Our Paths Cross

williz

Disclaimer: All characters portrayed in this do not belong to me. Except for Ethel, who doesn't matter. Steal her if you really want her. I care naught.

Enjoy this small one-shot, while I write some more of my newest story. It takes place before the events of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.


It had been the second time in just a few days he had seen her walking along the loosened stones of Port Royal's marketplace, elegantly dressed in some of her finest, hair piled atop her head. The sun hat she wore shaded the harsh Caribbean sun from her soft, brown eyes. She walked with a grace that stunned every last person she floated by. And floated certainly is the word to be used, for her dress hung low enough that it shielded her dainty feet from the prying eyes of the public, giving her gait a floating feel.

He stood in the shadows of an alley, dirtied cloth in hand. The same dark smudge upon his hands found itself onto his well-defined jaw line just beside the thin dark brown mustache above his lips. His dark eyes squinted out into the contrasting light shining upon the stones she walked upon. And then she turned her gaze from straight ahead to look directly at him.

The young man stood up straight from where he'd been leaning against the wall of the smithy. Her light brown eyes caught his dark ones for just that split second, her mouth twitching in a truly delighted smile, before she turned back to the road before her, walking lithely down the street.

William Turner broke out of his reverie as an intense pain coursed through his left hand and arm. He let out a loud yell, bringing his thumb to his mouth, eyes nearly tearing at the pain. The offending mallet lay on the ground where he'd dropped it with a loud thump. Again, Elizabeth Swann had caused the young man to smash his left thumb.

Ever since that day when she'd looked at him and smiled, he had been lost in her eyes, her hair, the style of her walking, her posture, and the way she held her head so high and proud. Everything about her had stayed in his mind and had sent him to distraction every time he went back to work.

"This isn't healthy," he thought to himself, shaking his head as he wrapped a semi-clean cloth around his throbbing finger. The twenty year old sighed and turned away from his anvil, walking to the cramped backroom where he slept in a small cot that barely held his six-foot, muscled frame. Leaning down, he opened a minute cabinet, pulling out a roll of white bandage, preparing it to bind his aching thumb…

The warmth of the sun did nothing to improve the possibility of breathing for one young woman walking the streets, not to mention the tight corset pulled across her already slim waist and abdomen, as well as the envious and awestruck looks she was receiving as she passed each person along the path of Port Royal's crowded merchant streets. Yet, the young beauty kept her head high and proud as she walked, leaving a thin trail of humility in her wake, as was proper for the governor's daughter.

Finally, she saw the place where she'd seen him just three days before, cleaning his hands in the alley. She had been surprised to see him there, leaning against the building with his cool, collected features looking out at what she'd figured to be the sea.

Elizabeth Swann had never forgotten, could never forget, the boy she had seen floating on a piece of a destroyed merchant vessel on the voyage from England when she was so young. He had been so shy, while she'd attempted to push him into a friendship with her. The young girl's attempts at making friends weren't in vain and they'd become quick friends, but he was apprenticed to the blacksmith the moment they had reached Port Royal weeks later, and she scarcely saw him a few times a year since then.

She had been most surprised just a few years back when she was only seventeen. The governor's daughter had been practicing a certain piano piece in the library when the manservant entered, claiming there to be a visitor. As was polite, she stood and followed him out of the double doors to see a large, bearded man with a package in his arms.

Elizabeth Swann curtsied politely, lowering her head to look at the ground. That was when she spotted the extra pair of shoes behind the large man's large boots. She followed the legs in dirtied trousers up the long body, flitting slowly passed the tan vest and blue coat, residing upon the darkened features of the young man she hadn't seen for at least half a year.

A grin shot onto her face, for she was unable to believe this was the William Turner she had known just six months passed. He had grown, not only in feet, but in appearance. He was now at least six feet tall with groomed facial hair, and his prior lanky build was obliterated with the muscles one can only acquire with hard work. He had grown his hair out long enough to pull back into a loose cloth, leaving fetching dark strands to escape down along the sides of his face.

"Miss Swann, I've come with your father's order," Mr. Brown had said, but she'd barely heard him. Her face was flushed and her stomach knotted, but she tore her eyes away to smile at the old man.

