Broken Wings

A Pirates of the Caribbean story by Merrie

Disclaimer: They're definitely not mine. No one who owned these characters would be doing the things I'm doing to them. :-)

Author's Note: This is an ALTERNATE ENDING to Broken Wings dedicated to Neon Daises who made me write it. It's all her fault. This is not how the story itself ended, that was the last chapter. This is just how it could have ended were I even more evil than I already am, and not wanting to write a sequel, which I do.

Rating: R, just to be safe, for language and violence. WARNING: CHARACTER DEATH

Chapter 15B: Death and Denial

Jack couldn't take it any longer. He lay on his bed, bound hand and foot like some vicious animal, and he knew he couldn't take it any longer. "Just leave me alone," Jack whispered to the circle of overbearing people surrounding him.

"But Jack," Elizabeth started, a confused frown on her face.

"Just leave me alone!" he roared, causing Elizabeth to gasp.

"Look here, Sparrow, there's no call for that. We're only trying to help you," Norrington said with a slight glare.

"You can't help me. Just leave me alone." Jack was almost pleading with them now. "Just go."

"If that's really what you want, Jack," Will said, trailing off, not understanding what was going on in front of him. He had never seen Jack act like this before; so broken.

"Yes, it's what I want. Now would you please leave?" he asked again, turning to face them for the first time, his dark eyes wide and pleading.

Will nodded and grabbed Elizabeth gently by the arm, "Come on Elizabeth, it's what Jack wants. Besides, he'll be all right in here by himself for awhile, won't you Jack?" Will directed toward his pirate friend.

"Yes, of course I will," Jack said, not convincing anyone. But Will would follow Jack's wishes. And if something should happen, they wouldn't be that far away. The Black Pearl wasn't *that* big of a ship, after all.

Norrington cast a long glance at Jack's prone form on the bed, not caring for the situation in front of him. There was something not quite right about the pirate captain. He seemed somehow less than his normal self. After a moment's consideration about the events the man had gone through in the last few days, he supposed it was only normal to seem a little...out of sorts. He would leave the man to his thoughts, as he had requested. He turned to leave and Will and Elizabeth followed closely behind him, leaving Jack alone in his cabin, still tied up, and lying on the bed.

'I thought they'd never leave,' Lorelac muttered in the confines of Jack's mind after the door had been shut to his cabin.

"Please just leave me alone," Jack pleaded with him, bringing his bound wrists up to his face in an attempt to cradle his now aching skull. He really couldn't stand this anymore. His sanity was in tattered remnants, and he could feel it. He had just buried 13 of his crew members in succession, without a break in between. And Ana...oh God, just the thought of her filled his head with darkness and made him want to simply not be for awhile. If only to get away from thoughts of her and what he had...what he had seen, and what he had almost done to Will. It was too much. Too much for any man to cope with in only two days, and he didn't think he could take any more.

'What's wrong with you anyway? You're not giving up on me, are you, you pathetic bastard? I thought you were supposed to be invincible? You're Captain Jack Sparrow, and all that rot? You're certainly not acting like it now,' Lorelac said with a sneer in his voice.

"There is no more Captain Jack Sparrow anymore. He's dead, and you should know. You're the one who killed him," Jack said slowly.

Lorelac was a bit taken aback at that and would have frowned had he a corporeal being with which to do so. He was even more taken aback to find that he had to fight down an impulse to comfort the seemingly depressed pirate captain. Not that comfort from him would have helped, however. In fact, such help would probably only deepen Jack's depression, and that was something that Lorelac couldn't allow to happen. He could sense that Jack's mood had turned almost unbearably dark in the last few hours. Had it been a mistake to taunt him with Anamaria's body like that? He couldn't afford pushing Jack over the edge. Not know, not when he needed him so much. It was a thought along that line of reasoning that pushed him to annoy and taunt Jack in hopes into goading him back into a semblance of his old self.

"Have you left yet?" Jack muttered wearily, closing his eyes and slumping deep down into the bed.

It was then that Lorelac did something that he normally would have; he left Jack alone to his own thoughts, if only for a few minutes. He figured that he wouldn't be gone for long, and it would serve his interests greatly if Jack used that time alone to snap out of whatever despondency he had currently fallen in.

