Chapter 2: We're Off!

Summary: (Pre-POTC2) Elizabeth wants to have some fun before she is married and tied down forever. She also needs time to think. Does she really love Will? Jack gives her the opportunity to do this, but, of course, Jack never does favors for anyone but himself. How will this help him? J&E

Disclaimer: Gotta give credit where credit is due…I don't own POTC or anything related to it. The italicized words at the beginning of each chapter (between the x's) are lyrics from the song "Words of Love" by hyde. I don't own it, hyde (dang it), or anything related to him or the song. I also don't own the song lyrics (song or singer of the song) that inspired this fic's title: "…Lets turn this room into a pirate ship and plunder each other…"; "Arrgh! I'm a Pirate" by Zolof The Rock and Roll Destroyer.

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I think I need someone in here.

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Elizabeth closed her front door and returned to her parlor. She sat down the book of Shakespeare on the small round table and picked up the map to look it over again. Looking closer, now, she realized Will had specifically hand-copied the map himself, and added in the things that weren't on most maps, like the Isle de Muerte. She looked it over and noticed he had even added in Port Royal. The map wasn't just of her adventure with the pirates, it was the whole Caribbean!

Elizabeth smiled and rolled up the map, mentally noting the location of and distance to Tortuga. She walked up the stairs to her room. The book was returned to its spot on the shelf and the map flattened and hidden inside her dress. She got a hat to keep the sun out of her eyes and went back down the stairs and out the front door. She thought of exactly the right people to help her with her dream. Two people that definitely wouldn't mind and would love doing it. Two people who would go all the way with her and be loyal to boot. Elizabeth walked down the dirt road with a smile.

In about twenty minutes, Elizabeth had finally reached her destination. She was in front of a huge Victorian-style mansion, much like the house she lived in. She used the golden doorknocker to knock on the door. A maid answered, "How may I help you, Ms. Swann?"

Elizabeth giggled, hardly able to contain her excitement, "Is Gwen home?" She peered behind the maid to look at the entrance hall of a house she knew just as well, or better, than her own.

About the time the maid started to speak, Gwen and Elaine both came down the set of mahogany and marble stairs. The two girls looked very composed and proper. Gwen's brown hair was up in a high bun on the back of her head and she was wearing a simple calico gown. Elaine's red locks were in a single braid that had been spun into a low bun, touching the back of her neck. She was wearing a dark green dress that brought out her bright green eyes. Both girls smiled (and Gwen squealed) as they spotted Elizabeth.

"Oh, Lizzie! I'm so glad to see you," Gwen ran the rest of the way down the steps, pushed the maid out of the way, and hugged Elizabeth, "Are you doing ok? Is something wrong? Do I need to beat anybody up for you?"

Elizabeth laughed at Gwen's enthusiasm, "No, none of that. I'm doing fine. I just have a proposition for you via Will."

At Will's name, Gwen got a confused look on her face. She ushered Elizabeth in and guided her to the parlor, Elaine close in tow behind. The three girls sat in three respective chairs at a medium-sized round wooden table. Elizabeth took off her hat, handing it to the maid who instantly appeared to take it.

Gwen put her hands on the table in a "we have to talk" kind of way, "Ok, so, tell me of this 'proposition.'"

Elaine just rolled her eyes, thinking it was going to be some crazy half-brained scheme to get Will back because Lizzie either felt guilty or thought she loved him after all. How else could Will be involved in something?

Elizabeth smiled widely, "Will brought me a map this evening of the entire Caribbean, including some spots only known to pirates. You both know how much I've always loved piracy. I'm eighteen years old now; a woman. The only things ahead of me if I stay involved in our society are marriage and childbearing. You know I want that, but not right now. I want to live. I want to experience life for all it's worth and break every rule or normality I can along the way. Not to mention, this is a chance to live my dream!"

Elaine was actually excited now, and that was a rare thing, "Dear, dear Lizzie," she took Elizabeth's right hand from across the table, "Please tell me you're asking us what I think you're asking!"

Gwen was still confused, "What are you talking about Elaine?" She turned to Elizabeth, "Yes, yes, I know all that, but what does it have to do with your proposition?" She sighed, and then added as an afterthought, "That was very nice of Will."

