A/N: I'm proud to announce the end of this tale. I hope you've enjoyed reading it as much as I've enjoyed the writing of it, and I hope to receive many reviews now that we've reached the conclusion. School starts in just a few short hours for me, as I've stayed up incredibly late to make sure I fulfilled my promise to you to get this chapter out before then. Thank you all for the amazing and wonderful support you've given me. It has meant so much! There will be a third installment to this series, which I will begin writing as soon as I've gotten into a rhythm with my new classes. Once you've finished reading 'Savarna', if you think of anything you'd like to see happen in the third book, feel free to drop me a line. I'll make sure to give you due thanks for any suggestions I use. I love you all - thanks again and I look forward to your comments! – Kimberlee
Laughter. It was all around him… mocking him. William couldn't stand the laughter and though it came from a million sources, all over the earth, the vision that dominated his brain was that of his mother, father, and Jack - dancing and laughing and looking as though they had not a care in the world… as though he had never existed. He wanted to scream at them, to cry and rage and storm. There were words being whispered at his ear, heavy and delicious words, like honey – and suddenly he knew what to do. William lifted his hand and without even saying a word, he focused on the ship just rounding the southern coast of Africa.
The storm answered his command.
Elizabeth did not need to be told twice; she ran to the cabin as fast as her legs would carry her over the water slicked deck. Left and right, crewmen were tossing off their costumes and stumbling toward their stations to secure the ship against the sudden onslaught. Their fear hung in the air with the sulfurous after-burn of the lightening and even Elizabeth needed to remind herself that the Savarna, under Jack's mother's protection, could not be sundered.
The ship rocked heavily in the choppy sea and Elizabeth stumbled just inside the cabin door. Falling to her knees, she scrambled the rest of the way across the floor to her trunk and pulled out breeches, a shirt and bandana. Throwing the clothing on, she didn't bother getting either of their swords – they would serve no purpose.
She hadn't even been inside five minutes, but when she opened the cabin door again, it looked at though the storm had tripled in size. Wind tore at her hair until she managed to secure the bandana around her head. It took a lot of effort just to walk across the deck, where several of Will's men were struggling to batten down the hatches with long strips of wood. Teague was at the helm, white-knuckled with the effort of fighting the squall.
Jack ran past Elizabeth, shouting orders she could only just hear above the wind. "Hands to halyards! Away aloft and cut the topsails! Weather quarters!"
Running to help the men at the mainmast, Elizabeth spotted Will and Bootstrap frantically loosening the lines to adjust the sails. Her feet were still bare and as she stepped onto the rigging to attend to the tacks and braces along the yardarms, she realized that ice had begun to rime the lines.
The ship bobbed tumultuous in the wild sea, making Elizabeth cling to the ropes with tight fingers as she climbed 200-ft. to the top of the mainmast with Ragetti right behind her. An eternity seemed to pass as she eased out onto the yardarms to release the sails that would drag them back and away from their destination. Each sail was secured in four places, but with her on one side and Ragetti on the other, they managed to furl up the sails between the two of them.
Grabbing hold of a line and sliding down to the deck, the wind caught hold of Elizabeth with icy talons and would have blown her out over the water if Jack hadn't grabbed hold of her at the railing. "Careful, love!" he said before checking over the masts and bellowing, "Clear the braces!"
The call echoed along the deck despite the howling wind, as every sailor between the two masts took up the call. Men climbed out of the rigging, leaving only the triangular jib- and stay- sails in place. When the yardarms were empty, Jack turned and signaled to Teague at the helm. "Luff, Captain! Keep her steady!"
The remaining seven sails adjusted slightly, men falling into place to hold steady the lines for as long as necessary. The sails began to flutter violently in the wind, so hard that Elizabeth feared they would be torn away, but now the brigantine no longer seemed to be fighting quite so hard to stay on course. Unable to sail directly against the wind, they were now tacking at a close haul.
A nearby pirate began struggling with his line, the rope sliding through his wet hands. "Hold fast!" Elizabeth called as she ran to help before he lost it completely, but she did not get there fast enough. The line slipped from his hands, sending the main topgallant staysail tearing away into the night. "Reeve off those lines!" she called to the other men nearby, who quickly wound their ropes around the railing to better brace them.
Elizabeth turned back to where she had left Jack and saw him staring toward the bow, slack-jawed and wide-eyed in horror. Following his gaze, Elizabeth saw what he was looking at just as a clamor of fear rose audibly around her. In the distance, approaching the ship with deadly certainty, loomed a 100-ft. wall of water. A void preceded the immense wave, creating a cavern in the water through which Elizabeth thought she could see the ocean floor. At her right, Will swore beneath his breath, putting a hand on her shoulder. "What in God's name is it?" she screamed at him.
"The very thing Davy Jones sold his soul to overcome," Will answered, sounding bleak. I've collected many a lost soul who'd fallen beneath the awesome waves 'round the Cape of Good Hope, though this is the first one I've seen."
"We're doomed," Bootstrap said. "We'll be pooped!"
It seemed as though the wave approached in slow motion as Elizabeth watched the terrible rift in the ocean draw closer to the Savarna. She needed to move, to do something to prevent the monstrous wave from bringing about their certain deaths, but fear held them all frozen in place.
Suddenly, Jack turned to Elizabeth, grabbing her shoulders and pulling her close. "Man the yard… take Will with you!" he said loudly in her ear.
"What?" Elizabeth stared at him. "What do you want us to do?"
Casting a frantic look at the wave, Jack said, "Bootstrap's right; if the wave washes over the helm we'll be flung off course, and if we're turned across the waves... normally, we'd capsize, but I can't say for certain what will happen now. At the very least, we'll be washed away if we don't get above that behemoth. Wait for my signal and then shake out the main," he grinned fiercely. "We're going to go for a little ride."