For a long moment, Jack just stared up at the ceiling, not really believing he was truly alone for the first time a long time. When the cold truth of it finally hit him; that he truly was alone, set in, he felt a cold wave of depression settle over him like a cloud of smoke so thick he felt he couldn't even see the edge of his bed. He found himself gasping for breath under its heavy weight. "They're all gone," he whispered to himself, testing the ropes that bound his hands and feet. They were tight; the Commodore had done a commendable job, but he hadn't fully anticipated how determined a desperate pirate could be to escape.

He wiggled his hands and wrists for what seemed like hours, pulling on the rope tied them and his feet for leverage, and after a long moment, he was finally able to slip one bloodied and raw wrist from its bondage. He didn't even seem to notice how slippery his now gore-covered fingers were as he deftly loosened his other wrist and untied his feet. Once he was finally free, he swung his feet over the edge of the bed; trying his best to ignore the screaming pain of his broken ribs, and stood up slowly. The room spun madly to the left as his perception shifted and he nearly fell, but he somehow managed to stay upright with a supreme act of will. He only hoped it hadn't been his last. He needed a will of iron to do what he needed to do next.

He walked; ever so slowly, over to the desk where he knew he had placed a second pistol in one of the drawers in case of an emergency. This wasn't necessarily an emergency, but his situation was dire, there was no doubt about that. He continued his long walk over to the desk and opened a drawer. He nearly fell to his knees in despair to see that it was empty save for a half full bottle of rum, what looked to be a rolled up map of some kind, and an extra bandana. Before he could give up all hope however, he tried the opposite drawer of the desk. Inside was his salvation.

He pulled out the slightly battered pistol and looked it over and checked out from barrel to trigger. It had to work perfectly. If for whatever reason it didn't fire when the time came, he didn't know if he'd have the strength to try again. So he spent his time making sure everything was in order with a strict eye, the ball he had removed was perfectly shaped and round like the bright sun above, the barrel surprisingly clean after disuse. After a few more long minutes, his inspection was finished, and with the reassembled pistol in hand, he made his way back over to the bed slowly, where he sat on the edge with a wince and a moan. He then took a deep breath, looked down at the pistol in his lap, and placed it against his temple. He couldn't muster the courage to place it under his chin like the last time; his bloodied cheek throbbed at the thought. He was just about to cock the gun when the door opened, and his actions were halted with a curse.

"Jack, what in God's name are you doing!" Will shouted at him, taking in the muzzle of the pistol pressed against Jack's temple with a steady hand.

"This doesn't concern you, whelp," Jack said slowly, his eyes closing briefly before opening again. "Just go back the way you came. Leave me alone."

"Why? So you can bloody kill yourself in peace? Give me the pistol Jack," Will said, taking a step toward him.

Jack countered that action by cocking the pistol. "Don't tempt me lad. I mean to do this, whether you like it or not. I'd rather you'd not have to watch, but it that's the way you want it, so be it."

Jack was almost startled into pulling the trigger and ending the conversation just then when the door burst open, Norrington coming through, his sword drawn, and Elizabeth trailing close behind him. "We heard screams..." Norrington trailed off, taking in the situation at once. "Dear God. Put down the pistol, Sparrow," he commanded, lowering his sword to his side.

Jack sighed, but didn't move his hand. "Like I told the whelp here before you so rudely interrupted, 'I mean to do this, whether you like it or not.' My suggestion is to leave now so you don't have to watch. Trust me, you don't want to," he trailed off softly, his eyes locked with Elizabeth's.

"You arrogant, stubborn....pirate!" Elizabeth screamed at him, her eyes blazing. "If you think that we're just going to sit idly by and let you blow your brains out, you're more stupid than you look, Captain Sparrow."

A small, sad smile lit Jack's face up briefly, but his hand didn't waver. "I'm sorry, but that's exactly what you're going to do. You have no choice," he said slowly.

"What of the Pearl, Jack? Would you really give all that up by killing yourself? After the hell you went through to get it back?" Will asked with a frown, desperately trying to find something to convince Jack to put down the gun. Between the three of them, they could rush Jack and try and take the gun away by force, but he had seen the pirate move almost faster than the eye could follow when he was really motivated, and something inside Will warned that this was one of those times. He really intended on doing it. He really planned on killing himself right here in front of them.

