A Caged Swann
Chapter 20: Winning Your Heart
Weatherby stood on the balcony of his office quarters staring across the bay of Port Royal. It was good to finally be home again. Good to have his feet back on solid land, especially after such an eventful week or so aboard two completely different vessels. He was happy to see that Captain Sparrow had taken his suggestion to heart.
Despite certain choices that were made, Elizabeth was back home safely where she belonged. Heavens above, if she wanted to remain husbandless and become an old maid or a nun, he would let her. And he was sure a convent somewhere would take her. Not that Elizabeth would ever go willingly. And not that he would force her into it. He had learned his lesson.
She'd most likely run off the first chance she got anyway.
His daughter wasn't like most young ladies of the day. But if she were, then she wouldn't be his Elizabeth. His spirited daughter, who really did try to be ladylike for him, but no matter how much she did there was always a comment, always a look, always something. She was her own person, and he loved her for it. And it was her turn to make a decision now. Whatever path she chose, Weatherby was determined to support her.
He wanted her safe and loved. That was really all he asked.
Though Elizabeth was taking her time with it. It had been nearly a week now since they had returned and she had locked herself in her room refusing to see anyone.
He had seen Sparrow though, wandering here and there. He would disappear some days, most likely to the Pearl or off to the beach…but he was still there. Waiting for Elizabeth.
If only the silly girl would realize what Weatherby himself had come to see.
By the time they had reached Port Royal, James Norrington was only too happy to be off his own ship. He had tried hard to restrain himself from throwing Thomas overboard but he was pretty sure that the rest of the crew would have ignored it if he had.
The man was annoying to be simply put. If the Commodore went into any more detail he might just go back and shoot him. Going to see Governor Swann about the odd things he heard, for confirmation or relief, was something he had excused himself to do alone. If Jack Sparrow really was involved with something it was best no one else overhear.
Coming up to the manor he prepared himself for whatever awaited.
Weatherby looked up from the papers on his desk to the attendant in the doorway.
"Commodore Norrington to see you sir."
The older man leaned back in his chair and motioned for the naval commander to be shown in.
Weatherby smiled and stood as the man entered the room, noticing that his shoulders seemed to visibly relax when their eyes met.
"Governor Swann. I see you are safe and well."
"Any reason why I wouldn't be?" he asked casually.
The governor made a motion to the chair in front of his desk as he sat back down.
"You see Governor, my ship recently picked up a man claiming you'd been kidnapped…"
Weatherby listened to the Commodore and tried to suppress a smile when Norrington got to his suspicions of Thomas being the kidnapper and a little unhinged.
"I do believe I have a story for you," said Weatherby smiling. "You never did get my letter did you?"
Norrington looked at him in confusion. "Letter?"
"The crew's getting' restless, sir. We've been anchored for half a fortnight."
Gibbs stood in Jack quarters, arms crossed as he poised in front of Jack's desk. The man in question was leaning far back as to avoid the sun's slowly fading glare as it slid through the openings in the curtains.
"S'not my fault," said Jack waving a hand at Gibbs. "It's tha' bloody woman in there refusing to come out. Stubborn, stubborn girl."
"We've gone along with ye this far Jack. But all we're doing here is sittin'."
"S'not my fault," he muttered, pulling his tri-corner hat over his eyes.
"And ye say she's the stubborn one. Is this a contest of wills then? You out stubborn her and ya win?"
Jack raised his head to look thoughtfully at his first mate from underneath his hat.
"I wasn' serious Jack. They don' go for that sort of thing."
"Not even Lizzie?"
Gibbs sighed and shook his head at the hopeful tone in Jack's voice. The man wasn't going to win her over by sitting around. She had had her space. It'd been a week. The crew was bored and contemplating mutiny.
The girl had locked herself away in the manor and Jack to his cabin when he wasn't wandering. It wasn't an ideal situation for anyone. The man had to talk to Miss Elizabeth, and after that they were either setting sail again or…by the ghost of Davy Jones what if the lass actually said 'yes'?
Turning his groan into a cough, he stopped thinking about what they'd do with a Governor's daughter on board. She had proven herself to be more than just a pretty face to them before and he had a feeling she'd take to the life but…in all honesty she was no pirate. It wasn't glamorous and it wasn't romantic, he remembered her as a child and just hoped that if she felt anything for Jack it was for the man he really was, not his occupation in life.
