Fic: The War Within
Characters: Elizabeth/Jack Elizabeth/Will
Chapter Title: Captain Swann
Disclaimer: I do not own Pirates of the Caribbean. Disney does, no money being made off this.
Summary: Captain Elizabeth Swann, Pirate Lord and King. Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirate Lord, lecherous pirate, son of the Keeper of the Code. What will happen on the eve of battle. JE. Reviews welcome.
Please Note: This chapter has been extensively revised since it's initial appearance. Author's note: Like Dead Man's Chest, there is a lot of subtext in At World's End, but you have to be able to sit through the movie more than once. This is my cartharsis. It is what I surmise couldhave happened behind the scenes that we saw in the movie. I wanted to write about the characters motivations, desires and thoughts through AWE. Obviously it has a JE slant. :)
Tomorrow, we are at war….
Elizabeth Swann. Pirate Lord, Captain of Captains, Pirate King. She couldn't quite believe it. Jack Sparrow had sided with her in order for her to win the coveted title of Pirate King. Sided with her!
Elizabeth looked around the room at all the pirates, as they yelled to one another. There was little organisation, only mayhem. It was all getting a bit much for her. She had been captured by one Pirate Lord, held against her will, and then had to watch as Captain Sao Feng died before her.
Now here she was, Pirate King, listening to the Pirate Lords battling it out for goods and services. They were now only declaring what they needed in the way of ammunition for the battle tomorrow and many were exchanging one set of goods for another. Elizabeth tried to listen and contribute as different people yelled back and forth, but her head was tired. She was tired. She had been put into a cell, watched as her first fiancé, former Commodore Norrington, now turned Admiral, and a man who truly cared about her; he had died at the hand of her now fiancé's crazed father. Elizabeth had begged him to come with them, had even kissed him to encourage his vacation of his position, but nay, he would not.
She tried to push it out of her mind and her eyes roved aimlessly around the room, trying to find distraction. She found it in Jack and the Keeper of the Code, Captain Teague as they stood exchanging words. She blanched for a moment as Captain Teague held up a shrunken head toward Jack. Then Barbossa claimed her attention and when she turned back to look for Jack, he was gone.
She decided that she needed to breathe. She excused herself to Barbossa, who just nodded and continued to yell at something Mistress Ching was saying. Elizabeth half smiled to herself. It did not seem that the Pirate King would be missed at all. She did not notice Captain Teague's eyes following her out of the room.
Elizabeth went outside the building. She paused momentarily. There was a figure already there, standing by the water's edge. She debated on returning inside, but more commotion from inside Pirate's Cove drove her to stay, to find elsewhere other than in there to recluse to. She resumed walking towards the edge overlooking the water and stopped. She could now make out the figure. Standing there was the man that caused the ruckus. Jack. She stepped up beside him and looked out over the dark waters. An awkward silence ensued.
Elizabeth finally spoke. "Why Jack?" she questioned. He didn't reply at first. Her question hung in the air.
Finally he replied. "Why not eh Lizzie?" He turned his body slightly towards her, his thumbs hitched in the pockets of his jacket, his eyes firmly on the water. She too kept firmly looking out, trying to stop herself from looking at him. He turned his body back to the water, unconsciously mimicking her stance. "Save young William, get rid of both Beckett and Davy Jones, and as a bonus, annoy Barbossa while keeping my ship. That is fun."
She spoke again. "Jack…" she paused at first, and then firmly she turned towards him. "You must have had a reason Jack. You don't just choose to nominate another person for Pirate King just to get people like those in there," she gestured wildly, "to fight? That is just utter madness." She took in his raised eyebrow and happy little grin. "Oh." She said. Something inside her leapt at his familiar look and she pushed it down and fought to hold her face into some semblance of disgust. "I forgot. You are utterly mad."
He grinned, his gold teeth gleaming in the dim light. "Takes one to know one eh love?"
How dare he? Fuming she turned away from him, arms crossed akimbo, lips pursed in anger. After a moment, she asked, "Jack? Where is Will?"
His dark eyes stared out unseeing over the black waters. "Ah you see love; he is far away from here."
She braced herself before asking the inevitable question. "Did he betray us?"
Jack glanced sideways at her. He could see from her stance that she was stiff. He could hear the unspoken 'Did he betray me' in her question. He thought momentarily before replying. He did not want to lay all his cards out on the table. "No." He watched as her shoulders fell in relief. "No he didn't. But he is in the custody of Beckett."
"We need to get him back Jack."
He turned towards her. "No, no Captain Swann." He motioned toward her with one hand. "You need to get him back." He pointed to himself. "Me, I would be happy to not having anything more to do with young William. It's him that has got me here in the first place. If it were not for him, I would not have gotten into this mess in the first place." He paused momentarily, regarding her with his dark eyes. "Come to think of it, if I had not met you, rescued you that is," he quickly amended, "I would not be in this mess in the first place."
She quickly turned towards him, frowning, missing the brief glimpse of warmth in his eyes. "You would not be here if not for me or Will! You would have been waiting to have your head swinging from some gallows!"
"Ah, but you see Captain Swann," Jack was deprecating. "If not for you and your then beloved fiancé, I would not have been found out in Port Royal and I could have borrowed my wee boat and sailed on to get back me ship. My beloved Black Pearl."
"You needed me and you needed Will…" she declared hotly.
"Nay, you needed me to get Will." He interjected.
Affronted she huffed, "I most certainly did not!"
Jack straightened. "Do you think that you would have gotten young William to declare his intentions towards you if he had not been persuaded in some manner to go after you?" Jack turned and started to walk around in a mincing fashion. "Yes, Miss Swann. After you Miss Swann. Once more, Miss Swann." She huffed at his mimicry and turned away. He stopped and said snidely, "I think not."
A pause as Jack looked at her back. He knew she was hurting, but then again so was he. He had not wanted to come here, not like this, and certainly not with her like this. His… well… Captain Teague always saw too much, particularly into his life and Jack did not want him to see into this particular portion of Jack's life. He continued to watch as Elizabeth stood, her shoulders hunched forward, bracing herself against whatever thoughts were in her head. Jack knew that they needed to talk. She was always waiting for him to mention the Kraken, waiting for him to make some noise about her leaving him tied to that mast, her first real piratical action; his reward for his actions as a good man and returning to his beloved ship.
His eyes turned cold and he started to walk around her again. This time his thoughts were colder, more hurtful. Jack continued in a gallant voice, sarcasm apparent in his tone, as he walked around her. "You would have been stuck with the Former Commodore and become Mrs Commodore and had wonderful parties," his arms waved around, punctuating his words. "To which none of the rest of us would have been invited," she turned and glared at him. He still carried on, ignoring those angry eyes. "But nonetheless, you could have been swanning around, entertaining all those militia people and been having a grand ol' time," stopping in front of her, he put his face right into hers. "Am I not right, Captain Swann?" He waited for an answer.
Elizabeth resolutely kept her face turned away. She knew he was right. She could not acknowledge it outright, but she had to say something. She did not know what to say. Elizabeth could feel his warm breath on her face, his lips only inches away from hers. The last time she had been this close to him, she had left him to die, to be her sacrifice. There were no words to be said. What could she say?
Moments passed and after a while, she said in a small voice, "I don't see what it has to do with you." She felt his head come a little closer to hers, and her breath hitched in her throat.
Jack heard her breath catch as he leaned in that little bit closer. Perhaps she was not as immune to him as she made out to be. He turned away from her, but grinned out into the silent night. This would be fun.
Reviews are welcomed and encouraged. More chapters to come! TJ