Disclaimer: Will, Elizabeth, and Jack all belong to Disney, although Ben Thorndyke is of my own creation.
A/N: It's finally here – the last chapter!!!
Ch. 22: Resolution of the Heart – Part II
It took Fannie almost an hour to hurry back to the Wollstonecraft manor. She hated leaving Will, but she knew that Dr. O'Brian, his wife, and Mary would care for him. Besides, she had promised Jack that she would help to distract Beckett. Other than stalling the hanging, she wasn't sure what this would accomplish. But she knew Jack had good reason his actions. She'd just have to trust that he had everything under control, for Will and Elizabeth's sake.
"Fannie, luv – there you are!" Jack exclaimed as he welcomed her back into the Wollstonecraft home. He then escorted her into the now-empty parlor. Before Jack could stop himself, questions began pouring out of his mouth. "How did it go? Is Will alright? How badly was he hurt?"
"Let me catch my breath," she panted, collapsing on the couch. "I just ran most of the way back here." Jack looked down on her, concerned as she stretched out and closed her eyes.
"Can I get you something?" Fannie opened her eyes, and stared up into Jack's dark ones. Her breath caught in her throat and at that moment, neither person moved.
"I'd like some water, please," she whispered.
"I'll go get you some," he replied, just as softly. Jack turned to leave, and the spell was broken. Stupid, stupid girl! Fannie mentally scolded herself. You swore off men. He's a notorious pirate, a womanizer! It would never work. She debated with herself for a few minutes until Jack returned.
"I got your drink." Fannie accepted it gratefully, and took a long sip. She then took a deep breath, and told Jack about the events of the past few hours.
"You'll be glad to know that we were able to free Will from jail." Jack grinned widely.
"I knew it ! So how's he holding up?" Fannie grimaced.
"Not good – his back's a mess. Our carriage abandoned us, so we had to walk to the doctor's home. Halfway there, Will collapsed in the middle of the street. To make a long story short, he's recovering at the doctor's house. Mary is with him."
"So he'll be alright?" Jack pressed her. She nodded, smiling.
"I think he will be. He was in good spirits when I left." Then Fannie yawned hugely. Jack chuckled.
"You should get some sleep. We won't need you for a couple more hours." She agreed wholeheartedly.
"Will you be sure to wake me when it's time to go?"
"Of course," he promised. Fannie thought she'd seen a flicker of tenderness in his eyes, but she couldn't be sure. Not good, she thought. Still, she couldn't keep herself from smiling back at him.
"Thank you, Jack." Unable to keep her eyes open any longer, Fannie allowed herself to embrace slumber.
The next thing Fannie knew was Jack gently shaking her awake. She opened her eyes to find Jack sitting next to her on the couch, giving her a great view of his striking features. He was much too close, she realized.
"It's time," he said. That cleared Fannie's mind of any romantic thoughts she may or may not have been having about the pirate captain.
"What time is it?" She asked as she stood up and stretched. "Is it close to noon?" Jack sighed.
"It's only half-past ten. Beckett decided to go early, so we need to get you to the town square as soon as possible." Fannie brushed the dust off her dust and ran her fingers through her hair as a comb.
"I'm ready," she announced. "I've never wanted to yell at someone this much in my entire life! I can't wait to insult him in front of his men!" Jack raised his eyebrows at her.
"If you need insults about Beckett, I've got the best one. Lean in." Fannie moved as close to Jack as she dared, letting him whisper in her ear. Fannie's eyes widened as Jack's words sunk in.
"Are you sure that's true?" she gasped at him, making a disgusted face. He gave her a smug grin.
"Absolutely, luv. I should know - I did it." Just then Anamaria showed up, cutting short their conversation.
"Fannie, you need to get going," Anamaria urged. "Your carriage is waiting for you outside. Just keep stalling Beckett as long as you can. Jack will reveal himself to Beckett if his backup doesn't arrive soon enough."
"His backup?" Fannie questioned, frowning. "I don't understand."
"No time to explain - you'll find out soon enough," Anamaria promised. "Now, go!" On impulse, she hugged Jack goodbye. Fannie couldn't be sure but she thought Jack's arms lingered around her a little longer than what was proper.
