"And so the child lived happily ever after in the land of dreams." Elizabeth finished reading softly and looked down at her daughter sleeping beside her. She quietly closed the book and set it down on the bed. Leaning over, she gave Emma a quick kiss on the cheek. "Sleep tight, little one." She whispered and slowly got off the bed, trying not to disturb Emma. Picking up the book, she set it on the pile of books in the chair and blew out the candle before leaving the room. She closed the door softly behind her and headed down the stairs.
After eight years of pain and loss, Elizabeth felt as if her life were finally coming back to her. She had her beautiful little girl and she had her husband, Will Turner, back. The same husband who she had thought died over eight years ago by the hangman's noose. They lived in England now, although Will had protested it at first. Pirates and the crown did not get along well, but she had reminded him that he was no longer a pirate. Their house had been bought by what he had taken with him when he left the Black Pearl in Gibbs' hands to come with her and Emma. It was a beautiful house, not extravagant, but just enough for the three of them. They had been there for a little less than a month. She was still getting used to the colder climate again while Will was getting used to being a civilian again. He was even talking about purchasing a smithy to start up a business.
Elizabeth pushed open the door into the kitchen, peeking in. Will was eating an apple, staring at the wall in thought. She slid through the door and closed it quietly behind her before walking over and lying against him. That broke him out of his thoughts and he looked down, smiling at her. "Did you finally get Emma to sleep?" He asked her. She nodded.
"It took a little bit of work. She's still excited about you being home. Although I don't blame her, because I am too." She said. Grabbing the collar of his shirt, she pulled him down so that she could kiss him. Just one kiss from him could make her soar and she enjoyed the sweetness on his lips from when he had been eating the apple.
"I missed you more than I could ever say." Will told her once they broke apart. He closed his eyes. "It took me a while to come back, but I'm glad that I did. I wouldn't have missed this for the world." He said. Elizabeth laid her head against his chest, finger running over the scar under his chin where the noose had dug into his skin. It sounded morbid, but she was glad that it had been one of those rare hangings where the prisoner's neck did not break, because then he had the chance to come back to her.
She'd been building up the courage to ask him what had gone on those years that he had been gone. She wasn't sure if he'd answer. There was still so much she didn't know and he didn't seem to want to volunteer the information either. Her curiosity was getting the best of her. Steeling herself, she looked up at him, dropping her hand. "Will. I wanted to ask you about...about what happened while you were gone." She said quietly. She felt him stiffen slightly and she winced. He was silent for what seemed like forever.
"It's a long story." He said finally. "I'm not sure you'd want to hear it..."
"I do." She interrupted him. "I do want to hear it, Will. I want to know what happened to you." The look in her eyes begged him to tell her. He felt extremely reluctant about telling her. He'd done things that he was ashamed of and wouldn't have been done by him before he'd been hung. "If you tell me, I'll share my story as well, although it would be a bore to you."
"I'll tell you then." He took her hand and led her to the sitting room. "But you have to know that I did things that I'm not proud of. I just don't want you to think badly of me."
"Let me be the judge, Will. You tell the story." She said softly as she settled herself down in a chair near the fireplace; as if she were doing no more than settling down to read a book. Will sat in the armchair facing the one she was in. He leaned forward, elbows resting on his knees.
"I guess I should start the story off at a place we both know..."
8 Years Earlier
"There's no need to cry, little one." Will said softly as he carefully picked the infant up out of the cradle. The baby continued to cry as he held her in his arms, the loud wails filling the room. Will sat down, carefully rocking her in his arms. "It's ok. I'm here now." Slowly the cries began to lessen until they were little sobbing hiccups. He smiled down at Emma, one finger trapped in her tiny fist. "Maybe a song would help?" He wracked his brain for a song before settling upon one that he remembered from his childhood in England, an old church hymn. Quietly he began to sing to her. After a few moments, her eyelids drooped heavily and she sighed and curled up tighter to him, feeling safe in his arms.
