A/N: Ok, everyone. This is it. The last chapter. I apologize for taking so long to get it posted. I had to make sure I tied up as many loose ends as I could. I hope you've enjoyed the journey as much as I have. Thank you so much for reading, review and following and your general support over the last year or so I've been writing it. Without further ado...
The Last Chapter
After a few more innocuous minutes of debate, the men finally agreed to let Elizabeth row over to the Imperial's Flagship alone and unarmed. She needed the time to think up a plan without the distraction of Jack fussing over her every move or Barbossa questioning her every decision. She preferred it when those two were at each other's throats. They paid far less attention to her.
She reached the ship and climbed the dropped ladder to the deck. The Captain met her at the mast. A rather portly frenchman, but tall and with a hardened chin. He looked down his nose at the woman before him before letting out a derisive chuckle.
"A woman? Did they send you to negotiate or to seduce me?" He chided while the men behind him laughed alongside.
"I'm the bloody Pirate King, and I'm here to negotiate with the General of the Imperial Navy. So if you would, kindly step aside and allow the adults to speak privately." She said tersely, her chin jutted upward.
The insult caused the captain to sputter nonsensically, clearly flustered, and looked to his crew for support. His men looked to the ground in an attempt to contain their laughter.
"Is he here, Captain?" She asked peering around the deck. "Surely, it's not you?" She continued to prod.
"How dare you?" He finally managed to choke out, his large frame lumbering toward her in an attempt to intimidate her. "I could give the signal and have you killed in an instant." He threatened, his hand nearing her throat.
"And violate the rules of parlay? But that would make you no better than a filthy, no good pirate, would it not?" She challenged back unwavering.
"Byron." An accented voice came from behind the crowd of men. "She's not a prisoner. Step away." A strapping man around mid age, dressed immaculately in a uniform unfettered by battle, topped with a perfectly coiffed wig strode toward her. "Captain Swann, I presume." He said, lifting her hand to his lips.
"You know me?" She asked, slightly flattered.
"Who in all of the seven oceans does not know of Pirate King Elizabeth Swann? Though, I feared I'd never get the chance to meet you. There has been quite a bit of silence on your whereabouts over the last few years. I thought perchance you'd met your match at last, and was so disappointed that it was not me who had put a sword in your belly." He said squeezing her hand with unrelenting strength. Elizabeth tugged her hand from his grasp in surprise.
"I'm glad you haven't yet been deprived of the honor" She responded sweetly, rubbing her hand. "I didn't catch your name?"
"General Tristen Dubois, at your service, mon chere." He gave a grand bow before her.
"I'm afraid I know no tales of your glory, General. Though, now that I think of it, I can't recall any tales of glory from the French." She spoke with a face of stone. A dull rumbling fell over the ship as the soldiers voiced their displeasure at such blasphemous statements.
The General gave a hearty laugh, but it died quickly on his lips and he grew quite serious. "You have exactly one minute to state your case, Swann. If I am unmoved, you'll not leave here intact."
"Very well." She said with a roll of her eyes. "You need to concede in your fight against us, and allow us use of your ships."
"Is that right? Why on earth would we concede to that when the Pirate King and her brethren are all tidily gift wrapped on a single ship? You're entirely outnumbered. You couldn't hope to fight us all off, could you?" Tristen's condescension would normally have enraged Elizabeth, but she needed to keep composure. "Perhaps, if you gave us the map we've been ordered to take from you, I could be persuaded to give you one or two ships." He offered.
Elizabeth snorted. "The map? You believe in magic, General? Do you really think there's something out there that can make you all powerful?"
"I know there is." He whispered low into her ear. "I've witnessed the strangeness this world has to offer. I've been to the edges of the map. I know of the Order, Swann, and I can see the desperation in your eyes. You want it all for yourself."
"You've no idea what's coming." She whispered back harshly. "Perhaps you've not noticed the ships that just recently rose from the depths behind the Pearl. There's a God among those ships ready to tear your little convoy to pieces, and he won't stop there. I'd not see the world destroyed. Would you?" She asked seriously.
"I fine tale you spin, mon chere, but I am not a stupid man."
"You so easily believe in magic, but this is difficult to conceive?" She mocked him. "Fine. I'll give you the map, but it will do you no good." She relented.
