Disclaimer: I do not own Pirates of the Caribbean or any of its characters. I only own Constance. I've been working on this story since the first movie came out, and it's gone through some massive editing to keep it from being clichéd. I've already started work on Dead Man's Chest, in which I have tons of surprises lined up, and I've got a few ideas brewing for At World's End.
ALSO! The movies originally take place between 1734, when Will is rescued as a boy, to 1743, during AWE. I've changed this to later years to fit a certain twist I have involving certain real pirates.
Prologue: The Crossing from England
"We pillage, we plunder, we rifle, and loot. Drink up me 'earties, yo ho. We kidnap, and ravage, and don't give a hoot. Drink up me 'earties, yo ho. Yo ho, yo ho. A pirate's life for me."
Thirteen-year-old Constance Swann sang with a rather bored, high-pitched tone of voice. A gray, impenetrable wall of fog rested before her as she stood at the bow rail, gazing at the sea. The Winged Victory maidenhead loomed in front of the British dreadnought, the H.M.S. Dauntless. Formidable, frightening, twenty-five gun ports on the side, and rail guns to boot.
Her mother, Mary Cormac-Swann, had died a few months ago, just at the passing of the New Year. When her father had been named Governor of Port Royal in Jamaica, he decided it was best to move. He said it would help them all to move on and recover more easily from her unexpected death Next to her, her sister, the twelve-year-old Elizabeth, looked into the distance with a far off gaze. She was sadly missing England, and didn't understand why their father had to make them leave. Sure, he was now Governor of Port Royal, but why did she and her sister have to go with him? There were plenty of boarding schools they could have stayed in. She hated it, and wanted to be back home with her friends. Not to mention she was bored stiff and, while she loved the pirate song, her sibling's singing was starting to annoy her.
"We extort, we pilfer, we filch, and sack. Drink up – oh!" A sudden hand on her shoulder cut her voice off, and both girls turned, startled, to see Joshamee Gibbs. The man was, quite honestly, born old.
"Quiet, missy! Cursed pirates sail these waters. You don't want to bring them down on us, now, do 'ya?" he asked warily.
"Mr. Gibbs!" Captain Norrington shouted warningly, staring down the older man. Norrington, to Constance's mind, was a dashing young man but Royal Navy to the core and, therefore, of no interest to her. He was glaring sternly at Gibbs. Standing beside him was her father, Governor Weatherby Swann, a man obviously of the high station on board with brass buttons on his thick red jacket and curled brown wig.
"She was singing about pirates," he explained, quickly releasing her arm. "Bad luck to be singing about pirates with us mired in this unnatural fog. Mark my words."
"Consider them marked," Norrington stated snidely with an air of superiority. "On your way."
"Aye, Captain. It's bad luck to have women on board, too," he reasoned, looking warily at the Swann sisters. "Even miniature ones." He then returned to his deck-swabbing duties, surreptitiously taking a quick swig from the flask dangling around his neck.
"I think it'd be rather exciting to meet a pirate," Elizabeth stated. Constance complete agreed as Norrington moved to stand on the other side of her.
"Think again, misses. Vile and dissolute creatures, the lot of them. I intend to see to it that any man who sails under a pirate flag or wears a pirate brand gets what he deserves – a short drop and sudden stop," he stated, smiling quickly at them. Both girls looked confused until they glanced at Gibbs, who mimed a hanging with his handkerchief, causing them to gasp frightfully.
"Lieutenant Norrington, I appreciate your fervor, but I'm, uh, I'm concerned about the effect this subject will have upon my daughters," Swann said hesitantly and Norrington gave his apologies, moving away to attend his duties.
"Actually, I find it all fascinating," Elizabeth commented excitedly with a smile.
"Yes. That's what concerns me," Swann stated and began to walk away until his second daughter's voice came to his ears.
"But it must be so adventurous to be a pirate, complete freedom from all rules and regulations," Constance added, following her father carefully. "What's so wrong with wanting a bit of adventure? A bit of fun?"
"That, my troublesome child, is precisely why you were not allowed leave the manor unattended," he told her. "Constance, we will be landing in Port Royal soon and begin our new lives. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we compose ourselves as befits our class and station?"
"Yes, father," she replied dutifully. Chastised, she turned away, to look out over the bow rail. "I still think it would be exciting to meet a pirate…" Elizabeth walked over and placed a comforting hand on her older sister's shoulder.
"Don't fret, Constance. One day, we'll both be pirates and we'll have our own adventures."
"That's easy for you to say. Father adores you! He would do anything for you. Me? He won't even let me out of his sight."
"That's because you he found out you were sneaking out to the smithy every night, learning how to throw daggers and sword play from Uncle Gregory," Elizabeth argued, but Constance just hung her head sheepishly.
Truthfully, Constance had been sneaking out to learn those things from her uncle. What Elizabeth and her father didn't know though was that her mother had asked Gregory to teach her such things, but only the dagger throwing. The sword play her mother taught her. When asked how she knew such things, Mary told her daughter about her own adventures at sea with a man named Jack.
She always spoke so fondly of him, much more so than she ever had her father. All that Constance knew about Jack, however, besides the great fun that he and her mother had at sea, was that he was the captain of a ship and was dead. Her mother always cried at the mention of his death, but never mentioned how he died. It had only been a few weeks, three months at the most, before her mother fell ill, sentenced to her bed and, after that, her father had stopped the activities all together when he caught her sneaking in one night. His startling her led to a dangerous response from Constance.