Elaine got a look of disgust on her face and turned to Gwen, "Are you that dumb? Elizabeth wants to be a pirate and she wants us to do it with her! How hard is that to piece together?" Elaine spoke quite harshly. It was in her nature to be tough, blunt, and mean. Her mother died giving birth to her and her father was a successful merchant sailor, so he was hardly home. Elaine grew up angry; angry for never seeing her father and angry for never having the chance to know her mother. Her governesses could barely handle her and only helped make her bad temperament worse.

Elizabeth clapped happily, "Exactly Elaine! So will you both do it?"

Gwen sat, blank-faced, looking like she was seriously thinking about it, "Well, seeing as how we all three have enough money at our disposal, aren't afraid to act like men, and have sailed at one point, I think we can do it," she looked at Elizabeth, "I'll do it!"

Elaine got up, already hatching plans in her head, "I say we go steal a boat, right now, as out first act of piracy!" She looked quite happy and confident about that decision, but of course Gwen would challenge it. This was just how their friendship worked.

"Why steal when we can buy one far better than anything we could steal?" She turned to Elizabeth, "Where are we going anyway?"

Elaine, once again, rolled her eyes, "Because, stealing is the pirate thing to do, right Lizzie?"

Elizabeth was already out of her chair, pacing the room and thinking, "Yes, Elaine, but the word, I believe, is 'commandeering.' I had planned for us to go to Tortuga and join a pirate crew there," she looked at Gwen, "In a way, Elaine is right. Plus, we don't need a large boat just for us three to go to Tortuga. It's not that far. And we might as well get used to stealing and such."

Gwen crossed her arms, "Fine, fine. If you say so. I suppose we couldn't handle a large ship on our own, either," she began to pace beside Lizzie, "Well, it's not that I'm not used to stealing," she laughed, "I'm just not used to stealing things so big." At that, all three girls laughed.

Elaine was standing off to the side, watching the other two pace, "You two can pace all day if you want, but I'm going to go raid Gwen's brother's closet for some clothes that fit me. I can't be a proper pirate in a dress."

"Oh, no you don't," Elizabeth said, "I'll race you there! First come, first serve."

Elizabeth and Elaine raced to the top of the stairs and around the corner, Elizabeth getting there first. Gwen turned around and opened her mouth to speak when she noticed her friends were gone, "Lizzie? Elaine?" She shook her head as she walked to the stairs, "What could they be up to now?"

In about an hour, the three appearance conscious women finally found some men's clothes that they thought suited and fit them well. Elizabeth, getting the best choice of the three, had on black slacks and black boots that went to her knees, the slacks tucked in the boots. She had on a white dress shirt tucked into the slacks, barely showing a brown leather belt on the slacks. Over all this she had on a navy blue dress coat that she left open. She also rummaged around and managed to find a black hat. She braided her hair and tucked it into the hat. She'd pass for a boy very easily, if need-be. Gwen chose brown slacks and dark brown boots. She had on a white dress shirt, untucked, with a buttoned brown vest over it. Her headgear of choice was a red bandana she found in one of the pockets on her brother's coats. She left her hair down, thinking she'd cut it later. Elaine wore gray slacks, a tucked in white dress shirt, and a long black trench coat. She picked a simple straw hat to cover the top of her head, and left her hair in a low, braided bun. Gwen grabbed the only two pistols in the house (her father's and her brother's) and kept one, giving the other to Elaine, who was a better shot than Elizabeth.

The girls set off, quite discreetly, to find a boat. They walked through the town unrecognized for the most part. They happened to pass Will on the way, who was going back to the shop from a delivery. He blinked a few times and stared, and then smiled and shook his head as he went on his way. They made it to the docks without being stopped or looked at oddly.

Elaine surveyed the surroundings, "I don't see any Navy men or guards. It must be our lucky day." The other two girls smiled as they looked over the boats. There were five boats tied up at the dock. Three were very large boats that would do them no good. The other two were about the right size. Gwen picked the one with the largest sails and the most room inside the boat. It was a single-mast boat and looked like it had been modified to carry about 10 people instead of three.

The three girls casually walked closer to the boat, talking with smiles on their faces to make it look genuine, when they were really discussing how they were going to take the boat. They decided that since Elaine was the fastest, she'd jump in and raise the sails while Elizabeth would untie the boat since she was the deftest. Gwen would oversee the whole thing and make it look as casual as possible, as if she were the boats true owner.

