DISCLAIMER: Sadly, I do not own Pirates of the Caribbean or any of its characters. That honor goes to Disney and Bruckheimer.

SUMMARY: Despite her conflicting feelings, Elizabeth vows to stay faithful to Will while he is away at sea. However, one letter she receives from him changes everything. Oneshot.

A/N: Hello all! I'm back from vacation. I've had this idea for a fic since I saw At World's End in theaters and I finally got it written. I'll be updating The King's Captain within the next few days. I'm working on a scene between Will and Elizabeth on the island, and it's proving to be more difficult than anticipated. Any ideas would be gloriously helpful. Thanks and enjoy the story!

Elizabeth Turner sat on the beach, her knees pulled up to her chest, her arms wrapped around them, hugging them to her body. She had just watched the sunset, as she had every night she'd been on the island where she and her husband planned on meeting ten years into the future. The island had a small port town, of modest wealth and population. It was certainly no Port Royale, but it was enough to sustain her, and the views from the beach and the cliffs just outside of town were breathtaking. Some days she would just sit for hours and watch the sea, watching the ships that came in and out of port, always hoping she would see one with black sails…

It had been nearly two months since she last saw either of the men in her life. The people in town were friendly enough, but she couldn't help but wonder how they would treat her if they knew she was more than just Elizabeth Turner, a sailor's wife. She was Lizzie Turner, the pirate king, and what's more, she knew that deep down the man she was in love with was not her husband. Of course she loved her husband, she had always loved him. She just wasn't in love with him, not the way she was supposed to be, at least. But it didn't matter. The man she was in love with was nowhere to be found and he certainly did not love her back. It was as simple as that, and so, she vowed to remain faithful to Will, knowing that he would always be faithful to her.

Still, she would wait.

Yes, as far as husbands went, Will Turner was most definitely at the top of the list. He was handsome and sweet, gentle, caring, thoughtful. But was he really her husband? Thoughts of their union plagued her mind every day. They had been married by a wanted criminal, which was dubious, at best. The proper paper work had never been filled out, let alone filed. There were no rings. Nothing about their "marriage" was traditional, and she questioned its legality endlessly.

Still, she would wait.

And then there was Jack. Captain Jack Sparrow, as he preferred to be called. There was no question regarding his dashing good looks, his devastatingly handsome features. He encompassed all the things that Elizabeth wished she could have. Jack was freedom. He was bold and daring, courageous even, when he had to be. He was a vicarious, devil-may-care adventurer. Most only saw him as a pirate—conniving and cunning. But Elizabeth knew better. He was a good man and he had, no matter how she 

fought it, captured her heart. She sighed to herself, knowing deep down she was never going to get it back, not fully.

Yet despite how crazy she was for the man, she knew he did not care for her as she cared for him. And she belonged to Will! Whether or not their union was legal, whether or not it was official, she had said her vows and felt obligated to stand by them.

And so, she would wait.

She stood up, brushing the sand off her skirt and shaking out her hair. She took a final glance at the retreating sun before making her way up the beach and towards the little cottage on the hill that she had found abandoned a few days after first setting foot on the island. With nothing more than determination and hard work, she had managed to salvage it and even make it a cozy home for herself. And someday in the near future, the baby… Will's child.

She had found out she was pregnant only three weeks earlier. That same day she sat down and wrote a letter to Will, praying to every god she could think of that it would somehow reach him. What was she going to do with a child? In many aspects, she still felt like a child herself, not to mention how utterly alone she was. Even though she didn't love him the way he loved her, she missed Will terribly. She missed Jack. She missed the playful bantering they shared and his witty comebacks. She missed his dark eyes and his sultry voice. She missed him the way she never thought she would. Now more than ever, she wished he would come to her, if only for a few hours, just so she would have a friend to talk to, someone who understood her. And she knew he understood her. Even if he didn't love her.

She lay awake in bed for hours before falling into a dreamless sleep. The constant flood of emotions kept her mind swirling. She felt a mixture of joy and panic at the notion of becoming a mother. She struggled with the guilt of being in love with a man other than her husband. She felt lonely, desperate for a familiar face, even if it was one she didn't entirely trust. She would settle for the likeliness of Barbossa at this point.

She awoke the next morning, as she did every morning, confused and unhappy. She spent the entirety of the day within view of the ocean, watching and praying the see the Black Pearl appear on the horizon. When it didn't, as she knew it wouldn't, she returned home. When she got there, her heart nearly stopped. Sitting there on the front step, underneath a brick, was a letter. When it arrived or how it got there didn't matter. All that mattered was that Will had gotten her letter and had written her back.

But what she read wasn't at all what she wanted to. Her breath hitched in her throat as she went from word to word, sentence to sentence, and a tear splashed onto the parchment, smearing the ink.

Dear Jack,

I know you won't care much for niceties, and I fear I haven't the time to write them, so I will come directly to the point.

I have recently received a letter from Elizabeth. She has informed me that she is with child—my child. But I cannot set foot on land for another decade. She is alone, Jack, and I can't take care of her the way she needs to be cared for. Her father, her only family, is gone. You are all she has left.

I have suspected on many occasions that you care for her. I cannot claim to know the extent of your affections, and if I am wrong in my assumption, please forgive me. I would like to think that at some point, we were friends, and so I pray to ask of your favor. Go to Elizabeth. Take her with you, if she is willing, to the Black Pearl. I cannot be a part of her life, nor our child's life, the way I should be, the way I am needed.