"Give Beckett hell for me, Fannie!" Jack called out just as she left the room. She found the carriage waiting outside, and quickly got in. As the carriage pulled away, she smiled to herself. Fannie knew she would enjoy chewing out Beckett, especially now that she was armed with Jack's secret information.
After Fannie was safely on her way, Jack met with Adams in the dining room. Over a small breakfast of toast and jam, they gave each other updates.
"I've sent Jeremy and Jessabelle to recover the boy," Adams was saying. "They've been told to bring him directly to the town square, where he'll be available to you if you need him."
"Good," said Jack, taking a gulp of tea. "And the lookouts?"
"They're at their positions," said Adams. "And the rest of the townspeople are already at the town square, ready to help defend us, if need be." He took a bite of toast. "Did Thorndyke make the switch last night?"
"Yes," Jack confirmed. "And Will has been taken to see a doctor. He should be safe, as long as we can keep Beckett from learning the truth about his disappearance."
"What do we do if they don't arrive on time?" Adams worried. "You'll be captured for sure."
"They'll be here," Jack said with a confidence that he didn't feel. He shared a grim look with Adams. "Or else, we're all doomed."
Fannie took a deep breath, and exhaled slowly. The carriage had dropped her off, and she was now standing at the edge of the large crowd. However, her view of the gallows and anyone near it was obstructed. How was she supposed to make her way through the crowd and get to Beckett in time? But then she got lucky.
"Look! It's Beckett's wife!" A man a little ways down from Fannie recognized her from the wedding. "What's she doing here?" Fannie felt herself grow hot with embarrassment, and welcomed the discomforting feeling. She remembered how furious she'd been when she found out how Beckett had used her. He had treated her like dirt. He had captured her friends. And now he was going to pay.
"I'm here to see my husband!" Fannie yelled, quieting the people near her. "I have a few things I'd like to say to him. Like how much I loathe him and wished he was dead!" The crowd near her cheered, and parted to let her through. As Fannie elbowed her way through the masses, the word spread through the crowd that Beckett's wife was coming to "chat" with him. Finally, she reached the platform. She was just in time to see Thorndyke, who was surrounded by five soldiers, being led towards the noose. Then Elizabeth, Beckett, and Norrington appeared.
"Please, Beckett!" Elizabeth was begging. "You can't go through with this."
"I believe that I can, and I will," Beckett said, his voice devoid of emotion. Norrington watched their exchange, guilt festering in his stomach. He knew it was partially his fault that Will was to die, as he had deliberately separated him from Elizabeth all those years ago.
"Will!" Elizabeth cried, throwing her arms around Thorndyke. "I won't let them do this to you." Fannie had to admit, Elizabeth was a good actress. So far, no one seemed to suspect that Thorndyke was impersonating Will.
"Stand down at once!" Beckett commanded, and when Elizabeth didn't let go of him, four soldiers pulled them apart.
"Will!" Elizabeth shrieked. Then she turned to Beckett. "You monster!" Beckett sighed, as if merely bored with her hysterics. He turned to the executioner, and was about to give the order when Fannie stepped out of the shadows, making her presence known. Beckett winced, not expecting to see her.
"So this is what you've been doing instead of attending our reception," Fannie began, regarding him coolly. She snuck a glance at Elizabeth, who gave her a look of relief.
"Yes, well, I-I was just," Beckett stammered, realizing he was in trouble. "I was just doing my duty," he recovered. "It's my job to escort prisoners to jail, and then interrogate them."
"So your job is more important than me?" She asked accusingly, advancing toward him.
"Now, darling, I didn't have a choice!" He retorted, not completely answering her question.
"I had to attend our reception alone. Alone!" Fannie bellowed. "Do you have any idea what that feels like?" Beckett cringed, trying to look anywhere but in her direction.
"You know, dearest, I don't think now is the best time to be discussing this," Beckett muttered, realizing that the crowd had fallen silent as they watched the exchange between them. "I'm in the middle of a hanging, here."
"Do you know what I found out at our reception?" Fannie continued, as if she hadn't heard Beckett's plea for her to stop arguing. He shook his head, mutely.
"People were whispering behind my back that the reason you chose to marry me was so you would inherit your father's plantation." Beckett gulped – he knew he couldn't get out of this one.