She nodded grimly, but he was already off at a run toward the helm. Staring, she suddenly realized that he was clenching his mother's mermaid fetish in his fist. Elizabeth turned and grabbed Will by the arm, pulling him toward the mainmast. "Come on!"
"What did he say?" Will shouted at her.
"We've got to raise the mains'l again! Jack's going to save us!" she replied. "Follow me and watch Jack for the signal!"
Will hesitated as she began to climb again, but another glance at the approaching wave and he was fast on her heels. Balancing himself on the opposite side of the mast from Elizabeth, he helped her loosen the rigging holding the mainsail in place and then looked out over the ship toward the helm.
Jack's hand clasping the mermaid-shaped bead felt warm, but he paid it only the scantest attention. "Da!" he shouted, startling the man with the term of endearment. "Move aside; I've got an idea!" Teague offered no resistance, staring grimly at the looming wall of water and the deep cavern beneath it.
Adjusting their course slightly, the ship faltered in its forward momentum and hung in place for the barest of seconds. In that breath in which they were perfectly still, Jack shouted, "Now!" and raised one arm.
Elizabeth echoed the command she had not heard above the wind and both she and Will released the mainsail, following it down to tack the ends to the mast and the boom. Swinging down again on the loose line, Bootstrap caught and steadied Elizabeth before she was carried away, helping both her and Will keep the sail trim to catch as much of the gale as possible.
With a sail full of wind, Jack turned the wheel ever so slightly and the Savarna swiftly gained full speed in the opposite direction. The sound of crashing water behind them began to overpower the wind's wail as the hole in the ocean rapidly filled again by the crest's spill. The momentum helped push the ship forward and as the wave broke high in the air, the Savarna and her crew were carried up onto the top of the crest, surfing away from the storm.
Elizabeth and Will held tightly to their lines, arms straining against the pull of the wind as suddenly it began rushing at them from the opposite direction. Exchanging glances with each other they released the line, letting the ship coast out of danger under the power of the wave they now rode. They were moving faster than ever before, carried by the force of the dying wave. Collapsing to the deck, breathing heavily, Elizabeth realized that although they were being carried far off-course, the wave had not crashed down upon their heads and they were now out of the storm.
"Drop anchor!" Teague shouted. Marty repeated the command and several men rushed forward to turn the capstan, releasing the hook. At first it seemed to do no good as they flew across the water just as fast as ever, but at last the crew felt it hit and drag along the bottom and an exhausted cheer went up among them.
Turning about in the water, the ship came at last to a standstill with the current rushing by them on either side. For a time no one moved, recovering from the shock of their brush with death.
Teague took the wheel back from his son, pretending not to notice the pallor of Jack's face or the fact that he was sweating and had bitten his lip under the exertion of mounting the great wave. "Well done," he said with false composure.
Breathing heavily, Jack nodded. Searching the deck for Elizabeth, he found Will helping her to her feet, one arm around her waist and her hand in his. Before he even had a chance to feel jealous of the physical contact, she spotted Jack and tore away from Will, throwing herself into his arms.
"Jack, you did it!" she said, eyes gleaming through the exhaustion. She kissed him, grateful to be alive.
Will nodded in agreement, trying to mask the resentment rising in his chest. "That was… truly amazing," he said over the lump of conflicting emotion blocking his throat.
Jack nodded in thanks, holding Will's gaze firmly. No matter what the whelp said – no matter what he believed – he was having difficulty letting go, especially to Jack's benefit. The pirate could see it, and though he would not initiate a challenge against his rival, his look made it clear that he wouldn't back down either, if one were made. Aloud, he said, "Thanks, mate."
"What will we do now?" Elizabeth wondered, staring in the direction of the storm, which seemed to be abating in the distance. "If that's the way to William, and Will's heart, we'll have to find a way through it."
Jack pulled out his compass, but only had to glance under the lid to know that he was too worked up for it to show him what he needed to know, instead of what he already did know. Handing it to Elizabeth, he tried to look nonchalant as Will glowered at him.
Elizabeth held it up, turning it this way and that before nodding grimly. "It's no use," she said. "That's where it says to go. We'll have to figure out a way to get through it, or around it, or…" she paused, an odd expression coming over her face.
"What is it, love?" Jack asked. He could tell she had an idea.
"Is something wrong, Elizabeth?" Will asked worriedly.
With glazed eyes, Elizabeth shook her head slowly. Blinking, she turned to Will. "Will? What was that you said before? About Davy Jones's soul?"
Will looked confused, but nodded in the direction of the storm. "The Cape of Good Hope is notorious for it's foul weather and mountainous waves. Legend has it that Davy Jones sold his mortal soul to the Devil in order to round the Cape safely, and that's how he came to be cursed to roam the seas forever."
Jack thought he saw to where Elizabeth's mind was tending and took up the story. "But Calypso had fallen in love with the sailor and she came to offer him a way out; ten years of servitude, and afterward her would have her love for all of eternity. He was to meet her here at the Cape when the time was out but as we know, the fickle thing never showed."
Elizabeth nodded more fiercely, a small smile curving her lips. Looking at Jack she saw the understanding already in his eyes.
Will couldn't hide his frustration any longer. "What does any of that have to do with William?" he asked.
"Calypso's tied to this place," she answered determinedly. "If we can't get to her, we'll have to get her to come to us."
Rock sprouted up from the ground like a tall crater and the water that filled it was chill and clear. Calypso stared into its depths, watching the ship her daughter had protected from her sight for so many years. Finally being able to see it wasn't proving helpful though – the boy's injured feelings were making the Savarna's progress a difficult one. If he weren't careful, he'd kill them all before she had a chance to exact her revenge; all except Jack anyway.
In spite of the setbacks, she was curious to see what would happen next. They were a resilient and resourceful group of mortals, those she had set herself against. Admittedly, that was part of the fun. She enjoyed watching them scramble about trying to save their pointlessly short lives – in some cases made even more short and pointless by what she had in store for them.
