Title: "We Learned The Sea"

Author: FF.N user ID: 381294

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: This is based on Disney's motion picture "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse Of The Black Pearl." All rights reserved; no profit is being made from this story.

Summary: Jack Sparrow had escaped the night before his execution. The opportune moment at the gallows never came for Will, to confess his love for Elizabeth. The engagement between Ms. Swann and Commodore Norrington still stands. How do human hearts cope when having nothing that they hoped for?

Author's Notes: I'm not exactly sure how this will turn out. I hope to complete the story, however that comes about, but for now it's chapter by chapter. I'll try not to leave this one hanging like I have a number of my other stories. Thanks for your patience…

Also: The titles (story and chapter) come from Dar William's song "We Learned The Sea," from her 2000 album "The Green World."

Sparrow had escaped during the night. Though he never would admit it, Norrington thought he should have expected it. How many times had the pirate been on his way to the gallows in the past? In all of his experience, Sparrow was more of an escape artist than a pirate. It irritated the commodore to no end.

Norrington and Lieutenant Gillette resolved together to not give chase to the pirate. He was relatively harmless- not a murderer or a rapist, more or less a petty thief and troublemaker. And the more predominant situation at hand was that the men were exhausted, and they had no idea where Sparrow had gone. All the soldiers had found in the jail was an unconscious officer, an open cell door, and the ring of keys on the floor. The Dauntless would not go sailing off on a wild goose chase.

And the more predominant thing on the commodore's mind was Elizabeth Swann. He could not get her out of his thoughts. Around ever turn in his brain, as he walked through his duties and the day, there she was, hovering in the corner of his mind. She had accepted his proposal. James didn't even know what to do next concerning marital business. He had never really courted another girl, let alone marry. He would have to talk to Governor Swann. But after a few days, he resolved. He imagined Elizabeth was quite exhausted after the Black Pearl ordeal.

The first thing Elizabeth had done when she got home was bathe and climb into bed. She didn't care what time of day it was. She was home, clean, and in a warm, soft bed. Though she knew she ought to feel overjoyed, being back to normalcy- she was far from it.

When her head hit the pillow her mind started reeling. She was fretting over Jack Sparrow- he didn't deserve to be hung. Yes, he was a pirate, but also a good man. He had helped in her rescue, and in putting an end to Barbosa's evil doings. But first and foremost in her mind was Norrington. The thought of him loomed in her brain- she had said yes. She agreed to marry him. She was to be the commodore's wife. The action of accepting the proposal had been so spontaneous on the ship, when all she wanted to do was save Will.

Oh Will! He loved her and she loved him- she was sure of it. But she had accepted James's proposal. She couldn't go back on her word concerning something like that. Her father had seemed so happy too. He had already started making the wedding plans.

And the commodore- was he happy? He seemed stunned on the ship. But she had not gotten a private moment with him. Around his men he kept up such a cool exterior. Yes, he had been pleased with the news. But did his heart leap and his mind whirl like Elizabeth's whenever she dreamed on the prospect of true love? She had known the man for eight years, but did she really know him? Elizabeth didn't have the slightest idea of what married life would be like. Could they be husband and wife? Friends as well as lovers? Companions?

Will's face came to mind. He was the only one she could imagine herself with- being whole companions with. But it was not him whom she had promised herself to. She promised herself to another- a stranger.

Elizabeth blew out the candle, pulled the covers up to her cheeks and cried.