A/N: Hey guys! Just something that I thought of between not doing my homework and napping so… here goes! Please review and yes, this is a one-shot but you probably knew that already.
Disclaimer: POTC belongs to Disney.
Elizabeth was torn. Torn between what was right and was right for her. She knew who she loved. Yes, she loved Will. But she loved him like a sibling or a very dear friend. Jack, however, was a completely different story. For she loved more than the legend. She loved the man.
But she had promised. She knew she shouldn't. But she had to.
Packing all of her belongings, she got a ship from Captain Teague and sailed to Tortuga. It was the only place she could think that Jack would be at this point. What with the war over and all, they more than likely went there to celebrate.
On the voyage there, she remembered her one day with Will. It wasn't like he thought it would have been. They didn't do anything but simply talked…
"Elizabeth… I love you so much. I want you, Elizabeth." He said, lust evident in his eyes.
"Yes, but… I don't want to be left alone with a child for ten years. Will, you must understand. Things have changed, now. If it were under any other circumstances, I would, believe me. I want you, too…" she lied.
"Alright… In ten years then." He said, trying not to sound too disappointed.
"9 years and 364 days. We will be together." Just a lie…
It all seemed like a dream, a figment of her tortured imagination. But if there was anything that had never been more real to her, it was her feelings for Jack. She then pondered on their last encounter… and how much she regretted it all.
"It would have never worked out between us…" Another lie.
Why do I keep lying to him? To myself?
Because you're married now…
Another kiss won't hurt. To say goodbye?
"Once was quite enough."
Rejection. It burned her to the core and she felt as though her heart was drowning. Drowning in a pool of sadness and despair from which no one could ever retrieve it. And Jack Sparrow was the essence of that pool.
No tears. There would be no crying today. It should be a happy day. Your last day with Will. Your last chance with Jack.
But she took no chance. She merely smiled faintly, accepting his lack of faith and encouraging her denial.
I don't love him. I don't love him. I don't…
But I do.
Thank you for always being there. Thank you for coming into my life. Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for showing me freedom. Thank you for being a good man. Thank you for making me all that I am.
Damn you for making me go through this for you. Damn you for not giving us a chance. Damn you for losing me to Will. Damn you for making me fall in love with you. Damn you for being all that you are.
It's too late now, she thought grimly, remembering the last time she looked into his obsidian eyes. Eyes that made her melt with a single glance, making her wish that she was his and only his and that he were hers.
She would find out soon enough if he regretted the way they left each other's lives. Perhaps he was happy, relieved even, that she was gone. That she was out of his life. After all, she had killed him. But she loved him so much, she felt it could erase that part of the past. That part of their past.
The rest of the voyage was a blur to Elizabeth. All that mattered was getting to him. Soon enough, the ship docked into Tortuga and she ran to the first tavern she saw, praying he would be in there drinking rum. Praying that he would not have a whore in his arms.
She looked around desperately, frantically, searching for a mess of black hair. Searching for him, where her heart truly lay. Her heart! And then she remembered that he had given her his trusty compass as a parting gift. She opened it swiftly and watched as the needle moved, pointing to her right. She hesitantly turned and there was Jack Sparrow, in all his glory, sitting at the bar, drinking what appeared to be his second bottle of rum.
But it did not faze him. He still looked as gorgeous as ever and his voice as he ordered another round of drinks was still irresistible. She walked up behind him, putting her arms around his neck, kissing his jaw from behind.
At first, Jack sighed tiredly, thinking it was Giselle or Scarlett again but, truth be told, since Elizabeth (damn the wench), he didn't want anyone else (but her). In fact, all he thought about was her. His thoughts were consumed with her (and his love for her) and those feelings that he knew were there but refused to admit. For if he admitted to them…if he gave in to them, all hope would be lost.
"I already told ye, not tonight, Darlin'. I've got a lot on me mind."
"I've got a lot on my mind too, Captain Sparrow." She said, her breath hot against his ear.