William still hovered somewhere near the ceiling, but his mood seemed to have altered somewhat. He was no longer pulsing an angry white, but now a deep, sorrowful black. Calypso sighed. Mortals were infuriatingly unpredictable. He might not be able to survive the power she was imbuing him with and that would put a crimp in her plans. He couldn't die until he'd absorbed all of Jack's discarded power, and the boy still had a ways to go yet. Whispering soft words to calm him, she watched until the dark miasma surrounding him softened to a less dangerous shade of sickly green. A tear rolled down his cheek and she sighed again.
The delay in their arrival did not matter. She needed to time to prepare William for the change and the boy's stormy tantrum had given her more than enough of that. By the time they reached her palace beneath the cliffs of Madagascar, Calypso would be more than ready to receive her visitors… and welcome them accordingly.
Jack said nothing, and Will could see his uneasiness. "How on earth can we possibly bring her to us?" he asked, watching Jack's face carefully. Elizabeth did not give him time to answer.
"You made her go away – right after we returned from the Locker; you remember?" He nodded slowly. "You should be able to… draw her here again, shouldn't you? Her and William?"
For a moment, he was silent. Both Will and Elizabeth were watching him intently and Jack felt that even if he wanted to say no, he couldn't bare to disappoint her… or Will either, truth be told. "Won't know until we try, will we?" He said with a crooked smile.
Elizabeth's smile could have burned away the storm on its own. "Let's do it."
When apprised of the plan, Teague said nothing but it wasn't difficult to tell what he thought of it. His frown cast dark shadows over his careworn face, but he nodded and set his jaw.
"We should head back toward the Cape," Elizabeth said. "I don't know how these things work, but maybe it will be easier to draw her there than anywhere else."
Teague nodded. "The storm's died considerably," he said. "As long as it doesn't rise up against us when we get closer, it should be too difficult to hold a position at the tip."
"Up anchor!" Jack ordered, turning to the crew. "All hands make sail! Captain, go about and keep her steady!"
Rain fell on them again as they approached the Cape, but it was not the torrential downpour from earlier. Still, lightening and thunder boomed directly above them and Teague watched the sky carefully.
The entire crew was needed to hold the ship on course against the weather, and Elizabeth, Will and Jack threw themselves into the work as well. Jack found that Will was pacing him wherever he went and in spite of himself, he began moving faster as if it were a competition.
The ship rolled heavily beneath their feet and though many of the other pirates stumbled, both Will and Jack held their ground with stubborn determination.
"Are you lying to her?" Will asked. "You don't truly think you'll be able to call Calypso here, do you?"
"If anyone can," Jack grunted as he hauled a line in to secure it. "It'll be me."
"Because you're her grandson? Funny," Will said sarcastically. "You've never mentioned that little detail before."
Jack barked some orders to a group of men tending to the mizzenmast before going to help them, Will at his side. "Wasn't anyone's business but me own, mate," Jack said. Sparing a second to give him a fierce look, Jack added, "Still isn't, point of fact."
Will grabbed a brace line that had torn loose and began tying it off. "It's because of Calypso that we're in this mess," he accused. "She's taken William, manipulated us all into behaving as her puppets. If it weren't for her- "
"If it weren't for her, you'd still be dead now, wouldn't you?" Jack spun around to face him. "If it weren't for her, Elizabeth wouldn't have had to give her life to save your soul. You could have gone on your merry way and somehow, someway, I would have found a path to her heart and bed that didn't involve rescuing her from the Locker, facing the wrath of my dear granny, or more importantly, having to account for meself to you, Mr. Turner." His anger was barely in check, but he hauled on the rope he was holding as though trying to tear down the mast itself. The action pulled a corner of the sail loose from the goosenecks and with a muttered curse, Jack mounted the mast to the yardarm.
Will climbed with him. "That's what this whole thing is about, isn't it?" he demanded. "Elizabeth. Well, you certainly seem to have done well, in spite of the extra effort involved. I'm almost surprised you had the follow-thru to achieve it, but then – maybe such things are easy for the descendant of a goddess."
Jack froze. Turning slowly to Will, he said with deathly calm, "I'd be very careful 'bout what you're implying there, mate." They were balanced precariously on the slim boom rail, holding onto the mast for support against the combined force of the wind, rain and sea.
With a scornful smile, Will said, "Come now, Jack. We both know the truth about who and what you are. The things you've managed to do, time and again, despite the worst possible odds – and yet somehow, you've always emerged without a scratch." He shook his head incredulously. "I always wondered how a rum-soaked, double-dealing, scallywag such as you, managed it. I never dreamed it was because you had extra help."
"You don't know what you're talking about, mate," Jack said darkly, dropping to one knee to secure the sail.
Will kneeled so that they were eye-level again. "Admit it, Jack… you were behind all of this from the beginning, weren't you? You manipulated me into taking possession of the Dutchman so that I'd be out of the way while you went after Elizabeth. I only wonder – what will become of her when you've tired and moved on?"
They were on opposite sides of the mast and Jack was weaponless… but Will was not. In a flash of movement that startled both of them, Jack whipped around the mast and grabbed Will by the throat with one hand, lifting him up and pressing his back against the mast, while removing the pistol from the undead pirate's belt with the other. Pressing the barrel against Will's head, Jack face was twisted in anger, though his voice was deadly calm.
"Listen carefully, mate. There's only one way to dispose of you and as loath as I am to do it, I'll put a bullet in your skull before explaining myself to you again, savvy? First off: I had nothing to do with Tia's machinations, as she and I are friendly to one another, at best, out of familial obligations and that's all. Secondly: it was you who sought to stab Jones's heart and me who went to great efforts to prevent that very thing from happening – which you'll remember if you start thinking with your brain instead of that empty pit where your heart used to reside."
