A/N: So I picked probably the worst possible time to start a new multi-chaptered fic but whatever, here it is! So as the description says, it's Sparrabeth and post-AWE (conveniently ignoring that annoying little scene after the credits). The title is reminiscent of Will in CotBP but not relevant, it just fits the later plot.
Blood of a Pirate
He came after one hundred and seventeen days.
Elizabeth ignored the nervous flutter of her heart as she stared out of her bedroom window across the streets of Shipwreck Cove below. In the distance she could see the proud silhouette of the Black Pearl's sails swaying against the background of the setting sun. The sight gave her an inexplicably hollow feeling, and her eyes drifted towards the mast… the sound of metal shackles mercilessly locking reverberated in her head.
He came one hundred and seventeen days after she had bid farewell to William Turner and in her mind she pretended that it was for Will's sake that she was counting down the days, and not for… other people. Certainly not one person in particular that she had been waiting for, who undoubtedly did not care whether or not she was waiting for him, and who would probably prefer it if she wasn't here at all.
"I see ye got me letter."
Jack Sparrow looked across the room at Captain Teague, who sat at his desk, poring over maps instead of looking at him. He considered for a moment.
"What letter?" Jack asked nonchalantly. He casually brushed his hand over his pocket, hoping that the crumpled letter he had read nigh one hundred times was not showing through the fabric of his breeches. Satisfied that it was not, he moved and sat himself opposite Teague and reached for an apple. He wrinkled his nose distastefully at the green ones and instead chose a red one.
Teague looked up at him. "Ye never were a good liar, Jackie."
Jack stopped himself from smirking. "I can assure ye, I've had a lot of practice since then." Then being the time that Teague had caught Jack, aged sixteen, sneaking back into his room in the dead of night and was told that no, actually, Jack was not sneaking off to meet the ladies of Shipwreck Cove, but had actually been for a bath. The mud on his boots and the lipstick on his neck had obviously just not been washed properly.
"Anyway, I'm not lyin'," Jack continued, smiling at his recollections. "Never got a letter. Important, was it?"
Teague sighed. "Elizabeth's here."
Jack inspected the apple in his hand with exaggerated interest. "Oh," he said blankly. "That's nice. But why is that any of my concern?"
The sky was inky with the black of night by the time he strolled carelessly through her door without even bothering to knock. She gasped and rose from her chair, feeling suddenly bare with only her nightgown on. She wanted to cover herself more substantially but that would involve walking past him, and something in the way he stood there, just looking at her, froze her to the spot. She folded her arms over her chest. His dark, indiscernible gaze made her shiver and goosebumps rose up all over her arms, something that did not escape his notice. He inwardly smirked at her discomfort.
"Mrs Turner," Jack said nonchalantly, inclining his head. Elizabeth forced herself not to flinch at the way he addressed her.
"Captain Sparrow," she responded pointedly, mimicking his formality. He gazed at her face for a few seconds before his eyes roved up and down her body. She shuddered, wishing he would not do such things while hating herself for reacting in such a way, and wrapped her arms more tightly around herself.
"Have you… have you brought a message from Will?" Elizabeth asked nervously, looking up at him. He absently noted that she could not stop herself from trembling. He told himself it was because she was cold but somehow that explanation was not as satisfying.
Jack stared at her intently, his eyes taking in every detail of her face. She was thinner than he remembered, her cheekbones shining through the pale skin of her face. He wondered vaguely how long she had been at Shipwreck Cove, but found himself having to quell the hopeful voice in his head that suggested that maybe she had been waiting for him…
"No," he answered bluntly. He studied her face carefully to measure her reaction to that. She flinched at the harshness in his tone and nodded, returning her gaze meekly to the floor. In truth, the question had stung, but he refused to dwell on the possible reasons why for the moment. "I haven't seen him."
She returned her eyes to his face, eyebrows furrowed. "Then why are you here?"
"I fail to see how that is any of yer business," he shrugged, and, to Elizabeth's utter horror, proceeded to walk across her room and make himself comfortable by lying (lying!...) on her bed. The desk Elizabeth had risen from was close enough to the bed that she now felt uncomfortable in his proximity, so she used the opportunity to retrieve her dressing gown from the other side of the room and wrap it tightly around her. But when she turned back around to face him on the bed, she was startled to find that he had silently moved to stand behind her, so she was now greeted by the sight of him mere inches away from her. To her dismay, it took her breath away to look into his eyes, so unreadable, and feel the heat radiating from his body, clad only in his shirt, waistcoat and breeches.
