Disclaimer: I don't own Pirates of the Caribbean or any of that stuff o.o
Summary: With all the stuff from World's End over with and after a few days of spending time in Tortuga, Gibbs and the crew sail back with the Black Pearl, good as new. Elizabeth is eager to go along with them to sail around the Caribbean, but Will is reluctant and wants to go back to a life free of piracy. Will she settle down with him and finally get married to him or will she choose the Black Pearl and the freedom it represents?
Pairings: Implications of Sparrabeth and Willabeth
Dedication: For Jacob, may your memory live on in my heart as you rest in peace. Maybe one day I'll find the courage to visit your grave.
Rating: PG (for safety)
Author's Notes: I'm mostly a supporter of Willabeth... but I'm pretty open to any pairings; which is why I decided to make this more leading into Sparrabeth. This is just a short oneshot but I might make it into more of something later... we'll just have to see. Also, I apologize in advance if I make any of the characters a little OoC... just let me know, but please don't flame. Rating's for safety. I know how the Pearl is back and that the crew went to get it stuff might seem really farfetched or something... but meh, just go along with it haha. This is my first PotC fanfic... x3
She walked shortly behind the pirate captain now as they crossed directly from one end of Tortuga to the other where, to her surprise, the Black Pearl was waiting. It looked as wondrous as ever, it's black sails unmarked as if the Kraken attack had never happened and not a piece of the dark wood seemed out of place or missing from its sturdy frame. They found the crew there and greeted them eagerly, happy to be reunited after a long time of struggle. It was almost hard for Elizabeth Swann to believe that it was all over.
Moments later the captain barked out a word of departure; for some unknown reason he wanted to leave Tortuga then. She could feel the blood pulse excitedly through her veins as she stepped forward toward the gangplank. A hand settled on her shoulder and when she turned around her blood ran cold and her grin quickly faded. Will looked up at her sadly, a weak smile playing on his lips as he brought his hands down to take hers into his.
"Elizabeth..." he said softly, as he began to pull her a little closer, "let's go..." Elizabeth instinctively pulled away from his rough hands, finding it hard not to want to break eye contact with him.
"No," she told him gently and yet firmly, taking a small step away from him, a cold shiver running down her spine despite the warm Caribbean breeze that swept by.
"But Elizabeth," he pleaded, trying to beg her to listen, "this is all over... Jack doesn't need our help anymore... and maybe now... we could actually get married...?" He hadn't intended for it to come out as a question and she could tell that his confidence was wavering. He raised a finger to gently caress her cheek before trying to wrap his arms around her lovingly. But she pulled away.
She shook her head wordlessly, her teeth biting down onto her lower lip. It was all she could do to keep from crying, not knowing for sure what she wanted. She looked over her shoulder, desperately wanting not to have to look back into his pleading eyes. The Pearl was waiting for her, and this was her chance to have freedom... because that was what the Black Pearl really was.
"You can come too..." she whispered imploringly, "you don't have to go... you don't have to, Will..." He did not answer, the light in his eyes did not return, and the sort of half smile that had existed before was now long gone.
"Will... I don't want you to go..." She added, unsure if that was completely a lie or not.
"Yes you do," he told her calmly, forcing a small smile again, "you don't want me to hold you down. You don't want me to take away your freedom." She eyed him guiltily, finding it harder and harder to look him in the eye.
"You wouldn't..." she protested in spite of herself. She couldn't hold back the feeling that he was right... and that scared her. She didn't want to go back to that kind of life... piracy... was her life... there was pirate in his blood, why couldn't he feel the same way?
"Goodbye Miss Swann."
She watched sadly as Will let out a sort of defeated sigh, his eyes lowering down to settle on the engagement ring he had given her. Her hand flew to the finger that he was glancing at, fumbling thoughtfully around the ring. She slid it slowly off of her finger, not daring to meet the pained look in his eyes. She clasped her palm around it and held out her hand for him to take. And he did accept it back, reluctantly, of course. But as he did so, she noticed a sort of cold mien beginning to settle over him, similar to the one he had seemed to develop after he had seen her kissing Jack on the Pearl. Elizabeth looked apologetically at him, knowing that Will was probably really hurt by this... but... wouldn't he be hurt more if she only pretended to love him back? She didn't want to do that to him...
