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.
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.
Chapter 18: New Horizon
"Jack Sparrow, be it known that you have been arrested for your willful commission of crimes against the crown. Said crimes being numerous in quantity and sinister in nature, the most egregious of these to be cited herewith – piracy, smuggling…"
"This is wrong," Elizabeth stated vehemently. To her right stood both her father and future husband; to her left stood Constance. All of them stood at a podium, listening to an official read a proclamation as Jack stood at the gallows, waiting to be hanged.
"Commodore Norrington is bound by the law. As are we all." Swann told his daughter, not sounding the least bit regretful about Jack's fate.
"But you're the Governor of this port," Constance protested earnestly. "Can't you do something? Stop this, please, father! He's innocent!"
"…Impersonating an officer of the Spanish Royal Navy, impersonating a cleric of the Church of England, sailing under false colors, arson, kidnapping, looting, poaching, brigandage, pilfering, depravity, depredation, and general lawlessness," the official droned.
"Okay, maybe not completely innocent," she corrected at her father's pointed look, "but he is a good man."
"No! He will not be spared, and that is all I will hear on the matter!"
"Fine," she huffed and turned her attention back to Jack. "Where are you?" she muttered.
"Where's who?" Elizabeth asked her quietly, as not to let her father hear.
"No one," she replied quickly, eyes searching the crowd. "No one."
The official was almost finished when Will walked through crowd. Constance spotted him first and smiled in relief, taking a step closer to the ledge. He looked very handsome, dressed much more lavishly than he had ever been previously in his life. He actually owns a hat now, she thought amusedly. She had hoped to speak to him first, but Elizabeth, Norrington, and her father noticed him before she had a chance.
"Governor Swann. Commodore. Constance. Elizabeth," he greeted with a nod to each individual. "I should have told you every day from the moment I met you," he continued. Constance knew what was coming next, but noticed that his gaze lingered on her before going to Elizabeth. "I love you," he told her. She gaped at him, blushing under the shocked stares of her father and Norrington. Before another word could be said, to either chaste or yell at Will, he walked away.
"…And or these crimes you have been sentenced to be, on this day, hung by the neck until dead. May God have mercy on your soul," the official finished. The noose was put around Jack's neck and Constance looked up at the sky, hoping an answer would appear. It was a flash of blue and yellow that caught her eye, and she smiled as she saw Cotton's parrot. Turning to her sister, she quickly pulled her into a tight hug.
"Goodbye," she whispered, eyes shut tightly.
"Where are you going?" Elizabeth asked her as they pulled away from each other.
"To help save me captain," she replied with a wink, purposely ruining her grammer.
"But-But...Will? You –"
"He doesn't love me. He loves you; he just admitted it," she explained, smiling though her heart broke. "So, take care of him, or I'll drag you out to sea by the keel," she threatened good-naturedly.
She nodded in the direction of the flag poles and, as soon as Elizabeth's back was turned, Constance took off around the corner. She ripped off her dress as she hid from the crowd, Will's old clothing that she'd been wearing on her little adventure had been underneath the whole time, the long dress hiding her boots. She quickly pulled off the top of a barrel, reached inside, and pulled out the satchel of treasure she'd taken, her sword and new pistol. She shoved the pistol into the front of her pants and belted her sword around her waist. The next three items were Jack's effects: his cutlass, compass, and a brand new pistol. Where his hat had gotten to, she had no idea. The drums sounded and she distinctly heard Will shouted for everyone to move. There was no turning back now. Constance pulled the last item out of the barrel, her three sided hat, and dashed out into the crowd just in time to see Will throw his sword as Jack fell through. The sword stuck in the wood and Jack had a foothold, saving himself. Will fought his way up to the gallows and cut Jack free from above. He jumped off the side, pulling his sword out after Jack cut his bonds, prepared to fight. Constance rushed over to them, tossing Jack his sword in the process.
"Captain," she greeted, back to the gallows and sword out at the ready. Jack just smiled and silently thanked her, hands folded as if in prayer.
