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Hand of Fate

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"I'm keeping her," Jack Sparrow proclaimed, slapping the ship's wheel with his hand.

Methos shook his head. "She is not a stray kitten, Jack. You cannot just keep her."

"But she's magnificent, Benji!" He ignored Methos' grimace at the nickname. "She drew a sword on me, there on the deck of her ship, challenged me to a duel."

"Yes, Jack, I know; you have only told me the story a dozen times already." Methos looked down at the lower deck of the Pearl where the object of Jack's current affection was sitting in a chair. While still not well enough to travel, he had wanted his injured patient to get some fresh air and sunlight. "Regardless, she is a gentlewoman, not the sort to be kept at a port of call for your pleasure."

Jack looked at Methos as if he were in an idiot. "I intend to marry the lass, Benji."

"Marry?" Methos sputtered. "You're mad!"

"She's the one," Jack protested.

"Oh yes, she's the one," he repeated dryly. "Like Esmeralda, the tavern wench at Santa Lucia was the one last month, and Tabitha, the miller's daughter at Nassau was three months before that. Yes, Jack, the Widow de la Fuente is the least for this week."

Jack waved away Methos' reminder. "That is all well and true, Doc Adams, but this time it be different." He flicked his wrist, pointing a finger skywards. "This is the hand of fate."

"Be that as it may, Jack, you have forgotten one small, yet important detail in this fantasy of yours."

"And that would be?"

"Why, the lady herself." Methos pointed to her. "I can only imagine her reaction if she were privy to this plan of yours. What is she not amenable?"

Jack seemed completely unconcerned. "She will be, just wait. I have a sense for these things, and I sense that the lady is already more than half smitten with me." He tapped the side of his nose. "You shall see."

"What I am certain I shall see is the lady pull steel on you once more. That, at least, will be a diverting bit of entertainment."

A sly grin curled Jack's lips. "If you be so certain, then might I propose a small wager?"

Methos looked at the pirate captain sourly. "Really, Jack, I would not wish to just take your money so easily."

"Very droll, Benji."

"The stakes?"

"I shall buy your drinks for the rest of your life." He cocked his head, smirking. "Well, for the rest of my life, at least," he amended.

"And if you win?" Methos asked, not thinking there was much chance of that happening.

"Why, you get to be best man at the wedding, Doc." Jack slapqped him on the back. "I fancy a wedding at sea; what say you to that?"