was sinking fast.

She might've hinted for Brett to ask her, but she couldn't find Brett because he was wearing a mask and all the boys looked the same. So she just sat next to me and pouted.

And I was really thirsty and uncomfortable and would've gone to get a drink if my friend's self-esteem had not been deteriorating before my eyes.

I wasn't exaggerating when I said all the boys looked the same. Everyone sort of... blended. The only real character I could see was Jack, whose dancing skills weren't quite up to par and he was thrashing around on the dance floor more than anything else. I did note that a cute guy in a white mask was acting aloof in the corner, but then there was also an equally cute guy in a silver mask hovering around the drink table and sipping punch.

It took me a few minutes to realize this, but Jack had come over and asked Julie to teach him how to dance, and she enthusiastically obliged, so with my new-found freedom I dashed over to the drinks table and downed some punch.

Julie looked up at his mask, a gleam in her eyes. He grinned lopsided at her and, as a clear circle of kids gathered around them, turned away. She did the same. They had been working on the footwork for a few minutes, but now she thought they had it right. She took another sip of her sixth cup of punch before setting it on the ground and motioning to the guy at the laptop to start the song.

Adrenaline pumped through her veins and her heart beat erratically.

The split second the music started, she and Jack whipped around to face each other, and his red mask glinted in the light.

I've had a little bit too much...

The people around her started to rush as she spun, the lights blurring and the music pumping into her ears. The whole thing was kind of crazy and psychedelic, and she grinned as he twisted and danced on the floor, too. He was a fast learner, she supposed, and his body moved like any modern professional dancer. Or maybe it only seemed that way. She could only think about how this song was such a rush!

Suddenly, in the middle of a fist punch she felt woozy, and the lights swirled even though she wasn't spinning. Or maybe she was? Calm down, she thought to herself. Keep it cool...

Keep it cool, what's the name of this club?
I can't remember but it's alright, alright,
Just Dance!

It wasn't until the second verse that Julie really began to feel weak at the knees, but she kept dancing, because she knew Melissa was watching her, judging her. She had to keep it going. Also, Jack was in his zone, and she couldn't mess him up. This was a coupled dance and she wanted to hold up to her part.

Roses have thorns they say...

She could hold it up until they got to his solo, but after that she wasn't sure. Finally they got to the turn in the song, and her fear changed to elation and excitement as she caught up with her dazzled brain and clapped to the music, as Jack showed everyone what exactly feet were made for.

Shawty, I can see that you got so much energy,
The way you're twirlin up them hips 'round and 'round
And now there's no reason at all why you can't leave here with me,
In the meantime stay and let me watch you break it down.

She joined back in immediately, and the clappiing continued as everyone who couldn't dance sang at the top of their lungs. Julie was lost in the beat of the music and the blurs of her mind, her insane giddiness almost affecting her feet. Finally the song was almost over.

Just dance, gonna be okay
Da da doo doot-n
Just dance, spin that record babe
Da da doo doot-n

She was ready for the final move. Jack grabbed her by the waist and pulled her in, and in a swooping dip, she finally lost control. Her face heated up, and to many people's utter astonishment, she fainted. In his arms.

Just dance, gonna be okay,
D-d-d-dance, dance, dance, just
J-j-just dance!

Brett frowned as Julie took another swig from the tacky plastic cup in her hand. She was sitting now, on the couch on the far side of the room. When Jack woke her, she mumbled something about the lights, and he picked her up and sat her on the couch, handing her the cup. It bothered Brett, that Julie had fainted and yet she brushed it off as no big deal. Her face was lit up like a stop sign, under her shiny pink mask that she refused to take from her head. ("I don't want to reveal my identity.") She was acting strange, and Brett almost insisted he drive her home, but she had glared at him defensively. "Jack's taking good care of me. I feel great. Stop worrying, go away."

Julie could be so stubborn sometimes. Too stubborn for her own good.

Brett had taken the last part, the "go away" part of their conversation, to heart. He walked across the room and back to the drink table. He felt a little lightheaded and didn't really want any sour punch, so he slipped a plastic cup out from the stack and walked over to the refrigerator, and poured some water from the dispenser on the door. Sipping it, his head ringing from the blasted Gaga, he climbed the staircase into the quieter areas of the house. He didn't know if walking into the rooms upstairs was trespassing or anything, he just really wanted some quiet.

He lay down on the first bed he found, shoving his head under the pillow and trying to dissipate his headache. He had no intention of listening to the music anymore. He felt sick. Feverish.

The bubble of silence trapped in the room escaped a little when the door swung open, and light footsteps alerted him to a girl entering the room. "Julie?" he mumbled into the pillow.