She relished the moment when he tensed upon hearing her voice. Slowly, he turned around and came face to face with none other than Elizabeth Swann… Elizabeth Turner, he corrected himself, painfully.
"Well, well, well. What brings King Lizzie to Tortuga?"
"I came to find you, Jack."
"Me? An' why's that, Love?"
"We have some unfinished business to attend to."
"Business? What… business could we possibly have to discuss?"
"Yes, I know you're sorry, it's in the pa-…"
"No! I mean I lied that day… when we said goodbye."
"We never really said goodbye, though, did we, Lizzie?"
"What I mean to say is… is that I think it could have worked out between us. It could still…"
His eyes widened for a moment before he slowly regained his composure.
"Could it? I seem to recall you making a very contradictory statement."
"Like I said… I lied. I need to know if you did as well."
"What do ye mean? Oh… you're talking about the 'quite enough' thing, aren't ye?"
"I most certainly am. Tell me the truth, Jack. Don't make this long voyage have been in vain."
"Truth is, I've always liked ye, Dearie. Even when I first met ye. Could've worked out splendidly… but it's ye who's married to Will."
"He would never know."
"Now, now, Love…"
"Jack, I have to tell you something. I can't believe it took me so long to say it but… I love you…" she whispered.
His eyes didn't widen like she expected. He didn't grin like she had hoped. He simply sat there with a dissatisfied look on his face, solemn and stern. She avoided his gaze, unshed tears creeping up behind her frantically blinking eyelids. She watched and waited for a reaction and all he did was finally set his rum bottle down.
"Come here, Lizzie." He said, leaving her no room for arguing, pointing to the seat next to him.
She hurriedly walked over and sat down, looking up at him expectantly. He propped her chin up and looked deep into her eyes, which were full of tears by now.
Could it be that she would be rejected again?...
"Now I can only wonder what sparked this little confession, hm?"
"I don't… I don't understand."
"I'm not as stupid as some people might think."
"Jack Sparrow, what on Earth are you talking about?"
"Come on, Love. You and I both know that William's gone for ten years. It's only been a few weeks and you've already come crawling to me. I get it, I do. You're lonely. But I am not and will not be a replacement for him. Normally, it wouldn't matter. But it's you, Lizzie. I can't… I don't think I could handle it."
"But I love you." She said in a breathy whisper, reaching out to touch his face but not before Jack caught her arm and put a serious look on his face.
"Nay, Love. Ye need me. Ye don't love me. That's why ye married the whelp. So why don't you be a good little wifey and go back to yer island and wait it out like ye're supposed to, eh?"
"But I do need you, Jack. Now more than ever. I don't love Will."
"Since when?" he asked, a small sneer hidden in his voice.
"Well, I mean I did… once… but now… Now everything's changed."
"Now ye need someone to take care of ye and I'm the next best thing to Will. Is that it?"
"No! Jack, I loved you even then."
"Then why did you marry Will?" he responded, eyeing her triumphantly.
"What choice did I have? And it's not as though I was fully aware of it. We were in a battle, you know! Do you even know why I went over to the Dutchman?"
"It was for you! I saw you and Jones… and I saw him beating you. I wanted to help. I wouldn't forgive myself if something happened to you, even if not by my doing."
"Who sent me over there in the first place?"
"It was part of your plan."
"Was it? And what if me plan was to run away, never fight and live to see another day?"
"You're alive now, if I'm not mistaken."
"No, Elizabeth. I'm dead inside. The Pearl's gone. Everything is. Everything that once was."
"If you won't accept me… can we at least be friends?"
"We were never friends. Acquaintances, maybe. But not friends. Not after what you did to me."
"I thought you forgave me for that."
"What made ye think that?"
"You voted for me." She said, pleading her case with as much conviction as she could.
"And ye compare that to forgiveness? Tell ye what, if ye'd kissed me like that at the Cove and told me ye loved me then, maybe I would've believed ye. But yer time has come and gone."
"Hiding from the world won't help you, Jack. It won't bring you happiness. And someday, when this is all gone, when you can no longer sail the seas, you'll have nothing. Nothing but difficult memories. And past regrets."
