The King's Captain

Disclaimer: Sadly, I do not own Pirates of the Caribbean or any of the marvelous characters associated with it.

Summary: A series of stories about Jack and Elizabeth. No real plot, just sweet, romantic good-ness.

Rating: T. I would be happy to send "M" versions of the chapters via e-mail, just ask when you review.


Introduction

October 4, 1785

Lizzie Sparrow smiled as she leaned against the railing of The Black Pearl, watching her husband across the deck. He had one hand on the mighty ship's wheel, the other wrapped around the toddler balanced on his hip. She couldn't help but smile as she watched him with their child, her hands resting against her round, protruding stomach. It wouldn't be long before their family of three expanded to a family of four, and she couldn't wait to give Jack another child.

When she thought about Jack Sparrow—Captain Jack Sparrow—there were so many words that came to mind. There were all the words that described him and who he was… strong, confident, roguish, handsome, spontaneous. Then there were all the words that described who he secretly was, the Jack that only she could see… tender, gentle, loving, compassionate, thoughtful, understanding. And then, of course, there were all the words that described how he made her feel… save, brave, secure, beautiful, loved.

Yes, when Lizzie thought about her Jack, there were so many thoughts and memories that she didn't know where to begin. There were so many aspects of him, so many little quirks and oddities, that it was almost impossible to describe him in the two dimensional sense. Describing Jack was like trying to be Jack. No one could quite match him for who he was. One minute the man was so infuriatingly ambiguous and the next he'd do something that was so unbelievably sweet that she swore she could die from loving him so much.

She would never forget the first time she met him. One minute, she was standing on the wall of Fort Charles, high above the sleepy little town of Port Royale, where she spent the majority of her adolescence. She felt dizzy and could vaguely remember muttering something about not being able to breathe before everything went black. The next thing she knew, she was soaking wet, looking up at the most intoxicating face she had ever seen.

She wondered how any person could not be exhilarated by him—just look at the man, for crying out loud! Everything about him pulled you in.

Moments later, he'd gone ahead and taken her hostage, an act that should have caused her to immediately detest him. And she tried, God, how she tried. But as he held her to him, a pistol pointed at her neck, she couldn't help but notice the exact way in which he held her. She didn't feel like a hostage—it wasn't malicious or cruel. One would think that he would have held her tight, his fingers biting into her skin, but in fact, it was quite the opposite. It felt as if he were being careful with her, like he would never actually cause her any harm if it came down to it. That was when she realized the pirate Captain Jack Sparrow was more show than anything else. Jack Sparrow, the man, was almost a different person entirely.


August 14, 1781

"So!" she huffed, chasing after him, infuriated. He was so nonchalant, so carefree that it made her, not for the first time, want to slap him. "Is there any truth to the other stories?"

"Truth?" The expression on his face changed so dramatically so quickly that it took her back a little. She watched, stifling a gasp as he pulled his sleeve up to reveal the 'P' scare on his arm. The image of what it must have been like flashed into her mind—she could almost visualize him, strapped to a chair, being held down by those who thought they were better than him while a man in a white wig pressed the scorching hot brand against his arm. She squeezed her eyes shut to rid herself of the image, opening them in time to see him roll up his other sleeve. That arm was covered with long, striated scars that stretched from his wrist to his elbow. She didn't want to imagine the torture he had to endure to earn those. Without pause, he folded back the collar of his shirt, revealing the bullet scars on his chest. She clenched her teeth, beginning to feel angry that any human being could hurt another in such a way.

"No truth at all."

The look on his face when he showed her those scars would stay in her mind forever. It was the first time she ever saw him behave with all the seriousness in the world. It would be almost a year before she saw him behave in such a way again: the day she sent him to his death. To this day, she felt she could not come up with the words that adequately expressed the depth of regret at having done what she did.

Had she only known… if she had only known the pain she would end up causing herself, not to mention the pain she caused him and the pain she inevitably caused her fiancée, 

she never would have been able to do it. The look on Jack's face made her want to chain herself to the mast and die right there with him. He smirked at her, his typical trademark smirk, and called her a pirate. But his eyes deceived him. He wouldn't express to her what he was truly feeling until much later, but the feeling of hurt and betrayal was evident in his eyes, and they way they bore into hers haunted her every moment until the day they found him.