"Oh, and why is that?" He asked disbelievingly
Elizabeth leaned forward, her face inches from his, her lips open as if she was about to kiss him "Because it was never for you." She whispered into his mouth before disappearing from sight.
The entire crew stepped back in fear and astonishment. The General looked around in confusion. "Where is she?" He asked hurriedly.
"As I said, General, I think it best if you relinquish your ships to my command." Elizabeth said from the helm. The only way to assure these men came to heel, was a true show of power. Granted, she wasn't sure she could even accomplish the feat as she was only beginning to stretch her legs, but if it did work, she knew the fear would be struck deep within them.
"Est la Diable." Byron muttered to the General.
"You?" Tristen asked in awe.
"Please, General, I entreat you to fight with us. The man commanding those ships will destroy everything. No one is safe. Not even you." Elizabeth spoke softly, all trace of Pirate King gone from her voice as she pleaded with the General.
The Frenchman nodded with some reluctance. Elizabeth strolled calmly down the quarterdeck steps to shake his hand when cannon fire erupted from the Black Pearl toward the ship. Elizabeth turned abruptly squinting her eyes. "What in the bloody hell?"
"Deceitful wench." The General spat as he and his soldiers took up their arms.
"General, wait…I…" More cannon fire rocked the ship and Elizabeth sighed in frustration.
"All men to your stations!" The general bellowed before turning back to Elizabeth. "It was a nice speech and a neat trick, but we will not be fooled so easily." As he and a few of his men were about to pounce upon her, she disappeared again. This time reappearing on the deck of the Pearl where the crew was scurrying to the cannons, barely noticing her sudden appearance.
"What the hell was that?" She asked of Barbossa who stood in the middle of the fray. "I had them."
"It wasn't me who gave the order." He said with a sneer.
Immediately, Elizabeth's stomach dropped, fearing Jack was still under Christian's control. "Where is he?" She asked him with wide eyes. Barbossa gave no answer, he was more focused on the ships that were rapidly surrounding them and formulating a plan to be free of them.
"He's below with Lalo, trying to restrain the idiot who fired the cannon." Teague assured her as he came up behind her.
Elizabeth gave a huge sigh of relief and ran as fast as her feet would take her below deck. Sure enough, Jack and Lalo were wrestling one of the larger crewmen into the brig. She approached the scuffle, pulled the pistol from the crewman's belt, and knocked him over the head with it, rendering him unconscious. Lalo rolled the man the rest of the way into the cell and shut the door as he attempted to catch his breath.
"Should've thought of that before." Jack muttered, watching Lalo shove the fat pirate across the floor, making no attempt to help. "The parlay went well?" He asked ironically turning to Elizabeth who narrowed her eyes at him in response.
The sounds of cannons and gunfire pulled her focus away from Jack. "Our opportune moment is quickly slipping away from us. I have to open the chest now. It's the only way." She resigned.
"What about the sword?" Jack asked, gently grabbing her chin to turn her face toward him.
"I'll just have to take it from him." She smirked. Jack returned her crooked smile with his own and leaned in to steal a kiss, but was interrupted (once again) by the bellowing of Captain Barbossa.
"Get your asses up here! We're being boarded!" He barked.
Lalo placed a heavy hand on Elizabeth's shoulder. "The chest is on deck. Go."
She didn't hesitate and quickly sprinted up the steps. Around mid stair she stopped and turned back, running straight for Jack. She pulled him toward her by the lapels of his coat and pressed her lips to his in a quick but bruising kiss. She released him and disappeared into thin air right before his eyes, leaving an awestruck Jack and a blushing Lalo in her wake.
"That's new." Jack observed mirthfully.
"Come on" Lalo urged, and the two gathered muskets and shot before running above deck to join the battle.
It was the only way one could describe it.
Fitting, Elizabeth thought as she dodged shrapnel and errant debris that had splintered off of the ship on her way to the chest. The Pearl was surrounded on all sides; Imperials to the left, Erebus and his half dead crew to the right. Cannon fire and musket shot rained down upon the deck. If she didn't open the chest soon, the Pearl would be sunk along with the rest of them.