"The Pearl's yours, Will. I have no intention of having the ship go down with her Captain. Treat her well, and she'll do the same for you. She's a fine ship, and I hate to leave her, but she'll be in good hands. As for hell? A former member of my crew once told me I knew nothing of hell. He was right. At the time. My perspectives have changed somewhat since then. I'm now on a first-name basis with hell, you see. And this is it. This is hell," Jack stated with intensity, the pistol at his head still not wavering ever though his arm had to be getting tired sooner or later.

"This isn't hell, Jack. It may seem like it now, but it isn't I assure you. What of your crew, Jack? Did they die in vain? If you kill yourself, Lorelac wins and they will have died unrevenged. Is that truly what you want? Don't they deserve to be mourned? Don't they deserve the knowledge that their Captain is still alive and still fighting the very thing that robbed them of their lives?" Norrington asked, his eyes locking onto Jack's, neither one of them blinking away.

"Don't mention that bastard demon's name. I don't know where he went, but I'm truly free of him for the first time since I entered this pleasant little slice of hell, and it is hell Norrington, and I want to make the most of it while I still can. And my crew doesn't care about petty revenge. Wherever the lot of 'em ended up, I'm fairly certain they don't give a damn what the bloody hell their more than slightly unhinged Captain does or does not do for them any longer." He sighed, and turned to Elizabeth. "I have to tell him, Elizabeth," he whispered, turning away before he could see her horrified reaction to that.

"Please, for our sake if no one else's, put down the gun, Jack. And tell me what?" Will asked with a frown, looking to Elizabeth.

"There's something that the both of us left out of our stories, Mr. Turner," Jack said, intentionally calling Will by his formal name in an attempt to distance himself as his friend and tell him what he needed to be told.

Will looked from Jack to Elizabeth to back at Jack again before asking, his throat dry, "And what was that, Jack?"

"Please don't," Elizabeth whispered, her eyes shining with unshed tears.

"I'm sorry luv, but I have to. When that fallen demon bastard was in control of me on that damned island, he raped Elizabeth. No, *I* raped Elizabeth. It doesn't matter whether or not I was being controlled by anyone, it was me, Will. I got to watch her body underneath mine, screaming at me to let her up. I got to hear her sobbing afterwards when she thought I couldn't hear. It was me, your *friend*," he said the word as if it were a curse, "Captain Jack Sparrow." He let his words sink in for a moment, trying to ignore Elizabeth's sobbing, before speaking again. "I'm fairly certain you'd like to kill me right now, and I'd be more than happy to let you pull the trigger, but I think at the last moment you'd waver on the grounds of our once friendship, and I can't allow that to happen. I don't believe you'll ever forgive me, but don't hold it against Elizabeth. She truly was forced," he said softly before turning away from Will's now hard eyes to look at Elizabeth. "I'm truly sorry for the wrongs I've caused you, Miss Swann," he said quietly but firmly.

"You bastard," a voice said, and Jack was surprised to hear it uttered from Norrington's lips, rather than Will's own. The odd thing was, the Commodore didn't seem to be directing his curse at Jack, however, but at the air itself.

"I'm sorry, so very sorry. I'm sure there's a nice spot someplace warm with my name on it waiting for me, so don't worry. Take care of her," Jack directed to Will and Norrington both. "You never should have saved me, Will. You should have left me to hang. But I won't hold it against you, and you shouldn't either. I won't trouble any of you ever again," he said with a sad smile, looking at each of them in the eye one last time. He met Will's eyes last, and was relieved to see that his eyes were clear of any animosity that he might have expected. They were filled with a deep sorrow, but not the hate that he so richly deserved. "Goodbye, my friends." With that, he pulled the trigger.

Will saw Jack's body slumping to the left, his dark eyes having gone glassy and still, the hand holding the pistol dropping listlessly to his side, his expressive hands never to move again. He saw all of these things, but found he couldn't move. He could only watch, a horrified look on his face as he saw both Norrington and Elizabeth rushing to Jack's side, Elizabeth cradling Jack's head in her lap, the pants and shirt she had borrowed from Anamaria's cabin becoming quickly saturated with blood. Will didn't notice any of this. His eyes were fixed on the still smoking pistol, its purpose now served, lying motionless under Jack's unmoving fingertips.

He was vaguely aware of someone sobbing loudly, and slowly moved his nearly unresponsive body in the direction of the noise. It was Elizabeth; she was still cradling Jack in her arms, and was now more than covered in his blood. Norrington slumped on the ground beside the bed, simply staring up at Jack's face, seemingly as lost and unresponsive as Will was. "He's," Norrington trailed off before beginning again, "he's dead. He's really dead," he said as if he didn't believe what was right in front of his eyes.