For a moment they both stared at one another, neither daring to say a word.
"Oi! Wot's takin' so long? Are ye coming or not?" Jack's impatient voice broke the silence and Elizabeth turned around to face him, his eyes burrowing expectantly into hers. She ignored the sparkle in his eye as he glanced at her, despite the troubled look at that seemed to grow on his face. "We'll be out of here soon." Elizabeth nodded quickly, spinning around to plead to Will one last time, but-
He was already gone, making his way back throught the crowded street until he disappeared from sight completely. A small tear formed in the corner of her eye before gently making its slow trek down her cheek, its salty, bittersweet taste grazing her lip as it made its way down. She raised a hand to wipe her eyes and cheek before any more tears could be sprung, telling herself repeatedly that this was for the best.
How desperately she wanted to run after him... and yet... another part of her didn't. A part of her was actually glad that he had decided not to come. She scorned herself inwardly for this as her legs involuntarily carried her up the rest of the way of the gangplank where she avoided the curious gaze of the captain.
"He's not coming?"
There was a long uncomfortable pause between the two of them as the crew of the ship made the last few preparations before getting underway. She noticed his dark eyes flicker from the street and back to her. Finally sick of the sight of Tortuga and not being able to glance at the street he had disappeared into any longer, she began to walk away.
"Lizzie," Jack said seriously, the usual smirk seeming to leave his voice for the moment. She brought herself to a reluctant halt before turning back to glance at him. "Are you really sure about this?"
That was a hard question really. But too much thought about it now would only slow things down. She wasn't entirely sure of what she wanted, that much was true, but it would take far too much time to come up with the real decision she was looking for. She closed her eyes, listening intently to the sound of the wind caressing the risen black sails, the sounds of the crewmembers behind them working away, the sound of the waves lapping lightly up against the ship... this was what she wanted, she told herself. Freedom.
"Yes," she managed to choke out, her fingers circling disappointedly around her bare ring finger as she tried hard to keep her quivering lip from lowering the confidence in her voice and breaking into a sob, "I am sure." She paused, her eyes lowering to stare at the deck of the ship. "Do you think we'll see him again?"
"Who, Will? It's possible," Jack replied, crossing over to her with a bottle of rum in each hand, "jus' not really likely. He doesn't really seem to be all that impressed with piracy. A shame, isn't it?" He pushed the rum into her hands, the smirk returning to his lips. He put an arm around her and Elizabeth was surprised to find herself not pulling away as she had done to Will. "Try not to think about it too much, Lizzie," he added, raising his half empty bottle up, "we've got the Pearl back; our freedom back. I think it's only fit that tonight we celebrate."
"Then why aren't we staying in Tortuga?"
"We've waited 'ere too long," he explained as the ship began to slowly drift away from Tortuga's shore, as if on cue, "got to get back to piratin' sometime, eh?" He raised the bottle to his lips and took a long drink, Elizabeth narrowing her eyes slightly before finally letting out a small smile.
"How much longer do you think piracy will be around in the Caribbean?" She asked, her mind flickering by images of Norrington and Beckett. If she had just thrown away her old life for a new life that would be short-lived... then that would be disappointing. The sacrifices she had just made would have been for nothing. She moved slightly closer to him, eying the bottle in her hands before taking a drink herself.
"Does it matter? I, for one, plan on terrorizing the sea until the day I die... who can be sure how long that'll be? Beckett still might be chasing after us, luv... but tonight... we drink to freedom." Elizabeth quietly stood there leaning against him, letting her head nod forward in agreement as she raised the bottle once more.
More A/N: I hope you liked it... please be sure to review and tell me what you thought about it. Or something. xP