fell on the deck of the ship. No one said a word or stepped forward. In face,
they remained where they were in order to block Elizabeth from the pirate's sight. Finally,
the captain stepped up.
"There's no Elizabeth Swann on this ship. If that's all you've come for, then I believe you'll be leaving empty handed." He muttered, crossing his arms and trying to look defiant, although he was worried the lack of cooperation would get his ship burned.
"She's on this ship." The pirate captain regarded the other man, putting his hands in his pocket. "I'd like to see her." He made it apparent that he wouldn't leave unless he spoke to her. Elizabeth shut her eyes, still holding Emma tightly by the hand. She knew what she had to do. It was the one option her mind kept coming back to.
"Emma." She said softly. The little girl looked up at her, wondering what was going on. Elizabeth knelt quietly, wrapping her arms around the child. "Mum has to go now. I want you to be a good girl for Estrella alright?" She whispered. Emma pulled back from her.
"Where are you going?" She asked. "Can't I come with you?"
Elizabeth shook her head. "Not this time, little one. I love you." She placed a kiss on Emma's forehead, then got to her feet. "Estrella, take care of Emma for me." She whispered, then started to go towards the front of the crowd. Estrella grabbed her arm.
"Elizabeth! You can't go!" She hissed, trying to pull her back.
Elizabeth turned, shooting the woman a look. "He wants me, and he's not going to leave until he gets what he wants, or he could most likely blast this ship out of the water. I don't want my daughter, or you, or your brothers, or the other people on this ship to die needlessly because I didn't come forth." She placed her hand on Estrella's. "Please, just take care of her for me. You're the only one I would trust with her. Please?" She could see the reluctance in the other woman's eyes, but slowly she nodded.
"I will." She hugged Elizabeth. "May God be with you." Elizabeth hugged her back for what seemed like forever, before breaking away. Picking up her skirts, she moved through the crowd to the front, coming up beside the captain.
"I am Elizabeth Swann." She told the pirate, holding her head up. "What do you want?" She was surprised to find she wasn't even scared, like she knew that no harm would come to anyone. But still, it took all her power not to take a step back when he walked towards her. His features were covered in shadow by the low brim of the hat, the sun rising behind him making it hard for her to see who it was.
"I have a message from an old friend." Elizabeth crossed her arms.
"I only have one old friend, and she is with me on this ship." She said firmly. "What message is it?"
"This." Without another word or warning, he took her face in his hands and kissed her. But instead of a rough, grating kiss she'd been expecting, it was soft, passionate, and very familiar. She broke the kiss, reaching up and pulling off the hat, looking into familiar brown eyes, sparkling mischievously.
"You came back!" She shouted, wrapping her arms around his shoulders, tears springing to her eyes. The rest of the crew wasn't quite sure how to deal with this turn of events, seeing Elizabeth hugging the pirate that had just taken their ship hostage.
He hugged her tightly, resting his cheek on her shoulder. "I came back." Will whispered softly to her.
Elizabeth grabbed Anamaria by the arms. "Is he still alive?" She asked, panicking, seeing the look on the woman's face.
Ana nodded. "Aye, but I don't think he's goin' to make it." She said quietly, looking at the ground. "He's in bad shape, Elizabeth." Elizabeth rushed past her, running into the kitchen. Gibbs stood by the table they'd laid Will on, holding the younger pirate's hand and rubbing it, talking to him and trying to keep him awake. Will's eyes were only half open, and he seemed like he was fighting off going to sleep. Elizabeth rushed over, taking his hand as well.
"Will..." She whispered, leaning in close to him. Her voice brought a weary smile to his face.
"Elizabeth." He looked up at her, although his eyes were glazed over. "Did we win?"
She smiled, tears coming to her eyes. "Yes, we won." He shut his eyes.
"Finally." Estrella and Anamaria came into the kitchen behind her.
"Miss Elizabeth, I can fix him up. I don't know if it'll help any, but I can try." Estrella said. Elizabeth nodded.
"Please, do whatever you can." She kissed Will lightly on the forehead, before leaving the room with Gibb's, leaving Ana and Estrella behind. Gibbs led her to the sitting room, making her sit down in a chair and sitting himself beside her. Elizabeth burst into tears, leaning up against him, and he put an arm around her shoulders, not saying a thing, just letting her cry.
