Title: By Blood Undone

Author: Dala

Rating: strong, strong R

Pairings: To tell would be to give away the ending. I'll just say that there are six specific pairings, het and slash, and some of them are rather...unconventional.

Disclaimer: The characters and situations of this fanfic belong to Disney, etc. Making no profit.

Author's Notes: Ummm. Believe me when I say this is dark, weird, and creepy. I don't particularly like these people, as they're presented here, but the idea came upon me and demanded to be written. It's been disturbing me ever since. So if you're planning on yelling at me for writing it, rest assured that it wasn't my intention.

Many thanks to Beth and Megan for reading it even as finals loom overhead. I suppose I spent so much time complaining about it that they really had no choice, but thanks anyway, loves.

~~~~~~~~

She comes to him by the light of the full moon, one night late in October. Gliding soundless beneath his window, climbing the white trellis in a man's breeches and shirt. It's warm and he has the window open, listening to the wind blowing as he takes a cup of tea. He cannot sleep.

He sees her head rise up, and she has poured herself over the ledge and inside by the time he stands and rushes to her. Taking in her clothing and the tangled knot of her hair – it looks as though she has been running – he says, "Elizab–" before he can stop himself. Then he says, "Mrs. Turner? What..."

That is all he can bring himself to say. Her eyes are wide and full of some dark emotion – fear, he thinks at first, then rage, but it is neither. He can't quite name it. As she looks at him, her lids narrow. She is breathing harshly, the sounds of it echoing in his quiet room.

"Tell me, James," she says in a low, ragged voice. "Would you have loved me?"

He is startled into silence by her words, even though by rights he should be questioning her and wrapping her in a coat and sending her home by now.

"Is something –" he begins.

"Would you?" she demands, her hand going to her hip, and he actually has to look to make sure she isn't carrying a blade.

"Yes," he breathes. He doesn't want to tell her, but the quiet hum of desperation clinging to her pulls it out of him. "Yes," he says again, as she puts her mouth to his neck, wet and hungry.

For an instant she pulls back, and he can't see the hurt behind the steel-shining glint of her purpose, but somehow he knows now that's there. It makes him a little less afraid.. "My husband," she tells him evenly, as though she is describing the weather or the state of affairs in France, "is onboard the Black Pearl. He will not be returning tonight."

He wants – or thinks he wants – to refuse her, but she kisses him, sliding her tongue past his lips, and after all he has never had any power over her.

Save for this. Save for the grip of his hands on her shoulders as she leans over him, and then on her hips as he flips her onto her back (there will be bruises in the morning, in the places where his fingers anchored her to his bed). Save for her slender legs wrapped around his waist, driving him so deep that he might well have become lost and never returned.

But return he does, as she is leaving the same way she came. He returns to himself and he feels the remnants of her touch on his body, catches the scent of her on his sheets, watches her throw a leg over the window ledge. Without turning to look at him, she says that she will come again when those black sails appear off their coast. It's a mere two weeks later. Sparrow, he thinks, must have a craving for the husband that rivals his own for the wife.

He encounters them often – Port Royal is a small town. They exchange polite greetings, as they did before, and he watches them walk away from him, Turner putting his arm around her and whispering something sweet in her ear, while she giggles and pulls him around a corner to kiss him as if they're fresh sweethearts.

After the first few times this happens, he stops wondering if Turner knows. It doesn't really matter whether or not he does.

Sometimes he wishes she would cry, when he loves her and hurts her in ways her husband would never dream of doing. She never does. He can remember dreaming of her, in the days before the Black Pearl came to Port Royal, and imagining that it would be like it is with her husband, soft and sweet and full of gentle sighs and the touch of velvet. Strange, that that was his fantasy and this should turn out to be his reality. It should have been the other way around.

After nearly five months of this dance, she comes to him and tells him that she won't be returning for some time. When he asks why, she pulls up her shirt to show him the rounding of her belly. He hasn't seen her in several weeks, so this is new to him. He touches her with a gentleness that is now alien to him, and says he understands.

