A Small Measure of Peace

"You're sure of this, Miss Elizabeth?" Gibbs asked for what she was certain was the five-hundred-twenty-seventh time. In fact, she was so sure of this, she expressed that number to him, to which he responded, very disgruntled, "It's only been forty-five times, Cap'n. But you are sure of this, then?"

She nodded as the two of them stood on the dock beside the Black Pearl. Her clothes fluttered in the gentle breeze, which waved her hair about. She fingered the hilts of the rapier and katana in her belt, gazing over the large ship that she had come to call home for what she was fairly certain to be the last time. "Joshamee, I've never been surer of anything in my life."

He nodded, in understanding. "Well, Sao-Feng's armada is looking for a new leader. You know where we'll be. You ever want to say hello, need our services, come calling. We'll be there."

She smiled at the old sailor's loyalty. "Thank you, Gibbs." She clapped his shoulder, and handed him Jack's compass.

"Miss Elizabeth, no…"

"Please, it should stay with the Pearl and her Captain," she told him. "Besides," she added, staring up into the hills, "I already know the bearing of what I want most in this world."

He nodded. "As you wish, Miss Elizabeth." He swept off his hat in a practiced gesture that she was sure he'd learned from Jack, saying, "Au revoir." And as he returned to the Pearl, she strode up the long dirt path, never looking back once.

She walked up the long path, rising over the grassy hills, and back down into one of the valleys. And then she did turn back to look, for she knew that she wouldn't see the Pearl. And, strangely enough, she did not miss it. Then again, perhaps it wasn't so strange, she mused. There were so many bad memories, so many hard experiences, so many rough times, and so few happy memories. That was what made the real difference between where she went, and the place she left behind. Well, that and one other thing…

She smiled to herself as she walked the dirt trail, she took in every last bit of her surroundings, that which she would live on for the rest of her life. She couldn't think of anywhere else in the world she'd rather be. It's all I could ask for in this world; just some small measure of peace. After the long walk down the warmly familiar path, she came back to the dwelling that she had come to love. Talking of which…

She paused at the door, debating for the longest time what to say. Finally, she decided to wing it, and pushed open the door. Mindful to take off her boots, she stepped through the room and found Kira deep in meditation. It took everything in her to not simply drop all pretence and run to her, but she held out, knowing that this would make her return that much better.

Mindful of the floor's creaks and other giveaways, she snuck up very close to the girl she'd missed so much. She silently set herself down on her knees, directly in front of her, their faces barely ten centimetres apart. As she watched the girl meditate, she drank in the features that were so familiar, the sheer presence of her that warmed her soul.

Then she opened her eyes, her meditation halted. Her eyes widened.

Elizabeth smiled. "Kira…I'm home."

Author's Afterword: I don't really know or care if anyone else likes how I end it, because I do. So I'm a closet romanticist; sue me. Anyone catch the 'Last Samurai' reference? If so, let me know, would you? I always like to know that the little nods and homages to other films and books I slip into everything I write are recognised for what they are.