Title: The Pearl's Song
Part: 1/1
Author: Mel (Aijin)
Email: pattyd@c-zone.net
Rating: PG
Pairing: Jack/Will
Warnings: Character death… twice over! Though not graphic.
Disclaimer: I own nothing and this isn't for profit.
Summary: The Black Pearl used to sing to Will. What would make her stop?
Archive: PCSF, ff.net, and Parley. Anywhere else… ask first.
Author's notes: This is told from Will's POV and is entirely dialogue.

"She used to sing to me. Her sails would fill with the wind, her ropes would whip with it and her hull would sigh softly against the waves. She would sing quietly in the morn, increasing tempo and pitch and tone with the rising sun to sing loudly at the noontide. She would quiet with the eve, slow to a hum with the waves to lull me to sleep.

"Her voice was never so sweet as when we were in battle. She was strong, and proud, and her voice rose and echoed between the ships, our opponents and ours. She would sing with every shot of the guns, laughingly lilting as we swung aboard to do what pirates do best.

"In storms, her magnificent voice never quavered or quailed. It grew above the storm and led us in ways only she could. She sent her voice to the crests of the tallest waves, challenging the sea in tempest.

"In the calmest of weather, she would hum, soothingly, and laugh as gentle waves caressed her hulls. She would sing with the songs of the sea creatures, intoning sounds no man had known before.

"Sweetest of all, she would sing for you, Jack. When you were caught up in your passion she would soothe your tremors with a quiet song, a soft word. I would wonder, sometimes, if that was how she would share sensations, rocking with us as I led you to completion and followed after. And then she would quiet, for a moment, and calm, as if coming down with your heart, slowly as it did.

"Ah, she sang the loudest when her Captain was happy. When you would walk her decks and trail a hand along her rails she would raise her voice and sing with pride. This is my Captain, she seemed to sing, this is my Captain.

"Oh and did she scream when you were hauled from her decks! You felt it, I know, as you looked heartbroken when you told me to watch your lady. Her voice rose in an angry wail, then, with the building storm, and she cried her vow to get you back again.

"She never ceased her cries and angry songs as we pursued you, Jack. Not once did she relax her voice if even to ease our minds. She held her tune, her flags flapping angrily in time with the rise and fall of her song.

"The only time she quieted was when we pulled into port a day behind the ship that had taken you. She lowered to an angry hiss as we moored her just to the side of the cove holding the Navy ships. She urged us then, like a mother would when she has lost her child, as we lowered the skiffs and rowed to shore.

"I know you must have heard her soft song that night, as we slinked and sleuthed through the port city. The jail was hidden beneath the ground, far from the shore, but I know you heard her. She sang a lullaby and wove in her promise of having you grace her decks again.

"We took too long that night, Jack. The jail had many guards and many blades in able hands and foolhardy though it was, we attacked with our meager force. They soon had us surrounded, muskets at our hearts and blades to our throats. She cried to us then, warning us of the approaching dawn, urging us to continue our fight, to save her Captain.

"We tried, Jack, Lord knows I did many stupid things in the following moments. In the end of the fight, however, I had only managed to run myself through on one of the Navy's finest blades. The sting of that could not compare to wail of the Pearl when you were lead to the gallows. I could scarce hear her above the pounding of my heart in my ears as I was forced to watch. They bound us, those they could catch, and held us back as you were set to hang.

"I thank the Lord your neck broke upon your sudden stop. You hung limply and that image will never leave me. Your arms were at your sides, legs stiff and body swinging in the building wind.

"I do not remember much more after that, only that the Pearl screamed so loudly her voice shook the very foundations of the city. The guards about us shivered then, and we broke free, as they were too afraid of what was happening to hold us tightly.

"I tried to carry your body, but I could not take more than a few steps as my vision blurred and my side burned where the sword had been. One of the others bore you to your Pearl, and the instant you were brought aboard an eerie calm fell about the cove. You were laid in your cabin, and through my own tearful cries I thought I heard the Pearl, crying too, as she embraced you in your bed.

"All at once, it seemed, the sea roared to life. Large swells rolled beneath Pearl, urging her forward to the port city. The crew yelled as she commanded we sail into port. The sails furled in the unnatural gale that spurred the Pearl on, and we road the tall waves as shallow as we could get.

"She sang above the wind and weather as we brought Hell upon that city. With each blast of her guns, she roared her outrage, and at each boom of destructive she screamed in victory. I could see the common-folk of the city fleeing, running from the shore as if Lucifer himself were at their heels. Navy men, stupid in their bravado, boarded ships to try vainly to return fire. The Pearl left naught, neither afloat in the water nor alive on the land.

"When at last her guns quieted and the storm of her own brewing died, the city was left in shambles. Everything was scorched or tumbled, smoldering in the heavy air. The stench of death laid thickly on the wind and we inhaled it 'til our lungs burned and eyes watered.

"We left, then, on a gust of wind that bore us swiftly from that damned port. The waves lapped at the Pearl's hulls, yet no melody echoed forth. The sails were soundless, the ropes still, and her decks breathed not the edge of a word.

"The Pearl was silent, and when I stumbled into her Captain's cabin my own voice caught in my throat. You were paling and I could tell from where I stood in the doorway that your body had grown cold and stiff. Pearl whispered to me then, told me to go to her Captain and watch him in his sleep. She lurched, and I stumbled further into the cabin, to your bed.

"I could not stop myself from collapsing on the bed nor from holding you against me. I shuddered at the chill of your body, yet could not let go. She murmured to me, of her own grief washing her decks and sails and hull and of how she loved her Captain.

"Her rocking was rough, and leant no sweet comfort as I fell to sleep. My dreams were dark, and Pearl's voice did not grace them, as it had done for a handful of years. I awoke when she cried. The storm had worsened around us and I knew that she now felt the full onslaught of her grief.

"She was slammed forward and back, and screamed as sails ripped and ropes untied. She groaned against the swells, her pain palpable in her weary voice.

"I held you tightly, though you were now colder than the night air and stiff as a board. Warmth pooled beneath us as my blood continued to seep from where the sword had pierced me… days ago? I could not remember anymore. She tossed us violently in her last revolt against the world. How unjust, she seemed to cry, that my Captain be taken from my decks never to be returned.

"I cannot recall how long it has been, Jack, that I have been holding you through this tempest. You do not seem so cold now, as I nestle against your body. My blood beneath us has soaked into the blanket and clumps our hair. I suppose I should be scared, as I know these moments are my last. Yet I cannot bring myself to feel that way; I have you in my arms, and we have the Pearl.

"She is moaning lowly, a dreadful song if ever I have heard one. The storm is wicked, and I can hear her sigh tiredly due to its bashing. She will not see another sunrise, Jack, she cannot, without her Captain.

"Her voice silences now, and I can hear the main mast groan loudly as it falls and smashes into the deck. The sound of the sea rushing to fill her hulls echoes in my ears now. It is only a matter of time, Jack.

"She used to sing to me. Yet now, when my eyelids grow heavy and you feel more warm than cold, and the sea cries loudly as it fills her… now, she is silent."