Summary: Six months have past since the last adventure aboard the Black Pearl. As Will and Elizabeth approach their wedding day, an unexpected but not unwelcome visitor arrives…and when a dead body is found laying at the bottom of the stairs in the Governor's household, Elizabeth finds herself following an uncertain and dangerous path to clear Will's name of murder and save him from the gallows.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the POTC characters (however much I wish I owned Johnny Depp). However, the story is all my own and stems from deep inside my imagination.
Pairings: W/E, J? ...I guess you'll just have to wait and see evil cackle (No Slash)
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Now…all that remains is for you to sit back, suspend your disbelief and to enjoy!
"Again!" Elizabeth demanded sweeping her hair from her eyes as she clamped a hand over the scrape on her arm that had began to glow an angry red. Will took a step back, panting heavily as he lowered his sword.
"But you're hurt," he said, wiping the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand. "Don't you think we should stop for today?"
"I'm fine," Elizabeth insisted, pushing up the sleeves of the billowing shirt that she insisted on wearing for practice. Wiping her clammy hands on her breeches she inhaled deeply before continuing, "You promised you would teach me properly."
"I am." Will took a step towards her, grasping her hand in his before raising it gently to his lips, "I just don't want to hurt you."
Elizabeth sighed impatiently. Was it possible that she thought Will could care too much? Ever since their antics at sea she had been quite adamant on learning how to defend herself with a sword. Will had tried to explain that it was probably a pointless task; how likely was it that they would ever be in a situation like that again? But she had this way about her that made it impossible for him to deny her anything. It could be because he loved her so, and he could refuse her nothing when she held his hand close to her chest and smiled so the angels wept. That…or the dangerous combination of childish petulance mixed with the volatile temperament of a passionate and obstinate woman that made her such a beautiful yet infuriating creature.
"You won't," she said, her eyes flashing with the determination that she would only get when she felt defeated.
Will smiled absently, mocking her mildly as he resumed his stance, "Very well…en gardé!"
Elizabeth mimicked his form, her legs slightly apart as she turned her body away from his; both legs bent slightly as she extended her arm to point the blade.
"Now I want you to fight fair this time!" She smiled sweetly before making her first move towards him, only to be parried expertly. Will took a step back to adjust his stance once more before flicking the blade forward, aiming high for the shoulder. But Elizabeth was ready and with a twist of the wrist she brought her blade down across his, lowering it so it missed its target.
"Good!" Will said. His praise warmed her and before giving him a chance to attack she moved forward, her combination rapidly growing faster as she advanced. Will managed to twist around, changing sides so it was he forcing her back into the corner with his strokes. But she had anticipated this and instead of finding herself back pressed against the forge wall, again and again she struck…one step, then two before with an intimidating fury she had covered nearly the entire ground of the forge.
Will was struggling to defend himself; her strokes seemed unnaturally fast for a beginner and just as he was contemplating resorting to the dagger in his boot he stumbled over the anvil and down into the hay.
Blade out of hand, every swordsman's nightmare, he reached forward to grasp it, but before her could it was kicked from him and he found as he looked up Elizabeth standing over him, her hair tumbling in great waves across her face as she pointed the sword at his throat.
"Better?" she asked, cocking an eyebrow as she held out her hand. He took it and, after being pulled swiftly to his feet, he moved to place the swords back where they should hang before replying,
"Much…why didn't you fight like that before?" Elizabeth shrugged; taking the scarf she had been wearing about her neck and tying up her hair.
"I think I just needed a little provocation." Will smiled, gulping down the water before handing her the flask.
"Well let's just hope that any pirate you meet does the same."
Elizabeth sat down on a stool by the doorway, watching as Will opened and closed the bellows, sending a much needed burst to the fire that had began to die in the kiln.
"Well…" she began slowly, hitching her knees under her chest so the stool balanced back precariously against the wall, "We know of at least one."
Will stopped, placing a metal rod amongst the cinders as he turned his eyes towards her. Elizabeth knew that any mention of Jack caused Will pain. It had been six months since they had seen him last, toppling backwards off of the high wall of the fort and down into the sea in true Jack Sparrow style. But ever since that day Norrington had been pursuing him relentlessly, and however much they believed in Jack's uncanny skill at getting himself out of even the most dangerous predicaments, the determination that Norrington showed worried them both.
But for Will it was different; she understood that. However hard it was for her to accept that anyone could ever seriously claim to know the real Jack Sparrow; she knew that Will cared for him a great deal. They had grown close during their adventures together and she knew that he often saw him as way of better knowing what kind of man his father was.
"He'll be alright…" Elizabeth began softly, rising to her feet and grabbing Will's hat from the side. She placed it on her head and began to walk towards Will with a familiar, almost drunken swagger. He smiled despite himself at the way she flayed her arms around her, her voice lowered as she dipped her legs, leaning back on the back one as she imitated, "Because you've forgotten one important thing mate…he's Captain Jack Sparrow."
"How could I forget that?" Will laughed, pulling the rod from the fire before starting to hammer it into shape. Elizabeth watched as the sparks flew from the red hot metal, and down onto the floor and she barely heard Will as he rose his voice above the clamouring of the metal.
"So where did you tell your father you were this afternoon?"
Elizabeth took off the hat she had adopted for her impression before replying, "Gone to town for another dress fitting…" She groaned as she thought of the way her legs ached as she was forced to stand for hour upon hour as yards of fabric were trimmed and pinned in preparation for the final fit of her wedding gown. But it wasn't only the dress makers…the florists, the musicians; the cake…each day seemed to be a never ending procession of petty engagements with women she didn't care for as they took great zeal in arranging the happiest day of her life. She assumed this was out of pity more than genuine interest; arranging the wedding for the poor, young girl who didn't have a mother to do these things for her.
"I just wish we didn't have to go through this Will…all this fuss of a wedding…none of it matters…" She sighed as he dropped the rod into the cold water, leaving it to hiss incessantly as he wiped his oily hands on a rag. She felt the way he moved hesitantly towards her as he pressed a nervous hand to her cheek.
"I know…I know…But it's just the way things are. The way things have to be…"
"All I care about," Elizabeth began, taking his hands from where they rested on his shoulders and slipping them down to her waist. She saw him blush as she did so and as she felt her body sway towards his, longing to be held against it, she continued, "All I care about is that you and I are married. I don't care about any of it…" She felt her eyes begin to close as she felt his hot breath against her face, and as she felt Will pull away, his hands moving from her hips she struggled to repress the hot disappointment that flushed angrily in her face. It frustrated her deeply how she was the one who craved his touch; the absolute antithesis of the blushing bride, whilst he was the one that pulled away.
"You should go now," he stammered nervously, retreating back to his place beside the kiln. "Your father will be back soon and will wonder where you are."
She nodded in agreement…she knew he was right. Yet as she closed the forge doors behind her, sliding the lock back into the latch she couldn't help but keenly feel the desire in the pit her stomach that surged so hotly whenever she was with him, dissolve as quickly as he inspired it. Thank goodness she didn't have to wait for much longer. Thank goodness the wedding was only two days away.