clarity scifiroots (scifiroots) wrote in piratechallenge,
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#8: Strange Fire (AnaMaria)

Title: Strange Fire
By Clarity Scifiroots

Characters/Pairings: AnaMaria, Gibbs, bit o’ Jack, Tia Dalma | Ana/Tia, past implications of Jack/Ana
Word Count: 1,472
Rating: Teen/PG-13 for sexual implications
Regular disclaimers apply. I look nothing like Mickey Mouse or Johnny Depp or any of the others who could lay claim to the creation of Pirates. Title inspired by the Indigo Girls’ song of the same name.

Spoilers: Various for DMC
Summary: How AnaMaria finally got a ship of her own. Set between Curse and DMC.
Notes: A side story to my fic “Try Not to Breathe,” although both stories can stand alone. Part of my post-DMC series of fics. Almost forgot, the wiki entry on Vodou is fascinating and helped me come up with some future ideas. A manbo is a Vodou priestess. ;)

Edited August 14, 2006

AnaMaria had been infinitely patient regarding the payment of one ship in exchange for the boat Jack had taken (and subsequently sunk). She wouldn’t let him get by with granting her any old ship, though, not after the work she’d done to help him regain the Pearl and what she’d had to put up with between land-dwelling younglings and cursed pirates. No, she wanted a ship of the sort future legends would be born. After four months of aiding Captain Jack Sparrow, AnaMaria was more than ready to get out of his shadow and make a name for herself.
 

She broached the subject one night when most of the crew was below decks and she stood alone with the captain at the wheel. “Cap’n,” she said, “you’ve a debt to pay.”
 

Jack, who had been squinting at and fiddling with his damnable compass, startled at her words and swung his head around sharply; the trinkets in his hair clinked together noisily. “Wha’s that?”
 

“My ship!” AnaMaria reminded sharply. Strange, it seemed as if he was... scared? Frowning, for that didn’t sound at all like Jack, she asked, “What’s givin’ you the willies, Cap’n?”
 

Snapping shut the compass, Jack straightened up as he turned to face her full on. “Willies! I don’t get the willies, m’dear. Startled me, is all,” he muttered the last. “But yer boat!” His eyes sparkled and he pressed his hands together in what usually would be a gesture of supplication, had he been anyone else. “Yes... y’want somethin’ special, I imagine? Nothin’ catch yer eye yet, darlin’?”
 

AnaMaria scowled. “Stop gibberin’, Jack. I want my ship!”
 

“An’ you shall have one when we come ‘cross what yer seekin’.”
 

“That will be when?” she demanded, eyes narrowing. He rolled his eyes to the side and pursed his lips; she doubted he put any real thought into the matter, though. “Gibbs says you know a woman who ‘as a way o’ findin’ thin’s.”
 

Jack grimaced. “Tia Dalma. Loverly lady. Honestly. Manbo, y’know.” He eyed her skeptically. “Don’t do nothin’ for free, darlin’, an’ really, we haven’t the time for a side trip—”
 

“Don’t give me bull!” AnaMaria growled, jabbing a finger at his chest. “You want a mut’ny? We was promised a ship o’ our own!”
 

Jack pouted. “You’ll be takin’ half me crew, then?”
 

She met his gaze calmly. “There was a ‘alf dozen wantin’ to try somethin’ new.”
 

He closed his eyes and sighed pitifully. “You kill me, darlin’, but I’m a man of me word.” He opened one eye and frowned at some memory. “Hmph. Aye, we’ll change course. Get some rest, m’dear. We’ve a few days’ journey.”
 

AnaMaria hesitantly gave up command of the wheel and stepped back. She lingered for a while, listening to Jack’s humming of the ridiculous song he had a tendency to torture the crew with whenever he was deeply drunk. Something about “really bad eggs” that the girl had taught him, she thought. AnaMaria relented at last and went below to see if they still had any fruit left from their last raid. She looked over her shoulder and caught a pleased smile on her captain’s face. A few days journey would take them all the closer to Port Royal; she wondered if he would chance a visit to that boy of his.
 

------
 

“I don’ see why the cap’n didn’ come,” Danvers grumbled.
 

“Just row,” AnaMaria told him, rolling her eyes in annoyance. “This is ‘bout my ship, less Cap’n Sparrow’s involved, the better.” Gibbs snorted quietly at the helm. “Somethin’ to add?”
 

“Can’t escape Jack, Ana,” he said with a faint smile. “All the sea knows him an’ ‘is.”
 

Glaring at the old sailor, she snapped, “I ain’t ‘is!”
 

“But ye’ve more’n crossed ‘is path. Yer name will always be part a’ Jack’s crew.” Gibbs had fallen into story-telling mode, his body bent forward and tone dropping as if he spoke a sacred secret.
 

