Disclaimer: I don't own anything/anyone from Pirates, it's all Disney's... for now.

A/N: Hey everyone, I'm back :) I'd originally decided to take a longer break after "Under the Sails" but it was one of the worst ideas I'd ever come up with (for myself). So here I am starting another Sparrabeth fic... Hey do people make dedications for fanfictions? Hm, probably not, but (shrugs) this one is for Helen. :) AWE spoilers just in case, and pay no attention to the adorable (but not Sparrabeth) post-end credits scene. First chapters are always... not the best so bear w/ me plz, and this one's more like a (short) intro. Enjoy, don't forget to leave a review!

"Yo ho, haul together. Hoist the colours high."

Elizabeth sang the familiar song softly as the broom moved over the cottage floor. She sighed, exhausted, and walked to the open door. She leaned against the door frame and looked out at the ocean.

Shipwreck Island is not where I've dreamed I'd end up... No, it definitely wasn't where she'd imagined she would spend the rest of her life. She couldn't even envision spending the next few months there, let alone ten years.

I've always been a dreamer, she thought bitterly. And here's where it's gotten me. This wasn't her dream, this wasn't the fairy tale that had entertained her for her entire childhood. She hadn't imagined she would become a pirate, and becoming a Pirate King... it was completely unreal. Yet there she stood with Sao Feng's Piece of Eight--her Piece of Eight.

Perhaps she had been a pirate all along, inside. A rebel. But she'd always dreamed of just having one pirate adventure. And marrying a man she truly loved. And living happily ever after...

I've married the man I love, that's quite lucky. She told herself she should stop dreaming, that it would do her no good. She'd had more than one adventure, had enough of staring out across the open sea, and it was time to settle down, and wait for her husband, and start looking at what was real. But it wasn't enough. She needed something more--she needed the adventure, the freedom. And she knew she could never stay waiting for ten years--she knew she couldn't be tied down, no matter how much she loved him.

She remembered waking up every morning in Port Royal, and opening the balcony doors while she was still in her nightgown, and staring out at that mesmerizing, alluring sea... and watching the seagulls flapping their wings in the air. She remembered thinking how lucky they were, to be out in the open, to be able to roam, and go wherever they wanted, and fly free... And there were pigeons, too, yet somehow the pigeons always came back.

"Why do they always come back?" she wondered aloud, and a maid coming in to help her dress walked to her and smiled at the pigeons wistfully. "They can go wherever they want, whenever they want, so why do they come back?"

"Because they are free," said the maid. "Because they can go wherever they want. If you lock them in a cage they will want to fly away, because you never know you have something until it's gone."

Elizabeth brushed a tear from her eye. She had let herself out of her cage, and she had made her own choices and spoken for herself, no matter the consequences it had been the best time of her life. And I'm back in a cage.

She felt the sudden urge to run away, to abandon this place, to go somewhere far and dangerous, and fly free. But she knew once she got there, it would be too much to bear without Will. It had only been a few days since she had watched the Flying Dutchman and its captain vanish with the sunset, but his absence tore through her heart every second she breathed. If only she really could run away... If only she could find something to take her mind away from the hole inside her, something or someone that would let her fly free...

Someone she could turn to... someone who would unlock the cage, someone who would patch up the hole, perhaps even take her to Will... simply for her...

She dropped the broom and walked to the old table standing in the middle of the room and picked up the small black chest that sat on it. She leaned over and kissed it gently, then looked around for a place to keep it. There was nowhere.

Elizabeth rummaged through the pile of things that the residents of Shipwreck Island had generously given their king, and found a trunk. She hurriedly tossed in a few extra pieces of clothing for emergencies, grabbed her weapons for protection and a small pouch of money, and finally placed the Dead Man's Chest carefully in the trunk. She snapped the trunk shut, donned a hat, and stepped outside onto the cliff overlooking the open sea.

She refused to be locked in a cage, she was going to let herself fly again... and the prospect of it dulled the feeling of pain for a moment. She would see Will, before the end of ten years... it didn't matter what the curse said, she would see him, she would not sit and wait.

She made her way to the shore, ready to embrace the feeling of the sea, ready to find that someone...