The door shut again, closing off the sound and allowing Brett to register the heavy breathing right near his ear. If he were less sick, maybe he would've jumped up, startled, but all Brett could manage was to tense up as a smooth hand crept up his steaming back and finally latched onto his shirt collar. An almost silent voice whispered to him, "I knew I'd find you here..."



I had long since sunk into the comfortable confines of the smushy couch, most of my body shoved between the cushions and the pillows. The party had been passing by well, aside from the occasional lapse in dancing because my iPod had shuffled in a ridiculously un-danceable song, but other than that, nothing horrible had happened. Which was a surprise. Parties at my house rarely go by so uneventfully.

Julie had been sitting next to me for awhile, going on and on about how blue really is my color and how she had the perfect cologne to make cows smell better. No, don't look at me weird like that, I have no idea what she meant either. Anyway, she wandered off, and I sat for awhile, bobbing my head to the music and glancing around with an out-of-body curiosity. I did this sometimes, just allowing my mind to drift off into a sense of wonder as I look around at the pretty lights and sounds. Or at least, I thought I did this often. My mind felt kind of muddy.

I took another sip from my cup of punch as a boy sat down next to me. The cute guy in the silver mask from before. I didn't know who he was. He looked flushed, his intense brown eyes glancing at me playfully from under the mask. "Would you like another drink?" Something about his voice and the way he talked seemed familiar, but I couldn't put my finger on it. I told you my brain felt muddy.

"I'd love some water, actually, if you don't mind."

"Sure." The way he immediately knew to go to the fridge might've tipped me off, or even the way he walked, so sure-footed. But his name and identity escaped my mind, and I finally just decided to ask him.

He returned with a cool cup of water and a grin, and I was about to ask his name when all of a sudden a bemused expression crossed his face. His eyes slid across my face, "You look really hot."

I bit my bottom lip and resisted the urge to twirl a finger around my hair, "Thanks,"

He blushed scarlet, "No, no, I mean, uh... you do look really, really pretty, but I was talking about your forehead." He looked around at the ignorant party-goers before carefully laying the back of his hand on my forehead, and I flinched- his hands were bitter cold and I was startled.

I smirked up at him, "What, are you going to tell me I'm burning up? Because it's probably just the room. It's hot in here."

"That's why I'm taking you outside." I hadn't noticed we were on the move until he said this. Apparently, he really knew his way around here, because with the same sure-footing as before he lead me onto the porch into the cool summer night. It was like being underwater, the minute that door closed behind us the temperature was more pleasant, the crowding less apparent, and the sound muted.

"Well this is nice."

Mark had never been the brightest. His instincts had always told him that he should always just drink from soda cans on the off chance that someone dropped some Ketamine in the punch. And yet he also wasn't one to trust instincts.

That might have something to do with the fact that Mark was now kissing the porcelain God in the upstairs of Leah's house.

"Uuuugh..." He looked out the bathroom door, choosing to study the various posters and pictures scattered around Leah's walls- Pirates, pirates, and more pirates- before the next bout of nausea announced itself.

He flushed the toilet again and leaned back against the wall, sliding down to the tile floor. What the hell had he done to deserve this? Was it some kind of stomach virus...? Or... no, it was probably the punch. He'd been drinking that punch since five-thirty that night, and now it was near midnight. Thirty glasses and three trips to the bathroom later, he was again stuck in the bathroom- but for a different reason. To vomit.


He felt his miserable self perk up at the sound of Sam's voice- or maybe that was his lunch flipping. "I'm in here." he announced in as loud a voice he could manage. Sam entered his tunnel of vision and frowned.

"You're green."

"You're slow."

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Darn. Mark loved making her uncomfortable and angry because it was cute and entertaining when she started picking on him, but when she was serious like this, he became the one feeling uncomfortable.

She entered the bathroom, kneeling on the floor in front of him and placing a palm on his forehead. "You're hot."

"That's hardly relevant, babe."

"Shut up, I think you're actually sick."

"Naw, really? I never would've guessed. It's not like I've been puking my guts out for an hour..."

Sam bit her bottom lip. "I don't know anything about vomit, believe it or not. I can't help."

"Go find someone who can." Sam's eyes widened as Mark said this- she hadn't expected the condescending tone to ever leave his voice, but it had when he said that. He was desperate.

Sam was gone, and Mark sighed and leaned over the toilet once more.

Anamaria didn't know much about sailing, but she knew a lot about boats. She didn't know much about getting drunk, but she did know about rum. And she wasn't sure she completely understood love, but heartbreak wasn't very foreign.

Not that she was suffering from heartbreak. Of course not.

And her heart didn't feel like it was being crushed every time Jack touched Julie.

And her breath didn't hitch when the pirate passed her, Julie in his arms.

And she didn't cry. Not at all. Because that wasn't something Anamaria, the feisty ship-selling pirate lass, did.


"You okay?"