He may be a pirate, a scoundrel, a scallywag, a thief, an arsonist, a kidnapper, a liar…
Gibbs shook his head. What any upperclass woman saw in Jack Sparrow…
But besides the lifestyle and the things they did to survive, deep down Jack was a good man. Gibbs just didn't know how Jack and Elizabeth's worlds could ever really combine.
"I know, I know. The crew's restless, 'Lizabeth is hiding, you think I'm moping, and you want this sorted out, yeah?"
"Sorry to rush ye Jack, but yeah tha's it."
He watched Jack grin from beneath his hat. His mustache and beard were growing back much to the relief of the others. Having the Captain clean-shaven had made more than one a little twitchy. They had to consciously remind themselves that, yes, that was indeed the Captain.
He watched Jack run a finger absently over his lips losing himself in thought once again. This was no way for a pirate Captain to be acting. Gibbs might as well kidnap Miss Elizabeth himself and lock her and Jack in a room together until they worked something out, or at least decided to go their separate ways…though that could take just as long as this avoidance thing on her part.
So in conclusion: they were doomed.
One mutiny had been enough for Jack to last a lifetime. Though this time if his present crew decided to do just that, he'd only be stuck in Port Royal with a stubborn woman who would either have him or wouldn't to drive himself mad with. He supposed he could always steal a gun if the crew didn't leave him one and Elizabeth really pushed him to put it to his own temple.
She might be stubborn, and he could do that just as well, but sometimes one just had to give in and go see the other. And it was going to be him, he thought as he made his way across the beach and up the hill towards the Swann manor. It was pretty obvious that it was going to have to be him anyway. Elizabeth definitely wasn't about to do it. Go running out of the house after a pirate, and the Pearl wasn't that easy to find behind the rocky pinnacles surrounding the bay port anyway.
Maybe they could stop being stubborn together. Jack grinned. He was the master of half thought up plans that seemed to pull themselves together in the end, so why would seeing Elizabeth be any different?
Grabbing a yellow flower as he walked, he continued on his way to the manor.
He wanted to cringe. He wanted to yell at someone. He wanted to do a great many things but his military training would not permit him to do so where he was currently situated.
He could have had Elizabeth if that damned merchant had gotten the letter to him in time, but what was the point really? If it was someone else she wanted? Before it hadn't mattered to him but now that he had time to think, it wasn't worth it to be her second choice. Or third even.
James's only regret was how close Elizabeth had come to marrying Thomas. But a promise was a promise, and how strange was it that it was a pirate that they all had to thank for her rescue? Of all the things he had seen in life…and all the things he heard. He could tell that Governor Swann was omitting certain things from his explanation. James couldn't see Jack Sparrow not wanting any compensation for this and then there was the entire matter of Elizabeth's fourth engagement.
The governor said she was considering a man named Pardal. And James would keep his mouth shut, as it was out of his hands and he couldn't wait to be recommissioned back in English waters. All of this would be behind him and he could let it go. Let the Swanns do what they liked. Each of them was as stubborn as they came and once their minds were set there was nothing to be done to change them. And they really were good people.
But James knew better.
He should have hung Jack Sparrow when he had the chance. Pardal indeed.
She wanted Jack Sparrow.
It was inconceivable and entirely inappropriate, but it was true.
All that time Elizabeth had been falling for him she had tried to make Will fit into the mold she wanted. Tried to make him the object of her affections as he had once been for so long since she was a young girl. But then Jack Sparrow had splashed into her life, pulling her up from the bottom of the Port Royal bay. He made her feel things she had never felt towards Will.
And then Will had left and Jack came to her rescue yet again. For Freedom. For something they both wanted. For something more. She had kissed him…and that one brush of his lips against hers had given her more than any one kiss of Will's.
And she could finally admit it to herself. She wanted Jack Sparrow.
But it could never work. How could it work?
He was a pirate.
She was a Governor's daughter.
Despite the type of man he was it was nonsensical.
Sitting up on her bed, she rubbed her side where the whalebone had been digging in. Laying down in a corset wasn't the best idea she ever had but she was tired. And hiding.
Jack had to be gone by now anyway. She had been avoiding him and everyone else since they had gotten back
Yet he came for you before, came that small voice inside her. She was really growing to hate that voice; the one that popped up at the most inopportune moments when she was trying to talk herself out of wanting things. It was the voice that was always right.