AnaMaria scoffed. “You really think someone’s got a master book with all our names in it?”
 

“Not like that.” Gibbs shook his head. “No, lass, I’m speaking a’ the master a’ the seas; Davy Jones knows all, particularly about Jack.”
 

“Why’s tha’?” Danvers asked eagerly. AnaMaria slapped his shoulder as a reminder to continue rowing.
 

“As I hear it, Jack got the Pearl from Jones’ locker years ago. Sunk to the depths, she was ‘fore ol’ Jack made a deal ta raise ‘er.”
 

AnaMaria couldn’t shake off the memory of how nervous Jack had looked when she’d brought up payment the other night. Uneasy, she asked, “An’ just what sort o’ deal did our not-so-wise Cap’n make?”
 

Gibbs leaned back and blinked, a sure sign that his story was now disrupted. “Don’t rightly know.”
 

Shaking her head in exasperation, AnaMaria turned her back on the men. The river leading to the bayou was eerily lit with filtered sunlight and the occasional lantern lit on the porch of half-sunken huts on the banks. Despite the damp heat she felt chill and she had to wonder if this had been a good idea.
 

------
 

A tall man with skin the color of a moonless night stood waist-deep in the murky waters. Silently he guided the longboat to a short dock. AnaMaria hesitantly accepted his proffered hand as she stepped up onto the damp boards. She glanced sidelong at the man, but his features were blank and gave nothing away.
 

At the end of the dock a ladder led up to a balcony. AnaMaria turned and motioned for Danvers to stay; she ignored his dubious glance at the silent man. With Gibbs behind her, she climbed the ladder and stepped into the open doorway.
 

Her first impressions of the Vodou woman’s den consisted of golden light and a large, spotted snake curled around the leg and back of a chair. Later she would notice the dozens of jars hanging from ceiling beams and the bags, vials, and boxes overflowing shelves lining the walls.
 

“De Jack Sparrow does not come?” The manbo appeared from behind a tattered cloth covering the doorway on the opposite side of the room. “I ken not help if he not come.”
 

“I’m not ‘ere for Jack,” AnaMaria said.
 

She was fascinated by the dye staining Tia Dalma’s lips and patterned dots on her face. The manbo was no taller than her but had more curves—the wide hips of a goddess idol and an ample bosom displayed enticingly by the low neckline of her dress.
 

Tia smiled, revealing darkened teeth. “Ahh, a ship ken not have more’n one cap’tan. Dere is a ship waitin’ for you, be you ready to claim her?”
 

AnaMaria eagerly moved closer. “Aye.” Tia stared over her shoulder with a significant gaze. AnaMaria heard Gibbs shifting nervously. Although she couldn’t be sure it was the wise decision, she told him, “Go wait with Danvers. I won’t be long.”
 

“Ana...” Tia raised a hand and his protests trailed off. The door creaked closed behind him.
 

With a smug smile, Tia came around the table, stopping at arm’s length. “I require payment.”
 

Swallowing apprehensively, AnaMaria scrubbed her sweating palms on his pants. “What would you ‘ave?” she asked.
 

The manbo’s eyes narrowed in pleasure. “I wonder...” She closed the gap between them and leaned forward, her lips a hairsbreadth away from AnaMaria’s cheek. “...what you be willin’ to give.” Her dark, slightly red-stained stare stripped flesh and muscle, leaving bare AnaMaria’s heart and soul.
 

AnaMaria closed her eyes and took a shuddering breath, overwhelmed by the very presence of this strange woman. She couldn’t think clearly, suddenly torn between finding her ship and familiarizing herself with the woman. So long she had been at sea surrounded by men with their coiled aggression and sharp edges. At one time she could have contented herself with Jack—a man unlike any other—but she knew now that he was no longer free to take, whether he realized it or not.
 

Tia Dalma drew closer, her breasts brushing AnaMaria’s with every breath. When their lips met AnaMaria moaned in satisfaction and readily opened her mouth. The kiss was firm but she realized that Tia stood resolutely, giving no indication that she would take it further. Frustration mixed with disappointment as the manbo pulled away gently.
 

“I will receive full payment when you gid de ship.” Tia stepped out of reach. “Tell Jack to lend you de compass.”
 

AnaMaria protested, “That damn thin’ don’t stay pointin’ in one direction!”
 

Delight danced across Tia’s grinning face. “Is dat so? Ahh, Jack...” she chuckled. “For you, Ana, it will lead straight to de Wailing Banshee.” In response to AnaMaria’s skeptical gaze she said, “Rename her. She be yers.”
 

“And payment...?”
 

Tia Dalma lifted a hand to toy with her necklace. “You return in six months. De payment is due den.”
 
~ Fin ~

(for now ^_~)
 

August 12-13, 2006

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