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Fandom: Pirates of the Caribbean.
Pairing: Jack/Ocean/OFC
Rating: G
Word Count: 765
Notes: Inspired by the song by Weddings Parties Anything, from the album of the same name. For Arwen Lune. Well and truly pre-movie timeline.
Disclaimer: I don't own Jack Sparrow, and to be honest, I don't think anyone could. However, the Disney Corporation and Johnny Depp do have the right to say they created him. No money is being made from this work of fan fiction.

Difficult Loves.

The locket hangs around his wrist, trapped in the dirty tangle of cloth there, kept safe, and close to his skin. When he was in the captain's cabin of the Pearl, it had hung above his bed, but while that love of his is gone, he has the memory of this other one to sustain him. Not that any would know this. Not that he's likely to expose a weakness. Not any more.

In a way, he's got her to thank for what he's become. It had been laughable, really. She was the daughter of a fisherman, he was the son of a clerk. She'd been the prettiest girl in the whole town, shone like a star. She was the only girl in a family of boys - her mother had died birthing the youngest - so she'd grown up running the whole family. Thought more like a boy than a girl, she did.

She was one of the fishers in the fleet, and one of the better ones, too. Her da had decided to take the whole family out on the sea. They just about lived on the boat, and she'd learned how to do the chores of a fisherman. Strong, fast-witted, and the life just shone in her face.

She'd been the one to teach him about the ocean, to show the sea in all her moods. He still found himself remembering her when he was piloting a ship through a storm, remember the fierce joy on her face as she battled with the sea, fighting to see whether or not she'd be able to win through. She'd taught him so much about sailing, so much about life. So much about love.

Yet her company had caused problems. He'd wanted to wed her, wanted to tie her to him. She'd fought against it almost as hard as his parents had. His mother, in particular, had sworn up hill and down dale she would not have her son marrying a common fisher-wench. He could do so much better, be so much more. His father had near disinherited him on first hearing it. As for her - she'd sailed off on a fishing expedition, and been gone for nearly a week. He had thought he'd lost her.

The loss had made him angry, and the anger had made him cruel. The words they had flung at each other had been harsh, vicious. Each of them had dredged up the worst they could say about each other. In the end, she'd thrown the locket he'd given her at him (he still wore the small scar of the cut where it had hit) and stormed off.

She didn't come back.

He stole a boat - just a small one, one of the little coracles dragged up on the beach - and sailed out after her, but she was the cannier seaman, and sailed the larger and faster ship. He lost sight of her, lost her in the wildness of the ocean. He couldn't follow where she'd gone - not then, not ever.

It had been on one of his expeditions trying to find her that he'd been caught by the storm. Was it the same thing as had happened to her? He didn't know. In the chaos of the storm, in the tangle of the waves, the wind, and the rain, he only knew the coracle sank. Nearly took him with it, and at that moment, he would have welcomed it. Yet in the wildness of the wind, he thought he heard her voice. In the roaring of the seas, he thought he heard her singing to him.

He woke on the deck of a merchantman. Two days later, they were captured by pirates. He was among those offered a choice of service in the crew, or death in the depths. John Petrie died. Jack Sparrow was born.

He still searches for her, still hears her voice in the wind, in the waves. She's become the sea to him now, and he searches for her beyond each horizon. She still haunts him, stays within his dreams. Now and then, on the Pearl, he thought he heard her voice in the creaking of the timbers, and somewhere within the dream and the memory, the loss of the Pearl has become conflated with her loss, and he hears her calling to him, from within the Pearl, begging him to find her, to let her return.

If you saw me, would you touch me?
If I held you, would you shudder
In the way that I do?
Oh darling, would you?

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