The months without her are torture for his body. He has vague ideas that they will prove healing for his mind, but when she returns to him, he finds that he was sorely mistaken. He has not changed. And she, though he can now trace the evidence of her body's growth in the marks on her skin, has not changed either, not where it matters.

He sees the child for the first time in church, as they stop to show him. A girl, with dark curling hair and hazel eyes. It could be the child of William Turner; it has his looks, surely enough. But he knows that isn't so.

One night as she is chasing the dawn in his arms, she calls out a name. It isn't the first time she has done so; which of her two lovers she invokes in her ecstasies is generally a matter of chance. But on this night she calls out a different name, and he understands the shadow that crept behind her eyes under that first moon.

He doesn't know if she realizes what she has said. She's far too adept at hiding things from him. When word reaches him two days later that the smithy has been closed for that long, and that no one is answering at the Turner house, he personally leads a frantic Governor Swann and a few officers in a search of the properties. They turn up nothing, no letters of goodbye, no explanations; a few posessions are missing from the household. He's sure that it was Turner who left the smithy in such pristine condition, the donkey loosely tied up to graze in the back.

He watches the governor's health take a sharp turn and tells himself that he is going after them on behalf of the man who's been like a father to him. He's even able to believe it, right up to the moment when he steals aboard the Black Pearl, alone, his men in the Dauntless a few miles away, only waiting for him to fire a shot so that they might descend on the Pearl and her crew like so many locusts. He believes it as he kicks open the door to the captain's quarters, pistol in one hand and sword in the other. He believes it as he spies William Turner, whittling something at a table; he even believes it as his eyes fall upon Elizabeth Turner, sitting cross-legged on the floor and combing her hair. She looks up at him calmly, not even blinking as his pistol swings around and aims point-blank at her heart.

"Put that down, Will," she says quietly. Out of the corner of his eye, he can see the knife that was doing the whittling being raised, gripped where hilt met blade.

"No," Will says, equally quietly.

The point at which he stops believing is when Jack Sparrow steps out of the shadows, a child asleep in his arms – the daughter in whose conception Norrington participated, and yet has never held.

His naked sword falls to the floor with a clatter of steel; the hand holding the pistol falls to his side.

Jack smiles at him, slowly.

"We weren't sure you would follow," says Elizabeth. She has risen and now she carefully ofpries the gun from his stiff fingers and lays it aside.

"On the contrary," says Jack silkily, "I knew you would." Without taking his eyes off of Norrington, he says, "Be a good boy, William, and take the babe to Anamaria for the night." Will lays his knife on the table and accepts the slumbering infant, cradling her carefully against his chest.

Elizabeth props her chin on Jack's shoulder, gazing at him with suspicious eyes. "What haven't you told us?"

"Oh, nothing," says Jack, putting an arm around her. "Just that the good Commodore and I know each other a bit better than you'd have guessed."

Yes. He can keep secrets too, after all. This memory he has guarded very closely – reluctantly docking at Isla Vaca for repairs after a bad storm, spotting Jack Sparrow surrounded by adoring hangers-on in an ill-lit tavern, trailing him down an alley. It was after Elizabeth slipped through his fingers, but before she slipped through his window. If he had arrested Sparrow then, instead of submitting to him in that dark, narrow corner, none of this would have happened.

Perhaps whatever happened instead would have taken years to come to a head, and been worse in the end.

Or perhaps he's only trying to justify actions for which he knows there is no redemption – not for any of them.

She approaches him now, a smile on her face that she never wore all those nights in his bedroom. Jack is behind her, dark hands on her hips.

"I've missed you, James," she murmurs. As she kisses him he feels Will at his back, strong blacksmith's hands on his shoulders.

Norrington says, as she traces a path to his collar with her mouth, "We're going to burn."

"Yes," Jack replies, his fingertips stilling Norrington's lips against any further speech. "But at least we will not burn alone."

And he finally comes undone, with no clear idea of when he started to fray.

~~~~~~~~