Characters: Tia, Elizabeth - Implied DJ/Calypso and Sparabeth
Summary: On the journey to Worlds's End a temptress past and a temptress present share their stories.
Disclaimer: PoTC doesn't belong to me? Shocked? Yep. Me too.
It's starting to grow cold, this close to the world's end. The crew's breath mists on the late night air, and the rum is no longer hot in the Caribbean sun but cold in the desolate shadows of the no mans land. She rubs her hands together, trying to work the warmth back into them, yet it is a futile effort.
A part of her savors the crisp wind and revels in the night air that chilled her to her bones. It convinces her that she is still alive in whole. It kills her suspicions that she killed herself that day too. Her heart didn't drown with the Pearl, it was still alive and beating. No matter how strained its song was.
A bitter smile pulled at her lips as she took another swig of rum. The sting of the amber liquid doesn't singe her anymore and she misses the bite. Instead the sharp spice was pleasant, reminding her of times past, the haunting taste of freedom and salt water.
Truly, she was a pirate now. He would have been so proud of her.
She walks on the deck of the ship, watching the icy shadows intermingle with the moonlight with apathetic eyes. Sleep always eluded her at this hour. There were too many memories loitering at the edge of her consciousness. Too many demons waiting to show themselves in the form of dreams.
Her lip curled upwards in a sneer. Dreams? Each and everyone turned to a nightmare.
With a long sigh she stopped her course and looked out over the railing of the ship. Ocean and glaciers stretched on all around them and the ethereal forms looked ghostly in the scant celestial light. She found herself wishing for morning, even thought that would do nothing to kill the chill in the air.
Another swig of rum and she felt that much warmer.
Among the low thunder of the creaking ship and the gently swaying sails, she heard another sound. High pitched and haunting among the snores of the crew. The sound sounded like a child's music box, and she followed it, curious. The song tugged at her, filled her with such a feeling of melancholy remorse and longing that it was all she could do to hold in tears.
What a dreadful tune.
Her search led her to the stern of the ship and the Haitian witch doctor. She curbed her surprise there at seeing the usually bright and flamboyant woman positioned so precariously out over the water. Tia Dalma, she remembered Will introducing them, but she usually avoided the other woman. She unnerved her too much. There was something in her eyes that stripped her too the core, made her feel see through and known. She hated that feeling. There was magic and storms swimming in those coal black eyes, and it chilled her more than the weather ever could.
In the priestesses hands was a silver locket. From a distance it appeared to be in the shape of the heart, but the faint lines and gouges implied another form all together. Elizabeth tilted her head curiously as the other woman let the haunting tune play. Her dark hands traced the locket longingly and there was such a sorrow in the other woman's eyes. She paused, hesitant to intervene on the oddly private scene.
For her awkward position she didn't seem misplaced. The ocean wind slid around her almost fondly, and the priestess leaned into its caress, as if she needed the support. Dark against the pale scenery the other woman didn't stand out against the sea, she blended right in.
"Don' you know it be rude ta stare."
Elizabeth jumped, and silence once again covered the ship as Tia snapped the locket shut.
"My apologies." Elizabeth said, and turned to leave.
"Non' needed." She turned around to see the other woman right behind her and Tia laughed softly. "Sorry for start'lin ya."
Elizabeth nodded, and once again walked over to the edge of the ship. To her surprise the other woman joined her. They had become very good at avoiding each other over the voyage. Elizabeth was usually with Barbossa, arguing and squeezing as much information as she could out of him. When she wasn't with Barbossa she was with Will, no matter how distant he seemed to her lately. Tia Dalma preferred the company of the crew. She could hold her liquor as well as any man, and had enough stories about the sea to give Gibbs a run for his money.
She smirked there. The old superstition about a woman on a ship seemed to have died.
"Why be you out so late? The chill not be so fierce below da deck." The other asked after a moment. Curiosity lined her voice.
She shrugged, "Can't sleep." She answered, "what's your excuse?"
A small smile crept onto Tia's face, but she didn't answer. An immortal didn't need to sleep, but Elizabeth didn't need to know that.
The other woman didn't answer, and she quelled the urge to roll her eyes. "Your locket, it plays a very nice tune."
Tia shrugged, her eyes gazed over the sea again. "It keep' da cold away." She admitted, and Elizabeth smiled, she understood that.
Silence stretched again, harsh and brimming with questions.
"We be with Jack by next night." The other told her then, and Elizabeth didn't bother to ask her how she knew. She just did. "Dere over world's edge. You be ready?"
She stiffened, "of course." Her heart picked up in speed. Part of her didn't think that they would find Jack, that this was a fool's errand at the beckoning of a woman whose grip on sanity was debatable. The pirate in her though, the part that believed in ghost stories, looked forward to the next day with all of her heart.
Then, softly, she added, "I just don't know if Jack will be happy to see me."
Tia laughed softly, "I 'ouldn't be worry'in much 'bout dat."
"You don't understand." Elizabeth said.
