She'd left them with Barbossa, all eyeing him warily as he grinned and ate his apple, and disappeared into the depths of her cabin. Gibbs drifted after her, almost unconsciously, rather than spend another minute in the company of his one-time captain, and found her muttering to herself as she scraped together handfuls of herbs into a bundle.
She looked up at him sharply, and then gave him an unnerving slow smile.
"Mister Gibbs. You are not comfortable with the captain I found?"
"Can't say as I am", he admitted after a moment, making a sign against evil with the hand out of her line of sight.
She peered at him for a second longer then shrugged sharply, turning back to her herbs. "No other man gwine find old Jack for you. No other man knows the waters ye will sail."
There didn't seem much point arguing that, so he just looked around the room, keeping his fingers firmly crossed. Just in case. Finally, reluctantly, he asked, "What's that you're doing?"
It earned him a sharp look, then another smile. "Curiosity... but I'll tell you. These herbs gwine bring a man a dream. A man ye know, and a dream much needed. Your Will isn't the only one with a touch of destiny."
Gibbs just stared at the herbs, fighting the urge to mutter another charm against curses.
He'd never seen the slave before, but James Norrington didn't find that too much of a surprise. Most of his own slaves were gone, taken and sold after his resignation, and Beckett had been responsible for restaffing his household. This particular slave, a young woman, had brought him a tea she said was to help him sleep... and honestly, it was no secret that such a thing might be needed. He had no reason to believe she was telling him any less than the complete truth, in short, and the tea smelled tempting. So, he didn't think twice before he accepted it.
(The slave had never been seen in the house before, and never would be again. She would slip away that night, her mission completed, and return to her home in the swamps after reporting to Tia Dalma.)
The tea did what she had said it would, though that wasn't the half of it. He sank easily into sleep, for the first time in some weeks. And found himself, seemingly wide awake, staring at the man standing at the end of his bed.
"How in God's name did you get in here?"
"Pirate, mate", came the wry answer from Captain Jack Sparrow, leaning casually on the foot of the bed dripping with water, sand in his hair. "Course, the part where I'm a ghost helps too."
"You're..." He trailed off, pushing himself further upright against the pillows, and smiled faintly. Somehow, it never occurred to him to doubt. "How did it happen, in the end?"
"Fell afoul of a terrible beastie", the man told him, eyes black and sharp in the moonlight. "And of dear Lizzie, it seems. Though she only wanted to live."
"You're making very little sense, Captain", Norrington advised dryly. "What 'beastie', and what could Elizabeth have to do with it?"
"Sure you want to know?" Sparrow looked at him hard for a few seconds, then nodded at some sign Norrington hadn't been aware of displaying, with an odd note of satisfaction in his voice when he spoke. "Fair enough. I meant the Kraken, mate. And Elizabeth chained me to the mast on me own ship and let it take me. Lass is a pirate if ever I saw one."
A few moments to contemplate this, then Norrington nodded slowly. "I wish I could say I was surprised. But is there any particular reason you've chosen to haunt me, and not Elizabeth herself, for instance?"
"You're in deep trouble, former Commodore. More than I think you know, for all your talk of redemption. A friend sent me... someone I owed a favour. So, here I am, just for the one night."
Norrington pushed himself up further, swinging himself out of the bed to stand. "Am I really?" he drawled sarcastically. "Why don't you explain to me, then, Jack, exactly how I'm in trouble?"
The shorter man looked at him levelly, dark eyes serious. "Beckett's going to control the sea, with what you gave him. And how much use d'you think he'll have for the likes of you then? He's keeping you around for something, maybe just a loyal man in case he needs one, but if your use ends..."
"Then I will have to see to it that my use does not end", Norrington snapped back, glaring. "Won't I."
Jack gave an elaborate shrug, stepping back slightly. "No skin off my nose, savvy? Tia Dalma sent me to talk to you, and talk I have. But... watch your step."
"Consider your message delivered", was the only answer he got, low, cold and dangerous. "And go."
"Whatever you say, mate. I've got my own business to attend to." Jack eyed him for a moment longer, however, then shrugged and turned to step into the shadows. He tossed over his shoulder, "Remember - watch yourself." And then he was gone.
It wouldn't be until the next morning that Norrington would wake to the sunlight through the window, surprised by just how well the tea had worked and troubled by the memory of the vivid dream. And not until he swung his feet out of bed that he would discover the scattering of sand left on the floor.