So doing a Master's degree in Vocal Performance during a pandemic with absolutely no performance opportunities is exactly as bad as it sounds. Recording all of your coaching exam pieces is also hell, especially since you have to listen to yourself sing. Anyway, my semester is finally over, so I'm going to try and crank out the end of this section of the fic before going back and rewriting the cringier parts of. As always, review/subs/favs are appreciated.

Friendly reminder that I have a tumble blog for this fic and I will always take whatever prompts you want and write little drabbles on there. It's .com. I also have links to Pinterest boards and Spotify playlists that are collaborative!

Most women wouldn't be practically beaming at the sight of a raucous, infamous port known for its many levels of depravity and sin. Then again, most women weren't Lydia Swann. It had already felt like she'd been away from Hector for far too long. Every inch of her wanted to be back in his arms already.

"Ma'am, we'll be docking soon." Lydia turned around and gave the man a curt nod. She stepped off the helm and looked to the east, where the sun was just barely above the horizon. It was fitting that they were arriving at dawn.

"Good," she said. She looked at the port, growing closer and closer by the minute. "No one comes onto this ship without my permission. Am I clear?"

"Yes, ma'am," he replied. He turned on his heel and began to give orders to the rest of the crew. She made her own way down to the main deck, the skirts of her purple linen dress brushing the ground behind her. Everything felt so close now, so real. Soon she'd be Lydia Barbossa, wife to a Pirate Lord and a feared woman in her own right. She smirked to herself at the thought. Who was she kidding? She already had a reputation because of her abilities. Men knew that Nereids weren't to be trifled with, even honest men.

She watched as the ship finally docked and smiled to herself. It didn't go unnoticed to her that they'd docked only a few ships away from the Black Pearl, a fact that amused Lydia to no end. She could see the men glancing uneasily at the tattered black sails of the infamous ship. Even now, these men were wary of the fact that they were in one of the most notorious pirating ports in the entirety of the world, but Lydia was paying them well enough to not complain about it aloud. She felt more than anxious to get off of this ship and to the Faithful Bride, where hopefully Barbossa will be waiting has he'd told her.

"Any other orders, ma'am?" the man asked. She looked out at the Black Pearl and smirked to herself.

"No," she said. "You and your men know the terms of our arrangement, Captain." The former East India Trading Company Captain gave her one final, curt nod before returning to his men. Some of the men who were allowed shore leave jogged down the gangplank with a little too much enthusiasm. Lydia let out a low chuckle and shook her head. Perhaps they were going to the same place, but for very, very different reasons. She took a deep breath and finally made her way down the gangplank herself.

She made it to Tortuga, now she just had to find the Faithful Bride.

Barbossa sat in his room at the Faithful Bride, studying the ledgers he'd recently acquired. For the last few weeks he'd been working to figure out who was his, who was Jack's, and who didn't care about who truly captained the Black Pearl. The war may be over between the pirates at Cutler Beckett, but the war between him and Jack Sparrow would never end. He knew Pintel and Ragetti were his; they always had been and always would be. As much as those two lacked brains, they had loyalty.

His thoughts were interrupted when he heard a knock on his door. Barbossa swore under his breath, half-ready to shoot whoever decided to disturb at this hour. It was far too early for anyone to awake after how much the patrons drank last night. He pulled the door open and growled, "What?"

"Oh, is that the greeting I get?"

Barbossa suddenly found himself looking right into the stormy grey eyes of Lydia Swann.

He didn't even waste a second. He immediately pulled her inside the room and slammed the door behind shut and he swept her into his arms and kissed her hard. He heard her squeak at impact, the sound music to Barbossa's ears. Her arms wrapped themselves around his shoulders, her hands weaving their way into his unkempt auburn hair. He was flush against her; he could feel her rapid heartbeat against his own. He could feel her laughs against him as they kissed each other.

"This is more like it," she murmured the first moment she could. Barbossa didn't even respond. He cared little for words right now; he wanted nothing more than to feel her smaller body against his and to taste her lips. His hands roamed around her sides and he drunk in the sweet taste of her lips. It amazed him how soft she was; her lips, her hair, her touch... How could something as soft as her fall for a rough bastard such as him? Barbossa focused his attentions on the nape of her neck, his lips just barely brushing her pulse point. The sound Lydia made when he did that... He couldn't wait to make her moan like that for the rest of their lives.

