I took a letter from the fanfic communities that give writers 50 words or phrases with which they have to write one sentence or snippet for each. This is my first time doing so. Most of these are either already being used or will be used in fics I am writing. Enjoy.
#01 - Ring
Watching her, he slowly sucked his finger, loosening the ring until it slid it off. It was heavy and cold from the night air and Elizabeth shivered as he gently took her hand and placed the gold on her finger. "There. I'll say nothing more, but you know it and I know it, and it's there now."
#02 - Hero
She didn't need someone to save her, she didn't need a bloody hero, she only needed him now, beside her, carrying her with him into madness. And that in itself was a kind of rescue, wasn't it? No. She didn't need a white knight. She'd gladly take this dirty pirate. And when the shot rang out, just before it tore into her shoulder, she saw him try to push her aside and take it himself, but it was too late. My hero, she thought dimly, before darkness overtook her.
#03 - Memory
He reached back into the recesses of his mind, to a place where the sun shone golden upon the silks of his mother's gown and the ringed iris of peacock feathers displayed on the lawns. He couldn't recall what her voice sounded like anymore, and it saddened him. But neither could he recall the pain of her death, so he supposed it was a fair trade.
#04 – Box
She saw it there, lying on his bunk, all wrapped up with a crimson silk bow. He'd said he'd been "shopping" for her birthday (though "liberating" was likely the more accurate term). She slowly slid off the ribbon and opened the box, revealing the prize within. "Oh, Jack," she breathed, lovingly picking up the new pistol, gleaming silver in the moonlight, "It's perfect."
#05 – Run
It was the last command she'd expected him to give, and so she was utterly unprepared when he grabbed her arm and dragged out of the tavern. Moments later, as the explosion rocked the street and the place went up in flames, she understood why he'd cut out so fast.
She could feel it in her chest, a dull thrumming that made her breathless as the air seemed to be sucked out of the pitch-black room. Jack rocked her slowly in the darkness, murmuring "It's alright, love, we'll be alright..." Sitting in the basement that seemed as if it could hardly offer them any real reprieve from the terrific storm that surrounded them, she idly wondered if she were going to die tonight.
#07 – Wings
He heard the fluttering, the rushing, the croaking – almost human – sounds overhead and looked up. Ravens, two of them, spiraling and wheeling in a joyful dance as they clattered and clucked at each other, sometimes harsh and sometimes surprisingly tender. They mate for life too, don't they, he smiled to himself, looking back to see Elizabeth watching the same two birds.
#08 – Cold
It was so damn cold, sliding up her thigh like that, and she couldn't help but gasp. She heard him chuckle as he removed the blade from her skin and went to deftly cut the strings of her bodice. She weakly protested, and he chuckled again, "No worries, love, I'll buy you more..." And then he slid the blade softly down along her neck, making her shudder with need.
#09 – Red
After that, Jack only vaguely recalled having the mad desire to howl like a dog. He didn't remember smashing the bottle against the mast, or the cut that later required sewing by Cotton, or the fact that he had growled like a beast when they came to help him and had to be forcibly restrained so that he didn't bleed out across the deck of the 'Pearl. All he knew was the red tide that washed over him as he heard what they had done to his woman, how they'd used her.
(note: this is actually a bit from a work in progress.)
He slowly lifted the cup to his mouth, lips curling, mustache twitching in disdain. "Oh, for heaven's sake, Jack," he heard her say, "Just drink it." He growled and then took the smallest sip of tea he could. And then surprised himself by smacking his lips and following it up with a deeper drink. She had the grace not to say she told him so.
#11 – Midnight
First watch had just ended, middle watch just begun. This was the time that Ragetti liked best, when it was just he and his thoughts. For he grew tired of the taunts he endured when he let those thoughts out, tired of the way he was teased over his interesting notions and occasional fancies. Let 'em tease. He had the stars above and the midnight chant of the waves below and his own thoughts to entertain him throughout.
#12 – Temptation
"Come on," Jack pleaded with Elizabeth, grinning wickedly, "it would be fun." The two of them looked down at Gibbs' sleeping form, snickering drunkenly to themselves and wondering how fast they could run once they'd dumped the bucket over the older man's head.
"Come on," he hissed, as the two of them stared down at Will Turner's naked body, wrapped in a quilt. "Bet you he won't protest one bit," Jack smiled slowly at her, and Elizabeth just as slowly reached out a hand toward her former fiance's sleeping body, licking her lips in anticipation.
#13 – View
He insisted on a room that overlooked the harbour, where he could both see the 'Pearl and hear the waves crashing to the shore. It shook her to see him like this, off balance, eyes darting about the room like a wary animal. He'd been captive before, but this last time seemed to have wounded something inside him. She began to wonder if he'd ever be the same.