It was a boy in a white mask, his timid voice indicating he was most likely intimidated by her. Meaning he knew what she was capable of. Meaning he knew she was a pirate. Meaning he was one of Leah's friends. Gods, did she love escapism.

"Yes. Why do you ask?"

"You seem a bit shaken up."

"I'm fine." Her response was a bit too fast, her voice quivered, either one of these could have alerted this boy to the fact that sentence was a lie. But Anamaria had a feeling he just knew.

He sat down on the bed next to her, and Anamaria realized they were in the room designated for her and Tia Dalma. Of course. How had she gotten up here?

She had probably run.

The boy took off his pearl mask and ran a hand through his short hair, spiked with sweat from... dancing? No, she hadn't seen him dancing. Maybe it was just the heat of the other kids dancing.

"You're not okay," She realized out loud. She could tell because his eyes and nose were red. Not from crying, she understood. From not crying.

"Leah is crushing over Will."


"No some other fictional man at this party by the name of 'Will'- of course Turner!"

She frowned. Anamaria would much rather douse herself in Jeremy's problems than her own. "There's no way you can be sure of that."

"They went on the porch together. He's probably shoving his tongue down her throat about now."

Hmmm... That was a problem. "And you love her?" She asked the boy.

"Love is a strong word. Like, maybe." Jeremy frowned. "I've liked her since first grade."

Anamaria glanced at him from behind her hair.

"Since I was six."

"That's a long time, mate."

He grinned. "Yeah."

She lay back on the bed, rested her head on the pillow with her hands behind her head. He almost laughed, she acted so much like a boy. He half-expected her to have hairy armpits- but no. Anamaria may have been a pirate, but only in mannerisms. She was a girl.

"So that Leah girl likes Will more than you?"


Anamaria sat back up- she was a bit fidgety and couldn't stay in the same position for long. "I can't well blame her. That William is tall, very handsome, speaks properly, and is naive- it's adorable. He's all of these things, and he knows how to wield a sword."

"You're not helping much at all."

"Well, you and him are in pretty much the same boat. He "liked" Elizabeth since a very young age, and they were engaged, and then she goes and kisses another man. So he is immensely confused, and then he finds himself attracted to a different girl. Similar to you, now."

Jeremy, who had been staring at his shoes for the past monologue, froze at this, and glanced behind him at Anamaria. "You're confused. I don't like you. I like Leah."

Anamaria stared at him, wide-eyed. "Right- that's what I meant..." She hadn't been talking to Jeremy, she realized. She had been talking to herself.

The Pirate Lass's mind was suddenly filled with a string of pirate-worthy curses.


I really wanted to have some kind of relationship with silver-mask guy. And not because he was hot, and not because I really liked him or anything. I was just desperate. And jealous.

No, I wasn't jealous of silver-mask guy, nor his girlfriend (because no one as gorgeous as silver-mask guy doesn't have a girlfriend.) No, I was jealous of Julie. Just a little bit.

I was just a little bit jealous of the fact that all the boys liked her. She had Brett wrapped around her finger, Jack as her dance partner, and had the opportunity to date any guy in school. So I had a right to be a little bit jealous... or maybe that was just the punch talking. I had a feeling something was wrong with the punch- a feeling that I intended to prove or disprove by drinking another cup.

Anyway, silver-mask guy seemed equally desperate. Not that he revealed it in his words. He more revealed it in his lips when he kissed me-

I'm getting ahead of myself.

So we hung out on the porch for awhile, and he stared at me. I glanced back once or twice, and found that I liked the feeling of his gaze on me, whereas it would normally creep me out. "So..."

"There's something about you that reminds me of someone..."

Well that was unexpected.

"Who?" I asked him. Any other boy might've said some lame pick-up line like, "You have a striking resemblance to [insert beautiful girl here]." but silver-mask guy didn't intend for it to be a pick-up line. I could tell because he put a finger to his lips and exclaimed "I'm not sure..."

"Someone pretty, I hope."

"Someone beautiful." he assured me.

I picked up my long-empty cup, "Well then, cheers."



That was the punch talking, I was sure of it.

Go away, damn it! DAMN IT! Brett couldn't breathe when he felt her hands on him, her fingers delicately lifting him, turning him over so that his sweat drenched head rested on top of the pillow, and the front of his shoulders under her heated palms.


"Shh..." Her finger delicately brushed over his lips indicating for him to be quiet, but he ignored it.

"I'm sorry, Lissie, but you have-" His eyes widened as her hand clamped firmly over his mouth. Then he saw-her eyes.

"You've been with that bitch, Julie, for way too long." Her voice was hollow and breath-y, her frenzied eyes honestly scaring him. "And you and I both know that she's not enough for you."

Her fingers slid down from his face and to his arms, all the while holding his wide eyes hostage. "She's an airheaded ditz who doesn't give you what I did... do..."