There was a creak from the doorway and Will looked up to see Elizabeth standing there. He wasn't aware that she had been there. "I got her to sleep." He said with a smile as she came over and took the baby from his arms.
"She's daddies little girl." Elizabeth responded as she laid the little girl in the cradle. He came up behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist as she looked down at their child. She twisted around in his grasp so that she could face him.
"I love you, Elizabeth Turner." He told her and he meant every word of it. He couldn't have found a better life. A job he did well, a wife he loved and cherished, and a beautiful baby daughter. She smiled back at him in a way that made his heart skip a beat.
"And I love you, William Tu..." The crash in the kitchen put an end to the moment. Will quickly let go of her and rushed towards the doorway as Emma started to cry.
"Stay with her!" He demanded before running out to the kitchen. To his surprise, he turned the corner to find five guards standing there. They all trained their guns on him, and he reacted by holding his hands up to show he was hiding nothing. "What is the meaning of th...?" His arms were wrenched behind his back as one of the guards put his gun on the table and pulled out a set of manacles. He was confused as to why they were arresting him. He'd done nothing wrong. "I demand to know..." He trailed off as Gillette entered the house, gazing down at him as if he were some bug that needed to be squashed under foot.
"William Turner, you have been charged with piracy. You'll be taken to..." He started to say, but Will cut him off angrily.
"You can't do this! I was granted clemency!" He shouted, wondering how they could accuse him of a crime like this. He'd done no such thing.
"Which you paid no regard to!" Gillette shot back at him, saying it slowly as if Will were a slow child.
"I want to speak with Norrington! Where is he?" Will demanded. James and he had struck up an odd friendship, considering that the commodore had been in love with Elizabeth, but had willingly let her choose Will over him. He preferred to hear the allegations against him from a friend rather than a man he barely knew.
"The Commodore is away at sea, but he will return in the early morning. As his lieutenant, I'm acting in his stead. Now, as I was saying before, you will spend the night in the jail, and your trial will take place in the afternoon." His attention was caught when Elizabeth came marching into the room, Emma wailing in her arms. He didn't want her to see him like this. As he opened his mouth to tell her to go back to the room, Elizabeth spoke up.
"I demand to know what this is!" She shouted, as she surveyed the scene. "Where are you taking my husband?"
"Your husband has been charged with piracy, Mrs. Turner." Gillette responded calmly to her and her mouth dropped open in shock. It took her a few moments to respond.
"Piracy? Surely you must be joking. Who told you this?"
Gillette shook his head. "I'm sorry, but I must protect the witness." The guard behind Will grabbed one of his arms and dragged him towards the door of the house. He turned to call her name, but another guard grabbed his arm and forced him along. He felt numb as he stumbled along, being dragged towards the jail house to await his trail. Surely they would find him innocent because the witness was wrong. He was not a pirate.
He would never be a pirate.
"To the best damn crew in the Caribbean." Jack Sparrow shouted from his place atop a tavern table, a cocky smirk on his face as he held up the mug. The last of his toast was drowned out as his crew started cheering, lifting their mugs in the air as well and then taking deep drinks. Everyone was happy and full of good cheer to spare, and why wouldn't they be? They were rich off the swag they'd stolen from three merchant ships out by Nassau Port and hadn't been caught. All in all, a good day.
Jack hopped off the table after he had taken a drink, the coin bag tucked in his belt jingling merrily. The perfect end to the night would be to find himself a lively wench and bed her. It'd been a while since they'd been on land and Anamaria had been the only woman on board. He may have been the captain, but he was intelligent enough to know not to mess with her.
"What the hell are you all still doing here? Go out and enjoy!" He shouted. "We're taking some time off and setting sail in two days!" There was more excited cheering from the crew as some of them got up and headed for the door, intent on living it up in the pirate haven of Tortuga. Out of the corner of his eye, Jack spotted Ana dragging a man about her age out the door, a coy smile on her face. He glanced around, finally settling on a woman near the bar who glanced away quickly as he noticed her. He grinned, flashing gold and silver and headed off in her direction.
