It had been bright for days, and days, and days. It was, Captain Jack Sparrow was firmly convinced, just as bright in the dead of night, and Davy Jones take anyone who said differently!
"Oh wait," he muttered to himself, cracking an eye open to glare not at, but more in the general direction of the sun. "'E's dead. To... to Will Turner with 'em then. 'Course, that doesn't quite 'ave the same ring to it, now does it?"
His dinghy creaked, whether in agreement or disagreement, he couldn't quite tell; she didn't speak to him the way his Pearl had - did. Squinting, he scanned the horizon; he should be coming up on Florida any minute now.
Any day now, really, but he'd followed the charts, and his compass, and he was pretty damned sure that he wasn't lost.
One hand groped for his rum, as he squinted at the horizon, looking for a sign - any sign - of dry land. Even the amazing Captain Jack Sparrow couldn't live on the ocean forever.
Especially not in a little dinghy.
Moments later, rum was found, and land was not, and so Jack let himself fall back - lounge back - on what was left of his suppiles, and have a drink or three.
It was really, really bright. Not a cloud in the sky, sun reflecting off the blue-green sea, and just enough breeze to keep his dinghy moving. A perfect, beautiful, Caribbean day.
Jack checked his compass, and then closed his eyes and ignored it. He deserved a rest every now and then. Forget that he'd just woken up; it was just one of those days, and he'd notice if the wind changed direction.
It would, of course, be right as he was getting nicely comfortable, face just situated to catch the breeze, rum ready to hand, that the bloody seagull would fly by, screeching at him, personally.
"Hey! Why don't y--- Wait a minute here now, seagull. Seagull means land."
"I can get more rum!" the other Jack in his dinghy exclaimed. Jack frowned.
"Now hold on here, who said you could 'ave any of my rum?" he asked.
"Who said it was your rum in the first place, mate?" the other Jack pointed out. "But neither of us are going to get any more rum if y'don't follow that damned bird."
"Very goot point," Jack conceded. "I suppose I'll take your advice. For now," he added sharply. "Don't think I don't 'ave my eye on you." Jack tapped just under his eye, and pointed ominously at other Jack. Thankfully, it appeared that other Jack got the message, because he quickly shut up, and let Jack get back to the pitifully simple task of adjusting course in his dinghy.
The breeze picked up a bit, and was kind enough to change direction, just enough to let Jack generally follow the seagull's course.
His mood much improved, he even began humming a little to himself. Other Jack, being the insufferable bilge-rat that he was, naturally refused to harmonise with him.
Fortunately, it wasn't long before he actually caught sight of the prospective land, rising green on the horizon. It looked like just another island, but even at that distance, he could see signs of habitation, and, he even thought he saw people moving there.
He groped about for his spyglass, but of course, he failed to find it. Because his spyglass was on the Pearl. With that twice-traitorous dog, Barbossa.
Of course, Jack - not other Jack - would have the last laugh; he had the relevant part of the charts, and he had his compass, and he'd be finding his way to the Fountain of Youth, sooner or later.
Sooner, he hoped, while he still had his rougish good looks, and charming smile. It'd be no fun to gain immortality, but be old, and wrinkled, and arthritic, and hardly able to pull a rope, much less tie a knot, or throw down some good rum, or bad women.
The thought of being too old to throw back his rum made him shudder.
But the shore was going rapidly closer - how nice of the current to carry him, given that the wind had changed again - and the people on it were growing more visible, especially given the way that one of them, the one with the funny-shaped hat, and brightly-coloured clothes (was he a clown, or something?) was waving excitedly at him.
He squinted at the shoreline. Blinked hard, and squinted again.
That wasn't a funny-shaped hat.
That was funny-shaped hair.
He recognised that funny-shaped hair.
"Hey. Isn't that that Sora boy?" Apparently, so did other Jack. But he didn't have to be the first to say so. Now it menat that Jack would have to agree with other Jack.
"So it would appear," he grumbled, wishing once again for his spyglass. He could at least have used it to hit other Jack.
The current was carrying him rapidly towards shore, but Jack had time to reflect that he didn't recognise either of the attractive persons on the beach with the pointy-headed boy. Either way though, they were an improvement on his former companions.
"Hey Jack!" Sora's voice carried over the wind. Naturally, he recognised Jack, but he was pleased nonetheless; the boy hadn't appeared to have much betwixt his ears when Jack had last seen him, some time ago, now.
Of course, there was the Keyblade thing of his, Jack reflected. He hadn't forgot it, oh no.
"It probably would've been handy, fighting Davy Jones," the first shoulder Jack commented in his ear.
"Not that we needed it, but it's quite a piece of treasure, innit? One that we still 'aven't got in our own two hands yet, savvy?," the second shoulder Jack responded.
"Oh, I savvy," Jack murmured.
"JACK!" Sora shouted again, the wind once more carrying his voice. "There's a dock around the other side!" He waved his hands in wild gesticulation, indicating quite clearly - as if his words weren't enough - which way Jack was to go.
Well, that was easily enough accomplished - pull in the sails a bit, and tilt the rudder like so, and off he was. He had to wonder as to the contents of the little conversation between Sora and his bizarrely-dressed (not that he disapproved, mind, especially of the scandalously short skirt on that luscious young redhead) comrades just now.
'Who the hell's that?' he imagined the albino saying.
'Why, that's the amazing Captain Jack Sparrow!' Sora would, of course, respond. The boy had a proper respect for that sort of thing, Jack had to give him that.
'I've never seen such an 'andsome bloke!' Luscious Redhead would add.
Yes, Jack imagined, that's how it would be going.
As it turned out, there was a nice little current going around the island, and Jack managed to pick up a good clip as soon as he found it. Something struck him as not quite right about the currents around this particular bit of sand and green, but he put it to the back of his mind, for later consideration, after he found some more rum.
Sora was a good lad. Surely he'd share some rum. Jack's was almost gone.
Sora, the albino, and Luscious took off at a sprint, running around the island, keeping rough pace with Jack's dinghy, in a clear display of their eagerness to meet him.
As he came around the side of the island, it became clear that it was just one of a number of similar, small, closely-situated islands; he could see one big one in easy rowing distance, and off to either side, a few sundry others, and he found it quite reasonable to assume that there are more on the other side.
What he found interesting, was that it didn't look like any configuration of islands that he'd ever seen or heard of, which made it quite curious indeed, as, as everyone knew, Jack had seen and heard of quite a lot. That observation got put in the same place as his earlier one about the currents, for further thought when he has more rum.
The thought made him thirsty of course, and so, in anticipation of acquiring a fresh stock of his favourite beverage, Jack took the last swig of his last bottle of rum. It should tide him over long enough.
There was indeed a small dock on the other side of the island, it turned out, one just big enough for a rowboat - like the one that was moored to one side already, or, as it happened, Jack's dinghy. He stood up, balancing easily in the small boat, on the calm waters, and took up his mooring line.
"Ahoy the boat!" Sora shouted, waving to Jack, as he came running up onto the dock.
"Ahoy the shore!" Jack replied. "Sora, there's a good lad, catch my line, will you?" Without waiting for a reply, Jack tossed the rope out to him.
Sora, displaying admirable reflexes, caught the line, and started drawing in the slack.