Title: Sense of
Pairings: J/E, mention of W/E and a splash of B/E
Summary: The Code is being taught, enemies need a new level of trust, and someone's death starts looking mysterious . . .
Notes: I hope you all enjoyed this semi-long, confusing story. Believe me, it took me a long time to write it and the ending has changed so much, but it's done and I am happy. And if it seems abrupt, I am sorry. I just knew that if Jack and Elizabeth faced Calypso with weapons and violence she would kill them in under a minute flat- so Elizabeth had to rely on her words to try and save them.
Beta: Howlongmustiwait, thank you so much for the love and support (and the kicks in the ass) to make me finish this story. It's done and over with, so no more worries!
NOTE: NO SEQUEL TO THIS. People ask me every story if there is going to be a sequel, so I am just going to start posting 'yes' or 'no' at the end of each story.
Chapter Twenty-two: The End
"I can not believe we saved all of their lives and they haven't even noticed." Elizabeth, face smudged with dirt and blood, commented as she and Jack walked down the corridors of Shipwreck city. People brushed past them, not noticing their shambled states, not knowing that they all could have been dead at that point. "Amazing."
That was a week ago- Jack had healed enough to be able to walk around on his own; Elizabeth had already taken three baths and refused to offer anyone the position of 'assistant' for her. That week, Jack laid on his back and thought of his choices now.
He could sail away on the Pearl, or stay and be Keeper of the Code. He still loathed the latter. The thought of never going out on sea as much as he liked, of taking more classes, and being generally bored was something he would not prefer.
But, there would be Elizabeth. She would be the reason to stay... yet he knew that if he stayed and was forced to do something he would hate he would come to loathe her.
And I had just forgiven her.
So No Eyed Barty accepted the position with a nod of his head. He patted Jack on his shoulders, and reached into his pocket. He pulled out a shrunken head, one that looked alarmly similar to his father, and handed it to him.
He now rested by Jack's mother.
And Jack knew where he stood.
That was why, after a week of rest, Jack stood on the dock and watched as the crew supplied the Black Pearl. He heard her footsteps before she spoke to him, and turned around to face her.
"Anything I can do to change your mind?" Elizabeth asked, attempting to be lighthearted.
Jack shook his head. "Unless ye want to come with me."
"I can't do that."
Jack nodded, and looked up at the sky. It was clear, no sign of bad weather approaching. He shifted his feet and looked down at the Pirate King.
"Jack, I want you to kn-"
"No goodbyes. They never seem to work with us anyway."
Elizabeth agreed, and stepped forward. "I just hope you come around more often."
"I'll try my best to visit." Jack nodded, and reached out to cup her cheek. "No goodbyes. No tears. Trust me, this won't be the last time we see eachother."
Elizabeth smiled, and before Jack knew it, she stepped into his arms and held him against her. They met, their kiss soft and sweet. Jack felt a warm, gentle resolve blossom from inside of him- this was the way it was suppose to go. They will need eachother, but they will always need freedom.
Duty. A sense of duty to yourself. I just hope Jackie will one day realize that people's fates can not be manipulated to serve your own purposes, that each person has a sacred duty inside of them to fulfill.
Jack gently broke the kiss, and smiled. Elizabeth gave him one last squeeze around the shoulders and hesitantly let go and watched him walk to his ship.
Because in the end, it's not how strongly you feel about someone. It's not how many times they kiss ye or kill ye, it's about what they feel they have to do. It's what they should do.
Jack took the helm and watched as the crew unfurled the sheets. The Pearl gently moved away from the dock, ready and willing to go out and seek more adventures- but, as Jack looked over his shoulder and saw Elizabeth standing and watching, knowing that there was a place to always return to.
A sense of duty, to yourself. And that's what it always comes down to.
"Thank ye... Teague." Jack whispered to the sea, recalling his father's last journal entry.