"Thirdly," Jack said, leaning forward for added emphasis. "If I had done what you suggested, I certainly wouldn't have waited ten years before going to Elizabeth, now would I?" He moved the gun from Will's forehead and pressed it up under the man's chin so that he could bring his face right into Will's. "And lastly," he growled. "Do not ever question my intention's toward Elizabeth. That's between her and meself, and were you any other man, that insinuation would have cost you your life."
Straightening up, he lifted the gun so that it pointed skyward and away from Will's person. "Do we understand each other, mate?" he asked evenly.
Will continued to glare at him, but Jack could see that there was something else in his eyes now, too – as though he had reached the conclusion he wanted but was not prepared for. "Just one more thing," Will said bitingly. With unnatural speed, Will reached out and grabbed his pistol away from Jack, turning it to aim at the pirate's chest. "Tell me the truth… do you honestly love Elizabeth?"
Jack stared at him. Jack knew he was immortal; he knew that Will knew it too – the gun was not so much a threat as a bond of truth between them. Around them the storm continued to pound the deck but did not threaten them as greatly as before. Looking down, Jack saw Elizabeth peering up at them quizzically, unable to see clearly through the rain. Holding tightly to the brace line, Jack met Will's eyes directly and for the first time, dropped all pretenses with the other man. The transformation in his person was startling enough – Jack could see that in Will's eyes, but he answered his question just the same. "Yes, I love her… more than I've ever loved anything in my Godforsaken life."
Lowering the gun, Will studied Jack's countenance. He believed him, surprising as that might be. In fact, he found that he believed everything Jack had just told him, despite his jealous suspicions. It was another assumption blown to pieces and it reminded Will of just how tired he was of the battle that had consumed his entire existence.
Will tucked the pistol back into his belt and hesitantly held out his hand for Jack to grasp. "I apologize," he said sincerely.
With only a slight hesitation himself, Jack took his hand and shook it once, firmly. "It's nearly time," he said. "We should get ready for…"
Will nodded, but did not release Jack's hand. "Jack… if you manage to do this…" he faltered. "We're square – that's all."
Jack looked away uncomfortably. "Never meant for it to turn out like this, mate," he said, irritated at the turn his emotions had taken.
"So you said… nor did I, for that matter. You'll take care of her?"
With a wry smile, Jack stared down at the woman in question. "As much as she needs and will let me, mate… I swear it."
When they finally returned to the deck, Elizabeth eyed them both with open suspicion but refrained from questioning them. Instead she smiled softly at Will before turning to Jack. "We're just about ready. Is there anything you need before we… do you know what to do?"
Ignoring the coiled mass of feeling in his breast, he gave her one of his most confident smiles, which was certain not to fool her. "No worries, love… just tell me where and when and ol' Jack'll handle the rest."
Not even Will was fooled by that, but mercifully, he just rolled his eyes. Elizabeth took a deep breath, trusting that Jack would pull it off the way he always seemed to. "Well then, we should decide how to proceed. Captain Teague said we'd be near the Cape's tip shortly."
Jack nodded. "I'm not certain how this will all work, love," he said honestly.
"Just make sure you bring Calypso here, and William."
"And then what?" Will asked.
Jack and Elizabeth exchanged looks. "Then," Elizabeth said, "I'll try and get to William while Jack produces our… leverage." She turned to Will. "Look after Jack," she asked him. "I don't know what will happen to him after he begins, but Calypso may try to stop him and he'll need all the help he can get."
Jack scowled but didn't argue – she was probably right.
Elizabeth continued, "Everyone should keep their eyes out for any sign of the heart. She needs one of us to captain the Dutchman and what we're about to do will make her very angry. Stay as far away from it as you can," she said to Will, "and I'll try and get to William before she does."
"I may be able to distract her," Will said. "But for how long, I don't know. She may still have some power over me and if I try to reach William myself…" he shook his head and sighed. "This is a bad idea," he grumbled. "There are too many ways in which this can go wrong."
To her surprise, it was Jack who defended the plan she had concocted. "We'll be fighting on our own turf and the element of surprise is on our side. Captain Teague couldn't join us on land if we simple proceed to wherever she's drawing us, and who knows what would await us when we got there." Jack gestured toward the helm, which they were approaching. "If anything, having the old man on our side means that even with whatever meteorological folderol she throws at us, we still have a fighting chance."
"I heard that," Teague said from above them. He looked dismal as they climbed the stairs to the helm. "We're in place now, if you're determined to go through with this."
Elizabeth turned to Jack who nodded, though his face was paler. "Where should I…" he gestured awkwardly.
She looked around, biting her lip. "Midship? That should give us some room to…"
Anxious, Will looked down the deck. The crew was hard at work fighting the winds, which appeared to be lessening with every second. "Let's begin then," he said. "We won't gain anything by waiting."
Meeting Jack's eyes, Elizabeth said quietly, "Do what you can to keep William safe," before going with Will to the lower deck. The two passed instructions along to the crew before getting into position – Will waiting for Jack directly between the two masts and Elizabeth taking a more concealed position behind the capstan.
Jack took a deep breath and began to follow when his father called to him. "Jackie…" unable to continue, he simply nodded.
Jack returned his nod before joining Will midship. He looked around as if to see that everyone was in place, and then took his mother's bead in hand and closed his eyes.
He had never consciously tried to invoke his mother's power before – to do so had always seemed somehow sacrilegious to Jack. Although he had developed a certain tendency to touch the thing from time to time, usually during moments in which he felt most in need of her, the few times he'd recognized her influence through his handling of the fetish, things had tended to not go as planned. He thus felt it better not to mess with such dangerously unpredictable forces, especially since that kind of power was so heavily attached to a life he'd denied long ago.
