Disclaimer: Pirates of the Caribbean belongs to Disney
A/N: This is my first story and I'm so excited to be posting it! Please be honest in reviewing, I know I have a long way to go and it helps to be pointed in the right direction!
As swiftly as he could, Jack paced along the docks in Tortuga. His ship had already been missing for a month and he was waiting for the opportune moment to get a new one and search for the Fountain of Youth. Luckily, he had his trusty compass to point him in the direction of the best ship. It pointed to one flying black and red sails with what appeared to be a bird in the center. He could not tell for it was too dark. He immediately started for the rather new-looking ship and climbed aboard. Right when he thought there was no one there, 5 crewmen stepped from below the deck and raised their swords at him. Not again, he thought.
"Oh, bugger. Parley?"
"Lower your weapons. Take him to the Captain."
Elizabeth stood in her cabin, looking at an empty bottle of rum. She kept it to remind her of Jack and how much she secretly loved him. It was a humorous notion for only a few years before, she thought rum to be a vile drink. And Jack to be a vile, despicable pirate. But deep down, she knew he was a good man. And she wanted, more than anything in the world, to be with said good man.
Two of the men grabbed hold of him and stripped him of his effects before leading him down to the Captain's quarters. One of the men stepped in first to speak with the Captain and Jack, the curious man that he was, eavesdropped.
"Captain, there's a man who tried to board the ship. He asked for Parley."
"Does he have a name?"
"He did not say."
"Very well. Bring him in then."
Once retrieving his effects, Jack was surprised to learn that the Captain was a woman. A woman with an all-too familiar voice. And then he saw her. She looked startled as she saw his infamous grin. A smile crept upon her face as well, he noticed.
"Jack!" she walked to him and gave him a hug.
"Hello Elizabeth. Or should I say, Captain Swann, errr, Turner."
"It's still Swann. A few days after you left, Will came back and gave me a letter. He told me to go and be free, that it wasn't fair to keep me there. So we ended our marriage and I promised him that in 10 years, I would return."
"And the heart?"
"Well, it's safely aboard the ship. Guarded, of course, Jack."
"Sorry, Captain Sparrow." She said in a monotone voice.
"Not much of a Captain, anymore, Luv. Barbossa took the Pearl."
"Again? What on Earth… He is a mutinous fool, isn't he."
"Indeed. I was in need of a ship so…"
"So you planned on stealing, oh excuse me, commandeering my ship to go fetch the Pearl back. Am I right?"
"Yep, that's about right. Only now I learn, the Empress, is it? Belongs to you."
"Well, Jack, I'll be more than happy to help you get her back. I know how much she means to you."
"How's your fighting?"
She was quite surprised by the subject change but chose not to show it.
"I can hold my own. Surely our encounter with the Company and the Dutchman showed you that."
He whipped out his sword and gave her a challenging look.
"Let's see how much you really can hold."
She pulled out her sword and they began to duel. She was putting up quite a fight whereas Jack was just acting on instinct. She can't be serious, he thought.
"Nice form. Good attack. But how's your defense." He said between blows. In one swift motion, he knocked her sword from her hands and brought his blade up to her neck. She eyed him curiously.
"Ah… we'll have to work on that, won't we."
"Come. I have to introduce you to the crew." She said, pushing his blade away from her and picking up her own sword, carefully putting it away.
"Just one question, Darling. What are you doing here? What brought your Majesty to port? In Tortuga, no less."
"You didn't really think that I would wait 10 years on that spit of land with the sea calling to me, did you? I shall keep my promise to Will and go back but until then, I will not stop living. I decided that I'd had my taste of freedom and I wasn't willing to give it up. So, I borrowed a ship from Gentleman Jocard and sailed to Singapore. I am the Pirate Lord there, in case you've forgotten. So I found myself the Empress. A wonderful ship she is. She matters as much to me as the Pearl does to you. She's my freedom, Jack."
"That still doesn't explain Tortuga."
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you."
"I came to find you. I didn't know where else to go. Ever since I returned that compass of yours… well, never-mind. I just… I have to tell you something. Something I should have said long ago."
He was silent. It was then that he realized why his compass had brought him to the Empress. It wasn't because it was the best ship in the docks. It was because Elizabeth was there. She was what he wanted most in the world.
"And what would that be?"
By now, Elizabeth's eyes were already gleaming with unshed tears. He wanted to embrace her, to comfort her. But he wouldn't dare. Not after she had said it wouldn't have worked out between them. Oh how wrong she was. It could have worked out, splendidly, in fact. She turned around for she could not bear to look him in the eyes.
"I want you to know that… I am sorry, Jack. I always was. I wept so many nights for you. Mourning my loss. I would have done anything to get you back."
"And why is that? The guilt, I imagine."
She turned to him.
"It must have been awful for you. Trapped, like that. I felt like I should have died with you. What I did was…"
"What every good pirate would have done. And it just so happens that you are a good pirate."
"Will you ever forgive me?"
"Come now, Dearie. Can't have the King crying like this, can we?"
"No, I suppose not."
The tears subsided at his gentle and kind words. She looked him dead in the eyes.
"Do you forgive me, Jack?"
"I forgive you for killing me, if that's what you mean."
"What else is there to forgive?"
"You stole something from me, Lizzie. Something you have yet to return."
"And what would that be? I gave you back the compass." She said, feeling very confused.
"Something I should have put in a chest for safekeeping."
"Jack Sparrow… when have I ever had hold on your heart?"
"Ever since that island, Luv."
"I stand by what I said. It can't work out between us. No matter how much I wish it would."
"Right. So where's this crew of yours." He said, dismissing the thoughts of what could have been that entered his mind.
Together, they stepped outside to find Elizabeth's crew preparing to set sail. She summoned them to the deck.