It was hearing Norrington's practically whispered words that sent the world reeling for Will, and he slumped down on the ground, not a footstep away from the Commodore himself. "He can't be," he muttered. "He's Captain Jack Sparrow...he can't die," he looked at Norrington when he said it, his eyes wide and childlike, as if he were begging the military man to make it all go away, and for Jack to sit up on the bed and start laughing heartily, having pulled the greatest trick of all.

None of it went away. And Jack didn't so much as blink, let alone come back to life. Jack was gone. What was left was a hollow shell that when Will really looked at it, didn't look like the pirate captain at all. "It's not him," he declared at once. "It's some kind of trick. Lorelac tricked us. He wants us to think Jack's dead. But I'm not going to believe it. You hear that, you bastard!" he shouted to the ceiling. "Why don't you show yourself? Because we don't believe your lies!"

"Will, please don't," Elizabeth moaned, her eyes now red from crying to match her blood-covered body. "Don't do this. Not now," Elizabeth said, her voice breaking into sobs again.

"Don't do what, Elizabeth? Don't bother crying for Jack, he's not really dead. This is all a trick. And the talk about the rape, that was a trick too, wasn't it?" he asked slowly, turning to look up at her from his place on the floor next to Norrington.

"It wasn't a trick, Will," Norrington whispered despondently. "This is all happening. Right now. This is all real, every bit of it. And I don't know where that bastard Lorelac is, but he's not here---" Norrington was cut off by a strong wind pulsing through the room, pulling at their hair and sending the papers on Jack's desk dancing about the room. "What is that?" he asked, looking around them with a frown.

"It's Lorelac, he's come to gloat like I knew he would," Will said confidently, rising to his feet. "What's wrong, you bastard? Upset that we didn't fall for your little trick? You're going to have to try a hell of a lot harder than that." The wind stirred about the room for a few minutes longer, seeming to focus its attacks on Will's standing figure and on Jack's prone one, before finally dying down almost as quickly as it had first stirred, and vanishing completely. "Is that it? Is that the best you can do? A little wind to ruffle our hair? You're pathetic," Will screamed into the room.

"Will please, stop this," Elizabeth pleaded with him. "Jack is dead, he's really dead. And he won't be coming back this time," she said, gesturing to Jack's still form, still cradled broken and bloody, on her lap.

"No," Will whispered once more, but the defiance in him seemed to vanish and he slumped back down to the ground, a bereft look settling on his face that brought fresh tears to Elizabeth's face upon seeing it. "He's really gone," he whispered. After that whispered statement, he gave into the grief that had been warring against the denial he had so wanted to fall into. But there was no denying it now. Jack was gone, and he wasn't coming back. The world would no more know Captain Jack Sparrow's antics, the sea no longer troubled by his adventures. He was truly gone, and the world felt more empty, more morose than it ever had been.

"May you find peace, you damn daft pirate," Norrington whispered as an epithet, not moving from his place on the floor, but staring up at Jack's form, his eyes wet with quiet tears. He had known Jack the least, had considered him an enemy for most of his life, but he couldn't deny the pain he felt at the pirate captain's loss. Something wasn't right about all of this. He somehow felt cheated, as if someone had changed the script of life at the last moment and he hadn't had time to learn his lines. This shouldn't have happened. Jack didn't deserve to die, and for God's sake, especially not by his own hand. There should have been something they could have done for him. Some way of preventing all of this. If they had moved a little faster, argued a little harder, perhaps Jack would still be alive, and he wouldn't have to be haunted by the pirate's last words "Goodbye, my friends," and the loud sound of the pistol afterwards.

"What do we do now?" Elizabeth asked between her sobs, even still cradling Jack's body. No one answered her; no one had an answer for her. Such questions about the future seemed somehow trivial at this point. So the question was left unanswered and the room fell silent.

The End

A/N: Don't hate me. This is an alternate ending of the story, as I said before. This is just how the story *could have* gone, not how it did. The real ending of the story was the previous chapter. This scene was just something I wrote at Neon Daises' request. I hope you liked it for its...literary value at least if not for its content. Please send your reviews and lemme know what you thought!! Now, on a lighter note, on to the sequel, A Gilded Cage!! :-)