"I've been aching for ye since the moment ye left for Port Royal," he growled against her neck. He felt her shaky breath against him and damn, it was intoxicating.

"Trust me, I know exactly what you mean," Lydia breathed out, her hands sliding down his arm. "But I'm afraid you'll have wait a while longer to get what you're wishing for." She gently moved his arms away from her and took both his hands in hers. She smirked and said, "I have something waiting for you down by the docks, if you have a mind to join me." Barbossa narrowed his eyes at that almost devious smirk on her face. What was she planning?

"Me curiosity is gettin' the best o' me," he said. He stole one last kiss from her pale pink lips and then let her open the door behind her. "Lead the way, me lover." She turned around and opened the door, leading him out of the musty room and through the dimly-lit tavern. The sudden brightness of the morning sun nearly blinded Barbossa for a moment. How long had it been since he'd actually left the tavern? Clearly too long. He followed Lydia, who strode with such confidence that he was sure she was smirking to herself as she led him towards the docks. She had something up her sleeve... yet Barbossa had absolutely no idea what was going on in her head.

They finally made it to the docks, where Lydia led him directly towards a rather beautiful looking ship. She was a smaller Galleon, three masts in total. Even just by looking at her, Barbossa could tell she was a younger ship. She couldn't have been more than a year or two old. Lydia stood there in front of it, arms crossed and that damned knowing smirk drawn across her face. "She what you came here on?" Barbossa asked her.

"Yes," Lydia said. "She was formerly part of the East India Trading Company. Apparently Beckett left her behind to guard Port Royal in his absence."

"She's a beauty, I'll admit," Barbossa said.

"Yes, she is," Lydia said. "I've grown rather fond of her, which is a good thing considering I own her." Barbossa nodded slowly and then froze. Wait... did she just say that she owned this ship? Barbossa's eyes darted back and forth between Lydia and the galleon. Lydia let out a chuckle and said, "She cost me nearly everything Beckett left me, which wasn't as much as I'd hoped, by the way, but I thought she was worth it."

"You bought a ship?" Barbossa asked incredulously. Lydia laughed again and nodded.

"Yes, I did," she said. "And as you know well, I have very little experience with sailing a ship like her. I happen to find myself in need of someone to captain her." Barbossa couldn't help but smile at that. Unbelievable. She bought them a ship. She actually bought the two of them a vessel to sail throughout the world. "Are you interested, Captain Barbossa?"

"Well, given the circumstances and considering I currently find meself without a ship to me name," Barbossa mused. Lydia rolled her eyes and sent a teasing glare his way. "Consider me her new captain, Miss Swann."

"Good," Lydia said with a chuckle. "I was actually terrified that you'd hate her. She's no Black Pearl but she sails well."

"She have a name?" Barbossa asked her. Lydia let out a grimace and shook her head.

"Not unless you like calling her the Valorous," Lydia replied. Barbossa grimaced with her. There was no way in hell he'd keep a name like that. It was too... royal navy. It didn't sound anything like the name of a pirate vessel. "Personally, I was hoping to rename her."

"Ye have one in mind?" he asked her. Lydia shook her head.

"I thought I'd give you that honor," she replied. Barbossa let out a hum and slowly walked alongside the ship, inspecting every single angle of his new vessel. It was amazing to look at; a new vessel to start a new journey with, a journey with Lydia by his side. Though she was a young ship, she'd carry them for years to come through more battles, more adventures, more stories. He and Lydia had already survived so much already, including death itself, but the prospect of finding new treasures and uncovering deeper mysteries in the world excited him. After all they'd seen and done, they could survive anything this world and the next threw at them.

Suddenly it hit him. He knew what to call this vessel. He turned to Lydia with a characteristic smirk and said, "The Survivor. That's 'er name." Lydia let out a bright, beautiful smile and looked back up at deep brown galleon.

"The Survivor," she said. "It's perfect." Barbossa strode up to her and wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her closer to him. "Only about five of her original crew decided to stay on. After everything they'd been through in Port Royal, they decided they had no qualms with converting to piracy. We'll need to do a lot of recruiting before we're ready to set sail."