"Yes, that's true," he reluctantly admitted. "But that isn't the only reason!"
"It is," she cried. "You know it is." They argued for awhile, and Fannie just seemed to grow angrier by the minute. So then she delivered the final blow.
"I can't stand you - you cruel, manipulating, narcissistic - midget!" she sputtered. "You and I are through!" Beckett scoffed at her, but she could tell her insult had rattled him. Especially the midget part.
"You can't just leave me. It's not possible," Beckett said confidently.
"I just did," she said, smirking. "We're finished, and there is nothing you can do about it."
"But we're married," he reminded her, not at all liking the way this conversation was headed. "And there is no way I'll agree to divorce you."
"Actually, we're not married," she insisted. "Remember Jack Sparrow? He was there at our wedding, dressed as the Arch-bishop. Therefore the marriage is illegal, as the ceremony was conducted by a pirate." Beckett's face grew red, and he turned to Fannie, enraged.
"Then you are no longer of use to me," he shouted. "Guards, remove her from my sight." As the guards came to subdue her, Fannie cried out,
"I'm glad I'm not marrying you. What good would come of having a husband who is a eunuch?" The guards halted in their tracks, turning to stare at Beckett. His telltale blush said it all. Their audience began to chatter with glee, humiliating Beckett even further.
"How could you know that?" He screamed at Fannie, as quite a few of the soldiers snickered, Norrington included. Fannie joined Elizabeth, and they hugged, all the while surrounded by redcoats.
"How's Will?" Elizabeth whispered.
"He's fine," Fannie told her quietly. "He's resting at the doctor's house – Mary is with him."
"Thank God," Elizabeth breathed. Then they turned their attention back to Beckett.
Clenching his fists, Beckett growled in frustration. As the news of his "situation" spread, more of the crowd began to laugh at him. Angrily, Beckett diverted the crowd's attention the only way he knew how – he gave an order.
"Hang Turner, now!" Beckett cried, and the crowd quickly sobered. The executioner stepped forward and Thorndyke gave Elizabeth and Fannie a pleading look. But they didn't want to reveal him until the last possible second, so they kept quiet.
"Next time, Turner, you should choose your friends more carefully," Beckett said to Thorndyke, as the executioner checked the noose for the final time. "It looks like Sparrow has abandoned you to die."
"That's where you're wrong," a familiar voice called from the crowd. Stunned, Beckett turned to find Jack standing near the front of the crowd. He was holding little Luke Norrington hostage. Jack had drawn his sword, holding it to Luke's small neck.
"Luke!" Norrington yelled. "Don't shoot!" The Admiral yelled, as thirty or so soldiers trained their guns on Jack and Luke. "Sparrow, if you harm my son, I'll kill you for sure!" Jack laughed hollowly, and tightened his hold on Luke.
"That's really up to you now, isn't it? I have no intention of harming him – as long as you do as I tell you."
"Sparrow! Glad you could make it," Beckett laughed with glee. "I had hoped that you were stupid enough to come here today. But I'm afraid you won't be able to rescue your friend Turner. An entire legion of my best troops awaits you, and any followers you have, should you choose to fight. All you were able to do, I'm afraid, is to make this occasion a double hanging."
"Now see here, Beckett, this is how things will work," Jack began. "Unless you promise to release Will and his bonnie lass, I will kill the boy and you'll have his innocent blood on your hands. But if you allow Will and Elizabeth to sail away from here with me crew and I, I shall return the boy unharmed." Beckett scowled at his archenemy.
"That hardly seems like a fair trade, considering…" As they argued over terms concerning the exchange, Elizabeth looked at Fannie in disbelief.
"This is their brilliant plan? Holding Luke as hostage as Jack bargains with Beckett?" Fannie shook her head.
"This is just the "stall Beckett" stage. They're still waiting for their backup." Elizabeth was just about to ask Fannie what she meant by that when things between Jack and Beckett got ugly.
"You know, as much fun that I've had toying with you, Jack, I cannot deny myself the pleasure of killing your friend while you watch." Jack frowned.
"If you do, I'll kill the boy." Beckett shrugged.
"If that's what it takes, so be it."