"What are you doing?" she whispered, annoyed at herself for feeling so suddenly helpless.
"Why are ye here?" he countered, looking at her pensively. He had to exercise a surprising level of self-restraint not to ravish her right there and then; her dressing gown was just as thin as the nightgown itself and it made her look torturously desirable.
"I'm the Pirate King," she said blankly. Even though it did not really answer his question, she hoped it would suffice to keep him from pressing the issue. "So what are you doing here?"
Jack moved one step towards her, causing her to take one step back and collide with the wall behind her. He smirked and put one hand on the wall beside her head. "Need some extra scallywags for me crew. I'm runnin' low and it'll be a long journey."
"A long journey where?" Elizabeth asked faintly, suddenly feeling cold. Although she had the distinct feeling that there was more to his presence at Shipwreck Cove than he was telling her…
He tilted his head back to look at her, unsure whether or not to be truthful. But she was looking at him so sincerely… "The Fountain of Youth."
She gazed at him, transfixed, mulling over his words in her head. The Fountain of Youth… it was only a legend, wasn't it? But of course, there had been days when he, Jack Sparrow, had been a mere legend to her and look where they were now. Not only had she met the man of the legend, but she had also killed him.
"I'm sorry, Jack," she blurted suddenly, catching him off guard. She looked up into his eyes, catching a flicker of surprise at her sudden admission before he pushed it away.
"What for?" he asked quietly, and Elizabeth was not sure whether he was toying with her or if he was being serious.
"For…" she faltered. She did not want to say it out loud, it sounded so harsh and cold. "For… leaving you on the ship that day."
His eyes sparkled slightly, as though he were deep in thought. "No yer not," he said finally, surprising her.
"I am, Jack. Can you forgive me?" she whispered, barely audible, her heart pounding in her chest.
He gazed intently, as though considering this. Then he simply responded, "No."
Elizabeth blanched. "Why not? You seemed amiable enough with Barbossa after the Locker, and after everything he did to you, surely-"
"Ah, but yer forgettin' one very important detail there, Mrs Turner," he sneered cruelly, placing particular emphasis on the one word Elizabeth did not wish to hear. Hearing her married name on his lips made her stomach clench unpleasantly, yet she still lifted her chin defiantly, accepting her title and preparing to hear whatever vile insult he was surely going to throw her way.
"And what is that?" she asked through gritted teeth.
His sneer became colder, if that was possible. "I killed him." Elizabeth flinched, his words shattering her heart like a bullet through glass. Was that really what he had in mind for her? "Twice now, actually," he continued, glancing down and inspecting his fingernails as casually as if he was holding a conversation about the weather.
"Twice?" Elizabeth whispered.
"Aye. Seems he didn't learn his lesson the first time around," Jack looked up at her, his face indifferent, unflinching. "He stole the Pearl again, and I've grown tired of second chances."
He had to be bluffing, she thought as she looked at him, comprehending his words. Had he really killed Barbossa a second time? His intended meaning was quite clear; there would be no forgiveness between them, and perhaps he had come to claim his revenge on her as well. But, she tried to reason with herself, he had justification for killing Barbossa, a man who had betrayed his trust in the worst way imaginable… no. Her face drained of all colour. Barbossa had betrayed Jack, yes, but not in the worst way imaginable… it was she who had done that, she realised, her heart sinking. She remembered with horrifying clarity the look in his eyes as he broke their kiss, as it dawned on him what she had done… what she intended on doing to him… She deserved a second chance from him as little as anyone.
"So…" she faltered, her voice breaking, "so that's why you've really come? You want to take your revenge on me at last?"
His head tilted to one side, as if he was considering. "And if I have," he mused darkly, "what would be the best way to take my revenge?"
"You should kill me," she replied without hesitation, and she spotted the surprise in his eyes before he caught it and forced it away. "That's what you want to do, isn't it?"
"What would ye know about what I want?" Jack snapped, harsher than he intended but not as harsh as he felt. This time she could see the anger in his face… until now she had thought he was merely toying with her, just making her think he was angry until he could get what he wanted from her. But now she could see that he truly was angry with her, as he had every right to be. "I can't forgive ye because I know ye'd do it again given the chance."