#14 – Music
She heard it again, a faint and beautiful singing. She nudged Jack, but he continued to snore. She crept over to the cabin windows, pushed one open and looked down into the gentle Mediterranean waves. A dark-haired woman was beckoning up to her, singing so beautifully that Elizabeth's eyes watered. Then she shook herself fiercely, made an obscene gesture to the mermaid and slammed the window. "Bloody stupid sirens. Wasting their time."
#15 – Silk
She came awake slowly, languidly, wondering what had woken her. There was a coolness over her eyes and all was dark. She reached up with her fingertips to brush at the silken blindfold that had been tied over them, and then gasped when she felt his mouth, unseen, trailing up her thigh.
"Now, I'll be, er... Mr. Smith, right! And you can be the Missus, and we'll tell them we're here to do some honest trading." He grinned cheekily at her and she looked back at him. Honest trading? Him with his fierce eyes and tatterdemalion clothes, all wickedness and cocky grin? "Jack. They'll never, ever believe it. This is the worst disguise ever." And she flipped her hand in an all-consuming gesture that took in the lace of her cap to the bottom of her striped skirts.
(note: I know, I probably took "cover" in too modern of a sense, but the muse takes me where she will...)
#17 - Promise
Jack looked back as he climbed into the longboat, watched her check the powder in the new pistol he'd given her. "We'll see you in two days," he called up to her. She didn't reply, so he simply nodded, just two brave faces looking at each other with everything unsaid in their eyes. He gave her a brief smile, and she nodded back before turning away to shout orders at the men on board. She'd kept her promise. She hadn't said goodbye, and neither would he.
#18 - Dream
She twisted a little, flopping her arm over him and he grunted. He heard her muttering in her sleep, "Mffle... whuzzat... No." She sighed and pulled up her end of the blanket and Jack relaxed, feeling himself drift off. Moments later, Elizabeth sat bolt upright and distinctly yelled, "I am not a bloody lady! I'm a pirate!" before slumping back down against the pillows and curving her body into the blankets. Jack was utterly certain he was going to laugh so hard that he'd wake her.
#19 - Candle
She tried not to panic as she watched the flame flutter, the candle guttering. She tried not to think what might be waiting here, in the dark, in this tunnel that seemed to have no end. And then it sputtered, flickered and went out. And she screamed his name, hearing the echoes reverberate, mocking her.
#20 – Talent
"Go on, try us." Jack told her, ignoring her glare as the rest of the men looked up expectantly. As she took a gulp of rum and hitched in as much air as she could, she wondered what her poor dead father would have said to hear his precious daughter now engaging in a belching contest with a bunch of pirates.
(note: is it bad when you're making yourself laugh hysterically?)
Gibbs passed by the Captain's cabin and heard... nothing. In fact, nothing was quite clearly being heard. In fact, he'd never heard so much nothing in his life. He shrugged and moved on, shaking his head. Inside the cabin, Elizabeth was biting her lips raw from trying not to scream aloud as Jack thrust into her again.
She remembered what he'd told her of India, of the way the light danced through the trees, of the deep greens and golds and crimsons. She wondered whether it could possibly be as magical as he'd made it sound. And then discovered she didn't care, because the journey they were now taking was one he'd promised her in love and one she'd accepted on faith.
#23 – Fire
Jack heard a faint, unearthly scream and the 'Pearl shuddered. Her main mast had been struck by lightning, and she now burned. He turned to Elizabeth, to tell her that they had to put it out, and then saw that the daft woman was already climbing the rigging, trying to beat at the flames with her bare hands. And then the downpour began, and the flames died, and he could almost hear the 'Pearl sigh in every board and rope.
#24 - Strength
She didn't scream or cry out as any other woman might have. She didn't plead with God or lash out with curses. She merely paled, icing-white, and clenched at the braided rope he put in her hands as he cut out the ball from her shoulder. Her first pistol wound, and she took it like a hero. It was part of why he loved her so.
#25 – Mask
It fell away when he was sleeping, that facade of bravery and cockiness. It changed the lines of his face, turned it into something alternately sweeter and sadder. The age was there, surely, but so faint. He was charmed. Something from the sea, neither old nor young, and the masks he chose to wear never gave any hint of the truth. Except when he was with her, at rest, like this.
#26 – Ice
She jerked at the first touch of it, burning a trail down her belly. "One of the benefits of sailing in a colder clime," she heard his voice rumble, somewhere down below, as the ice melted its way down towards her core. And then she heard his lips make a sucking sound and he was above her, his mouth on hers, cold tongue twirling around her own hot one.