Will found himself shoved roughly into a cell. The door was locked and the two guards that had escorted him headed back up the stairs, talking quietly between them. He knew that by morning, it would be all over the town what had happened. Going over to the corner, he slid down the wall into a sitting position, curling his arms around his legs and resting his chin on his knees. The moon shown through the bars, illuminating the dog sitting by the stairs, keys clamped tightly in its mouth.
"Don't suppose you'd want to give me those?" Will said with a little bit of humor in his voice. The dog continued to stare at him, unmoving. "Guess not." He sighed and laid his head back against the wall. "This can't be happening..." He whispered, trying to think of one person who would try to say he was a pirate. He didn't have any enemies and was on good standing with most of the townspeople. Hopefully James would arrive soon and would tell him that it was a big mistake and he could go home.
Home. He was worried about Elizabeth and Emma. What if he was found guilty and sentenced to death? Who would take care of them? He ran his hands over his face. He was not guilty and he could prove it. He would get out of this and go back to his family. It was just a bump in the road he had to get past.
In the early morning, Will finally fell asleep, unable to keep his eyes open any longer.
Jack extricated himself from the tangle of limbs on the bed. The wench moaned quietly, sounding pleased. He waited until she had rolled over and clutched the pillow before sneaking around the room, collecting his clothes and pulling them back on, trying not to wake her. Once he was dressed he left her wage on the table beside the bed and left the room, heading down into the tavern. There were a few already there, eating what passed for food from the kitchen. Jack slid onto one of the bar seats, happily remembering the fact that he didn't have to be anywhere just yet. Not that he was tired of the open seas. It just felt nice to not have to order other people around. It was just him.
"...heard it from Mulligan. Said they were fixing to arrest the blacksmith there, Bootstrap's kid." The conversation caught Jack's attention and he whirled around, dropping the mug of ale on the bar top. He bolted across the room and grabbed the front of the speaker's shirt, hauling him out of his seat.
"What did you say?" He growled. Usually he allowed someone to deny they knew anything before he resulted to intimidation, but if he had heard right, time was short.
"In Port Royal. They're going to arrest Bootstrap's kid." The man stuttered. "Don't hurt me! Please! I heard it from a friend who was just there dropping off cargo." He protested, holding up his hands. Jack pushed him back down into the seat and turned, sprinting from the tavern. He could hear the bar maiden calling after him, saying he hadn't paid for his drinks, but he could care less.
Ana turned over happily in bed, feeling the arms of Jeremy wrapped tightly around her waist. She didn't have to be anywhere or do anything. It was perfect. Behind her, Jeremy snuggled up to her, laying his chin on her shoulder. "Good morning, beautiful." He told her with a grin. She raised an eyebrow.
"Do you usually say good morning to yourself?" She asked. He was known for being somewhat conceited about his looks and skills. If she decided to keep him in her life, that would have to change.
"You know what I mean." He told her as she rolled onto her back, looking up at him with a sly smile.
"Of course I do..." She stopped suddenly as a commotion started outside. "What is that?" She got up, wrapping the sheet around herself and heading over to the window, looking down.
A few men she recognized from Jack's crew were running through the streets, some only half dressed, as if they were being chased by the devil himself. Or, as she soon saw, Jack Sparrow.
"Something's wrong." She turned towards Jeremy. "I have to go." He frowned.
"You just got here." He said, as if it made a difference. Her first responsibility was to her captain and the Pearl. "I have to go." She said again, quickly getting dressed.
"Maybe next time I'm in port." He threw up his hands in frustration, but she was already out the door and heading down the stairs to the street. A few people were looking out of doorways to see what was going on as Jack rounded up more and more of his crew.
"Get back to the Pearl! Now!" He shouted. "We have to leave." As Gibbs appeared in the doorway of a nearby tavern, Jack grabbed his arm. Ana hurried to catch up with him.
"Jack, have you lost your mind?" She demanded. The pirate looked between his two friends, before uttering the words that quickly convinced them that they needed to hurry.
"Will is in trouble."