Title: Figuring It Out
Author: Serafina (serafina20@hotmail.com)
Pairing: JS/WT/ES (implied) JS/CN (implied)
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Jack Sparrow finally figures something out. (Slight movie spoilers)
Disclaimer: Don't own them, don't make money off them, and intend no disrespect. Disney owns the characters and concepts.

"I've figured it out," Jack announced, flopping loosely besides me on deck of the Black Pearl.

"Oh?" I answered distractedly, trying to force my damn needled through the canvas again. I hate mending the sails. Hate it with a passion. Needlepoint had never been my greatest love to being with, but at least when I'd done it in my old life the material had been halfway decent. Sails on the other hand seemed to do anything they could to repel needle and thread, much to my eternal frustration.

"Yeah. I've figured it out. Finally. Been wondering, I have, for years about why you did it and now I know."

He stopped there and, when I looked up, I saw that he looked insufferably pleased with himself. I sighed. He always looked so when he'd done something he thought was very clever. It was both annoying and oddly charming at the same time.

Jack sat there, looking at me with that expression until, with a heavy sigh, I laid my mending in my lap. "What have you figured out?" I asked with polite interest.

"Why you got rid of the rum."

I frowned; why on earth would I do something stupid like that? Rum was a staple onboard, not a luxury. Besides, I had done no such thing.

"I what?"

"The rum. You got rid of it." On seeing my blank face stay blank, he sighed as if put upon. "On the island."

I still had no idea what he was talking about so I raised my eyebrow.

Jack sighed again, his hands wafting in the air dramatically. I knew that when he began speaking again, he'd use his hands in that queer, delicate way of his that he thought made what he had to say immeasurably clearer. The rest of the world, however, found his hands so memorizing that all we could do was stare at them, waving about in the air lightly until we were so confused, we agree to anything.

Which was how Will and I ended up in bed with him the first time. And the second. And every time after, except when I was the aggressor. Not that I'm complaining or anything.

I realized he was still speaking and I'd been staring at his hands like a lust-filled strumpet. Which I am not. A strumpet, that is.

I forced myself to focus my attention on his words.

"On the island. When we were maroon. By Captain Barbossa? And you got rid of the rum?"

Ah, yes. Now I remember. Dear Lord, that was four years ago.

"Oh, right. I do remember. Why did I get rid of the rum, Jack?" I felt compelled to remind him of his name. He'd answered to 'Will' quite a few times in recent weeks. Of course, I had been pleased enough with the results not to complain, and things did tend to get confused with three people in bed at times, but still. With Jack, it was often better to keep things fresh in his mind.

He smiled and leaned in. Brushing hair from my face, he said, "You got rid of the rum because you were afraid if we kept drinking, you'd lose your resolve and sleep with me."

It was all I could do to keep a straight face. I stared at him, schooling my face into perfect calmness as my chest constricted. I couldn't breath for fear I'd laugh. I felt as if I'd been confined once more to a bloody corset.

Jack kissed me as I struggled not to cut him down by my hysterical laughter. "It's okay, love," he purred. "I understand. I'm quite irresistible, and you were young."

Must. Not. Insult. Lover. By. Raucous. Laughter.

I kissed him back while I struggled within myself. He'd been getting testy and irritable in the past week, and I didn't want to upset him. Commodore Norrington hadn't caught us in almost a month, and Jack, I think, missed him. Not that he'd ever admit it. He never spoke of any feelings for the Commodore, instead acting as if it were just the world's most elaborate sex-play. However, at the same time, he never attempted to hide the overly pleased smile he got when his eyes fell on the Commodore, nor was he able to keep the soft edge out of his voice when speaking about him.

When Jack pulled back, he smiled again. "I forgive you, Elizabeth."

Drawing on all my training as a young lady--the kind that taught me never to be anything but unfailingly polite and smile nicely without revealing my true feelings--I smiled and caressed his cheek. "Thank you, Jack. That does mean a lot." I leaned in and kissed him again.

"British ship off the port bow!" Riley cried from the crows nest.

Jack's eyes lit up and he leapt to his feet.

Quietly, I rose and folded the sail neatly. It would wait. And, as for Jack, he could live with his delusions. I got rid of the rum so I wouldn't be tempted to sleep with him. I'd let him think that, and never tell him otherwise.

Besides. He wasn't far from the truth.