She quickened her gait toward the quarterdeck steps where she'd hidden the chest. She pulled the pendant from around her neck and was about to place it into the lock when a large boom rocked the ship. The crack of the wood was deafening as the mast came careening down to the deck, men scurrying out of its way. More and more Imperial soldiers swung onto the deck next to her, forcing her hand to engage them in battle. She was a veritable hurricane against them. So quick and deadly were her blows, the men barely had a moment to register what was happening to them. But it was becoming an inconvenience and she felt more as if she were swatting away flies than fighting an opponent, and she was desperate to open this chest before Erebus got anywhere near her.
Without warning a figure dropped in front of her, hacking away at the soldiers in her way. "Do it now, Lizzie. I'll cover you." Jack said with barely any breath left in his lungs.
She pressed a quick kiss to his cheek and said, 'thank you" before kneeling down to the chest again.
Jack continued fighting off Imperial soldiers when suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, he noticed Christian appear just behind Elizabeth. His eyes were menacing as she bent down over the chest, golden sword in hand.
"Elizabeth, wait!" Jack screamed, turning toward her, allowing the soldier he was engaged with to slash him across the arm. Jack spun on his heel and quickly impaled the soldier with his sword, before running back to Elizabeth, hoping to stop her from opening the chest…but it was too late.
She had pressed the embossed piece of metal to the lock, and jerked back slightly as the mechanism moved of its own accord, spinning in a clockwise fashion. Slowly, she lifted the lid and peered inside.
It was empty.
How could it be empty?
There was no smoke or liquid or parchment of any kind. It was just an empty box.
"It's empty." She said in disbelief, staring intently into the chest. She thought perhaps if she concentrated hard enough, she'd be able to invoke something, anything.
"Empty?! What do you mean it's empty?" Jack asked with barely contained derision as he approached her.
"It's not empty." Erebus said from behind them in a liquid whisper. "You must have patience, dear sister."
Elizabeth quickly turned her attention to the voice behind her, startled by Erebus' presence. She stood at once, squaring herself against him. "I've had enough of this nonsense! I've had enough of this fighting! And I certainly have had enough of you!" She seethed as she pushed him backward with every step she'd taken, unsheathing her sword.
Her tirade was soon interrupted as a piercing ringing accompanied by a bright violet light rippled across the water, the chest at its epicenter.
The pulse had ripped through Elizabeth and Erebus, knocking them back violently against the ship, rendering them unconscious. Everyone else dropped to the ground in an instant, as the terrible noise had brought them all to their knees. They covered their ears in hopes to relieve the pain it caused.
The noise went on for a few more moments before absolute silence fell upon the ships.
Jack shook his head as he got to his feet, trying to get the ringing in his ears to stop. "Lizzie, are you all right? What in the bloody hell was that?" He asked, looking around the ship's deck. He noticed Erebus unconscious against the mast. Upon realizing she'd given him no response, he quickly turned his head to find Elizabeth slumped against the door of the captain's cabin.
He ran to her and gave her a violent shake. "Lizzie! Wake up darling, come on." She roused slowly, mumbling nonsensically.
The fighting resumed. Whatever confusion the unexpected event had caused, dissipated in spectacular fashion. The undead fought the Imperial Soldiers, the Imperial soldiers fought the pirates, while the pirates just wished to stay alive. Barbossa led the charge against those who had boarded the Pearl, fighting with all the fury and desperation of a man making his final stand. Teague retreated below to assist with the canons.
Erebus regained consciousness and slowly got to his feet, feeling very much like his old self and relishing in the moment. The chaos that surrounded him was a soothing salve for the centuries of hard work and suffering he'd gone through to get to this point. He was so close to having everything.
He made his way toward Elizabeth, who had yet to wake, Jack still hovering over her with a lover's concern. It made him sick. Whatever love he had for Nyx had long since burned out. Power was all the love he would need. Power…and a little vengeance. "She won't suffer. I'll promise you that." Erebus lauded toward Jack.
"I'm not letting you anywhere near her." Jack stood, his eyes ablaze, sword at the ready.
Erebus was shocked. "You think you're a match for me? I'm a god. You're just a man." He barked with laughter.
"Wrong, mate. I'm Captain Jack Sparrow." He smirked and attacked Erebus with a mighty blow.
Erebus parried with a modicum of surprise. He would humor the bloke by giving him a fair fight, for the time being at least.
Lalo noticed the two men going toe to toe from across the deck and ran toward the skirmish. He was about to join in with Jack when he noticed Elizabeth crumpled on the deck. He bent down over her, relieved to find her still alive.