July 1, 1782

"Jack!" Elizabeth shot straight up in bed, beads of sweat forming on her forehead and upper lip. Her stomach clenched in knots, making her feel physically ill on top of the turmoil that swirled through her mind. She held her sides as she began to shake, the tears rolling down her cheeks. Her tiny cabin aboard the small vessel that Tia Dalma had provided for them to journey to Singapore suddenly felt very hot. Her mouth was dry and as she continued to sob, her muscles began to ache.

She heard footsteps thudding against the wooden floor outside and before she could get up and lock the door, it swung open and Will stepped inside, a candle providing a narrow path of light as he walked. She immediately covered her face as if it would block the images of Jack being swallowed alive and tortured in the barren wasteland that must have been Davy Jones' locker.

"Elizabeth?" he said her name tentatively, sitting on the narrow bed beside her. He put his arms around her trembling form, resting his chin on her forehead as she shook. "It was only a nightmare… you're alright. You're safe. With me."

"Oh, Will," she cried, looking up at him. He brushed her tears away with his thumbs and kissed the end of her nose. He hadn't kissed her lips since the day Jack died.

"Was it… about Jack?"

She looked up at him, wide-eyed. "How did you…"

"I heard you call out his name."

"Oh," she said sheepishly, looking away. "Yes. It was Jack. Will, what if we can't find him? What if he's lost forever?" The look on Will's face said it all. He didn't look angry or jealous. He just looked sad, defeated.

"We will." He forced a smile of comfort on his face. "We'll find him. I promise." There was a silence between the two as he handed her his handkerchief. "What did you dream?"

"I dreamt of him in the locker," she admitted, wiping her hot cheeks with the back of her hand. "Oh, Will, it's all my fault… I—" she trailed off, stopping herself. She bit her lip. It wasn't time for her to confess what she'd done. Not yet. Not when she could still taste Jack, could still feel his lips against hers.

"You what, Elizabeth?" Will asked, his eyebrows going up. He knew she had a confession to make. He was just unsure of what it was.

"I… I should have saved him," she lied.

"You couldn't have saved him, Elizabeth," Will replied, "he chose to stay. To save us all." He smiled, hoping it would spread to his fiancée. "Who would have predicted that Jack would end up being the one to do such a thing?" Elizabeth looked up at him, trying to stop her lip from trembling.

"I just… I should have done more to convince him not to, is all." She feigned a yawn, settling back into the pillows. She looked up at Will and forced an unconvincing smile on her face. "I'm better now. It was sweet of you to check on me."

"Goodnight, Elizabeth," Will said, sighing as he stood up. "Sweet dreams." He cast her a final glance before leaving her cabin, quietly shutting the door behind him. Once on the other side he squeezed his eyes shut, pinching the bridge of his nose. He thought she was going to tell him about the kiss. He knew she loved him, try as she might to hide it. And Jack loved her. He must have stayed behind to prevent Elizabeth any harm. There was no way he would have done it just because he was a good man. Will knew better. He cast a wayward glance over his shoulder as he walked away.

Elizabeth listened, holding her breath as his footsteps retreated. When she was sure he was gone, she turned and buried her face in the pillow, muting her sobs as she cried and cried the rest of the night.

Mere hours after he was gone, Elizabeth was already planning what she would say to Jack once he was rescued. It was curious, she mused, how losing someone could force you to realize how you truly feel about them.


The pain was so great, the regret and despair so deep, that she knew once she saw him again she could forget her sense of honor and pride. She knew that in order to confess how she really felt about him, that she would have to break Will's heart, and she debated with herself for days over what she was going to do. She made up her mind to confess her overwhelming sorrow and sincere love for Jack—how she deeply regretted what she had done, but how she never, for one instant, regretted that kiss and how she was willing to do anything to make it up to him.

I'm not sorry…

It was the biggest lie she had ever told.

But the day they found him ended up being a night that changed her life forever, in a way she never expected.

A/N: Reviews are greatly appreciated! I have another chapter ready to go, but I'm being stingy and holding on to it until I get at least one! Please? Pretty please? Thanks!