"No!" Norrington screamed, running towards his son before Beckett's guards could stop him. "Please Cutler, stop this madness!"
Jack's eyes widened in shock. Sure, he'd expected Beckett to treat him cruelly, but to allow Luke to be killed was going too far. Luckily for Norrington, Jack had no intention of killing Luke. Having no other choice, Jack released Luke, who headed straight for his father. Surrounded by soldiers, Norrington hugged his son, his eyes glistening with emotion.
"I knew you didn't have it in you, Jack," Beckett gloated. "And now you've lost your leverage. It's time for you to watch Turner die." The executioner tied the noose around Thorndyke's neck, just as Jack, Elizabeth, and Fannie yelled,
"It's not Will!" Elizabeth yelled. "Beckett, he's Thorndyke! You can't hang him."
"Stop the execution," Beckett ordered reluctantly. He examined Thorndyke closely, and saw that he was indeed, not Will.
"If this is Thorndyke, then where is Turner?" No one dared to answer him. Then the answer came to him.
"Last night in the jail, when I saw Thorndyke, that was really Turner, wasn't it? Yes, that makes sense," Beckett nodded to himself.
"He had to lean on his guards, because his back wouldn't allow him to walk straight. You all must think you're very clever, don't you? You successfully smuggled Turner from jail, but it was all for naught. He couldn't have gone far, as he needs medical attention. My men will search every home in the city until we've found him." Beckett grinned evilly as he saw Elizabeth's frightened expression.
"So you see, Jack, you have failed," Beckett continued. "Now instead of just hanging Turner, I will be hanging all of you that aided in Turner's escape!" Soldiers shoved Elizabeth, Fannie, Thorndyke, and Jack onto the platform, lining them all up for the noose.
"Beckett, have you no heart?" Norrington called out desperately, on Luke's urging. "Elizabeth has been a fine teacher to my son, and we would both couldn't stand to lose her! And Miss Lancaster was to be your wife! You can't kill them – they must stand trial!"
"Would you like to be hung as well?" Beckett asked him dangerously. Norrington looked down at his son, and knew he could do no more for Elizabeth.
"No," Norrington whispered, giving Elizabeth a look that clearly said 'I tried'. Beckett ordered the noose to be placed on Jack's neck. Elizabeth was shaking with fear and indignation. How can this be happening? Beckett is going to win, she realized. And I'll never get to see my Will again. That prospect scared her more than her imminent death.
Just when it seemed that all hope was lost, one of Beckett's officers ran up to the platform, temporarily stalling the hangings.
"My lord," he gasped. "You've been ordered to stop the hanging!" Beckett glowered at the man.
"By whom? I take no orders; I only give them."
"General Washington, sir," the officer said. "We're completely surrounded by his army."
"What?!" Beckett growled. "That can't be true. I have five thousand men out there – can't they handle a couple of enemy soldiers?" The officer paled as he explained to Beckett that the entire army had come to Boston.
"We have no choice but to surrender, my Lord. The treaty has been signed, and England is no longer at war with the colonies. They have won their independence, sir."
"I can't believe it," Beckett muttered. "There were rumors of a treaty, but I never actually thought they would come true." He turned back to his victims, who had heard every word of that exchange.
"Well, if England has indeed surrendered, then I must return there. But I think I'll take one last victim before I go." Beckett signaled the executioner to hang Jack, but Elizabeth and Fannie had already launched themselves at him, wrestling the executioner to the ground. Thorndyke pulled out his pocketknife and cut the rope that was binding Jack. The pirate pulled the rope from his neck and then advanced toward a panicked Beckett.
"Just so you know, I wasn't stupid enough to walk into your trap," Jack said. "Adams and I both knew the army was coming and that you'd be stripped of your authority. What we didn't know, however, was when they would arrive. So Elizabeth, Fannie, and I stalled the hanging, giving the troops more time to get here. Thankfully, the troops showed up before you could kill us. We took a gamble, and this time we won." Beckett stared at him warily, a defeated expression on his pale face. Jack couldn't help but to taunt him further.