"Elizabeth." He whispered, nudging her gently. "You must wake up. It is time to fight."
She remained unmoving.
"Nyx" He whispered again softly, and she jolted awake with wide eyes and a gasp of breath.
Jack and Erebus continued their fight all across the deck while canon fire rained down around them and fallen men scattered the deck. They paid no heed to any of it, focusing only on destroying the other.
Erebus was swift and calculating with his strikes, he was far more proficient than Jack, but his arrogance was a weakness that Jack was able to exploit. Never taking anything for granted, Jack challenged his every move with a surprise flourish, causing his opponent a fair amount of frustration.
Jack made a maneuver that Erebus barely dodged, causing the pirate captain to laugh. "You still think me a poor match?" Jack mocked him…unwisely.
"Undoubtedly. Your mind is weak." Erebus said with a smirk before, disappearing and quickly reappearing behind Jack. "And that bitch isn't here to save you this time." He whispered into Jack's ear, before plunging his sword through the pirate's gut.
A guttural scream escaped Jack as the golden metal pierced through the skin in front of him and was pulled back out again, but as he stared at the gaping wound, he was surprised to find he felt no pain. No blood came pouring out of his belly. His senses showed no signs of leaving him. He turned to face Erebus in total astonishment. "That's interesting." He muttered, calling back a distant memory in moldy cave.
Erebus looked at the man in confusion. "It's not possible." He whispered in disbelief.
"Not probable." Elizabeth muttered from behind Erebus. He turned to face her, and she clocked him with a powerful right cross that caused him to stumble across the deck. "Your fight isn't with him." She continued as she made her way toward him, poised to tear him down limb from limb. She felt invincible, pure strength, coursing through her veins. All she needed to do was get the sword.
Erebus rubbed his cheek as he regained his balance. He turned to face his adversary. "Nyx, it's finally you. Shall we end this?" He smirked wickedly at her.
"Yes, let's." Elizabeth answered unsheathing her scimitars.
She struck the first blow, her arms a windmill of steel twirling towards her opponent. He darted back quickly, unfazed by her apparent fury. Erebus attempted to apparate behind her, but was unable to fool her. She parried his strike without sparing him a glance.
"In hindsight is was rather foolish of you to train me in combat if your plan all along was to kill me." She taunted him, throwing a few more blows his way.
"I'll admit, there was a moment I thought we could rule the universe together as it once was, but your insufferable affection for that mortal severed those dreams rather quickly." Erebus confessed before sending splintered planks of the pearl hurtling toward a defenseless Jack who was fending off two Imperial Soldiers.
Elizabeth threw up her hand, creating an invisible shield and caused the wood to fall to the deck just before reaching him. Jack turned back toward her slack jawed at his near impaling, before turning his attention back to the soldiers who stood with equally shocked faces.
"You can't protect him forever." Erebus warned her.
"Watch me." She muttered through gritted teeth as a rope moving of its own accord wrapped itself around Erebus' ankle, pulling the appendage out from under him and flinging him into the air.
Erebus responded immediately, sending a hoard of his undead army to tackle Elizabeth as he untangled himself from the coiled rope. She was swallowed by the group almost immediately. As more and more of the undead seemed to crawl over the gunwale to pile onto her, Jack and Lalo ran toward her, trying to pull them off.
A sudden shockwave rocked the ship, sending the undead flying in all directions. Jack and Lalo barely kept their footing and they watched in awe as Elizabeth stood slowly, fire in her eyes.
"I've seen that look before, best we leave this fight to her." Jack suggested.
"Agreed." Lalo said as they continued to stare at the raw power emanating from Elizabeth. She stood mere feet from them, arms extended wide, head raised, eyes closed. Soon, waves moved to swallow the surrounding ships whole. She made no discrimination between Erebus' ships or Imperial ships. As many as she could sink, ships were plucked from the top of the sea, leaving all but a handful to watch on in horror as the two deities battled out their differences. She could afford no more distraction, no more chaos. This needed to end.
Erebus looked back at her with a smirk as the ocean settled. "Ruthless."
"I've had enough war. There is only one fight left that matters."
"I couldn't agree more." Erebus snapped his finger and a flame ignited at the bow of the ship, spreading itself quickly along the perimeter of the ship, encasing them in a fiery blaze.
