Another ficlet, mainly from Elizabeth's POV, drinking and thinking of Jack. I don't generally do first person, but I like the way this came out. More Elizabeth/ Jack romantic angst, my fave flavor, with mythology references. POST-DMC, SPOILERS!
DISCLAIMER 1: I do not own any of the characters, the original plotlines, or anything else in the POTC universe. I'm just a fan with too much time on her hands. The characters herein are owned by Disney and the talented pens of Elliott & Rossio. The fiction is a product of my own fevered brain, belonging to me, thought up by me, written with my own words and talents (such as they may or may not be). I will be incredibly vexed if you hack my stuff, and in fact will lay a very nasty voudou whammy on you. No. Seriously. Don't do it.
DISCLAIMER 2: There is strong language, violence, hardcore sex and adult situations in several of my fics. Read at your own risk. I'm not going to police your kids for you, so don't blame me if they read something marked "Mature". Dig?
DISCLAIMER 3: This story is very romantic, as are most of my POTC stories, because I'm a romantic girl. I've tried to stay in character as much as possible while venting my own romantic spleen about how I think Jack and Elizabeth should act. Just warning you. If you don't like the J/E ship, seek other fiction. Seriously.
The taste of it burns all the way down, and the smell of it makes my eyes water madly. Not from its strength (well, mostly not), but from the loss. It smells like you, of course. Tastes like you too, but I don't dare finish that thought. Think I'll finish this ungodly bottle instead. And never mind the tears, they salt the liquor and change it into something else. Something like the sea. I remember how that tastes too, from when you dove down and brought me out again. A new pearl for you. Not a black one, but a white one. I remember your eyes that first day, leaning over me. So lost in them, so lost…
I don't think Will knows where I am, that I'm awake under this midnight sky, let alone getting frightfully drunk. It would probably stick the knife in deeper if he knew. Gibbs knows though. He's watched me come here, you see, watched me make my way to the prow, curling up on a coil of rope, looking up at the stars, tipping this bottle to my lips again and again. And oh, it burns. But that's only fitting. I should burn. For what I did to you, I should burn. But the only thing truly burning is my tongue from this damn rum and from the memory of your mouth on mine. And this place inside me that always burns for you. Always has burned for you, since the day we met.
The stars spin and wheel over me. Are you seeing them too? Are you somewhere where you can see the stars and taste the wind? Or is it only blackness for you, some cold and dark place? I can't bear to think that. The liquid blazes a trail down my throat and into my belly, hot and welcoming. Almost like your lips, as I remember. No, I will never be sorry for that. But I will walk in sorrow for the rest of my life if I never find you again, never get you back. Never tell you how sorry I am. Never tell you how much I… I'd give anything to have you laughing at me right now, or even yelling at me. As long as you were here with me. And what would I give to be in your arms now? The life of every man on this ship. Even Will's.
Oh God. Why isn't this nepenthe, that fabled forgetfulness? Why doesn't the rum work? Maybe if I drink enough of it, I won't see your dark eyes, taunting me, smiling at me, angry with me. Here. I'm standing. I'm letting the wind caress me, I'm thinking of you. I'm climbing here, to the top of the rail. I'll be your figurehead on this ship, I'll be your compass, I'll be anything you damn well want if you just come back to me…Please come back… Please, Jack, I'm sorry…
Gibbs watched Elizabeth tip the bottle, watched it fall from her hands and clatter onto the deck, rolling away in the gentle pitching of the ship. The Persephone, the ship was called. Fitting name, considering this mad, haunted girl that he now watched was on a journey to the underworld. Only Gibbs didn't quite remember that myth ending up with Persephone being in love with Hades, as Elizabeth Swann so obviously was with Jack Sparrow. Poor girl. Poor lost lamb.
Yawwwwn. Late watches of the night. He should tell her to get some sleep, though he knew she'd be shamed that he'd been watching over her. He suddenly bolted to his feet as Miss Swann began climbing the rail. Holy Ghost, was she going to jump? He started forward, but saw that she was holding steady, standing on the rail and bracing herself with the ropes. Gibbs crossed himself as he watched her, thin white gown blowing around her in the wind. He could hear her keening, weeping, talking to someone who wasn't there. And he knew damn well who she was talking to, pleading with. No, Gibbs wasn't much of a religious man anymore. But he crossed himself again, and pitied Elizabeth Swann.
Will watched her from his place in the darkness. Heard her calling out to a man he presumed dead. Heard her say the dead man's name brokenly, over and over. And Will Turner felt the quiet tears rolling down his face. He hated her. He loved her. He almost missed Jack. He was pretty sure he hoped they never found Jack. The tears stung and tasted of the ocean that wrapped around them. She was a banshee, a siren there in the night, standing in the wind, shrouded in white and sorrow. And he knew he'd never get her back. Even if Jack Sparrow was well and truly dead, even if Elizabeth later consented to become Mrs. William Turner, he knew that he would never again reach her heart and that her eyes would always be searching the horizon for Jack's shade. And if Jack was alive? Elizabeth would go with him without a second thought. Will wept for Elizabeth, and he wept for himself. Most of all he wept that Jack Sparrow had ever come to Port Royal.
That crying in the night, that keening… if Jack Sparrow was dead, there was no way his spirit could not hear the girl's voice. It flew into the night air, wreathing the ship in shadows and grief. Will slid helplessly down to the deck and cradled his head in his hands, trying to cover his ears. Trying not to hear his heart break.
They all heard it, down below. No one spoke to each other, but they all heard it. Even that cold Barbossa shuddered from the sound of it, sitting in his cabin, peeling an apple. Eurydice calling for Orpheus, not the other 'way round. Barbossa allowed himself one smile. Elizabeth Swann was indeed paying for her mistakes. Let her deal with them.
I can't stop. I can't breathe. I hear the sounds coming from my throat, I feel the rawness, but I can't stop. I know they can all hear me. But if I keep calling long enough and loud enough, you might answer me. I will become a siren for you, I will call. I will brave the underworld for you, I will walk into darkness. I will sell my soul if I have to – though souls and selling seem to have gotten everyone into this mess in the first place. If I can have you back, I'll do anything. If I can keep you, I'll sacrifice whatever I must.
The velvet of the night sky turns above me. The stars are cold fire, their light offers no comfort. The sea slips by me in the darkness; I can taste her and smell her and feel her rocking me. The rum is gone now and it hasn't made me forget. The Persephone sails on to the East, to you. Tia Dalma has promised we will find you. And when I do, I will sing you every song I know, I will feed you from my fingertips, I will wrap you in my arms and keep you warm. Come back to me, Jack. Come back to me.
In the darkness, he gasps. Breath fills his lungs again. He moans when he feels the pain return, knowing he isn't safe yet. But in the darkness, he can hear her singing, hear her calling. Somewhere she is calling. His siren. His goddess. She's coming for him, drawn by the compass of her own heart. And when she finds him, Jack will never let her go again.
Author's note: Inspired by StellaMara's hauntingly lovely song, "Immrama," and too much mythology as a child