And what if it was again? Jack had come for her before when she thought she had pushed him away. He kept coming for her. Would her avoidance send him away forever now or was he still waiting for her? Waiting for her to make up her mind. To make a decision. A definitive one. A decision that would either be accepting or rejecting him for good this time.
To make it final.
Elizabeth sighed and pressed her hands to her face. She wanted Jack but she couldn't have him.
Blinking, Elizabeth removed her hands from her face and listened.
Her brow furrowed as the soft sound came again. Looking around her room her eyes fell on her window as she waited.
Scurrying off of her bed, Elizabeth crossed the room and pushed aside the curtains. She couldn't see very well with the balcony but she did see a small pebble sail through the air and hit the glass in front of her lightly. Unhooking the latch on the balcony door, she stepped outside into the fading sun and curiously stood at the edge of the rail, suppressing a small smile at the sight of Jack Sparrow once again below her window.
"Jack, what are you doing here?"
He grinned as he saw her finally come out of her room and onto her balcony. They had been here before, but this time, instead of watching her with the sunrise forlornly, she was looking down at him in the dying light of the sun. Erased was the misery of the past and what was left was curiosity and maybe a little of something else…but by the stars she was still as beautiful as she was that day. Rising or setting, the sun complemented her, loved her, made her radiate and glow. She could rival the horizon with her beauty and her spirit.
He must have been silent for too long, she was giving him a searching look as he stood there, held in her thrall.
"Was wonderin' when you'd see me."
She dropped her head minutely before bringing it back up to look at him. He was starting to look a little more like himself, his beard and mustache was regrowing but his hair was still so smooth and short. The look on his face and the passion in his eyes though, matched exactly the man she had met a year ago. It seemed they had both grown and sorted out, somewhat, of what they wanted in life.
A week of avoiding him, of avoiding everyone and here Jack stood below her window, waiting for her to answer.
"I thought you'd have left." Her voice was soft.
"Not without seeing you again."
He sighed as the look on her face shifted. Taking a deep breath, he continued before she could say anything else. "Elizabeth…will you have me or won't you?"
Did he…was that a proposal?
"We'll work something out luv," he said interrupting her. He had to be quick. She couldn't have time to talk herself out of it. "Time on land, time at sea. The two of us. Together, or separated for a wee few months 'ere and there. We can divvy it later, but there's a compr'mise somewhere, yes?"
Elizabeth swallowed. She could feel her heart start to beat rapidly as thoughts and feelings sprung up at the small glimmer of hope he seemed to be offering her. Could it work? Could they make it work? Between her finally admitting that she wanted him to him standing now before her and asking…
"Aye lass, a compromise. We'll sort somethin' out. Something for th' both of us."
Could she say 'yes'? Should she say 'no'?
There was a lot they had to talk about, to sort out, but if he was willing to take that chance with her…maybe, just maybe, something could come out of it.
Maybe, just maybe it might work.
She was so tired of fighting with herself.
She bit her lip as she regarded him. It wouldn't be easy. Fitting into two different worlds, molding each other in just the right way.
But when had her life ever been easy? There was never a world where she felt she truly belonged. She was stuck inbetween. So maybe, what Jack was offering her was a way to find her place in the world, beside him. With him. To find their place.
Elizabeth noticed him twirling a stem between his fingers and smiled.
"Jack, what are you doing?"
Jack, what are you doing here?
Holding up the single yellow flower he had picked earlier, Jack gave her a genuine smile and an honest answer.
"Winning your heart."
A/N: I really hope it was worth the wait, I was nervous about posting it! All I can say is that university kicked my ass and kicked it hard this semester. I had no time to work on anything not school related ;; But Finals are finished and term is done so here is your final chapter!
I thought that leaving the ending sort of open ended fit their situation a lot better than making something concrete such as Liz turns pirate or Jack forsakes the ocean. They both have a lot of issues and lifestyles to work out together so I felt that this ending worked much better than any of the alternatives. This is also the ending I have been planning for a very, very long time. Even though I like it, I think it was a little short…hmmm…
I know I've said this before but I'll say it again: I can't believe the response this fic has gotten. 419 reviews for 19 chapters is amazing and it makes this my most successful story to date. I love you all so much for sticking with this story, it's been 2 and a half years! I'm glad it kept your interest despite my sporadic updates!