"What's even more fortunate for me is that we knew you'd have all your men close by during the hanging. Everyone knew how badly you wanted to capture me, that you didn't want to take any chances that I might escape you, again. This gave the Continental Army the means to take charge of the city without firing a single shot. After all, how could your men fight, if they were completely surrounded?" Jack would've gone on taunting Beckett further if Adams hadn't shown up.
"Beckett, General Washington wishes to speak with you. He wants to insure a peaceful transition and to discuss the withdrawal of your troops." Beckett sighed, his shoulders slumped in defeat.
"Very well, I will meet with him." Beckett allowed the officer to lead him away, and it was the last that Elizabeth, Jack, or anyone ever saw of him.
"What's going on?" A man's voice yelled from the crowd. "Why's Beckett leaving?" Jack took it upon himself to inform their audience what had transpired.
"Ladies and gents, it is my supreme pleasure to announce to you that the war is over!" Jack's statement was met with cheers from the crowd. "Also, the peace treaty's been signed, we've been granted our independence, and General Washington has arrived with his army to force Beckett out of power!" He was met with more cheers. Then he stepped down from the platform, and was soon joined by Elizabeth, Fannie, and Thorndyke.
"I can't believe it – we pulled it off!" Elizabeth exclaimed, as she hugged the nearest person to her, which happened to be Thorndyke. "If it hadn't been for your help, this never would've worked. Thank you, Ben, for saving Will's life."
"You're very welcome," he told her, with a smile that was genuine. "Elizabeth, I've been thinking about us." Elizabeth's heart sank, as she had completely forgotten that she was still married to Thorndyke.
"And?" She prompted him.
"I think it would be best for both of us to get a divorce." Elizabeth just stared at him in shock. Whatever she'd been expecting him to say, it certainly hadn't been this.
"Really?" she whispered, not daring to believe him. He nodded.
"It's clear to me now that you should be married to Will. Any fool could see that you belong with him. I won't stand in the way of your happiness any longer."
"Oh Ben," she squealed. "Thank you so much! You don't know what this means to me." As she spun Ben around in a celebratory dance, Ben chuckled to himself, glad that he'd been able to do the right thing. He was looking forward to starting over and finding a girl who would want to be with him. What he really wanted to do was to go back to England, where he could still serve in the royal navy.
"Oh, and another thing, Elizabeth," he said, grinning. "I plan to return to England, as soon as our divorce is settled. So I've decided to leave Thorndyke Manor to you, seeing as I won't be living there any more. You and Will can own the house, and the five acres of land behind it. That is, if you want it."
"Of course we want it!" She exclaimed, throwing her arms around him again. "You've been so kind to me – I only wish I could do something to repay you." He sighed.
"Just knowing that I've redeemed myself, after all that time I mistreated you, is reward enough."
Ben nodded at her, and disappeared into the crowd. Just as he left, Jeremy and Jessabelle came to see their mother. She hugged them both, and they told her of their involvement in the plan.
"Jack told us to sneak into Norrington's home and 'kidnap' Luke. Once we explained to him that we needed his help, Luke was more than willing to go along with the plan," Jeremy said in a rush.
"Luke said that he was glad to do anything that would help his teacher." Jessabelle smiled at Elizabeth, who'd become teary-eyed. "Then we joined the lookouts, and helped relay the message that the army had arrived." It was then that Elizabeth realized the magnitude of Jack's plan. His ingenuity never ceased to amaze her. She made a mental note to thank him later.
"We're going to see our friends," said Jessabelle. "We'll see you at home, then?" Elizabeth nodded at them.
"Thank you for all your help. You helped to save Will, and for that I'm forever grateful." Jeremy and Jessabelle grinned at her, and then pushed their way into the crowd. Elizabeth took this opportunity to find Fannie, who was celebrating with Jack and the Pearl's crew.
"We did it, Elizabeth! We saved Will." Fannie hugged Elizabeth, whose face shone with delight.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this would happen," said Elizabeth shaking her head.
"I know," Fannie agreed. "The war being over and Will being saved all in one day – could you be any happier?"
"Yes, actually," said Elizabeth, grining. "I would like to see Will, as soon as possible." Fannie nodded at her friend.
"I can take you to Dr. O'Brian's home. But I have to do something first." Elizabeth watched in amazement as Fannie went up to Jack, whispered something in his ear, and then kissed him on the cheek. Then she walked back to a very astonished Elizabeth, saying,
"Now we can go."