"Abandon ship!" Barbossa screamed from the helm. He and a handful of men, managed to escape the flames before the quarter deck was engulfed. Jack, Lalo and the rest remained trapped huddled around the capstan.
"If you surrender, I will save them all." Erebus offered.
"I will never surrender to you." She hissed.
"So be it."
Elizabeth and Erebus ran at each other at full speed. They struck at the same time, his golden sword met her two scimitars with equal force and sparks flew across the deck. They stood, swords locked, staring into the eyes of the other. "We could have this puny planet on its knees." Erebus pleaded with her. "This world was never meant for them. It belongs to us." He echoed.
"No. It belongs to me." She whispered, disapparating before him. Erebus quickly spun around, expecting her to reappear behind him, but she remained aloof.
"You wish to hide from me, sister? Come out and face me!" He screamed, desperately.
"Where is she?" Jack whispered to Lalo, unable to locate Elizabeth in all the wreckage.
Lalo shrugged in response.
"She better finish him off soon, or we are all finished." Jack said worriedly spying the flames as they inched closer and closer to the center of the deck.
Suddenly the tack line whipped through the air, snapping at Erebus' leg, causing him to stumble slightly. Jack and Lalo both looked toward the rigging.
"Ah, so it's a game you want?" Erebus asked derisively. Another line snapped his left shoulder, forcing him to fall to the deck. "Fine." He whispered to himself, pulling a small dagger from his boot before he stood again. The ship remained still as Erebus waited rather impatiently for Elizabeth's next move. "Come on, sister. Show your hand." He muttered.
He noticed out of the corner of his eye, one of his undead soldiers creeping up behind him. It was a paltry distraction. At the moment he was to be sidetracked by the undead man about to strike him, he flung his dagger through the air as Elizabeth attacked him from the opposite side, knocking the sword from his hand when he toppled to the deck. He didn't have to see to know he'd struck his target.
Elizabeth picked up the golden sword and walked to the fallen Erebus, the flames distinguishing in her wake. Standing over him, she pointed the tip of the sword at Erebus' heart as he lie upon the deck laughing.
"You find your death amusing, do you?" She pondered, inching closer to him.
"I told you."
"Told me what?"
"You couldn't protect him forever." Elizabeth's face fell. Erebus continued to laugh as her eyes darted toward the capstan where she'd last seen Jack. A group of pirates huddled, tending to a fallen brother, Jack nowhere to be seen. Elizabeth's heart sank to her feet, as she choked back a sob. "My death is worth seeing the pain in your eyes." He said embittered.
With a violent scream that would surely shake the heavens, Elizabeth plunged the sword deep into Erebus' heart. Another pulse rippled across the water sending everyone to the deck. Erebus turned to ash upon the planking and as the rain began to fall, was washed away into nothingness just as he began. The remainder of the resurrected ships fell back into the sea without a sound, and the imperial ships still afloat turned tail and retreated home.
Elizabeth stood in the middle of the smoldering deck, afraid to approach the huddled mass of pirates shielding an inevitable horror she was not yet ready to face. She let the sword in her hand clatter to the deck as she fell to her knees, the rain washing over her. She felt a hand on her shoulder, but could not tear her gaze from the unconscious clump of pirates.
"It is done." Calypso said softly. "He is gone. Thank you." She said as Elizabeth turned toward her, at last gaining Elizabeth's attention.
"But at what cost?" Elizabeth choked out, shrugging Calypso's hand from her shoulder and running toward Jack. She dug through the unconscious men in her search for Jack, and pulled back in shock when she finally found him.
"Oh, Lalo. No." She whispered, her hand covering her mouth.
"He sacrificed himself for you." Calypso observed.
"I never wanted that." She turned to the sea goddess, tears brimming her eyes. "I never wanted any of this."
"You wish to get back your mortal skin?" Calypso asked as if reading her mind.
"Is it possible?" Elizabeth asked with barely contained hope.
"You can give up dis power, but at de risk of it landing in de wrong hands."
Elizabeth pondered the choice for a moment and her eyes widened as the thought struck her. "Can I give it to someone else? Someone worthy of the power? Someone loyal?"
Calypso caught onto her meaning immediately. "If that is what you wish, child, den it can be so."