"What do we have now?" Barbossa asked.

"Three gunners, a carpenter, and a cook," Lydia replied. "Anyone with higher ranking and more experience opted to find a way back to Port Royal. Not that I blame them, most still have family there and a pirate's life wouldn't suit them. We have no Helmsman, no Boatswain, no Quartermaster, no Master Gunner or Master Carpenter, and no First Mate. " Barbossa nodded slowly and stared at the ship. His ship. Well, their ship.

"Pintel and Ragetti'll stay on, so we have a crew of seven at least," Barbossa said. "I might be able to convince some of Jack's men to sail with me. As for a First Mate... I might have an idea of someone." Lydia arched an eyebrow. "I've had a few drinks with her over the last month and I think she'll be a good fit."

"What's her name?" Lydia asked.

"Bex Beauchamp," Barbossa said. "Old flame of Alice's. She was the Quartermaster on the Damned Raider until she stabbed it's Captain in the cock with a rusty nail for his unwanted advances." Lydia let out a soft hum and nodded slowly, as if picturing that scenario in her head. Maybe even with her and that snake Beckett.

"I like her already," Lydia said. Barbossa smirked to himself. The two women would get on well, he had no doubt in his mind. The next time he saw Bex he'd bring up the offer. He didn't doubt that she'd more than leap at the opportunity. "Any ideas for the rest of the crew?"

"Nay," Barbossa said. "We'll have to do some searchin' for the rest."

"LYDDIE!" A voice suddenly squealed. Barbossa turned his head and watched as none other than Alice Swann came running towards them. Lydia beamed as Alice immediately engulfed her in a tight hug.

"I've missed you!" Lydia said. "How did you know-"

"Pintel spotted you coming from the Faithful Bride," Alice said. "And look at you, Barbossa! When's the last time you saw the light of day again?" Barbossa rolled his eyes and scoffed. "Lyddie, you should've seen him. He spend the last month brooding in the back of the tavern. It was unbearable to watch."

"She dragged me into a drinkin' game whenever she thought I was brooding too much," Barbossa replied. "And I wasn't broodin'."

"You were definitely brooding," Alice argued back teasingly.

"Were not," Barbossa argued back.

"Were too," Alice teased. She put her hand dramatically against her forehead and said, "Lydia, Lydia, oh me fair Lydia! I miss ye with the passion of a thousand burnin' suns!" Lydia burst out into near-hysterical laughter while Barbossa simply glared at Alice.

"I don't sound like that," he said simply.

"But that was generally what you sounded like every time I talked to you," Alice said. "You even started brooding during the drinking games sometimes!"

"Did not."

"You definitely did," Alice said. Lydia chuckled lightly and looked between the two of them.

"I'm surprised you're still here, Alice," Lydia said. "I thought you and Jack would've sailed off by now."

"We probably would've if it weren't for you and Connor," Alice said. "I wanted to wait to see you marry Barbossa and I also wanted some time on dry land to figure out motherhood."

"How's Conner?" Lydia asked.

"Perfect," Alice answered with the biggest smile on her face. "She's just so perfect. She smiled for the first time yesterday at Jack!" She finally looked up at the ship and let out a whistle. "She's a beauty."

"Thank you," Lydia said with a smirk. "I own her." Alice widened her eyes and dropped her jaw.

"You what?" Alice asked.

"I own her," Lydia said. "I used what little Beckett gave me to buy one of the best ships of the East India Trading Company fleet. He'll be rolling in his watery grave with the knowledge that one of his ships is now under the command of the Pirate Lord whom I'll be marrying." Alice let out a bark and rested her good arm on her hip, looking up at the ship. "We named her the Survivor."

"That's perfect," Alice said with a smile. "So, Barbossa, does that mean you'll stop trying to steal the Pearl?"

"I make no promises nor any guarantees," Barbossa said with a teasing smirk.

"Really?" Lydia asked, crossing her arms and arching an eyebrow. "I buy us a ship and you still want the Pearl?" Barbossa looked up at his new ship and let out a sigh. There'd be no getting out of this one, that was for sure. Especially with not one, but two Swann women ganging up on him.

"I suppose I could leave well enough alone for the time being," he said. "After all, it goes against me conscience to deprive a mother and babe of their home."