A dark brow raised, "I 'ouldn't? Deres much betray'l on da seas, I know much of it all." Tia had looked down at the locket again, her eyes glazed over with some emotion Elizabeth couldn't name. "Dere is much betrayal." She whispered, "dere much forgive'n too."
Elizabeth snorted, the mystic couldn't possibly understand. No one could possibly understand. She had condemned a man, an truly good man, to an eternity of hell. How could someone do that? She knew Jack cared for her – why else would he return her kiss like that? His touch had been as desperate as hers and she had led him to his death by playing on that emotion. How could she ever profess to even marginally care for him if she did that? How cans he condemn a man to eternity? She clasped her hands together then, trying to fight of the chill that had become more prominent as the shadows of the glaciers came upon them.
"You speak as if from experience."
The mystic smiled. "not the kind you be think'in."
Elizabeth turned to face the other woman, curious now. "What kind then?"
Tia smiled softly, tracing a deeply colored hand against the locket. "I loved tru'ly once, long ago. This song plays for him, with him. That be why I not be sleep'in this night." She put the locket in a hidden pocket in her dress. "Or any other." She whispered. Her deep accent dropping as something ancient and unplacable slipped through.
Elizabeth nodded in understanding. A love lost? That was a common occurrence, especially with the sea going lot of men. "Who was he?" Elizabeth asked, knowing it was none of her business, yet wanting to.
"A man of the sea." Tia carefully said after a moments consideration, her eyes downcast. "Then by the sea he be reclaimed. He be beyond my reach now."
There was silence for a few moments, then Tia asked, "You seem to be goin' through much trouble for the Jack. What be mov'in ye to come dis far?"
"I owe him. He didn't deserve to die like that." Elizabeth said hurriedly, her eyes darted furtively.
Tia smiled, the small knowing smile that Elizabeth usually avoided her for. "Death has an odd way of re'serting her hold on ye mortals. It not be som'tin to waste you own life over."
Elizabeth snorted, gesturing to the hidden locket. "You have obviously not let go. Your words are empty."
Tia nodded, "True, yet I only said he be beyond my reach. Reclaimed by the sea and its mistress."
Elizabeth frowned, trying to sort through another riddle. She shook her head and took another swig of rum, giving up.
"Jack be cheat'in death, though. You be gettin' another chance."
Elizabeth snorted, thinking of Will, of her father, of everyone else who weighed down her decisions. She just didn't know anymore. She truly didn't.
Tia touched her shoulder lightly, the way a mother would a child. "Love rarely be havin' more than one chance. Fickle human hearts getin' in the way an' all. Take what the fates be given you, an' don be look'in back."
"What makes you think I love him?"
"Love, hate. They often be two sides of same coin. If not love, then comradeship. Even the best of friends can be lost." The priestess smiled bitterly, her eyes dark and far away. "You be hav'in a second chance. Don spoil it, like da ones before you."
Elizabeth smiled, seeing daybreak on the horizon. "And for you? Will you be having a second chance?"
The mystic smiled sadly. "Dere be no more chance for me. De have wasted too many al'ready."
Elizabeth nodded, understanding the emotion that weighed down the other woman's voice. She touched Tia's shoulder softly as she turned to leave. "I'm sure he loved you. He's probably still waiting for you."
She left then. Most likely off to challenge the captain or try to have another awkward with her blacksmith. Tia watched her go until she was swallowed by the cold morning shadows. She sighed then, bringing the locket back out. The familiar tune drifted up to her and she sighed at its familiarity.
Another chance? She had hers. One day every ten years. Ten times she did not show. One time sealed her fate, and now she was mortal. She had no chance again, even though, she longed . . .
She snapped the locket shut with a hard gesture. He had probably grown tired of waiting for her. She was most likely no more than a distant memory. A specter in a past that had started to blur with the endless years.
Tears pricked at the corner of her eyes, and she angrily swatted them away. In this form she felt emotion more acutely. She felt regret over times past. She felt anger and pain over betrayal. Betrayal . . . the young girl actually thought that she understood that. Jack understood the measures she took. And a woman who will betray for love is a special kind of woman.
What she did though . . . what she did was unforgivable.
Someday Hades would welcome her back with open arms.
And he wouldn't be there to join her.
It was all her fault too.
She drew the locket out with shaking hands, needing to hear it. The song played as long as his heart beat. Long ago he had said that his heart had beat for her, and had cut it out to prove his devotion. She had spurned his gift. Taking what he offered, and giving nothing back.
Like a pirate.
Even a Goddess felt regret though, longing over times past. An untamable sea – her. It's mistress, its master, and yet she knew what it was like to be anchored to something solid. It had felt warm and bright and wonderful.
It had scared her.
Like a pirate she had ran.
Now she pays the price. "Soon." She whispered to the drifting notes. "Soon we be together. An dey will know my fury."
The notes held no answer for her. Floating away to echo and resonate with another locket a thousand miles away.
Still, she had begun to hope.