Truth be told, Jack didn't know if he'd know how to use the thing if he tried, or what the consequences would be. It was with the greatest trepidation that he made an effort to call upon his mother – to reach out to her spirit, wherever it may be, and ask her to lend him the power that just might save them all.
The response was instantaneous and distantly, he heard Will gasp in surprise. A warm, blue glow began exuding from his body, surrounding him with a light that made his skin tingle. He smelled the familiar, sweet aroma of Indian Frankincense – the oil his mother had always worn, though he'd had to bury his face in her gown to smell it over the cloying scent of the temple incense. The sensation of a hand caressing his face passed over him and suddenly, he felt a current of electricity flood his veins. Jack opened his eyes.
The world had taken on a rose-colored hue through the altered tone of the light coming out of every pore, but everything appeared to him clearly, in sharp detail. Every line in Will's face was visible to him and imminently beautiful. In awe, Jack looked around and studied everything in sight – the wood-grain surface of the ship, the fibers of the rope, the tiny crystalline drops of rain that fell all around him. Gasping, Jack turned when Elizabeth called his name, concern filling her voice. It was like looking into the heart of the sun - so radiant was she to his new eyes.
He stared at her as she came to him, reaching out to touch the sun bronzed skin of her face and although Will stepped forward in alarm, as if to stop him, Elizabeth took Jack's hand in hers and pressed it against her cheek, feeling a spark of energy flow between them. "Jack," she whispered. "Call them here."
Closing his eyes so as not to be further distracted by the magnificence of the world around him, Jack thought of his grandmother, forever known to him as Tia Dalma. Instantly her image appeared in his mind's eye; she was somewhere in a palatial cavern of the most exquisite design. William hung in the air before her, slowing being poisoned by the power that was meant for Jack, but which he had flown from more than thirty years ago.
In his mind, Jack reached for them and Tia Dalma turned to look, as though she could sense him there. It was like pulling on a rope. He yanked on the link between himself and the image and without even opening his eyes, he knew that he had done it. Will's sharp intake of breath only confirmed it.
The effort had taken the wind out of him, but Jack stood firm as he took in the expression of astonishment on his grandmother's face. He grinned – she had underestimated him, again. For the first time, Jack could see through Tia Dalma's mortal disguise. The energy that composed the goddess's true form would have blinded any ordinary person, but with his mother's power strengthening him, he could see the immense white core that was Calypso's essence. He could also tell by the color that she was angry – tainted by her fury, it was so great.
Calypso's dark eyes blazed. "How?" she growled fiercely at Jack. "How did you manage to draw us here? De power is no longer yours!"
Holding up his fist, still closed around the mermaid charm, Jack said, "Mum left me a present… had no idea it would some in so handy though."
"Dat charm could not hold so much power," Calypso spat. "She would have had to…" her eyes narrowed as she stared at Jack's hand.
Elizabeth crept out from behind the capstan and carefully made her way over to the mainmast. Though she had listened intently to Jack and Calypso's conversation, her eyes had not left the other figure that had appeared with the goddess… William. Her son was suspended in midair, just beyond the second yardarm. Her heart tightened at the sight of him. His eyes were open and sightless, his entire body surrounded by light manifesting from the energy that seemed to be pouring into him. It was similar to the aura that now surrounded Jack, only not the same passionate rose-color that made him seem so powerful. William's aura was a weak green and looking at it caused tears to fill her eyes. It was as though she could feel his sadness radiating out of him. Silently, Elizabeth began climbing the mast toward him.
Calypso was agitated and that made Will nervous. She was staring at Jack's hand as though it was exceptionally dangerous, and he could not understand why. "She could not," Will heard her mutter. "She would not!"
Will had noticed Elizabeth's progress up the mast toward their son and as she reached the yardarm nearest to where he hung in the air, he remembered that he was supposed to keep Calypso distracted. "Let's end this, Calypso," he said, drawing her attention sharply. "Return my son to his mother and release me from your service; I've done your bidding long enough."
She seemed surprised by his words, but recovered quickly. "So… you have regained de missing parts of your soul, Will Turner. Did Captain Swann have something to do with dat?"
Elizabeth called William's name softly, but he did not respond to her voice. She could hear Will's voice below but she did not stop to decipher the words. Carefully holding onto the yard, she reached her hand out to grab hold of William.
Will ignored Calypso's question, not understanding what she meant. "It's over, Calypso," he said softly. "Whatever it is you want with us, you'll not get it. Let us go."
Jack saw the energy shift around her and when Calypso smiled, a sense of foreboding coursed through him. "Will," he whispered.
He never had a chance to finish his sentence. Unexpectedly, Calypso turned around, staring high above her to where William was, Elizabeth just reaching out to him. With a angry shout, Calypso pointed her finger at Elizabeth, and Jack and Will watched in horror as she was flung violently to one side, falling to the deck with a bone shattering crash.
"Elizabeth!" both Jack and Will shouted, taking a step toward her, but Calypso turned to face them so abruptly that they were frozen in their tracks.
"You wan' your freedom, Captain Turner?" she drawled. "For dat, all you need is dis." Calypso held out her hand and his heart appeared in it, beating fast.
Will took a step backwards but in the same moment, a roar rose up from around them as several members of the crew rushed the goddess. Warned to keep an eye out for the organ, Will's men responded without hesitation to the threat to their captain. It did not take a great deal of effort for Calypso to repel them, but the undead pirates kept coming, quickly regenerating even as she tore them down with her bare hands.
Jack and Will stared at each other for a heartbeat, an unspoken exchange sending them in separate directions. Will ran to check on Elizabeth as Jack fulfilled his promise to keep William safe. Climbing the mast as Elizabeth had just minutes before, he prayed more fervently than ever that she was all right.
"Elizabeth!" William sank to his knees beside her and was relieved to see her eyes shift to fix on his face. "Are you all right?" he asked, afraid to touch her.
