A/N: Sorry to anyone who read this and thought it was the start of a longer story. I intended it to be just a oneshot bit of fun!
He's a Pirate
It was over. Her grand adventure was over.
Well, except, perhaps, for the little fact that she was still standing between armed guards and Jack Sparrow. Will was pressed close on her left, Jack pressed up against her from behind.
"So this is where you heart truly lies then?" James voice was downtrodden, quiet, pained. She hated doing it to him. He cared for her, but he wasn'tmeant for her. She nodded in response to his words.
Her father, eyes slightly frantic, looked back and forth between her and Will, looked to James, back to them. It was odd watching a man who was always so eloquent, always knew what to say, looking a bit like a fish out of water. His mouth opened and closed a few times before he finally got the words out. "This is the path you've chosen, is it?…After all, he is a blacksmith…" He let the words hang in the air.
Elizabeth knew what he was after, hoped she would change her mind, go back to James. It wasn't in her, not after their adventures. "No." She turned to Will, a smile on her face. "He's a pirate."
Her father stepped back slightly. Will turned to face her. She expected a sincere look of his love, an excitement that showed he was looking forward to their new life together. Instead, she noted that his eyebrows were drawn up, his eyes clouded over slightly. "I'm not a pirate." The words were a soft lilt.
Elizabeth cocked her head to the side, eyes widening. "I'm not," Will reiterated before turning slightly, opening up her view to the man who still hovered close by. "He is the pirate. I'm just a blacksmith, Elizabeth."
"And so he is," she murmured. Captain Jack Sparrow, pirate of many legends. She had spent many hours reading about the man, wondering about him, hoping to meet him someday. And then she had.
Will was right. He wasn't a pirate. She had ignored the multiple times he had told her that. His father had been a pirate, but he was not. She stepped away from Will.
"Elizabeth?" Her father's voice reached her ears but she ignored it.
"Elizabeth?" Will's soft voice, questioning, worried.
"Elizabeth!" James, ever the naval man…no real question there, just the authority of one who expected those around him to snap to his commands.
And then she was standing in front of Jack. "Lizzie." He grinned, letting the alteration of her name roll of his lips like coarse rum. "It never would work between us, darling."
One her eyebrows shot up and her lips settled themselves into smile, the satisfied look of a cat who had lapped up all the milk offered her. "Are you sure, Captain?" She moved closer to him, felt the heat coming off his body.
"You want to leave all this behind?" His voice was incredulous. "Riches, fancy dresses, parties…with drink?" He smiled and let a hand come out to touch one of the curls cascading down the side of her neck.
"I do." His hand brushed lightly against her neck and she shivered with the contact. Jack smiled, his eyes strangely calculating.
"Well, then…" He turned back to the others present, making Elizabeth all too aware that her father and Will had watched the exchange. They shared the same incredulous look, one that was on the faces of James Norrington and his men as well. She could almost hear their thoughts. Elizabeth…turning pirate?
Her father had never known her fascination with pirates in general and Captain Jack Sparrow specifically. The first book she had found by accident, something discarded on the side of the road when she was out with her nanny. She had hidden in her room that night, turning each dirty page with avid interest. The tome had listed the most famous pirates, with side notes about their crews and ships. It was the first time she had learned of Jack Sparrow and his story had jumped out at her. He was certainly the most colourful and interesting of the lot. The rest were cutthroats, frightening men who killed with nary a thought. No horrid deaths had been indicated to come from the infamous Captain Sparrow. Instead, he had been known to frighten ships into submission, take what they had to offer, and set them free. It was an interesting conundrum and one she had always been interested in finding more about.
That first tome had been her main reading material for the next several years. When she was older, she had managed to slip into shops and buy more books about pirates and Captain Sparrow. She read them all multiple times, always focusing mostly on Jack. In the end, she had committed most of the books to memory. The books she had long since hidden, placing them in a small trunk and then burying them in the sand just beyond the shoreline late one night.
Her father never knew. Will never knew. No one knew.
But now Jack was looking at her. And it was clear that he knew.
"Those clothes are going to have to come off, love." Elizabeth's eyes snapped to Jack's, eyebrows up. He smirked, the lopsided look one of utter disarming charisma. She heard her father gasp and when she glanced at him, she saw Will turn away.
Jack's grin grew wider with every moment and then he stepped closer to Elizabeth, leaned in toward her, and said in a hushed tone only she could hear. "You remember what happened the last time you fell from here…" He didn't need to say anymore. She did indeed remember. Her heavy dress had weighed her down and Jack, her savior, her rescuer, had cut it off of her body.
"Very well," she murmured, leaning closer to Jack for one brief moment before stepping away from him. She quickly divested herself of the dress, the corset, all the while keeping her eyes on Jack. It sent a small thrill through her that he watched her appreciatively, his eyes heavy, hooded, his body tensing. She freed her hair from the many pins holding it, breathing a sigh of relieve as the curls so carefully created by her maid cascaded down her shoulders.
She shook her head, smiling, and turned to face the crowd gathered around her. Will had averted his eyes, ever the gentlemen, all too aware of what he had just lost. Her father met her eyes, his look sad. "Will I ever see you again?"
Her eyebrows drew low over her eyes. "I don't know." She stepped toward him, arms starting to stretch out. A sword came out between them and she looked to her right to see James Norrington, Commodore Norrington, looking at her with steely eyes.
"Go now, Elizabeth…before we're forced to try you along with Sparrow for piracy." She hesitated. His sword edged closer. "Go before I regret letting you go." The words were harshly honest.
She nodded, knowing there was little left to say. Stepping to the parapet, she jumped up nimbly, balancing herself easily in her much lighter shift.
"Elizabeth!" Will called to her and she turned around to face him. "Good luck." She was glad there were no declarations of how he would always love her. She knew he would. He must also know some part of her would always love him. She knew that, in time, she might regret her hasty decision to step into piracy with Jack. But not right now. She had to explore it, get her fill of it.
She turned away from them, from her old life, from everything she had once been, and looked down to the ocean. A moment's hesitation and suddenly Jack was up next to her. "Scared?" Her eyes met his and she didn't respond to the question. "There's no room for cowardice in a pirate's life."
She knew he was lying. The flash of his eyes, the way he suddenly looked away from her and down toward the ocean, studying the same shifting tides and rocks she was watching. She knew that even Jack himself was wont to running away instead of fighting. She grinned and with one quick, fluid movement, launched herself off the parapet, aiming her slim body carefully to land in as much water as possible. As she surfaced from the long dive, she realized it had been surprisingly easy.
Captain Jack Sparrow, still high up on the parapet, brandished an arm and backed toward the parapet. She heard his voice carry down to her, strong even across the distance. "This is the day you will always remember as the day you almost caught…" She treaded water as she watched him crash into the stone wall behind him and suddenly plunge over, the words he was about to say swallowed up in his quick descent.
She gasped, started swimming toward him, but then realized one important thing. He was Captain Jack Sparrow. And he surfaced none the worse for his fall, though his pride was clearly injured.
With a smile, he swam to her. "Darling…let's go." When she turned to follow him, she saw the Black Pearl move out from behind the rocks and she knew this was it…her chance to follow her dreams.