When they arrived at the place where the boat was tied up they put their plan into action. There were a few people around, but they didn't suspect anything. The three girls were already about fifty feet away, on their way to Tortuga, before they heard a man screaming, "Where's my boat!"

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It would take the rest of the day and practically the whole night to get to Tortuga. They would probably arrive around 12 AM, if the wind kept up the way it was now. Elizabeth kept her eye on the sky. It was evening now, and the sun painted the sky with all its colors as it said good night to that part of the world. Pink, purple, blue, and orange clouds and parts of the sky were starting to become more noticeable. This was Elizabeth's favorite part of the day because of how beautiful the sky could be.

"Hello? Elizabeth, are you even listening?" Elizabeth jumped at the sound of her name. Gwen was looking at her with one eyebrow raised, "I said, what exactly do you plan to do once we get to Tortuga? It's not like joining a pirate crew is as easy as signing a piece of paper for it. You have to know people."

This set Elizabeth's mind to work. Gwen was right. There usually wasn't a sign up sheet to become part of a pirate crew. You were either picked for it, hired into it, or forced into it. She searched her mind for pirates she knew. Jack Sparrow immediately came to mind. Elizabeth was forced to laugh out loud, and then think, "Ha! Like he would want me on his crew. He'd just laugh and make a pass at me. He would probably think I'd be useless or get in the way. Not to mention he's probably not at Tortuga right now anyway. It's not like he lives there…" She continued to think. Barbossa was dead and she didn't like him anyway. The only other pirates she knew were what remained of Barbossa's crew and Jack's crew. If Jack wasn't in Tortuga, his crew wouldn't be either. She also didn't know any of them personally except Gibbs. And only few of the people in Barbossa's crew escaped getting hung. She outwardly sighed. Not to mention, Jack was the only one she trusted. If they joined any other pirate crew, they'd end up being sex slaves and raped multiple times…something like that.

"Well, the way I see it, we'll just have to hope to see Captain Jack Sparrow there. If we join any other crew, they'll just rape us," at that, her friends started to protest, but she cut them off, "I know we can be tough and I know we can be brave, but if we have five men trying to hold one of us down, you know we couldn't win. Jack is the only one that will keep us from getting raped."

Gwen thought a moment, then replied, "I guess you're right," she smiled mischievously, "At first, I just thought you wanted to be around Jack, but now I see your point."

Elizabeth looked skeptical, "Why would I want to be around Jack?" She knew Gwen would bring that up. Why was Gwen so convinced that she was interested in Jack? Sure, she loved reading about him, and she liked asking him to tell her his stories and if they were true. But she only saw him as a friend. And she trusted him. That was it! So why was Gwen convinced of otherwise?

Elaine smirked knowingly, "Because you want to sleep with him, that's why." She laughed, lowly at first, then very loudly.

Elizabeth looked truly mortified, horrified, and scandalized, "What! No! No, not at all! I just trust him, that's all! And I look up to him because he's a really good pirate," her friends looked unconvinced, "He hardly ever kills people. He saves people's lives when other pirates would just kill them for no reason!"

Elaine scoffed, "Where's the fun in that?" And Gwen countered, "What was it you told me Captain Barbossa told Jack?'People are easier to search when they're dead?'"

Elizabeth just rolled her eyes and sighed angrily, "Oh, fine! Think what you want. I don't care."

Elaine giggled, patting Elizabeth on the back, "Aww, we made Lizzie mad." Elizabeth just shrugged her hand off her back and turned away from them.

Elaine and Gwen talked for hours and hours about pretty much nothing. At least it was nothing to Elizabeth. She stayed mad a pretty long while; she was stubborn and her friends knew it. They knew she'd be fine in a few hours. She was busy watching the sky. It fascinated her so much. She loved to watch it get darker as it got later; she loved to watch the sun set and the moon rise; and she loved to watch the stars appear. She was also trying to keep an eye out for storms. If one was approaching, they'd have to get ready, and fast. But so far, nothing. Just a beautiful and clear night sky.

Elizabeth got done pouting and brooding, and turned back around to her friends, "How long have we been sailing? Six hours, or so?"

Elaine pulled a pocket watch out of the pocket of her slacks, "No, longer actually. We should be very close. It's been eight hours," she closed the watch and yawned, "That's why I've been so sleepy."