Elizabeth couldn't feel anything below her waist, but as she opened her mouth to tell him that, she found she had trouble speaking. Swallowing heavily, she shook her head, even as her eyes filled with tears. Her back and head hurt as though she'd been hit by a cannon ball.
Tears filled Will's eyes as he gingerly brushed hair out of Elizabeth's face. He didn't know what to do for her. Looking up, he saw his men continue their attack on Calypso until finally, she raised both her arms and spoke loudly in an ancient tongue. Suddenly the deck was filled with mounds of sand that had once been his crew.
Jack hurried along the yardarm as quickly as he dared but as the ship suddenly swelled with the sea as the storm rose once more, he reached for a line to steady himself and watched helplessly as the mermaid bead fell from his hand. Immediately, his mother's power was gone, leaving him weaponless against Tia Dalma. In a flash of frustration and anger, Jack edged closer to William, determined to keep his word.
The bead fell close to Elizabeth and Will and she bit her lip to stifle a cry of pain as she turned her head to see what it was that had fallen from the sky. Recognizing it, Elizabeth knew immediately that she had to get it before Calypso did.
The goddess had dispatched the undead crewmen and was staring down the living ones, who were too frightened to go any closer to her. With a high-pitched scream that must have been a war cry, Ragetti suddenly threw himself forward. Elizabeth choked out his name as the goddess sent him flying against the capstan with a wave of her hand, but not before he'd knocked the heart from her grasp.
"Will," Elizabeth said in a desperate, broken voice. "Help me." With all the strength she had left, she slid her hand along the deck toward Jack's bead. Will hesitated. When he saw the bead he reached for it but Elizabeth sharp intake of breath stopped him. She had to do it herself. Putting his hands beneath her shoulders, he carefully moved her so that the object was within reach.
Elizabeth's fingers closed around the fetish and she gasped in shock as something rushed through her body. Her back arched, and she realized with amazement that it was no longer broken. Her entire being seemed rejuvenated and strange warmth had begun to spread outward from her center. Her vision swam and then suddenly, everything looked sharp, distinct… and rosy.
Will helped as Elizabeth began to sit up, realizing that something extraordinary was happening. When she looked straight up with a sudden jerk, he followed her gaze. High above on the yardarm, Jack had reached out and grabbed hold of William. In the same instant that Elizabeth had taken hold of the fetish, Jack's own power had recognized its true master and sought its rightful place with a wild intensity.
Held in place by the same power that had kept William upheld, Jack froze as he felt a strangely familiar energy replace what he had lost after dropping his mother's bead. He had not possessed his own power since running away from it as a boy of fifteen, but he recognized the feel, taste, and smell of his birthright. It was not the rose-colored aura of his mother's power that surrounded him, nor the pale green it had been when trying to fit into someone it did not belong to. Jack's aura, at home in its rightful place, was the deep red of rubies. Jack felt omnipotent. This time, incapable of dying, the power could not kill him to fulfill his godhood. He was in control.
Jack held William tightly in his arms, slowly floating down through the air toward the deck. The boy blinked sleepily, as though waking up from a deep, dream-filled sleep. When he saw Jack, a wave of emotions swept over his face before settling in an expression of childlike vulnerability.
"You came," he said in a tiny voice.
William's face looked so exquisitely fragile to Jack that he was afraid he'd break him. The love he felt for the boy – for it could be called nothing else – nearly overcame him. "I'll always come for you, mate," he said. "Count on it."
They landed on the deck and Jack turned to where Elizabeth had just risen to her feet. He put William down on the deck with a kind smile before looking at the boy's mother. Both William and his father stared at the two of them in open bewilderment as they slowly came together.
"Elizabeth?" Jack asked. It looked like her – she was certainly in there somewhere, but another spirit was intertwined with hers, and it too was familiar. "Mum," he whispered almost reverently.
The voice that answered him was both Elizabeth's and Savarna's. The two sounded in unison as they reached out and took his hand. "Jack," they said. "Let's finish with what we intended."
Together, Jack and Elizabeth turned to where Calypso stood. She held Ragetti tightly by the neck, lifting him into the air as he jerked violently before tossing him to one side. When she turned around again, Calypso froze at the sight before her.
She first stared only at Jack. "No," she said in a shaken voice. "Dat you would accept your power now," her nostril's flared angrily. "It is no longer yours to take!"
"Beg to differ, Tia darling," Jack said casually. "Apparently, it'll always be mine, no matter what you plan to do with it. Mum must have seen to that." He turned to Elizabeth, who gave a mischievously smile that was not her own, and nodded in modest affirmation.
The action drew the whole of Calypso's attention, and the disbelief on her face made even Will take pause. For the first time, a purely human emotion seemed to have surfaced in the goddess. With a heartbreaking cry of longing, Calypso slowly reached out to Elizabeth. "Savarna?"
Releasing Jack's hand, Elizabeth went to Calypso, who seemed suddenly afraid. "Mother," she said.
The voice that came from Elizabeth's mouth was not her own, and Will suddenly understood precisely what had happened when Elizabeth touched the mermaid bead. Waiting for just such a time when her son needed her most, the goddess had sealed her soul in the small charm, finally emerging to share a body with Elizabeth.
Calypso's face broke into a smile as she reached to lay a hand on her daughter's cheek. "Savarna," she whispered again sadly.
Stepping away from her mother's touch, she returned to Jack's side. This time, it was Elizabeth alone who spoke. "It's time Jack. Together."
Will reached for his son and pulled William to him as the two joined hands again. Any doubts he'd had about Jack being able to pull this part of their plan off were completely gone now. With the power of his mother thrown into the mix, he knew they would succeed, and accordingly moved out of the way. William had not spoken a word, but he could not tear his eyes away from the glowing figures of Jack and his mother.