A while later, Estrella came out, wiping bloody hands on her apron. "I got the bleeding stopped, but only time will tell if it was soon enough." She said hesitantly. "I had Jacob and Reginold move him carefully to a guest room, if you'd like to see him." Elizabeth got to her feet, wiping her eyes and walking out the door.
The next few days were hell, watching him slip in and out of consciousness, wondering if every time she managed to say even a few words to him while he could hear her would be the last. Estrella was helping taking care of Emma, and Ana was playing the role of Will's nurse for the time being. Gibbs was trying to watch for her well being. She appreciated it all, but right now, she just wanted Will to wake up, and be ok. She needed him so bad right now.
"You're leaving?" Elizabeth's voice held a great deal of shock as she stood in the doorway of the guestroom, watching Will move around, gathering his belongings. "Just like that?"
Will grabbed the clean shirt off the bed, slowly pulling it on, trying not to move his arms any higher than he needed to. Many white bandages were still wrapped around his waist, but there wasn't a spot of blood on them for the first time in days. "I have to. I don't belong here."
She marched into the room, standing by his side as he buttoned up the shirt. "Of course you do. How can you say that?" He turned to look at her.
"I'm not the same William Turner you knew, Elizabeth. I'm not the man you married. I don't belong in society anymore, not with the life I've been leading." He regretted the words, seeing the tears come to her eyes. He hated hurting her, but he couldn't stay.
"So what if you've changed some, Will? We all do! What about Emma? What about me?" She pleaded with him. He pulled on his coat, not looking at her. "Why can't you stay?"
"I'm a pirate, Elizabeth. I belong on the open seas. I have a crew to think about now." He finally looked up at her. "And as much as I love you and Emma, I think I've been living this life too long to make a good father or husband." He slung the duffle over his shoulder, and stood in front of her. "I love you, Elizabeth, and I always will. But I can't stay." He leaned down, kissing her softly, before walking away. Elizabeth stood there for a moment, her fingers lightly brushing her lips before tears spilled down her cheeks. She fell onto the bed, head buried in her arms, sobbing quietly.
Elizabeth broke away from him suddenly, her expression guarded. "Why have you come back? After a year, I'd give up hope."
Will looked down at the deck, crossing his arms in front of him. "I did a lot of thinking. The good, the bad, the shades of grey, and I thought it over well." He looked up as Estrella came through the crowd, leading Emma with her. "I want to be a father and husband again." A huge grin broke across Emma's face as she saw him.
"Will!" She shouted, running towards him, arms thrown wide. He caught her, lifting her into the air and bringing her back down again.
"Look how you've grown!" He laughed as she wrapped her arms around his neck when he knelt down to her level. Elizabeth watched the scene, a mixture of emotions on her face.
"Will." He looked up at her. "What about your crew? You said you had to take care of them now."
Will looked towards the ship. "I am. I've found her the perfect captain. I believe you know him." He said with a wry grin, waving to the ship. "Captain Joshamee Gibbs." Gibbs waved back at Will. Elizabeth waved as well.
He turned back to her. "There's only one thing left." He knelt down in front of her. "Elizabeth, will you marry me?" He paused. "Again?"
She looked confused. "Again?"
"My death nulled our marriage." He said sheepishly.
"Then yes! Of course I will." She pulled him to his feet, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and kissing him. He kissed her back. Behind them, the crew stood, looking confused, not knowing if they should clap. On the Pearl, rambunctious shouting started up, hats thrown in the air, pistols shot off, before Gibbs's voice could be heard over it, calling orders to disengage the Pearl from the ship and get ready to make way. Elizabeth looked towards Emma.
"Emma, remember when you asked me where you father had gone, and I told you he had to go away?" The little girl nodded. "Emma, he came home." Emma looked up at Will, eyes wide, before throwing her arms around his leg.
"Daddy!" Will picked her up, holding her in one arm.
"I've come home, Emma, and I'm staying." She wrapped her arms around his neck, kissing him on the cheek. Will looked to Elizabeth, taking her hand in his.
"Are you sure about this?" She asked, as the Pearl began to pull away.
"There's no where else I'd rather be." He told her, pulling her to him again, his lips meeting hers. Emma wrinkled her nose.
"Ewww...." The couple broke apart, laughing. Will looked to his daughter, kissing her on the cheek.
"This is the only place for me."