Hugest, biggest thank yous going out to all of my wonderful, wonderful readers:
ReeseAnn, Celeste Rose, Susie, Quirky Del, im-katydid, miarath, me, catgirlutah, Mme. Calico Jack Rackham, GreenDayJunkie, Parody-of-an-Angel, JackSparrowsBooty, Shadow Phenix, Missy Mouse, Alzadea, SammieThePirate, Kate Lorraine, LonleyStar, calm a llama down, Koneko Ai, Luinecu, Emma, NikkilovesJack, dshael, JackSparrowsBooty, Rachel Sparrow, Claire, Savvylicious, Gater101, TheHollister, Yo amo el crossdressing poodle, Rock and Sarcasm, OpraNoodlemantra, LaVieBoheme87, drunkenscallywag, Shawns-Lady-Forever, tinydancer69, decoruslamia, Kirei Baka Kasumi, DataKenobi05, CrAzY Pigwidgeon, Poppy2, Eileen Blazer, CommodoreJewlz, vampire-serpent, FalconWing, dawn1, cancat90, Princess7186, Shana, sparrowlover, Jeanne2, Ghost, sweet-opium-dreamer, jam, wayunlucky13, The Logical Ghost, fairy pwincess, Danni Evans, Kala, Alia, Mz.Insanity, Redrose Moon, doragon41, Cloudburst2000, Phoenix, Pooka, Stephanie, KKO, Lily Evanstar, Rain, Mrs. Jack Sparrow, James-Sinclair, KawaiiRyu, whosgotyou, inugurlz, Jem, Saavik13, Morrigana, Spuffy101, Annabelle, Mrs. Skywalker, summer, Skystrike26, Snugglebnny87, Anna, Aliesha, POTOPhoenix, Kateya, Lalia x, Saucy-Duck, SimplyNorma, Lin, Whist, xsmoothiex, Jaffa Fairy, meowbooks, NamelessNobodies, gavvie, FantasyChick, TotallyMe18, Kill-All-Flamers, M1ssL1ly, susan, Whatsername81, moggetsservant, Maleficent Angel, Ashleigh, tiya, rumancannon balls, derangedfangirl, SuperSixOne, All Apologies, Cleo-cat, Interested, dw, moondreams19, Shadow, Spikez-babe91, Mrs Captain Sparrow, light barrer, Snufflesgal, Saira Khan, Cat, Jon'ic Recheio, Aslangirl15, crystalvoicedcamelotlady, Tilly Jeanne, Sparrow's Lassie, PeanutButterOreoCookieGirl, EmbeddedAmethyst, haydenlover19, MissBe, CaptainDuckula, stealingseamonkeys, Daughter of Horus, Mishelle20, shakeNbake, Rachel452, marauder4ever, The Honest Reader, Elealyan, JustCallMeCaptain, Nebraska Girl, Kaz, Furies of Darkness, micheped, daisywcck, akksgurl, Tsuri Kato, Ginny-cry, Just To Be, Eternal Rhapsody, Magical Creature, Estora, JohnnysDoll84, Hell is Freezing Over, Anne-Sophie, Ditte3, Mithlond88, Eva-Nina, AghataRose, CrystalTears730, Hudine, Lady Kiara Skywalker, Lady, Star Christabel, Celebwen Telcontar, Roxydesigns, sparrowsgurl, SparrowCat, Mrs. J Sparrow, Anime-mistress585, rae.keys, ShannonRose, starlight507, Sparrow's Swann, RENTheadSyndrome, Blood Doll, LondonGirl27, Dr. Mango, Thebookwerm, stringofpearls, Lost and Found Puppy, InTooDepp, Artemis MoonClaw, fan number 1, gObOoGiE, ArcherofDarkness and Callie, Kim, Elealyan, a romantic tragedy., amanda031, x0xShopaholicx0x
I hope I didn't miss anyone!!!
Special thanks to all of my faithful reviewers who have reviewed every chapter or close to it, you know who you are!
Extra special thanks to Lady for letting me complain about this fic in our e-mails as well as helping me find inspiration, ideas for this fic have just come to me in the middle of writing you. Thank you Star Christabel for the support and your beautiful manips! And Hudine because I unfortunately never got back to your review and it sucks you were sick liek woah. Now that it's three months later I hope you're all healthy again!
And the finally to all of you wonderful reviewers:
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Have a Joyous New Year!
p.s.: As for that happened to Thomas and the Commodore: Norrington took Thomas far, far away. Whether it was dropping him off back at home or stranding him on an island I'll leave that to your imagination. Norrington went back to England and found himself a lovely young girl, or Will. And they all lived happily ever after.