#27 – Fall
She watched the lad plummet to the deck, unaware that she'd screamed until she realized they were all staring at her, puzzled. And then she saw the rope clutched in the cabin boy's hand, heard his gleeful laugh as he swung out and dropped into the ocean below. When she next saw Jack, he was following the lad's example, grinning gleefully and howling like a monkey as he cannonballed into the rest of his crew who were already splashing in the waves.
#28 – Forgotten
She couldn't remember the steps, it had been too long. She felt awkward, unwomanly, stupid in her breeches as she tried to carry off what had once been common knowledge in a ballroom. How her father would mourn to see her now. Before she could fall deeper into her sad thoughts, Jack had put his arm around her waist and drawn her close.
#29 – Dance
He could see her sad eyes as she listened to Ragetti play, could see her take a few hesitating steps and then falter. This wouldn't do. He put his arm around her waist and drew her close, and then gently swung her into the steps of the dance. When she looked shocked, he only smiled, "Consider it knowledge picked up along the way."
Cold and still and... unreal. Looking down at the body of the girl, she realized she'd never seen a dead woman. She swayed a moment, then turned her head and was violently sick. She could feel Jack rubbing her back as she vomited, tears running down her face. The girl looked for all the world like a broken doll, discarded in the mud. "So sad, so sad," was all she kept groaning.
#31 – Sacred
He had never been a church man (impersonations not withstanding), but he knew what he believed in: the sea, the 'Pearl, and Elizabeth. And being with them all, all three women, made up some mad triad of goddesses to him. Blessed Virgin Mother, wise old woman, and maidenly love. Only not so maidenly anymore. Their lines had all blurred and melded and shifted, each to the other. And so it was sacred to him, this trinity, these three things he loved most in the world.
(note: as a Catholic, I really get into the "Star of the Sea" aspect of Mary. As a former pagan, I see the beauty in the trinity.)
He'd never gotten used to them, never gotten to be easy with them. He would nod, shake a hand, tip his hat and be on his way. And so when he laid Cotton to rest, he found he had no words for the old man or his noble death. Cotton had been too damned old to go adventuring with them, he should never have let him stay on. Elizabeth and the rest of them looked at him expectantly, and he could feel his throat closing up. She took his hand, squeezed it and smiled gently. "It's alright," she whispered, somehow knowing, "He was grateful for every day you gave him on the 'Pearl." And something loosened in him and Jack suddenly found that he could say farewell, after all.
(note: Sorry! Nothing against Cotton!)
#33 – World
Sometimes she thought they'd covered all of it. Other times, she knew they hadn't even covered half. Still so much to see and do, and every day an adventure. Every day there was something new to find, some new treasure to discover (some literal, she was to find, as Jack seemed to have something cached everywhere). This was what she'd always wanted. And having it with him, her love, made it more beautiful than she could have imagined.
#34 - Formal
He scratched at his bum, idly, detesting this outfit and all its fussiness. "Stop it," she hissed, "Remember, you're supposed to be playing a gentleman." He sighed and let her straighten his waistcoat, still fuming over the necessity of having to have trimmed his beard braids and tightly pulling back his mess of hair into some semblance of a queue. He scratched again, belched softly, and heard her groan, "This will never work."
#35 – Fever
Sometimes she wept, sometimes she cursed, other times she brokenly called out for her mother. Those were the times that made him ache for her most, for what she was going through, those times she cried out like a little girl. He continued to feed her the remedies that the doctor had given him, continued to pray to everyone and everything that might be listening and cursed himself for ever letting her step foot onto that malaria-ridden swamp. And through it all, Jack endured James Norrington's reproach, haunting him every time he stepped foot onto his own deck.
(note: also from a work in progress, circa DMC)
#36 – Laugh
When she was tipsy, she had a delicious laugh, almost like a little girl. He found it obscenely arousing, especially when she dissolved into giggles, gasping and clutching at him. Other times, she had a low chuckle and a knowing smile that always tied his belly in knots, making him want to drag her into the cabin and lock the door.
#37 – Lies
She'd learned to live with them, especially since they were never directed at her anymore. No matter what, he'd promised to tell her the truth once they'd settled their feelings, and he had. Truth was, she was often amused by the amazing lies he told to people around him, often for their own good.
#38 - Forever
Silly word, really. No one knew what was waiting on the next tide, no one knew what was coming, so no one could promise it. Gibbs had discarded that particular word many years ago, when his own Jenny had promised it to him, and then leapt into the sea when he didn't return soon enough. No. That word was a bitter pill, and one he didn't intend to swallow.
Note: Ties into something I'd referenced about Gibbs' before. Someday I'll have to write Jenny's story.