"'Captain'?" Will questioned, watching as she handed Jack the rest of his things.
"I don't think now's the best time!" she told him urgently. The three fought against the red jacketed Navy men. They fought all the way up to the tower that Elizabeth had originally fallen from, which led to Constance being introduced to Jack. They fought until they were cornered there by Norrington's men. They were completely surrounded and, not only that, but Norrington, Elizabeth, and Governor Swann were standing before Will and Constance as they stood protectively in front of Jack.
"Constance, what in the name of God are you wearing?" Swann questioned, looking his eldest child up and down scandalously. Constance rolled her eyes at him; was he honestly worried about what she was wearing right now?
"The standard required uniform of a pirate," she retorted easily.
"WHAT! You will come over here right this instant!" he ordered furiously.
"I'm adult, Father," she reminded him calmly. "I make my own choices, and I choose piracy." Looking over at Jack, she nodded and smiled.
"I thought we might have to endure some manner of ill-conceived escape attempt but not from you," Norrington commented snidely to Will. "Especially not from you Miss Swann," he added, looking at Constance with disdain. She simply glared back.
"On our return to Port Royal, I granted you clemency," Swann said to Will, sounding as though he realized he'd made the biggest mistake of her life. "And, as for you, Constance! All the years I've taken care of you, loved and cherished you after your mother's passing, and this is how you thank me? This is how both of you thank me? By throwing in your lot with him? He's a pirate!"
"And a good man," Will retorted. Constance saw Jack, out of the corner of her eyes, point to himself proudly, mouthing to the soldiers 'That's me'. "If all I have achieved here is that the hangman will earn two pairs of boots instead of one, so be it. At least my conscience will be clear."
"Make that three pairs," Constance added tersely.
"You forget your places, Turner, Miss," Norrington replied, the few shreds of respect he had for either of them gone.
"It's right here," Will replied with vehement ease, "between you and Jack."
"As is mine," Constance added calmly.
"Constance!" Swann exclaimed, completely aghast.
"Mine as well," Elizabeth stated, quickly moving to stand next to Will. Constance couldn't help but smile proudly at her sister, standing on the other side of Will.
"Elizabeth!" Swann gasped in shock. "Lower your weapons. For goodness' sake put them down!" he ordered frantically, and the weapons are lowered.
"So, this is where your heart truly lies, then?" Norrington asked her. Elizabeth's arm was wrapped around Will's, and she almost felt bad for Norrington as he sounded so distraught.
"It is," she answered. Jack suddenly poked Constance in her back and nodded towards the sky. She looked up and saw Cotton's parrot. Smiling, she sheathed her sword and watched Jack amusedly.
"Well! I'm actually feeling rather good about this. I think we've all arrived at a very special place, eh? Spiritually… ecumenically… grammatically," he said to Swann, getting close to his face, much to the governor's disgust. Jack then turned bravely to Norrington. "I want you to know that I was rooting for you, mate. Know that." Jack turned and walked out of the circle of soldiers. "Elizabeth," he said, getting her attention, "it would never have worked between us, darling. I'm sorry," he said, shaking his head solemnly. Constance stifled a laugh at her sister's disturbed look. "Will…nice hat," he said, for lack of anything better to say. Will just laughed at him, nodding.
"Keelhaul Connie, join me, lass!" he shouted. He reached around Will and grabbed her hand, pulling her with him to the ledge of the battlement. The soldier's followed them, guns raised. "Friends, this is the day that you will always remember as the day that –" Constance, having spotted the Pearl on the horizon, pushed Jack over battlement.
"Constance!" Will gasped in shock, gaping at her. She just shrugged coyly and smiled.
"Look well into the horizon, William Turner," she said, tipping her head to him. With one last look at her family and dearest friend, she quickly turned and dove over the battlement. As soon as she hit the water, she felt a familiar rush. It was the same exact feeling she'd had been she'd been kicked off the plank of the Pearl by Bo'Sun. It was exhilarating to be under the water, but she knew she had to come up soon. Before she even broke the surface, she saw Jack swimming towards something. When she popped up behind him, she saw it was a rope.