Elizabeth nodded and walked toward her fallen friend. Crouching over Lalo, she pulled the dagger from his chest and brushed his cheek with the back of her hand, waking him suddenly. Gasping for breath, he clutched at the place where the blade had pierced his heart.
Elizabeth placed a steadying hand upon his shoulder and his breathing regulated. She then closed her eyes, muttering a few choice words under her breath and very suddenly a purplish smoke exited Elizabeth's body, finding its home in Lalo with ethereal fluidity.
"You would give up your power to me? Why?" he asked her, confusion plain on his face.
"You have sacrificed everything to help me, including your life….twice. It's the least I can do. And besides, I don't fancy having the responsibility. I am a pirate after all. You are far better suited for the task.
Lalo smiled back at her unsure how to react, but quickly swept Elizabeth into a firm embrace. "I don't know how I could ever repay you."
"Waste not and do good. That is all I ask. " She said as he released his embrace.
"That I can do." He said, waving his hands through the air. In an instant the Pearl was restored. No longer a charred hull, no longer a splintered heap, the mast tall and proud as it once was, Elizabeth marveled at her magnificence, looking on with pride, unfazed by what others would call a miracle.
"You are a quick study." Elizabeth observed. "She's every bit as glorious as I remember."
"I have learned much from you, Elizabeth Swann." Lalo spoke with reverence and gratitude as he casually touched a hand to Elizabeth's stomach. Leaning down to her, he whispered, "Though, you'll find I made a few improvements." She gave him a peculiar look and he grinned back at her. She gave a bashful nod in thanks as understanding dawned on her.
"Where will you go?" She asked him.
"It has been many years since I've seen my brother, and there are a few matters that need reconciling betwixt us." He smiled at Elizabeth. "Goodbye my friend." He said at the last, and he and Calypso vanished.
Elizabeth immediately ran toward Jack who still lay unconscious amongst a heap of pirates. She had to smile at the sight of him relatively unharmed, unable to contain her relief. Crouching before him, she pressed a kiss to his cheek. "I suspect there are still a few adventures left for us." She whispered before making her way toward the helm.
She looked on as the deck began to stir, waiting a few moments to appreciate that so many of them were able to survive this ordeal. It was a short moment and Elizabeth was soon barking commands at the newly roused men, startling them sober. "All right you scabrous dogs, full canvas! We're going home!"
Jack rose and dusted debris from his coat before scanning his surroundings in search of Elizabeth. Panic crept in as he was having a difficult time focusing among the bustling deck, but relief washed over him quickly when he noticed her, regal as ever, perched upon the quarter deck.
"I feel peculiar. What happened?" He asked as he approached her at the helm. Elizabeth did not answer, but instead pulled him into a deep and ravenous kiss. Jack broke the kiss. "I take it you defeated him then?"
"Shut up." She said as she captured his mouth again.
They parted again at the sound of the crew hollering over the side of the ship. "Man Overboard!"
Jack and Elizabeth ran to the railing to find Barbossa clinging to a barrel out in the middle of the ocean. "Toss me a line." He yelled from the water.
As someone was about to throw a coiled rope, Jack stopped them. "Hold on a minute." He said putting up his hand. "We don't really need to, do we? The world is back in proper order, so it only seems right that the Pearl return to my command, does it not?"
"Jack." Elizabeth scolded.
"I don't mean to leave him with only a barrel. I'll do him the same kindness he showed me. Lower a longboat for him and cut the line." Jack ordered. "Objections?" He asked turning toward Elizabeth.
She rolled her eyes, "No, but get on with it."
Jack's smile only widened further as he watched relief and soon great aggravation cloud the features of his former first mate when the longboat came crashing down, but the Pearl kept on course. "I'll get you for this Sparrow, mark my words." Barbossa screeched as the Pearl sailed away.
"I'm not all powerful anymore, I can't stop him from killing you." Elizabeth offered wrapping her arms around Jack's waist as Barbossa shrank into the distance.
"You're not?" Jack turned in her arms, looking down at her with confusion.
"I'll explain later, but first, I think I owe you something." She said coyly playing with the buttons of his coat.
"No, love, you definitely have the upper hand on who has saved whom more times." He said hooking a finger under her chin.
"That's not what I mean. Stay here." She said before disappearing below deck. She returned only a few moments later with Captain Teague in tow.