She wasn't sure what to say as Ragetti held out his hands to her, lilies dripping water onto the deck. "Thought ye might like them," he told her, smiling that filthy but sweet smile, and she felt her eyes well with tears. "Oh yes," she told him, and took them from him. When she kissed his cheek and his eyes grew wide with wonder, she thought he might know how she felt after all.
#40 – Whisper
Their voices were all sibilants and breaths behind the closed door, encouraging and pleading and softly laughing. Norrington swallowed as he listened, telling himself to walk away, damning himself for being unable to. He still wanted her, still ached when he saw her, and knowing that she was now the source of that pleasured whispering in the pirate's cabin made him burn.
(note: obviously circa DMC, obviously in my "Curiosity" AU)
#41 – Wait
She made him sit there with his back turned while she dressed, telling him she had a surprise. Jack had never been good at patience, but he was trying very, very hard... he dared a peek over his shoulder and earned himself a clout on the head. "Wait, I said," came her growling voice. Damn women, he thought, eyes in the backs of their heads. "Now," he heard her say and he whirled around to see Elizabeth in the moonlight. Wearing nothing but the ropes of pearls he'd brought her.
#42 – Talk
They liked to share their watches together, not only because it meant they could be together when not on watch, but because they would sit on deck and talk. Of everything. Of nothing. Gibbs would hear them spinning tales for each other and making plans, telling jokes and memories and snatches of old songs. There's a pairing, right enough, he thought to himself and smiled fondly at the gold head and the dark, close together and whispering.
#43 – Search
"I spy, wiv my lil' eye..." Ragetti was chanting, fumbling around on the deck below him. Ah. The damn eyeball had popped out again. That was it. Jack was going to buy him a nice new one, and then bloody well insist that the man wear a damn patch to cover it, to boot. It would make him look more dashing anywa... "Aaaaaay!" Jack yelped as he slid on the eyeball that had rolled under his foot, and crashed down onto the deck.
#44 – Hope
"Esperanza is a lovely name," Elizabeth murmured, looking down at the daughter of Will and Maria Turner, "Just like her lovely mama." Maria turned her dark Spanish eyes to Elizabeth, smiling gratefully and Will squeezed her hand. Elizabeth had no idea why they'd chosen her to be godmother, but godmother she would be.
(note: Esperanza means "hope" in Spanish, if you didn't know...)
#45 – Eclipse
There was none to match her beauty. None could come close, none ever would. She eclipsed them all and left them colorless in her wake. Watching his lady dance across the deck, her sword flashing as she fought, Jack knew that he'd spend the rest of his life breathing Elizabeth in and claiming her as his own.
#46 - Gravity
"Hold still," he hissed, "the bloody thing won't hold if you keep leaping about." The two of them balanced precariously on the board slung across the two rooftops, wobbling in the moonlight. "Another foot, and that hayrick will be under..." Jack's words cut off as the board snapped from their combined weight and he and Elizabeth went tumbling 15 feet down into the manure pile below. There was a pause as they felt themselves for broken bones, and then Elizabeth cursed, "Damn Newton anyway."
(note: Hey, gravity is period...)
"Before I wanted to be a pirate, I wanted to be a highwayman. Woman. Highwaywoman. You know." She was adorably drunk, hiccuping and wearing nothing but his hat and his unbuttoned coat as she lay draped across the bed. "Yes, and what a picture you'd be if you were got up like that. I'd certainly give you all my money," he grinned at her, tossing her a coin.
"You mean you seriously have no idea of where we are? You've never sailed here before?" She was the perfect picture of astonishment and he almost felt guilty for fibbing. But it was so damn fun to shock her, and she trusted him so much that it was easy. "Nope, never. We'll mostly likely meet our death on some unseen reef, never to be seen again." Whoops. Too much. Her eyes had narrowed suspiciously and she smacked him in the shoulder.
Treasure troves were meant to be opened. And she was certainly a treasure. He just had to figure out how to unlock her, how to coax her to open up for him. He watched her sitting on the steps, sighing and looking quite forlorn. That wouldn't do at all. He sauntered over to her with rum bottle in hand, "My tremendous intuitive sense of the female creature tells me that you are troubled..."
(note: Obviously DMC.)
"Let it out, let it go," he was murmuring to her, rocking her as the last of her shudders subsided. He was still inside her and absolutely disinclined to move. She looked up into his face, her eyes full of tears and wonder, "I didn't think it would be like that... be so... amazing." She smiled then, a much older and wiser smile than the Elizabeth of an hour ago. Then she tensed, and squeezed. From inside. And he felt all rational thought leave his head in the same moment the breath left his chest in a rush of renewed desire.