Elizabeth saw the flash of hurt in his eyes then, saw the remnants of the trust he'd placed in her that she had shattered. But it was only for a moment, because before she could register anything else he had pinned her up against the wall with his body and pulled her into a bruising kiss. She was too taken aback to stop him, to think of Will, to push him away… or at least that's what she would tell herself in the aftermath. Meanwhile, she focused all her energy in returning the kiss with as much passion as she could manage.
His hands crept down the length of her body to open the front of the dressing gown, and then she felt his hand ghosting up the skin of her thigh to rest on her hip, underneath the fabric of her flimsy nightgown. He noted, head swirling, that she was not wearing underwear beneath her already risqué nightwear. He had to stifle a groan as he pulled away from her. Their eyes locked for a brief second and he was pleased to note that her cheeks were no longer pale, but rather flushed and rosy. There was a question in her eyes that he did not want to see so he looked away, moving his lips to her neck instead, one of his hands gripping her waist so tightly she was sure he would leave bruises. His other hand was warm on the cool skin of her hip. The heady feeling made her weak and her arms rose up of their own accord to rest around his neck, until she was clinging to him for support. He responded by grazing his lips across the soft flesh of her neck and was rewarded with a soft moan that sounded a lot like his name. He grinned against her skin before pulling back and forcing her to look him in the eye. Her eyes, he noted triumphantly, had misted over and turned dark.
"Jack," Elizabeth whispered. It sounded like a question. Her heavy breathing was warm on his face and he found he had to steady his own as well.
"Has Will ever kissed ye like that?" Jack asked gruffly, watching her recoil as though he'd slapped her. "Has he ever made ye feel like this?" he swirled his thumb over the skin of her hip beneath the fabric of her nightgown, watching as her eyes fluttered closed and she trembled beneath his touch, apparently forgetting that she was supposed to be annoyed with him.
"So Jackie's sailing to the Fountain of Youth, is he?" Teague muttered interestedly.
Joshamee Gibbs furrowed his brows for a moment before he realised that 'Jackie' was actually Captain Jack. "Oh, aye," he said hurriedly, "once he's set on something there's no talkin' him out of it."
Teague smirked, rereading the letter he had sent to Jack, who had not noticed it fall from his breeches pocket in his haste to leave the room and find Elizabeth. "No, there ain't."
Gibbs smiled nervously, feeling as though there was some information behind that statement that he was not privy to. He scratched his head, looking around the room. "Where is Jack?"
Teague smiled briefly. "He's set on somethin'."
At Gibbs' questioning look, Teague handed him the letter in his hand. Gibbs scanned it quickly, suddenly understanding why Jack had brought them here.
"Barbossa with ye?" Teague asked in a gruff voice, catching Gibbs' attention.
"He's in the brig on the Pearl," Gibbs answered slowly, unsure whether that was information he was allowed to share…
Jack reached up and pulled Elizabeth's arms down from around his neck. Disappointed at the loss of his hand on her hip, she watched him through glazed eyes as he took hold of her right wrist. She bit her lip as he inspected it, running his thumb over the angry 'P' that by rights did not belong there.
"Teague told me. This shouldn't have happened," he muttered darkly. He looked at her then, his eyes full of dismay. She stared back, utterly silent. "Come with me," he murmured, his words falling over her like stars.
"What?" she practically squeaked. She searched his face but he did not seem to be joking, and she wasn't sure whether she would prefer it if he was…
"To the Fountain," he whispered quickly, his smooth voice enchanting her. He was still gently rubbing the raised skin of her brand with his thumb, she noted absently.
"Why should I?" she asked tonelessly. "I mean… why would you want me to?"
Jack looked at her thoughtfully. He could tell her the truth, one of the many truths, that this was a way to break the curse of her dearly beloved… he could tell her that, but for some abstract reason he did not want her to know that just yet. Or rather, he did not want to feel like she was joining him only for his sake. Or he could tell her that he actually required her… he considered for a moment. He thought of the map to the Fountain of Youth and the stipulations written on the back…
He chose to ignore the voice in his head that told him he actually wanted her there himself.
"Don't, really," he answered in a rough voice. He thought he saw something in her eyes fade and pondered that for a moment. He dropped her wrist suddenly and Elizabeth flinched. "It's just… curiosity."
Elizabeth sighed. "Will you forgive me?" she whispered, looking into his eyes. Jack took a step back from her and she shivered at the sudden invasion of cool air left in his wake.
A/N: And that's it for Chapter 1! What do you think so far? Leave a review and let me know!