Gwen yawned too, "I wasn't sleepy 'til now. What time is it?"

Elaine rubbed her eyes, "About half-past ten," she stretched, "There's enough room, so I'm going to lay down and sleep. One of you should join me and the other keep watch. We can switch in a few hours."

Elizabeth spoke up first, "Gwen, you sleep. I'm wide-awake. And we should be in Tortuga in about two or three ours anyway."

Gwen didn't argue and both girls laid down and went to sleep. Elizabeth pulled her coat tighter around her. It was getting cool. And a pang of loneliness hit her heart out of nowhere. If Will were here, he'd offer her his jacket or wrap her up in his arms. Why was she thinking of Will? She shook her head. She didn't love him, but that still didn't change the fact that he had been an important part of her life for the past year. She'd gotten used to his company, and now she was starting to miss it. She hit herself on the head and thought, "Oh, come to your senses Elizabeth! Will is your good friend and you don't need him now. Everything will be fine…Tortuga isn't that far away…And hopefully Jack is close, too." She got wide-eyed; where did that last thought come from? She rubbed her arms to keep warm and thought of Tortuga.

Next thing Elizabeth knew, she was onboard the Black Pearl, standing by the side and watching the water. It was night time. The sky was cloudless and full of stars. She shivered as a cold breeze blew. The deck was empty. It was very late; almost 12 AM. Elizabeth needed to think and have some fresh air. She felt like all she did lately was think.

Elizabeth felt a coat being draped around her shoulders. It wasn't until then that she realized she didn't have one. She turned to see Jack, smiling, "You'll catch a cold out here, love. Better go back below deck an' get some shut-eye."

Elizabeth only sighed, "I can't sleep. I keep thinking, what if what I did was wrong? Leaving my friends and family without telling them, deciding not to marry Will; all just because I want to live my dream," she turned to face Jack, who she noticed was very close to her, "Isn't that selfish?"

Jack only half-smiled, "Yer askin' the wrong person, love. I'm the most selfish person I know," he paused a minute, thinking, "You know yer life would be borin' if ya didn' leave. Selfish, maybe; but the best choice? Most definitely."

Elizabeth smiled, "You can be wise when you want to Jack." She shivered again, and tried to change the subject, "I think it's too cold out here to be the Caribbean."

"I can be lots of things," he smirked, thinking of a time he impersonated a priest, "Well, there's only one other way to keep you warm. And I know you'd protest it, so I won' offer." He had a pouty-look on his face and let his shoulders hang loosely.

Elizabeth laughed; she felt so happy around him, "Jack, you look hurt. What's the other way?"

He smiled and opened his arms, "Human body heat."

She laughed and shook her head, "I should've known."

Elizabeth was awakened by Elaine's happy (and loud) voice, "There's a light! I bet it's Tortuga!" Elizabeth pulled herself up and rubbed her eyes. She must've fallen asleep without realizing it. She remembered nodding off a few times, and even splashing salt water on her face to keep her awake. It must not have worked. Then she remembered…talking to Jack? It must've been a dream…

She looked at Elaine, and said groggily, "Did I fall asleep?"

Elaine smiled triumphantly, "Yes, you did. I was woken up by your mumbling about Jack."

Elizabeth's eyebrows furrowed, and she said defensively, "You're a liar! I didn't do that." Elizabeth looked at the distant light of Tortuga. She could even lightly hear music and all kinds of human voices. Her eyes squinted, trying to see what she could in the dim moonlight. Her eyes scanned the boats tied up at the docks. All large pirate vessels. One of them even had black sails….Black sails? Why was that familiar?

Elizabeth looked even harder, and then punched Elaine in the side, who in turn hit Lizzie in the head, and Elizabeth said, and pointed, "Look! It's the Black Pearl!"

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Author's Note: Hee hee…That was fun to write. Thank you all for the kind and gracious reviews! And thanks for the constructive criticism, too. That's always very helpful. I tried to make the dialogue a bit more 17th century, and I tried writing in pirate dialect, too. I couldn't help it…The idea of Elizabeth having a dream popped in my head. Some of you were talking about looking forward to a J&E interaction, so I thought I'd throw something in in the form of a dream. I rewrote it, too. I had it, I thought, a bit too passionate too early, so I changed it. Maybe the end result was good…Glad you all like it so far!