"Mr. Brown, thank you for delivering it. My father will be most pleased, indeed…"

"Mr. Brown!" The stately baritone of Governor Swann's voice broke through the friendly softness of the conversation, or at least, whatever there was of one. "How kind of you to deliver my order! I was just itching to check on it and send Bingley for it, when you conveniently knocked upon my door!" A boyish grin shone on his mouth as Brown laid the long package on a nearby table, opening the lid.

Finally, the governor seemed to notice the young William Turner standing meekly near the door.

"Young Mr. Turner! It's been too long, my dear boy! Pray, how have you been?" The older man walked straight to Will and shook his hand proudly.

"I have been well, sir. And you?" Elizabeth couldn't contain the surprise at his change in voice as well. It was deeper and more grown up. She intrepidly stepped forward and moved next to her father.

"Will, it's so wonderful to see you," she said softly, smiling sincerely at him. He blushed slightly, smiling.

"It's wonderful to see you as well, Miss Swann. How have you been faring?" He asked, the smile still present, along with his wide eyes, as if in awe she even addressed him in the first place.

"As well as can be expected," she answered, her smile turning wry as she looked into his kind, yet intense, gaze.

The governor turned away from the two teenagers and walked to his order, lifting the sword from the box and admiring it.

It had been after that day Elizabeth had asked her father if she could partake in some of his errands. Of course, he had thought she asked it of him to be kind and doting upon her loving father or maybe even that she'd felt confined in the walls of the manor. In actuality, the seventeen year old Elizabeth Swann, the eighteen year old Elizabeth Swann, the nineteen year old Elizabeth Swann, and eventually, the twenty year old Elizabeth Swann took the path that passed nearest the smithy where one William Turner resided with his master.

It was on one such day when she'd actually seen him in that alley and caught his eye. She could only be allowed a small smile, for she could hear the nervous pitter patter of her escort's tiny feet behind her. She had quickened her step and looked away then, attempting once more to rid herself of the pain in her side, which presented itself in the form of Ethel, her trusted maid.

Now as Elizabeth Swann walked without the escort of a maid, she stopped at the door of the smithy, finding it propped open by an old, dirtied boot. A timid knock and no answer later, the beautiful woman of twenty pushed into the room boiling with heat. A fire blazed in the corner, an anvil sitting on a large piece of sculpted stone.

She moved down the steps and into the forge, where a soft grunt sounded beside her. She nearly jumped and turned, spotting a kindly looking donkey staring at her. The young Miss Swann hastened to it and stroked its chin, making small noises at the calm mammal…

Will heard a soft creak in the front where the forge was. He stood up quickly, his finger still unwrapped and hurried out of the backroom, sliding to a stop against the dirty hay at his feet.

Scanning the room, he tilted his head in confusion as he saw no one. A strong bay sounded from the corner where he kept his donkey, immediately sending his eyes to that same corner. What he saw there stopped his heart.

The fair Miss Elizabeth Swann, daughter to the governor of Port Royal, stood in all her graceful splendor, stroking the donkey's head with an admiring smile on her beautiful face.

"Miss Swann," he uttered, eyes wide as he cleared his throat. "Good morning." Will smiled invitingly, stepping a bit closer, the pain in his thumb ebbing away at the sight of Elizabeth in his forge.

Elizabeth looked up, startled by his presence. She had been so busy with the donkey that she hadn't even noticed his soft footsteps coming near her.

"Will—Mr. Turner!" Elizabeth stepped away from the donkey and came closer to the handsome young man. "Good morning. It's good to see you again so soon."

"Likewise."

She pursed her lips, looking down slightly, before raising her gaze to him again. "I feel I must apologize that I could not chat with you a few days ago when I was…you know." She gestured outside, looking back at him when he interrupted.

"Oh, no. Please. I understand; I was just washing up and spotted you. It was lovely seeing you anyways." The corners of his mouth quirked up in what Elizabeth felt to be a funny little smile.

The young beauty's pouted lips fascinated him, but he fought to keep control over where his eyes roamed, staring instead into her eyes. When he found that to be a foolish alternative, as he lost himself in them in only a few seconds, he looked down at his feet.

"Might I help you with anything? Pray, does your father need an order again?" He looked back up to be polite, finding her smiling.

"No. I escaped from my escort cunningly through my expertise and years of practice so that I might be able to visit with you, if only for a short while." She giggled, turning from him and walking haphazardly to the swords lining the racks along the walls of the smithy.

"These are beautiful swords, Will. You should really get some sort of recognition for them." Elizabeth turned back to him, eyeing him respectfully.