"He didn't find me out," she argued quietly.
"Are you certain, because I think him getting a dagger in his wig, attaching it to the wall when he scared you, was you being found out," she retorted, smiling.
"It doesn't matter!" she retorted hotly. "You might have to live our dream of adventure for both of us, Elizabeth."
They let the silence fall between them as they started to walk along the ship. As they looked down into the water, dreaming of the adventure they longed for, they spotted a parasol. Elizabeth, finding it absolutely fascinating, leaned over to watch it spin against the waves. When the water pushed it further away, she looked up again and saw a piece of driftwood with a boy on it, completely unconscious.
"Look! A boy! There's a boy in the water!" she exclaimed. Constance gasped, joining her in pointing to the near dead boy. Norrington shouted 'man overboard', ordered the ropes to be manned, a hook fetched, and to have the boy hauled up. As soon as he was on board, Norrington noted that he was still breathing.
"Mary, mother of God!" Gibbs exclaimed, leaning over the edge.
The others on the ship soon joined him and the saw that the sea was no longer as empty as it had appeared before. Wreckage from a ship litters the water, along with the bodies of its crew. What was left of the ship's hull burned, a ragged British flag hanging limply from the stern. The Dauntless slipped silently through it all, voices hushed.
"What happened?" Swann asked in absolute shock. Constance looked up at her father. Is he daft? Isn't it obvious what happened? A bloody stupid git father is sometimes, she thought.
"It's most likely the powder magazine. Merchant vessels run heavily armed," Norrington commented reasonably as if it was nothing.
"A lot of good it did them," Gibbs remarked, earning a dirty look from Norrington. "Everyone's thinking it, I'm just saying it. Pirates!"
"There's no proof of that," Swann immediately protested. "It was probably an accident."
"Rouse the Captain immediately," Norrington ordered, moving about the ship in a frenzy. "Heave to and take in sail. Launch the boats." They needed to look for more survivors, if there were any.
"Constance, Elizabeth, I want you to accompany the boy. He'll be in your charge. Take care of him." Both girls nodded and their father turned to join Norrington, Groves, Gillette, and the captain. While Elizabeth went over to the boy, Constance followed her father and gently tugged on the coat of his arm.
"Father," she began, "was it really pirates that attacked that ship, like Mr. Gibbs said?"
"No need to worry, Miss Swann," Private Groves told her with a charming smile. "There are no pirates that would dare sail these waters, especially in a fog such as this. Crazy though they may be, they know better than to test the elements. You have nothing to worry about."
"Yes, Constance. Private Groves here is right," her father stated with a kind smile and nod to the man. "Now, go help your sister with the boy."
"Yes, Father." She gave a small curtsey and walked over to Elizabeth, just in time to see the boy's head drop to the floor and get a look at Elizabeth's fear stricken face.
"Has he said anything?" Norrington asked beside Constance, who looked at her sister and knew instantly that she was hiding something behind her back.
"His name is William Turner. That's all I found out," she stated carefully, avoiding the Captain's gaze a bit as he ordered the sailors to take him below. As soon as Norrington left, Constance went to her sister's side and asked what happened. "H-He's a pirate," she whispered, showing her the gold pirate medallion as they huddled closely together.
"There can't be! He's too young to be a pirate," she argued sensibly, and Elizabeth nodded half-heartedly. "I'll go below, and try to get him warmed up a bit. Blankets are still under the bed, right?" Elizabeth nodded and Constance left quietly, not noticing the pirate ship in the distance like her sister had.
A few moments after arriving in the quarters William would be staying in, having been brought down by two deckhands, Constance gently placed a few blankets over him. Once the last blanket was on, he began to stir once again. Sitting on the edge of the bed, the girl felt a bit out of place. According to her father, in his own special way, Elizabeth was supposed to be there when he woke up. But, there she was, looking down at him and shifting uncomfortably. She moved to get up, knowing she wasn't the right person to deal with this sort of thing, but William suddenly grabbed her wrist. Constance turned back with a gasp, and looked down at the wide eyes, brown eyed boy in a mixture of shock and amazement. Despite his being soaking wet and cold to the bone, he was a little cute.
"W-Who are you?" the fourteen-year-old stuttered, still a bit hazy. "W-Where's Elizabeth?" Constance fought the urge to roll her eyes as she sat down on the edge of the bed once more; her sisters charm never failed, and it didn't even matter that she was only twelve.
"Hello, William. My name's Constance Swann, I'm Elizabeth's older sister," she told him. "I'll be watching over you." He nodded with a sigh of relief, and she brushed some of his hair out of his face. "Just go to sleep, and we'll be at Port Royal when you wake up."
"I-I don't know w-what happened," he said suddenly, and she could only guess he meant the fire. "I-It just happened so fast that…I didn't…" he trailed off sadly, not meeting her gaze.
"Go to sleep, William. Everything will be all right now, I promise."
"W-What do I…what do we do now?" he asked her.
"Hope for the best, prepare for the worst," she told him simply. Her mother had always said that.
She took his hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze before tucking it under the blankets. He smiled up at her and she smiled back before getting up to leave. As she turned to leave, Constance turned back to Will, knelt down and kissed his cheek. Will looked shocked, to say the least, but smile again as she left the room for real, allowing him to go to sleep. What neither he or the sisters knew was that they would be led on the adventure of a lifetime years later, and one of them would have to make a choice for all of them.
P.S.: Five pages total.