A/N: Thanks for the reviews!

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I love her.

That was all he could think. Perhaps that was all he knew. Perhaps that was all there was to his world now. But almost gone. One last shard, just about to be shattered.

One day on land, ten days at sea.

Forever.

How many times can I see her?

He would be living this way forever, but she was still mortal.

Elizabeth!

It seemed so impossible that someday... she would be gone and he would see her again for the last time, ferrying her soul to the next world. It seemed so impossible that someday he would have to live knowing she was not there, waiting for him. But it would happen.

Perhaps only six or seven times.

And all because of bloody Jack Sparrow.

"It's always belonged to you," he said, indicating the chest with his heart beating inside it. "Will you keep it safe for me?" And she looked at him tenderly.

"Yes. Yes!" And she ran to him, the sunset glowing behind them, and they threw their arms around each other in a last farewell embrace. And the sun sank lower.

"Keep a weather eye on the horizon," he whispered now. It was interesting to know his father, to be a captain, but his world was empty without her.

And Jack had saved him. He was almost certain that Jack would stab the heart himself, for his own personal gain, after all, he had never known Jack to do anything he didn't profit from it. And he was almost certain that Jack would be free to love Elizabeth if he died. But Jack had given him his life again, after that terrible and excrutiating pain... He did not want to think about the pain. He would think about Elizabeth--she was all he wanted to think about.

There was the legend, his father had said, about the lover remaining faithful. Could it be true? He knew she would stay there, waiting for ten years.

How long was ten years? He had never bothered counting. But now, it was all so heavy on him--ten years, without Elizabeth, of seeing the same flickering light on the same ceaselessly moving water. Doing the same thing, ferrying dead souls.

Elizabeth would wait. She would stay strong, wouldn't she? He had seen how she had grown up since the day Norrington proposed.

"The Brethren Court will look to the Black Pearl to lead, and what will they see? They will see free men! They will see freedom!"

"Gentlemen," she cried, her voice full of passion and strength, "Hoist the colors!"

She would stay strong at heart, and meanwhile... he would remember. He would count off every day of every of the ten years, and when there were none left to count, he would be sailing to the island on the Flying Dutchman, and when she looked up into the Caribbean sunset, she would see a flash of green on the horizon.