"And what'll you have, hm? Unrequited love, perhaps?"
"At least I'll know I tried."
"Alright, Love. Let's say I did believe ye. What then?"
"I… I don't know. I would help you get the Pearl, I suppose. We could get to know each other. It's not like we know the other, not really. I don't even know your mother's name!"
"It was Caroline, if it means anythin' to ye."
"Jack… please, I'm begging you to reconsider. If you say no… I'll leave your life forever. And you can forget I ever existed but I can't say I'll be able to do the same. You've embedded yourself into me, Jack. I couldn't get rid of you even if I tried."
Jack weighed his options. Elizabeth was right in front of him, willing. She was right there… He could go with her, yes. But then her undead husband would come back in ten years and make him very, very dead. Irretrievably dead. And that was decidedly not good.
Then again, he could just break the lass's heart. It wasn't as though she had never broken his. So what if it could work out between them. She deserved to suffer a little, right?
"I'm afraid me answer's the same, Love. I stand by what I said. It may have worked before but it'll never work now."
He tried his hardest not to feel guilty when he saw the flashes of disappointment and despair flash across her beautiful face.
She was beautiful, wasn't she…
Oh, shut up!
She wiped her tears with her sleeve and nodded her head, putting on a small smile. A smile that hid the screams and cries she refused to let escape. He couldn't know that he was eating her up inside. That he was the sole reason for her state of sadness.
"Alright, then. Have a nice life, Jack. I'll never forget you." She said, in a teary tone of voice and walked over to him, placing a small kiss on his cheek.
She turned around to walk out but then abruptly turned back to face him and threw the compass into his lap. He looked at it and then back at her, a question asked clearly in his eyes.
"How else would I have found you?" she said, tears gleaming in her amber eyes causing him to rethink what he had just done.
As he watched her beautiful silhouette walk away, he felt something stir inside him. He wasn't sure what it was. He had felt it before, when they said their goodbyes. It resembled longing… and caring… but no, it couldn't be… could it?
"I love you…"
Did she mean it? The look in her eyes…. It all seemed real enough. He started to feel an emptiness as he watched her walk out of the tavern and turn the corner. He sighed deeply, running his hand across his face. And one glance at the compass made his choices clear. He didn't even need to open it. If this was how she found him, then he was what she wanted most in this world. And he wasn't going to let her go… Not again.
"Oh, bloody Hell." He exclaimed as he tucked the compass into his pocket and ran out after his beloved Lizzie.
She ran into an alleyway, despite her better judgment, and sat down, sliding against the wall, burying her head into her hands. How could this happen to me?
Jack could hear her incessant sobs, even in the loudness that was Tortuga, and he followed them until he came upon a shaking figure, saying his name repeatedly. Kneeling down beside her, he gently scooped her up into his arms and kissed her tears away.
"Shhhhh, Lizzie, Love. We'll have no crying. Kings don't cry."
"They do when pirates break their hearts."
"You really love me, Lizzie?"
"Well, I… I love ye, too."
"What?" she asked, shocked.
"I love you, Lizzie. You're what I want most. You're what I've always wanted most."
He set her down and brushed all the hair from her face, looking deeply into her eyes.
"I lied too, Lizzie. Once was not enough."
And before she could respond, he claimed her lips with such a fury, such a passion, that she nearly passed out form the immense pleasure and joy that coursed through her. He tangled his hand in her disheveled hair and ran one hand up and down her back, relishing the feel of her in his arms, of her actually being there. With him.
She wrapped her arms around him, pulling him closer, deepening the kiss. When they finally pulled back, she put a rather confused look on her face.
"Was twice enough?" she asked meekly, afraid of his answer.
He gave her the lopsided grin that she loved so much and looked at her in amusement as well as in adoration.
"No, Love… not even close." He said huskily as he once again overtook her mouth and sent them into a heavenly bliss from which no one… not an undead husband, not an ex-first mate, not that bothersome monkey… and nothing… not a war, not a curse, not a sea monster… could take away from them.