Title: Never Say We Die

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Disclaimer: The words are mine, the worlds are not.

Rating: T

Summary: Ten years, three pirates, and one fate, entwined. 3 x 500 words.

Spoilers: "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" (2007)

Notes: The ending of this movie destroyed me. And so: working around it, just a bit.


One: Elizabeth to Will

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Oh, Will. I wish I could say that I was strong and serene the entire time you were gone, from the moment the Flying Dutchman vanished from the horizon until the moment you were returned to me. It would make for a prettier tale, I know. But it would be a lie.

All I could think, as I stood on that beach with your heart beating in that chest beside me, was that after all I had been through in the last few days-- the misunderstandings between us, the journey beyond world's end, losing my father and James, becoming a pirate Lord and then King, surviving the final battles with Davy Jones and the East India Trading Company-- there I was, alone on the sand with no fortune and no livelihood after only one day of marriage. I didn't know if you'd be able to send me anything while you were away; I didn't even know if anything more would come of our wedding night.

I only knew that I regretted nothing we had done together, and that ten years might as well be forever.

I cried myself to sleep often at the beginning; those first few days, with only a dinghy between myself and the sea, were tough going, especially with your chest to protect. I couldn't return to Port Royal, not after everything that had happened; for all I knew, there was still a warrant out for my arrest. I didn't know where else to go but Tortuga, and even Tortuga had changed after Beckett's predations.

I don't know what I would have done, if it hadn't been for Anamaria. She'd finally found a ship and left the Black Pearl behind, but the crackdown on piracy had driven her to seek a more legitimate source of funds. She needed a likeminded partner, however, to be the public face of her business, and as the widowed, well-born Mrs. Turner I was useful to her.

It hasn't always been easy, but compared to what I've already faced, such lesser trials are as nothing. After your first letter found me I was able to sleep more easily at night, and soon I had little Will to keep me company. Jack comes by every now and again to check up on us, and sometimes Tia Dalma appears to me at night, bringing visions of you. For all she's suffered due to love, the goddess of the sea has a soft spot for you, I think.

And now-- now I'm the independent widow Turner. I have enough money to do whatever I like, within reason; I have Anamaria and little Will, and we've taken in a few more of the Pearl's crew over the years as they retired. I have your letters, and the dreams. It might not be the life I wished for when I was a little girl, but I wouldn't take any of it back.

I love you.

Now, come. We have a lot of time to make up for...


Two: Will to Jack

--

Jack! It's good to see you again. I've been expecting you.

Have you forgotten what I do for a living? I ferried Barbossa through a few days ago. He had plenty to say on the subject of the Pearl; he never was quite resigned to the fact that she was your ship before she was his. And now she'll be yours forever, if I'm not mistaken-- provided you keep a better watch of your crew.

Honestly, Jack, even you should have started going grey by now. Did you think I wouldn't notice? Besides, I'm the one who stole those charts in the first place. There were a lot more locations marked by those turning circles than just the End of the World. I know what you gave up when you put Jones' heart in my hand, and I expected you'd find some way to make it up to yourself sooner or later. It's just as well; I knew if I ever had to offer you a chance to join my crew the usual way, there'd be trouble. There's only room for one Captain on this ship, and I can't see you ever accepting any title less than Captain Jack Sparrow.

Elizabeth tells me you've been to see her and our son; I'd like to thank you for that. There's so little I can do for her while I'm at sea, and it'll be a long while yet-- Calypso willing-- before she joins me on the Dutchman. If she does. I'm not sure yet whether I should ask that of her, though I expect she'll make her own mind up on the subject, as she always does.

I still miss her, Jack. Every day. I didn't know that was possible; I remember when Tia Dalma first told us about Davy Jones, and how he carved his own heart out to stop himself from feeling such pain. Maybe it's that Elizabeth keeps it with her instead of buried on an island, but my love for her and the ache of her absence have never dimmed.

What did you plan on doing with your one day, I wonder? Who would you have visited, had you pierced the heart yourself and taken the Dutchman's helm?

Tell Elizabeth that, when next you see her. I'm sure she'll find it as amusing as I do. And-- now that I think on it, while you're there--

My son will be old enough, soon, to handle a sword of his own. Would you take mine to him? I didn't take it with me when I was last ashore, but he should have it. It's the last I ever made, for Norrington's promotion ceremony back before this all started; it ended up killing the both of us, but there's no curse in the steel itself, and there's little else I can bequeath him.

Well, it's time I was going; there's work to be done. Tell your father I'll be seeing him soon.

Fair sailing, Jack. Until the next time.


Three: Jack to Elizabeth

--

'Ello, luv. Surprised to see me so soon?

So soon after what? Will's visit, of course! Saw him just the other day, proud as anything of what you've been up to without him. 'Course, I didn't tell him about you and me...

Hey! Think of the boy! What kind of behavior are you setting an example of for him? Don't want him to think he can go around hitting pirate captains whenever he pleases!

All right, all right, down to business. I've a package for you from Will-- he sent his sword for the boy, and a letter for you-- but I was already on my way before I run into him, on account of I've got the Pearl back and I thought you might like to take her out for a bit.

Don't give me that look, lass; I know you've got yon little 'un to think of, and maybe another on the way... lad never does miss, have you noticed? Just a short trip, no pirating, I promise. Just to the colonies and back; there's somewhat there as doesn't travel that I think you'd appreciate the seeing of. And the drinking of. No, not rum.

Think on it, luv. When young Will's grown and taken a wife of his own, and you've nothing left to stay for, what do you plan on doing? Cast yourself in the waters and whistle up the Dutchman to carry you away in wedded bliss? Might work-- but her captain'll still be all of twenty-one, and you a wrinkled old woman by then. Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind-- have I introduced you to me mum?-- but I thought you might not have had the thinking of such thoughts yet, and if things get much worse over to the Colonies the Fountain might not be around forever. Limited time offer, if you follow.

Man's got to think of his future, hasn't he? It's one thing to look forward to being the last pirate in the world, but the last pirate but one? And him the captain of the Dutchman? Eternity gets a mite unappealing when your only prospective company's gone squidfaced on account of losing the love of his life.

Suspicious wench, aren't you? Well, I might have a teensy weensy little detour planned on the way back. To Shipwreck Cove, is all. Haven't forgotten the last time we met there, have you? There's been a slight problem with precedence since we burnt up the nine pieces of eight; we'd have a time calling the Brethren Court in an emergency as things stand. Captain Teague asked, next time I passed this way, if I'd bring you by for a chat. Officially pass your Lordship on and all. Won't take but a minute.

So what d'you say, luv? One last tour of the Caribbean, for old times' sake? Anamaria can watch young Will for you, and you'll be back before you know it.

That's the spirit. You won't regret this. I promise.

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