"I'll be havin' words wit' yew later," he promised angrily, grabbing her around her waist as he tugged the rope. Jack and Constance were quickly heaved onboard the Black Pearl, flying above the crew and wringing themselves dry against the wind as they held onto each other. As the rope slackened and they landed on the stern deck with a thump, they looked around at the crew. Constance noted that she received a few confused looks, but nothing hostile. Taking the initiative, Gibbs stepped up to both of them.
"I thought you were supposed to keep to the Code," Jack commented to Gibbs pointedly, remembering how they'd left him. Gibbs looked around at the crew before looking back at Jack.
"We figured they were more actual…guidelines," he replied, smiling as he held both Jack and Constance to their feet. Cotton stepped up to Jack, who promptly thanked him as his hat was returned to him.
"Captain Sparrow, the Black Pearl is yours," Ana Maria told him. She stepped away from the wheel and actually smiled as she placed Jack's coat on his shoulders. Jack lovingly ran a hand along the rail, and then took the wheel into his tired hands. It felt good, it felt right, to be back in his hands. Even after ten years, he enjoyed touching the wheel of his ship. A smile crept onto his face, a genuine smile, and that was when he realized his crew was watching him. The smile quickly faded and he quickly shifted to 'Captain' mode.
"On deck, you scabrous dogs! Man the braces! Let down and haul to run free!" Jack barked, and the crowd immediately cleared. "Ana Maria, trim the mainsail!"
"Aye, aye, sir!" she replied.
"Mr. Gibbs, organize a cleaning detail – you an' Cotton. I want every inch of the Pearl spic-an'-span an' ship-shape!" he added, and Gibbs actually stomped the deck after executing a salute.
"Well, I can honestly say, you're the worst pirate I've ever heard of," Constance told Jack with a mischievous smile. "You're a man who can be trusted, who can be counted on, and who can't betray his friends. What kind of pirate is that?" she questioned, crossing her arms.
"The worst," Jack admitted easily. "On the other hand," he continued smartly, "maybe I'm a man 'ew can't pass up a chance for revenge against tha black-hearted bastard 'ew stole me ship an' left me ta die in the middle o'tha ocean – twice! – and 'ew knows 'ow to get what 'e wants." Constance pretended to contemplate his words before grinning at him.
"Now that's a great pirate," she told him honestly. Jack nodded to her, smiling at the praise. "Well, Captain, what are your orders for me?"
"What ye do best, luv," he replied as he pulled out his compass.
"And that is…?"
"Don' know yet. Why don' ye go off an' figure it out down on deck, wit' the rest o' tha crew?" he retorted pointedly. Under different circumstance, she would've slapped him for talking to her as if she was inferior to him, but now she really was so it didn't matter. She chose this, and she couldn't be happier. Constance smiled as she saluted him obediently, turning and rushing to help Ana Maria with the sails.
"Told yew ye was a pirate," Ana Maria greeted with a proud smile.
"Yes, ye were right," she replied, taking a rope that was handed to her, "this time," she added cheekily.
"And yer name?" she asked. Constance looked at her confusedly before realizing that Constance Swann wasn't a good pirate name. She needed a new name to go with her new life.
"Jack calls me Keelhaul Connie, but I think Connie will do just fine."
"Welcome home then, Connie." Ana Maria squeezed her drinking partner's shoulder affectionately before leaving to help Gibbs and Cotton.
"Home," she muttered thoughtfully to herself. Turning around, Constance looked at Jack. He stood at the wheel, compass in hand and a smirk on his face. He got his ship back, and all was right with the world. She noticed that he was moving his lips, and laughed a little as she recognized the words 'really bad eggs'. He was singing the song she'd taught him, consciously or not. Whether or not he knew what he was doing, he was sailing them into what she was sure was uncharted waters. This was my life now, she thought. "Home," she repeated and smiled, looking out at the crystal clear sea of the Caribbean.
P.S.: Six pages total.