"What kind of debt could possibly be repaid by him?" Jack asked with feigned disgust.
Elizabeth turned to Teague, grabbing him awkwardly by the hand. "Captain Teague, would you do us a great honor and marry us?"
"Marry us?" Jack asked in surprise.
"If you'll still have me." Elizabeth stated pensively.
He'd have her right on this deck if there weren't so many prying eyes. A thought he nearly voiced but said instead, "There is nothing I could possibly want more."
"Teague?" She asked again, feeling suddenly very childish in his presence.
"You're certain you wish to marry him?" Teague asked with fatherly concern for both Elizabeth and Jack. "There's no telling what kind of trouble he'll get you in."
"I think it's safe to say that trouble steadily follows the both of us."
"Well, then…I'd be honored." He said at last.
The ceremony was short and sweet. The crew hollered wildly and proceeded to celebrate the union between Pirate Lord and Pirate King. Rum was consumed at an exorbitant rate, and they sailed back home to Shipwreck Cove.
Several years later…
Elizabeth woke before the sun. Dressing quietly, she climbed the steps of their small ship onto the deck. There was a fair wind, she'd noted, which meant it was time to change course. She scurried up the rigging to adjust a sail, and remained perched upon the boom to watch the sun rise. The Nightfall was a trusted schooner. Perfect for their short getaways from the usual routine. The one month out of the year, sometimes two or three (depending on the weather or the Royal Navy), when Jack and Elizabeth sailed just the two of them. Away from the cove and away from politics, they were free to do as they pleased just them. It quickly became a necessity for them.
Upon returning to the cove, Elizabeth found a mess waiting for her. Shipwreck Cove did, in fact, crumble in her absence. Any order she'd introduced was smashed to bits when the Imperial Navy began closing in on the pirate city. Thankfully, after news of the navy's cowardly retreat in the presence of the Gods made its way to the Caribbean, the remaining forces returned home, and the Imperial Navy was dissolved in its entirety. There was still, however, much work to be done. Jack, Elizabeth and the Pearl were in and out of the Cove constantly, refortifying, setting up trade routes, and trying to evade a disgruntled Barbossa who'd been found rowing somewhere near Tripoli and brought back to the Caribbean by Gibbs.
Gibbs offered the ship he'd been sailing in pursuit of Jack to Barbossa, who took it reluctantly, and it wasn't long for Barbossa to start coming after the Pearl. One particular night, he'd gotten the jump on them and nearly was able to take over the ship, but he had forgotten Elizabeth's prowess with steel, and was persuaded by the, not so friendly, point of her sword to give up the chase. He complied with his tail tucked between his legs and never returned to the Caribbean.
It was after that when Elizabeth demanded they take some time for themselves.
The sky began to glow as the sun slowly crept from behind the horizon, soft orange and pink. Elizabeth basked in the contentedness she felt when they were able to escape it all. This was true freedom she thought. The sound of voices caught her attention and she dropped down from her perch. She was soon greeted by the patter of little feet running across the deck to meet her. She scooped the small boy into her arms and pressed a quick kiss to his cheek before setting him down. The boy scampered toward the helm, pulling a crate in place upon which he could stand.
Her attention diverted back to another pair of steps approaching. Jack sauntered toward her, a little girl on his hip, resting her head against his shoulder.
"You're up early." Elizabeth observed as she grabbed the girl from Jack and cradled her in a tight embrace.
"I told Eddie he could steer the ship today. I never had a chance of sleeping. And you know once Eddie is up, Lily has to be up as well. Afraid to miss out on all the fun, she is." Jack said brushing a stray hair behind the girl's ear with fatherly care.
"I wan't to steer too, Mummy" the young girl mumbled before falling back asleep against Elizabeth's shoulder, leaving mother and father to chuckle.
"What may I ask has you up and about before the sun?" Jack asked Elizabeth suspiciously.
"I needed a moment of reflection. A small thank you to the Gods." She stated simply.
"For allowing us happiness." She shrugged.
Jack Leaned down and pressed a kiss to her cheek and headed toward the helm. Elizabeth followed closely behind.
"So…what's our heading?" She asked of her son.
"Wherever we want to go, Mum." He answered back as if it was the most obvious answer.
"Of course. Well, lead on, Captain Sparrow." She said smiling.
And they sailed happily into the horizon.