"Good answer," Lydia murmured with a teasing smirk. He rolled his eyes almost overdramatically and looked at Alice.

"Not even married yet and I'm already answerin' to me wife," he said.

"Oh please," Alice said. "She's had you wrapped around her little finger since before you died." Barbossa let out a short hum and glanced at Lydia. Alice had a fair enough point on that one. "Adding the rings is just going to solidify that fact."

"Aye," he said. "But I wouldn't have it any other way." He pressed a kiss to Lydia's forehead. Alice let out a groan and rolled her eyes.

"Stop being so disgustingly romantic," Alice said. "It goes against every part of your reputation."

"The fact that I managed to get meself a Nereid for a wife should make men fear me more," Barbossa said with a teasing smirk. Alice let out a shrug and put her only hand on her hip.

"Fair enough," Alice said. "Most the people here know about the Battle of the Maelstrom now. Fair warning, Lyddie, I definitely exaggerated how much you did." Lydia arched an eyebrow and narrowed her eyes.

"Define 'exaggerated,'" she said.

"I've been telling people you summoned the entirety of the Maelstrom yourself and that at one point you called upon the ghostly remains of the kraken," Alice said simply. "I really just embellished detail. Besides, it's Tortuga. Everything gets embellished around here. I mean, I've apparently slept with every girl at the Blooming Rose at the same time in a massive-"

"Alice, I don't want know," Lydia interrupted, grimacing at the thought. Barbossa let out a bark of a laugh. "I need drinks before you tell me this story; I need to immediately be able to forget it."

"Well, we have plenty of rum aboard the Pearl," Alice said. "The two of you can come by once you've handled everything you need to handle on your new ship."

"I'll take you up on that," Lydia said with a small smile. "I'm not going to pass up a chance to see my niece before you leave Tortuga." Barbossa let out low 'huh' at the sudden realization that he was about to become the uncle of Jack Sparrow's child. He couldn't deny that he enjoyed the idea of how much it would piss off Sparrow to know that little fact. Perhaps he could infuriate Jack further by becoming Connor Sparrow's favorite uncle. Of course, he knew he'd dote on the girl because of the fact that she was Alice's daughter.

He glanced over at Lydia, his beautiful Lydia. He briefly wondered what their own children would be like. Perhaps they'd have a girl of their own with her mother's hair and his eyes. It was a pleasant thought to consider in future. He could almost picture himself doting upon a little girl of his own, never letting her want for anything. He never considered himself the fatherly type, especially considering the absence of his own father for the entirety of his life and the fact that he was more than aware of his harsh nature. Yet the more he thought about a future with Lydia, the more he could picture it.

"I'd best be getting back to the Pearl," Alice said, bringing Barbossa out of this thoughts. "It's close to Connor's feeding time and I doubt Jack will handle a screaming infant all that well. But I'd better see your asses there later tonight. I have drinking games to teach Lydia."

"I'm not sure if I should be afraid or not, but at the very least I'll be there," Lydia replied. "Hector might be a completely different story."

"Nay," Barbossa said, pulling Lydia closer to him. "Ye should know by know that where ye go, I go."

"Great," Alice said with a smile. "I'll give Jack the warning in case he decides he'd rather hide in his cabin with a barrel of rum." With that, she turned around and rushed back to the Black Pearl.

"Shall we?" Lydia asked, nodding towards the newly named Survivor. Barbossa let out a smirk and looked down at her.

"Aye," he said. He let go of Lydia's waist and finally stepped onto the gangplank. He couldn't help but feel sense of pride as he made his way onto his ship. It felt good to have a ship of his own again, even if it wasn't the Pearl. Then again, what more could he ask for than a ship procured by his lover as an act of revenge against her foul late husband? Oh yes... they were going to do great things on the Survivor. They'd have many adventures aboard her. They'd fight many battle and find many treasures. For the first time in a long time Barbossa felt good about the road ahead of him. Finally, after decades of curses and monsters and even death itself, things were going right for him.

He had the ship, he had the girl, and he had control over his own destiny for once. A new beginning was on the horizon. The world wasn't ready for reign of Hector and Lydia Barbossa, and that's exactly how he wanted it.