ONE: Washed Up
All around. Splinters of wood. Explosions that made the entire boat rock. Completely oblivious to it all, a certain Cutler Beckett swept down the stairs, fingers stroking the wood, his eyes glassy and glazed. His mind was a mist. He couldn't think straight. Everything was going too fast. His men were fleeing; diving overboard. His ship was being blown to bits all around him.
Everything was going in slow motion, but it was still too fast. Much too fast. He wished he could go somewhere safe and think about it. This sort of thing wasn't meant to happen to people like him. He knew that it was over now. It was just a matter of time. A matter of time and a well-placed cannon-ball...
When Cutler Beckett opened his eyes, he was surprised that his eyes were opening. Pain raced over his entire body. He felt stiff and barely alive. His mind felt blank, and everywhere, all he could feel was harsh, coarse sand, and he felt like he was full of salt. It's disgusting taste and smell and sting.
I'm... alive! He thought, still too inexplicably tired to move. Slowly, memories began to fade into his consciousness, memories of his overall failure and ultimate incompetence during the big battle. I find myself wondering if this is a good thing... Well, he certainly would not be welcomed back into the navy or the East India Trading Company in a big hurry. So this is what it had been like to be James Norrington...
He forced himself to sit up, pushing himself upwards with a groan. A ravaging pain shot over him. He sat himself up, running a hand through his hair. And it was his actual hair, too. His wig was gone. He also ran his hand over his face to, you know, make sure he still retained his good looks. Very modest is Mr. Beckett. He blinked a few times; his vision was swirling all over the place. Being him, he straightened his jacket and adjusted his cravat, though his clothes were extremely tattered. There were scratches and splinters on his hands, and his clothes were full of sand.
Pulling off a boot, he emptied it of salty water, seaweed, and an unlucky trout. Then he pulled off the other one, and tipped about half a kilogram of sand out of it. He put his boots back onto his poor, aching feet, and stretched his arm, his shoulder was jarring painfully, as if he'd slept with it in a bad position. There was a bit cut on one of his calves, and he looked down at one of his feet, thinking about how it seemed to be pointing in the complete wrong direction.
Cutler Beckett, however, could stand quite a lot of pain without giving it away; you have to, really, if your job is to go out into sea-battles and suchlike. It was the same with his emotions; no matter how strong, just lock them up in a dark place deep inside of you, and then it'd all be okay. You couldn't afford to show too much pain in front of trained soldiers who look up to you.
Though I expect that particular chapter of my life is now officially over, Beckett thought, adjusting a cuff. I guess I'll have to change my name and everything. How embarrassing. Unless perhaps I find some way to redeem myself... He was able to think a little straighter now, but he was still slightly worried about what had happened to him on board that ship. For the first time in a long, long time, Beckett was actually ever so slightly frightened. He had never known he was prone to temporary insanity, as he decided to call it.
"This just isn't my day," He murmured to himself, looking at a smattering of blood on his waistcoat.
"It's about to get worse," Said a female voice. He looked up, and found the cold, unforgiving barrel of a gun staring back at him.
It had been a few days since Elizabeth had been left on her island by Will, left to her own devices. She had taken his chest with the heart in it, and made sure it was securely hidden. She had a rowing boat; so she could easily get back to mainland. And sure, she would, for supplies and suchlike. But, well, she was a wanted woman. Perhaps it was better to stay here, most of the time.
She was also beginning to wish that Will had chosen an island not so close to the battle scene. It was too late to change now, but bodies had been washing up non-stop since the big fight. Bodies in uniforms. Bodies made her feel guilty – looking at all of the young men who'd been massacred. They'd only been doing what they'd been told.
There were fruits growing on this island; some of them were unusual, but still, most of them were nice. She had a little rundown home too – Will hadn't planned on simply leaving her here on the island with nothing, you know. They'd checked it out on the single day they'd had, in between bouts of... bonding. Will had found a little stone mill, with a couple of rooms, and a door that bolted from the inside. He'd helped her refurbish it to proper living conditions.
Life was good. But... lonely. She longed for the day Will would come back; ten long, long years to wait. Oh god. It seemed even more hopeless now that she thought of it. But she had promised him. She was willing to do it. She would.
She hadn't been sure what to do with the bodies. She stood at the top of the beach, her expression a touch sad as she watched another red-coated young man roll up the beach, but amongst all of the red, there was one body that stood out a mile, in fine silks and ruffles. Her heart quickened, a frown wrinkling her forehead, as she recognized the man. It was no other then Cutler Beckett, the swine.
Stepping carefully on the hot sand, she began to walk towards the body, until she was only a few feet from it. The waves crashed for a moment. Beckett looked almost peaceful; lying there. Almost. Elizabeth turned around, and began walking back away from the beach, when she heard a groan behind her. Slowly, she turned.
He was alive. God help her, he was alive. She quickly pulled out her pistol, keeping a tight grip on it as he began to inspect himself, pulling his jacket straight and so forth, his back to her. She heard him muttering to himself that it wasn't his day, and... well, the rest you saw.
"Elizabeth Swann," He said, wearily, "I stand corrected."
"Be quiet, Beckett. If the cannons didn't finish you off, that's just fine – time to meet your maker. The Devil wont be too happy that you're late." She hissed.
NB: A new story idea of what happens to Elizabeth after At Worlds End. I'm trying to write more seriously now, though I still found the occasional spot of humour popping up. Constructive criticism and feedback, please? I would like to know if you think this story is worth continuing. Much love.
Disclaimer: I don't own Pirates of the Caribbean, but I do own my writing. Thankyouverymuch.
Next update contains death, mess, dead man's chest! Wanton wound woefully wont water-down wayward war! (ack!) (and a rather rude door-slam too...)