Calypso had a look of sad resignation on her face as Jack and Elizabeth both closed their eyes and began speaking in low, intent voices. The storm fell silent and then stilled around them. A sound like a loud gasp accompanied an eddy of wind that swirled across the deck, forming a small tornado in their midst. Someone cried out in fear and pain as a burst of light flashed in the center of the whirlwind, until at last the wind and light both faded away.
Slowly, with a great cry of anguish, the form of Davy Jones appeared before them, bent double from the pain. This was not the Davy Jones who had sent Will to his death. This man was completely human, with a long beard where his tentacles had been and not a single crustacean feature anywhere upon him. The Dutchman drew in deep gasping breaths as he stumbled a few steps. A five-fingered hand grasped his chest in surprise – just above his heart.
The only sound that could be heard was Jones struggling to regain his breath. Everyone watched as he took in his restored form and the forgotten beating of his heart. It was only when Calypso stepped forward that Will remembered their purpose. He held his breath, wondering if Elizabeth's plan to recall Calypso's lover from the dead would actually work in their favor.
The goddess stood before Jones as he finally realized that she was there. He froze, staring at her in disbelief. "Calypso," he whispered in a voice so full of emotion that no one would have recognized it at his.
Calypso traced unsteady fingers along his jaw before placing her hand over his heart. Her eyes closed and her head fell back at the pulse she felt there. Jones put his hand over hers and exhaled a shaky breath. "Where am I?" he asked.
Looking him over from head to toe, Calypso answered softly. "We are at de Cape of Good Hope."
Sorrow twisted Jones's face. "You betrayed me," he said mournfully.
"Yes," she nodded. "And you betrayed me," her voice was equally sad. "But now… we are here, together." His eyes held so much hope, and Calypso turned to face Jack and Elizabeth. "Why?" she asked quietly.
Jack looked to Elizabeth to answer. Her voice alone responded. "It's a trade," she explained. "What you lost, for what we've lost."
Calypso eyed her carefully, considering. Looking once more at Davy Jones, she smiled again as she turned to Jack and nodded once. "Agreed."
As he watched, the aura around his grandmother changed. The angry white energy softened as the edges became tinted with blue, which began seeping through into her core and swirling about. She was healing.
And then, just like that, Calypso was gone, taking Jones with her. Will release a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding as Jack turned to look into Elizabeth's eyes again.
Elizabeth smiled and Jack recognized the expression as one of her own. "She only has a moment," Elizabeth said quietly before closing her eyes.
As they all watched, Elizabeth changed. Her golden hair and sun-bronzed skin darkened into long black tresses and a complexion the color of honeyed tea. Only her soft brown eyes did not change color, for they were already the same as the demi-goddess, Savarna's. The woman smiled at her son, who suddenly looked to be ten-years-old again.
"Mum," he repeated with a smile.
Savarna took Jack's face in her hands. "My child – you have done well. I am so proud."
Will looked down in embarrassment, the heart-rending image of Jack's expression already burned into his head. Savarna turned to him as if reading his mind and Will couldn't help being entranced by the playful sparkle in her eyes as her mouth quirked at him in amusement.
"Do not worry, dear Will. All will be well in the end – you shall see." Looking down at William, she knelt before him as he stared at her, even as he pressed against his father's leg, suddenly shy.
"I know you," William said after studying her for a moment.
She smiled brilliantly. "I was watching over you in the cave – you were not always easy to get through to," she admonished playfully. William looked away, embarrassed, but she drew him into her arms. "Remember this, my love – it is only in the face of our deepest fears that we find our true selves."
As he nodded, Savarna began to turn again, but paused when her gaze fell on the broken body of Ragetti. Pintel knelt with his friend's head in his lap, not bothering to hide the tears that fell from his eyes. Savarna paused and with a sad smile, wiped the moisture from his face. Pressing that same hand against Ragetti's forehead, she lowered herself and kissed the dead man's lips.
As she stood up again, Ragetti began to cough violently. Letting loose a cry of joy, Pintel pulled his friend into a tight hug that almost killed him again.
No one watched them for long though, as at last, Savarna turned toward the figure of her husband, who had made his way down from the helm as if in a dream. She touched his face, tracing the lines that time had etched there since she'd last seen him. "I cannot stay," she said sadly. "But I will always be here with you – and we shall be together again, very soon. You'll know what to do." With that, she stood on tiptoe and pressed her mouth to Teague's.
Teague gave a soft moan of yearning as he wrapped his arms around his wife – the only woman he had every truly loved. Her scent surrounded him and brought tears to his old, hardened eyes. Her mouth was as soft and sweet as he remembered and he would have died happily at that moment, just to be with her forever.
But all too soon, it was over. Teague felt her change in his arms and he instinctively held her tighter, as though that would prevent her from going. It was only when Jack closed his hand over his shoulder and cleared his throat that Teague realized it was Elizabeth he held in his arms – Savarna had gone.
Jack gave his father a reproachful look before pulling Elizabeth to him. "You alright then, love?" he asked.
Elizabeth, though still breathless from the loss of Savarna's power, as well as Teague's kiss, nodded, swaying against Jack dizzily. She lifted her hand and opened it, staring at the unassuming mermaid-shaped bead. Carefully, she handed it back to Jack.
Jack gently led her over to William, who was watching them shyly again. He helped ease Elizabeth down onto the deck as she took her son in her arms, holding him tightly against her.
"Oh, William," she cried softly, tears welling in her eyes. "I was afraid I'd lost you." That was all it took for William to begin crying as well, and Jack put the hand that wasn't around Elizabeth's waist, on the boy's back. They sat like that for a long while, oblivious to everything around them.
Slowly, people began to move. The storm had died completely and the original men from Jack's crew began the task of making the ship ready to sail again. Only Will did not set himself to work. Turning his back on the family he had given up, he went to the railing and stared out over the water.