Mary had not left Will's side all day. There was no indication of improvement, but she wanted to be there in case he happened to wake up. She had just finished her late lunch, when a knock sounded at the O'Brian's front door. She stood up to answer it, but stopped when she heard Mrs. O'Brian's voice.
"I'll get it!" Mary's heart sank when she saw it was her friends at the door. Mrs. O'Brian let Elizabeth and Fannie inside, dreading having to tell Elizabeth that Will couldn't be awakened.
"Where is he?" Elizabeth asked, her face shining in anticipation of seeing the one she loved.
"He's in the parlor," said Mrs. O'Brian. "But I must warn you that he's-" But Elizabeth paid no attention to the doctor's wife as she rushed to see Will.
"Mary!" Elizabeth smiled as she saw her friend sitting beside Will. "Oh, you'll never believe what's happened. Jack's plan actually worked! The war is over, and Beckett is gone –" She stopped rambling when she noticed Mary's pained expression.
"What's wrong?" Elizabeth asked, her insides filling with unease.
"I'm so sorry, Elizabeth," said Mary, sniffling. "He won't wake up. He was fine earlier, but when I went to wake him for breakfast…"
"No," Elizabeth whispered, crossing the room to sit on the couch next to Will. She took his hand in hers and softly called his name, but he did not respond. Waves of shock radiated though her body as she realized that what Mary had said was indeed true.
"No!" She sobbed. Fannie and Mary were at her side in an instant. They let her trembling form cry against them, as they did their best to comfort and soothe her.
"He's not-" Her breath caught in her throat. Elizabeth couldn't bring herself to say 'dead'.
"No," confirmed a new voice. "He is in a deep state of unconsciousness." Doctor O'Brian quickly introduced himself to Elizabeth.
"Will he be alright, doctor?" Elizabeth asked in a shaky voice. Doctor O'Brian gave her a grim look.
"Sometimes when people go into these deep sleeps, their body needs to repair itself. If that is the case, the person may wake up in a few days." Elizabeth looked at him, her face full of hope.
"That doesn't sound too bad." But the doctor was not finished.
"However, in other cases, they won't wake for a couple weeks. By then, I'm afraid, it is too late. The human body can only live so long without water and proper nourishment. It's up to Will now if he survives."
This sent Elizabeth into another wave of hysterics.
"I should've been here with him," she moaned. "This is all my fault."
"No, it's mine," cried Mary. "When the carriage didn't arrive to bring us here, Will suggested that we walk. Fannie was against it, but what did I do? I agreed with him. If Will is like this because he overexerted himself, then I'm to blame."
"Stop it! It's no one's fault," Fannie assured them both. "It just happened. Now all was can do is sit with him and pray that Will shall live through this."
Elizabeth never left Will's side for the next three days, not even to lie down. When night fell, she would doze sitting up in the chair across from his couch. When Mrs. O'Brian brought in her meals, she just picked at her food. Sometimes, Elizabeth would talk to him about happier times, or she would sing to him. But mostly she just watched his chest rise and fall, and tried to convince herself that Will would pull through. Mary and Fannie were there during the day, trying to lift their friend's spirits. Elizabeth was grateful they were there, even if she didn't always show it.
Jack came to visit on the third day. He tried to give his best friend a pep talk, but he couldn't do it, as he kept on breaking down. Elizabeth hadn't known that Will's plight would affect Jack like this. She had believed that Jack only cared for rum, women, and the open sea – that his emotions were impervious. Now she knew how very wrong that opinion was. Both she and Jack had cried on each other's shoulders, and she was thankful that he was there for her.
Elizabeth may have been in a depressed stupor, but she couldn't help noticing how differently Fannie and Jack were behaving around each other. They seemed to be very good friends, perhaps more than friends. In another time, Elizabeth would've warned Fannie of Jack's ways with women. But she believed that Fannie had learned her lesson with Beckett, and she trusted that they both wouldn't rush into something that they'd later regret. So when Fannie left that day with Jack, she wished them the best of luck and meant it.
