A PIRATE'S LOVE

"Mother, are you sure about this?" the young and handsome man asked as he fiddled with a piece-of-eight. He was nineteen, definitely old enough to strike out on his own. Was this why she was doing this?

"Yes, Will." There was no argument in her voice. She knew the costs of what she was doing, and was prepared to pay the price. She missed her husband fiercely, even though she only saw him less than a week ago. It wasn't enough, not in the least.

William Turner III sighed as he turned away from his mother. They had already said their goodbyes, and she was prepared to leave. This had just been the last time he had attempted to change her mind, though he knew she was just as stubborn as he was. "Farewell, mother. I must return to my smithy. Give father my regards when you meet him." With those final words he was gone.

Mrs. Elizabeth Swann Turner smiled sadly as she watched her son, who looked so much like his father, turn and walk away. He was a brave young man, and she and Will both were proud of him. They were both also very glad that he hadn't followed in his parents' example and become a pirate. Pirates were becoming more and more rare, what with all nations building up their navies. It was much safer to be the respected blacksmith that he was.

She gave a little sigh as she steeled herself. Walking the rest of the way to the docks with a small chest over her shoulder she hoped that her plans would see fruition. She was fourty for God's sake! She had seen her husband far too few times to be happy. Well, now she was going to solve the problem.

"Excuse me! Captain of the Danna Marie?" she called out and the man aboard the deck of a merchant ship turned to face her. He had a weathered but cheerful face, and his features lit up upon seeing her still beautiful form.

"Yes, milady?"

"I've heard you'll be sailing through the worst of the storm season…is this true?"

The man looked thoughtful for a few moments, as though he were judging her. "Aye, 'tis true. But what would a young lass like yourself be wanting with that information?"

Elizabeth only smiled.

XOXOXOXOX

William Turner, both captain and slave to the Flying Dutchman, stood proudly at the helm as his ship cut through the typhoon as though it didn't exist. True, he would have to return to the end of the world soon, but he needed new crew members. He had let several go recently, and his ship was a bit undermanned. "Mister Turner!" he roared over the noise of the wind and waves, and instantly his father was by his side. "Do you see it?"

"Aye, Cap'n!" his father bellowed. "What ship be it?"

Will peered through the torrents of rain at the shipwreck that was stranded on a reef. Hopefully some would still be alive. His heart fell when he saw the name. "It's the Danna Marie!" He personally knew the captain, as they had met occasionally while the Marie made her runs. Will had helped them through more than one sticky situation. Sure, it was against the rules, but the last captain of the Dutchman was too cruel, could not the current one be too merciful? "Prepare the boarding crew, and then take the helm. I've got to go over…Captain Matthews was a good man."

Bill Turner nodded and left quickly, hailing the crew. Will strapped on his blade, and sighed as he once again looked over the broken and ruined form of the ship. Though he doubted that the men of this particular ship would fight him, he still wanted to be prepared. Men would be desperate upon his arrival. After all, who wanted to see the captain of the Flying Dutchman on their ship as they lay dying?

As Will approached the cutter, he paused to listen to his crew banter. Just listening to them sometimes amazed him, for though they were enemies once, they were grateful to him for returning them to their original bodies. Any references to his days as their enemy was general in a joking tone. One of the crew's favorite topics was the giant wheel from the mill. That one always had them laughing.

He chuckled as he jumped down into the boat, the craft rocking only slightly from his landing. "Alright men. Heave to, let's get over there."

XOXOXOXOX

Pain and cold and wet. That was all that she was aware of. Something was thudding loudly near her in deep, steady beats, and she focused on it, trying to stay awake. Shouts and cries of pain surrounded her, and she questioned the intelligence of her plan. What if he didn't come? What if he had left permanently, until ten years have passed? What would happen when he had to escort her soul?

She coughed weakly, and then had to bite off a scream. Something...in…her stomach. She cracked open her eyes and looked down. Immediately she regretted it. There was a section of the yardarm impaled through her. How the bloody hell did that get there? She didn't have long, and she knew it. "Will," she gasped weakly, but the soft cry was lost in the storm. Gathering her strength, she screamed at the top of her lungs, "WIIILLLLLLLLLL!"

XOXOXOXOX

He stood on the prow of the boat, watching as the wreck slowly loomed over him. He already could hear the voices of the damned calling out for help, for anything. He groaned, hating this particular aspect of his job. Shepherding the dead was not so hard, and he enjoyed talking with some of them. But the survivors of the wrecks…they were beyond talking, and could only be recruited or killed out of mercy.

It was then that he heard it. Someone shouting his name, someone he loved with his entire being. "Elizabeth," he whispered, and the next second he leapt off the boat and began moving through the water like a ghost. Before even thirty seconds had passed, though it seemed like eternity, he was on the ruined ship, looking for his wife.

There, pinned beneath the yardarm…he froze, shock stopping the breath in his throat. She was impaled by the yardarm! "NOOO!" he bellowed as he sprinted to her. Sliding to a halt next to her, he grabbed her cold hands and lightly slapped her face, trying to rouse her.

She slowly opened her eyes, and he sagged with relief. "Elizabeth, listen to me! Do you fear death?" he nearly shouted, and for a minute, she didn't react. "Beloved!"

She gasped, trying to draw in a breath. "Yes…I fear death…because…it would…separate us…for eternity."

"Elizabeth, answer me! Do you wish to embrace death here, or be pressed into servitude aboard the Dutchman?"

She coughed, and blood spurted from her mouth, covering her chin and chest. "What…do you…think, Will?"

He carefully cradled her in his arms and lifted her off of the wooden beam spearing her through. "So be it, Mrs. Elizabeth Turner. As my power as captain of the Flying Dutchman allows me, I press you into immortal service, your term lasting as long as you will."

The change was immediate. The gaping wound in her stomach closed rapidly, not even leaving a scar in its wake. Her pallor returned to the tan of before, bringing her back from that horridly pale color. He laughed in relief as he drew her close to him in a tight embrace even as the rain continued to pour down on them. Now they were together forever.

He breathed in her scent as they both clung to each other. "My God, how I've missed you!" he groaned as he pulled back to look over his wife. A few lines were noticeable at the edges of her eyes, mouth, and forehead, but other than that, she was still the beautiful woman he had married in the middle of a sea battle twenty years ago. "Our son?"

"He sends you his regards, and apologizes for not being able to meet you last time you came. He has followed your footsteps and become a blacksmith. You can be proud of him."

"I already am," Will smiled. "Come, after we finish here, I will bring you back to my ship…and our quarters," he smirked.

Elizabeth smiled back as she took his hand and stood. An eternity with her husband…it truly was a wonderful thing, a pirate's love…

FIN