"Thankyou. I don't make…well, I don't make all of them," he replied, blushing. She let out a small huff and walked back to him.

"Don't you dare be modest, William Turner. I know for a fact that you work long hours working on most, if not all, of these swords. Your neighbor, Mrs. Stalworth has told me on countless occasions when I ask about you whilst buying cloths for my seamstress from her." Elizabeth raised her eyebrow at him and smiled, the pout disappearing in the white contrast of her teeth.

"Guilty," he chuckled, finally loosening up in her personable presence. He watched her, noticing the slightly sheepish look on her face. "What?" He asked her, softly.

"Could I—I mean, might I hold one?" She asked, timidly.

He stared for a moment before starting again. "Oh! One of my swords? Are you sure you…Well, should you?" He asked her, rubbing his hands together nervously. She bit her lip and pouted.

"Oh, please. May I?" He grinned, turning around and looking for a particular sword. He had made it with her in mind. The hilt was balanced extremely well with the blade, making it a weapon dangerous in the hands of not only a man, but a woman with less wrist strength.

He spotted it, reaching up to take it off the wall and turn back to her. "Here it is…" he muttered softly, lovingly pulling the blade smoothly from its scabbard. She watched him with admiration, feeling the emotion within her breast as he looked at the sword with a passion that would make any red-blooded Englishwoman weak in the knees.

"This looks different from the other swords you have brought my father," she murmured, her voice weak.

"That's because it is," he replied. "I made it especially for a woman to hold. It's lighter, making it easier for a woman with weaker wrists than a man to manipulate. But it's just as strong, able to fight against the worst of adversaries." Will walked around her, reaching his hand forward to take hers and setting the sword in it carefully.

"Now tighten your grip slightly." She did so. "No, no…not too tightly. It's in the wrist. Make it feel comfortable." She tilted her head a bit so that she could look at him behind her.

"Like this?" She asked, holding it without the strong grip she had before. He bit his lip slightly, shaking his head.

"No, a bit tighter. Here." He took her hand tenderly, sending sparks through Elizabeth's skin as his front came into contact with her back. "There it is. That, my dear Miss Swann, is how you hold a sword." He grinned triumphantly, pride shining in his eyes as he watched her.

She laughed, turning around and holding it at him. "On guard, good sir." Elizabeth laughed more, seeing his shocked face. His stunned expression turned into a challenging grin as he turned, smoothly grabbing a sword from its scabbard against the wall and holding it against her sword.

Elizabeth raised an eyebrow again at his finesse and starting hitting his sword. With one swipe, he knocked the sword from her hands. She gasped, bringing a hand to her mouth. Will's eyes widened and he dropped his sword, darting to her side.

"I'm so sorry! Are you hurt?" He asked, softly, pulling her hands from her face gently. He inspected them quickly and then looked back to her face.

Not able to control herself, she stepped into his arms and wrapped her own around his torso, burying her face in his neck where his shirt was unbuttoned to relieve himself of the heat. Will stood, his throat becoming dry and his muscles tensing. Within moments, his body relaxed and he wrapped his arms around her.

"I'm sorry," he breathed, turning his face into her hair and shutting his eyes in ecstasy.

Just one moment later, her eyes snapped open and she nearly jumped away. "I—should go," she said just above a whisper.

Will watched her as she fidgeted around, rubbing her arms as if cold all of a sudden. "My escort shall be waiting for me," she completed.

"It was wonderful speaking with you again, Miss Swann." The tone was tense and proper again, the two swords lying unheeded upon the hay floor of the smithy.

"Yes, it was," she breathed, her voice catching in her throat as she turned and hurried away, looking back once more as she slipped out of the door.

With a grunt, Will walked back to his anvil and picked up the hammer from the floor. As soon as he heard the door hit the boot, Elizabeth having walked away from him once more, pain coursed through his left thumb again.

With the absence of Elizabeth Swann came a throbbing pain in more than just a sore thumb.


(A/N:) Hello. This came to me just yesterday, so I typed it out and decided to post it while writing chapter five of Ambiguous Allegiance. I hope this will tide you over for just the short time I try and write my chapter as quickly as my genius allows.

Hehe...genius. My booty.

Argh.

-williz

Oh, by the way. Tell me what you think by pressing that little itty bitty hard-to-see purple/bluish button down there and REVIEWING! Thanks, love you all! Ta!