Mary stayed a little while longer. She persuaded her friend to close her eyes and try to sleep, as she would be watching over Will. Elizabeth dreamed of him. She kept running after him, but he always was just out of her reach. Then, at sunset, Mary woke her up. There had been no change. Elizabeth hadn't dared to hope that there would be.
On the fourth day, Elizabeth awoke to the sound of a familiar yawn. Will! He's awake! She quickly sat up, not daring to believe it.
"Good morning, Elizabeth," Will said sleepily. "What's for breakfast?"
"Will! You're alright!" She shouted with joy. Mary, Fannie, Jack, and the O'Brians came running to watch the touching scene between the reunited lovers
"I was asleep for four days? Really?" Will was saying, incredulous. "Nah, you're joking." But then he saw the pain lurking in Elizabeth's eyes.
"Oh," he said, realizing she was telling the truth. "I'm sorry, Elizabeth. I didn't mean to sleep –" But that was as far as he got, for Elizabeth had shut him up with a kiss. They finally broke apart, and Elizabeth was crying.
"I love you so much, Will," she said, smiling through her tears. "But I hate you for scaring me like that!"
"I love you too, Lizzie," said Will, grinning up at her. Fannie and Mary sighed with happiness, thankful that Will had pulled though.
"Oh, Will, I've got to tell you what Ben Thorndyke said!" Elizabeth had just remembered. "He says he wants a divorce and he's giving us Thorndyke Manor!"
"Great!" Will enthused. "Well, in that case, will you marry me?"
Her shriek of joy was so loud that the servants could hear it from the attic.
Two weeks later
Elizabeth fiddled with her corset, loosening it when no one was looking. Her petticoats itched, her shoes pinched her toes, and her hair was pulled up too tightly. But she wanted to look her best on her wedding day, so she had given in and worn the traditional outfit.
"I saw that, missy." Jack shook his finger at Elizabeth, who just laughed. He was still sporting his bandana and dreadlocks, although Elizabeth had succeeded in convincing him to wear a clean shirt and pants for her special day.
"How are you feeling, luv? Any second thoughts?" She bopped him in the arm, shaking her head.
"Not in your life. I'm so ready to be married to Will, seeing as this wedding is seven years over due." Jack smiled at her, showcasing his gold teeth.
"Good. And I am very honored to be giving you away. Although, since I'm also Will's best man, you've made the wedding interesting for me. How am I supposed to be in two places at once?" She shrugged.
"Oh, I'm sure Captain Jack Sparrow will think of something."
Suddenly the wedding march began. Jack offered her his arm.
"Shall we?" Elizabeth beamed at him, and linked her arm in his. Together they walked down the aisle toward Will. When Elizabeth saw him, her knees grew weak. She would have to insist that he dress up more often, as Will was to die for in his smart coat and dress pants. She was so thankful that his back had healed as quickly as it did, so that they could finally have their wedding.
Her journey down the long aisle seemed to last forever. Elizabeth was able to pick out many familiar faces in the large audience. There was Jeremy, Jessabelle, Mary, Fannie, Anamaria, Gibbs, and the rest of Jack's crew. She could even pick out Thorndyke, Norrington, and Luke, who had insisted on coming. Finally, they reached the altar.
"Who doth give this woman?" It was the Arch-bishop, the same one that Jack had tried to impersonate. Jack winked at the Arch-bishop, who cracked a smile.
Suddenly Will was there, at her side. They locked eyes, and the rest of the wedding went by in a blur. The meaningful vows seemed to lose their meaning, paling in comparison to the events that had led up to this moment. There was their separation for seven years, and then their blissful reunion had defied all odds. Then a much shorter, but no less painful separation, and then their tearful reunion had renewed their already strong bond of love. All the hardships that Will and Elizabeth had endured were now in the past. Now they only saw their futures shining brightly, and their souls intertwined forever.
Six weeks later
"Will, they're back!" Elizabeth looked out from the dining room window of Turner Manor. Cook had fixed a huge breakfast that morning, and Elizabeth ate every morsel of food that'd been on her plate.
"Will!" Elizabeth called again. He appeared, took a seat at the table, and sighed dejectedly.
"I guess the honeymoon is over." Elizabeth raised her eyebrows and he stopped moping.
"Don't you want to hear about what happened on the Pearl's voyage?" she asked.