She frowned and sighed, putting her forehead to his and speaking lowly, nuzzling his neck like a hungry lioness and making sounds that Brett struggled to make sense of, "So here's whats going to happen: you and I are going to tango, and then... mmm... then we're just going to have to break up with her, aren't we?"

He couldn't summon the strength to push her off- he was so, so tired.

She pulled down the switch on the bedside lamp. "That's what I thought."

It was painfully obvious to Jeremy that this pirate needed some comforting, right now. She needed to be held. She needed Jeremy.

So... why, exactly, was he on the other side of the bed, putting as much space as possible between them?

This was going to be his only chance with a girl ever, wasn't it?

Oh, the universe hated him.

"I'm sorry if I offended you." Jeremy murmured. He was sitting on the very corner of the bed because Anamaria was on the other side and he didn't want to look at her. The only light was coming from the bedside lamps, and he suddenly felt incredibly awkward, because it was practically romantic lighting.

"Not your fault." She said. She didn't mumble it, she said it quite clearly and precisely and it seemed like she so wanted to mumble but she needed to stay strong in front of... Jeremy? Or herself?

They were both lost.

Music filtered up from the party, but Jeremy couldn't place it.

"What the hell."

He put his arm around her shoulders, buried his face in her hair, and allowed her to lean into his body. He tried not to think about how this smooth, black hair was definitely not Leah's.

"Alright, lad, lean into it. It'll burn your throat but we have water for you." Gibbs' rough voice echoed in the bathroom.

It reminded Mark of the way Morgan Freeman could say anything and make it sound soothing. Gibbs could say anything and make it sound awesome. Even barfing. Or perhaps Mark was delusional.

Sam's hand was on his back, rubbing around his arched spine as he gagged into the toilet bowl. Her hand was cold, or maybe his back was warm. The room was spinning a bit, and he wondered if maybe he had a stomach virus.

"There you go. lad."

His throat was on fire.

There were suddenly cool lips on his forehead, accompanying the soothing voice that then reached his ears, "Mark, you'll be alright."

First he realized that Sam had just been nice to him. Then he realized that he liked the feeling of her hand running up and down his back.

Then, thoroughly exhausted and done upchucking, he fainted, and right before he fell unconscious he felt Sam catch him.

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.
Up got Jack, and home did trot
As fast as he could caper
He went to bed and bound his head
With vinegar and brown paper.

"Lass, did you ever look up at the night sky and wonder if you could reach up and touch the stars?"

"Can't. The atmosphere would get in the way."

"The what now?"

"Nevermind. Hey," Julie sat up. She had been sitting on Jack's lap, they were swinging on a chair-swing in the back of the house, staring up, the stars a bit distorted from excessive alcohol intake. Julie propped herself up with her elbows digging into his broad chest, "You bring any more punch outside?"

"Sorry, Lassie, but this lot's for me." He gestured wildly to the various cups of punch on the patio.

Julie rolled her eyes and grabbed one, downing it, and enjoying the feeling of fizz in her throat. She let out a burp. Jack laughed, his laugh was long and shook his whole body, and Julie's as well because she was draped on top of him. She liked it, it made her stomach feel good.

Julie laid back down on top of him, and Jack wrapped an arm around her shoulders.

"You know, you remind me of a beautiful lady I once knew. Her name was Giselle."

Julie froze.

"What?" Jack said defensively.

Julie's voice filled empty silence, "Jack, this is wrong. Everyone I know portrays you as some badass half mad hero, who's easy-going way of life leaves him being the most sexy man in the Caribbean. But that's not who you are, is it? You're a liar and a cheat. You treat people the way they want to be treated with no regards to how. You tell people things that make them feel like they're worth something, but what does it mean from a man who's worth nothing at all?"

Her monologue over, she looked back at the surprised pirate, but his eyes were not meeting hers, they were instead focused on her lips.

Then his lips were on her lips, instead.

"Mmm... you know this is illegal?" she mumbled against him.

"Pirate." He offered simply.


"You seem uneasy." Silver-mask guy murmured, walking towards me. "Is there any way I can help?"

"No, no. I... well, you see..." I stumbled over my words as he stepped even closer. Why did it have to be so unnerving to have him close to me? Surely Julie wouldn't feel this way around an attractive teen. Surely Sam would be able to keep her cool. Why couldn't I? I shifted uncomfortably.

Silver mask guy raised a hand to cup my chin but then paused in the middle, "May I?"

I felt like a princess. One of those Disney princesses that melt in their prince's arms. "No, it's quite alright- I mean..." I couldn't say anything more, my words caught in the knot in my throat. His fingers caressed my cheek, before lifting the mask slowly off of my face.

It clattered to the floor in all of it's plastic glory.


"Wait, WILL?"

To be continued... R+R!