Teague came to stand beside him and Will saw that the heart was cradled in one of the man's large hands. "The Dutchman must have a captain," Will said grimly. "I suppose I must return to my duty, now that it appears Calypso won't be releasing me."
Not looking at him, Teague said, "The Dutchman's gone, lad. Whatever she intended to do, Calypso never raised it. You can't be captain of a ship that no longer exists.
"And yet, the souls of those lost at sea are waiting to be led home," Will said. "I can feel them out there."
For a moment, Teague said nothing. Then, "This ship – she's special. Savarna made sure that she'd never fail me, and she never has."
Turning to look at the old captain, Will shook his head. "I could never take your ship, Captain," he said.
Teague met his eyes. "I didn't mean that you should."
Will stared at him until understanding made him widen his eyes in surprise and then hope. "You're sure?" he asked quietly.
Teague glanced at his son sitting with Elizabeth and William on the deck before answering. "The sea has always been my home. One day in ten years… I've only been on land one day a month for several decades. And there was only one reason I wanted to go ashore in the first place." He smiled crookedly, looking very much like Jack for a moment. "Besides – Savarna said we'd be together soon, and that I'd know what to do." He held up the heart. "This is it."
Will nodded, unable to voice the thanks he felt. Teague, seeing it in his eyes, waved him away. "Say your goodbye's then," he said. "I'll take a moment to get ready."
Elizabeth looked up as Will approached and with a look of concern, struggled to her feet. Her body had been completely healed, but the experience of the past few hours had nearly drained her of all energy. "Will," she said, reaching for his hands. He took them, holding on tightly. "Will there must be something we can do…" she looked over her shoulder at Jack, who nodded.
Smiling, Will cupped her face in his hand and kissed her softly on the lips. "I love you, Elizabeth." He looked at Jack, who was watching him carefully. Will opened his mouth to speak, but closed it again, smiling as he nodded his head once in acquiescence. He turned away as Jack frowned, sensing that something was wrong.
Kneeling before his son, Will didn't hesitate to pull William into his arms and hug him tightly. "I love you, son," he said. "Always remember that."
Elizabeth was looking at him in alarm. "Will?" she said.
Returning to Teague who still stood beside the railing, he looked at his family one last time before saying, "I'm ready."
As Teague turned around to reveal Will's heart in one hand and his dagger in the other, Elizabeth stumbled forward, followed by Jack, who just managed to catch her as she began to fall. Meeting his father's eyes, Jack searched his face and then nodded. "s'all right, love," he said softly to Elizabeth.
Will smiled at William, who was watching his father with tears in his eyes. "Look after your mother… and Jack as well. No telling what trouble he's bound to get into."
With a quick motion, Teague plunged his dagger into Will's heart. The wind picked up slightly, sighing like the voice of the sky as Will, smiling, crumbled into sand and drifted away on the breeze as though he'd never been there.
Elizabeth gave a soft cry, turning and burying her face against Jack's shoulder. He watched as the heart in Teague's hand turned to dust as well, floating off into the sea. Looking around, Jack realized that there was no crew of immortal sailors to rip their new captain's heart out and lock it away in a chest. With a new captain, a new ship, and ultimately a new crew, there would be new rules as well.
They set sail for Shipwreck Cove that same day, but it took many more for Jack, Elizabeth and William to recover from everything that had happened to them. The three slept close together in their cabin, and William's nightmares woke them often whenever sleep managed to come.
Elizabeth withdrew into herself for a day or so, but she could not keep her silence forever. When she'd come to terms with the final passing of her first love, she at last sought Jack out, and he held her until she had cried the last of her tears.
Jack's power had not left him when Elizabeth's had, and while she fell into silence in the day immediately following Will's passing, he fell to contemplating what being a demi-god meant to him. He had come to no conclusion by the time Elizabeth returned to him in tears, and it was only then that he realized that it did not matter what he was, as long as he had her.
Slowly, they began to heal and to help one another heal as well. By the time they reached the mouth of the Devil's Throat leading into the last pirate stronghold, it was only Teague among the entire crew who remained quiet and dour, continuously lost in thought.
Jack stood at the helm beside his father and smiled as the Black Pearl at last came into view. "I've got to give old Gibbs a raise," he muttered with a grin. He was still getting used to his new abilities, but he no longer radiated a visible aura. He looked over every inch of his ship in her true visage, made even more beautiful by his enhanced vision.
"You've done a fine job with yourself, Jack," Teague said, speaking for the first time in days. "I know it doesn't mean much to you, but I'm proud of you, son."
Jack was too flabbergasted to speak. Staring at his father, he at last managed to say, "If you think I'll forgive you for kissing Elizabeth, think again, old man."
They were both smiling when Elizabeth and William joined them at the helm. "That's the most beautiful sight I've ever seen," Elizabeth breathed as she took in the Black Pearl. Jack put an arm around each of their shoulders.
"Mother?" William asked. "We are going to stay with Uncle Jack, aren't we?"
Elizabeth met Jack's eyes and saw only the barest hint of doubt lingering there. "For as long as he have us," she answered with a smile meant for Jack.
With a grin so confident that no one would have guessed how relieved he was at her answer, Jack turned to William. "So, mate… do you have the valor and determination to serve aboard the Black Pearl as a real, black-hearted pirate – thus forsaking any hope of a life lived in comfortable society; tea, doilies and all of that?"
William grinned broadly. "Yes… and I'd like to have a pet monkey, too."
Jack frowned and Elizabeth laughed. As William ran off giggling with Jack in hot pursuit, loudly proclaiming his opinion about monkey's, Teague watched them with a smile. As he eased his ship into port, a triumphant cry went up from the Pearl's deck as the crew realized that their captain had returned victorious.
As the scent of Indian Frankincense filled the air around him, Teague smiled broadly, looking out toward the ocean so that no one could see. The shape of the world had change for them all, once again.