"Yes," he agreed. "But I rather liked having you all to myself for a month. Especially at night…" He gazed at her hungrily, and reached underneath the table to touch her legs.
"Will you stop it!" She hissed, reluctantly swatting his hand away. With a single look, he could make her feel flustered, and what was worse, he knew it. "If you keep teasing me, there won't be any more nights." Will gulped, and accepted defeat - for now. There was a knock at the door, and they heard Jack shouting for them to open up.
"Please behave, Will. I mean it," she insisted.
"I'll behave," he promised, coming around to her to kiss her brow. As they went to answer the door, she marveled at how Will could be so alluring one minute, and then so sweet the next. They opened the door, and welcomed their friends and family back after their voyage at sea.
"Mother! We missed you!" Elizabeth was ambushed by two teens, who embraced her tightly.
"We missed you too, Jessabelle," she said, smiling. Then Jessabelle turned to Will and gave him a hug, which he gladly returned.
"I missed you too, Father." Jeremy and Will shook hands, and Elizabeth could tell that Will was touched that her adopted children now considered Will to be their father.
"And what about dear old Jack? Did you miss me?" Elizabeth and Will looked at each other, and shook their heads no.
"Really?" Jack looked crestfallen.
"No," they laughed. Soon Jack joined in. To Will and Elizabeth's surprise, Fannie appeared behind Jack. Blushing, she explained that when Jack offered to let her go with them on the voyage, she'd accepted his invitation.
"I might sail with them again, I haven't decided," Fannie murmured, as Jack's arm snaked around her back. Will and Elizabeth shared a knowing look at them as they invited everyone into the parlor.
"So, how was your adventure?" Will asked eagerly, after everyone had gotten comfortable on the sofas.
"Actually, I'm more interested in hearing about the adventures that you two had while we were gone," said Jack, waggling his eyebrows.
"Jack," Fannie said warningly. But Will and Elizabeth weren't fazed by this remark. On the contrary, they seemed to be expecting it.
"Should we tell them, Mrs. Turner?" Will asked, reaching for her hand.
"Of course, Mr. Turner." Elizabeth beamed at her husband, and then looked out at their guests. "I'm pregnant!" Everyone just stared at her in shock.
"Wow!" Fannie exclaimed, the first one to overcome the shock of the news. "Congratulations!" Jack had been rendered speechless. Jeremy and Jessabelle went to hug their parents, jabbering excitedly about having another sibling.
"So what will you name it?" Jack finally was able to choke out.
"We've decided on Charlotte if it is a girl, after Elizabeth's mother," said Will. "But we're unsure about what to name it if it's a boy."
"Will suggested naming it after my father, but I wouldn't want to wish the name 'Weatherby' on anyone," said Elizabeth.
"And Elizabeth suggested naming it after my father, but I don't think that's such a great idea, either," said Will. "William Turner the third is a long name for a little boy." Jack raised his hand.
"How about naming it Jack?" Will and Elizabeth raised their eyebrows.
"We'll think about it," Will promised.
Eight months later, a birth announcement in the Boston Tribune read "Jackson Sparrow Turner, nine pounds four ounces, was born to proud parents William Jonathan Turner and Elizabeth Swann Turner, both of Boston."
End of Epilogue
A/N: Finally! I'm finished! There were so many points where I could've ended this, but a little voice in my head said "No! You can't end it there!" so I kept going. I hope you are satisfied with this last chapter, as I've decided not to do a sequel. There are just too many possibilities for a story following At World's End, and I want to start fresh. So, thank you so much for all of your wonderful support. I've reached over 300 reviews, something never in my wildest dreams did I imagine happening. It's been a great ride, and I've enjoyed all of it.
So what did you all think of AWE? I loved it, after the end part after the credits was clarified for me. ('Whoever' is back permanently, which I was extremely happy about.) It's now my favorite movie of all three. There was one event that I cheered! And then there was one event (you all who've seen it know what I'm talking about) that left me sobbing and shaking in my seat. It was a "No, you didn't" kind of moment. But after I got past that part, it was all ok. And then there was the beach part. Yowza! I don't want to spoil it for anyone, so you can just tell me what you thought in your reviews. I'm out!