"So what are we doing?" Alice asked as the pirate captain brushes some blue eye shadow onto her porcelain eyes.
"Making you look spiffy for our arrival in Tortuga." Jack replied. "I want my new navigator to impress."
"I already dress like a pirate, Jack."

It was true. Part of Alice was deadly curious to find out what her mother would think of her clothing now. She'd acquired white leggings and a blouse, and a blue bandana, skirt, and vest. Her hair was already covering her bandana, except for a small bit on her forehead.

"Blue is really your color." Jack commented as he began to string glass beads into her hair.
"Thank you. I think." Alice shut her eyes, tranquil as he gently held her hair.
"Alice?"

She opened her eyes as Jack spoke. He'd gotten closer and both of them sat on her bed.
"Yes?" Alice replied, a flush growing in her cheeks. Jack's hand fell from her hair to her cheek as he leaned toward her.

Uncertainty brewed within Alice. He's not Hatter! The single thought ran through her brain. Before she could lift her hand to stop him Absalom burst in. No-he'd said his name was Metatron.

Alice felt relief as he entered.
"Ah-" Metatron glanced between them. "Alice. Raghetti put us off course."
"I'll go fix it."

Alice had barely been gone a moment before Jack spoke.
"I know you did that on purpose." He commented, grabbing for his rum.
"To wind up a pirate's wench is not her destiny." Metatron replied. It was not the first time they'd had this discussion.
"Destiny be damned. Don't she and I get a say?" Jack asked before taking a swig.
"You're not the one she loves. Surely you figured that out!"

Jack fell quiet for a moment. He knew she spoke of the 'Hatter' fellow often, usually with the fondness he was developing for her.
"He's not here right now."
"You can let her go..." Metatron spoke, "Or she can be driven away."
"And what gives you the right?" Jack snapped.
"I am an instrument of fate." The angel replied. "Her fate lies far away from here. I am authorized to do almost anything to make sure she fulfills it."
"I like her very much. I like her muchness." Drat, that word again. Jack puzzled over it before continuing. "I won't send her away. Its her choice to stay."
"Then you may find your actions..." Metatron paused. "Inspired."