I beg of you to look after her and our child. It pains me to give her up, but I know I am doing what is best for her. You have my blessing to raise my son or daughter as your own. I know I am asking a lot, but you are the only person I can ask.

I honestly thank you for anything you can do for her.


Will Turner

Jack chewed the inside of his cheek and shifted his weight uncomfortably, the parchment gripped tightly in his hand. He'd read the letter so many times, he could practically recite it. The Black Pearl had been anchored on the far, sheltered side of the island for nearly four and a half hours, yet he still hadn't found the courage to go ashore. He would. He would do it. He would go to Elizabeth and offer to take care of her, the way he always secretly wanted to. God, how he'd wanted to! There had been multiple occasions, many of which he could recall off the top of his head, when he'd wanted to be the one to take care of her. And now he'd been given permission by her undead husband to do so? He should be thrilled, ecstatic. But he wasn't. What the bloody hell was wrong with him? His stomach was churning and his head was spinning. His palms were sweating. He actually felt this way as a result of something other than rum. It was Lizzie. She was what was so intoxicating. She was his drug and he was addicted.

He knew he was hiding from her. Yet she was the one who was alone. Alone and with child. He thought of his own mother. His father had been absent from his entire adolescence. He'd heard stories and had a name to go by, but that was it. He didn't even lay eyes on the man until he was fourteen years old and his mother was dead. He knew what it felt like to be unwanted, to be abandoned. And while that wasn't exactly the case with Will and Elizabeth's child, it had its similarities. He had to opportunity to care for a fatherless child and his or her beautiful mother. He would do it. Of course he would do it. Gathering the nerve to do it, however, was a different matter all together.

He desperately wanted to go down to the cellar and drink every single bottle of rum on the ship. But he resolved to stay sober. He would not, could not, face Elizabeth drunk.

He had started to read Will's letter again when he heard Gibbs behind him. He quickly folded the parchment over and stuffed it in his pocket. He glanced over his shoulder at his first mate. The older man said nothing and offered only a fatherly smile. Jack sighed and nodded, turning around again and facing the sleepy little village that lay ahead. She had no idea he was that close to her.

"I know," he muttered. He spun around towards the opposite railing, preparing a longboat to go ashore. He wouldn't have to look hard to find her. He knew where she lived, where her house was. Jack was a man of numerous connections, and knowing Elizabeth's whereabouts was one of many rewards from such connections. It was almost ironic, that Will was asking him to care for her, to look out for her. He had been all along.

Elizabeth sat in front of the large stone fireplace, rocking herself back and forth. She was so confused. Will told her to move on, to find happiness with someone else. He even went as far as to say that he would not meet her in ten years so as to further encourage her to forget about him. If that was his attempt to make her angry at him so she would move on, it hadn't worked. She was just hurt. All along she'd been wishing for her freedom and now that she had it… she just didn't know. She felt like she no longer knew who she was, what she wanted or where she was going.

Her thoughts at slowed down enough to let her stop crying. But her eyes were still puffy and her cheeks still wet. She hadn't bothered to wipe the last tears away. She wanted to go to bed, to crawl under the blankets and pillows and fall asleep, to dream the pain away. Yet she couldn't make herself move, not one inch. She had never been "touchy-feely." But she wanted a hug, from anyone, now more than ever. Especially a pirate she used to know, who she could only imagine had strong, safe, warm arms…

A light knock on the door shook her from her reverie about the famed pirate captain. Her brow furrowed and she quickly wiped her tear-stained cheeks with the back of her hand. It was late. She looked up at the clock on the fireplace mantle. 11:50 PM. It was later than she thought. Who would be knocking on her door at this hour? Hers was the closest to the beach… perhaps it was a stranded or even a fellow pirate? She waited for a moment and pulled the blanket off her lap and around her shoulders. The knocking sounded again. She bit her bottom lip and slowly rose from her chair, inching across the room. There was no window, no peephole in the heavy wooden door. All she could do was trust her gut and turn the knob.

She did it in one quick motion and there he was, standing there in all his splendor. Everything about him was the same, exactly as she remembered it. His hair was still a tangled mess of black dreadlocks and trinkets signifying memories past. His clothing was still worn and tattered and in complete disarray. His eyes were still dark and penetrating, lined in thick, smoky black kohl. He was there, looking at her. She thought her heart was going to pound right out of her chest. Suddenly, his brow furrowed. She knew it was obvious that she'd been upset, so she wiped her face again. She instantly berated herself, knowing she had only made it all the more obvious.

"Jack," her voice cracked when she spoke. She cleared her throat and watched as he offered her a smile.

"'Ello, darlin'." It was so good to see him, standing there, smiling at her. Before she could stop herself or even realize what she was doing, she threw herself at him, wrapping her arms around his neck and burying her face against his chest. She was about to pull away when she felt his arms move up around her, cradling her against him. She thought she would cry and even felt the her nose tingle and her eyes burn, but she was so elated to see him that the tears never came. She heard him chuckle. "Happy to see me, luv?"

"Oh," she couldn't help but laugh at herself and she stepped back. "I'm sorry."

He grinned. "Don't apologize."

"Come in," she meekly said, standing back and holding the door open. He nodded and stepped inside, looking around at her modest home. She watched as he picked up a trinket from a side table, examining it, then setting it down again. "Not that seeing you is an inconvenience," he looked at her when she 

spoke, "but why are you here, Jack?" Elizabeth was a very smart young woman, and she knew it couldn't be a coincidence that he had showed up the day she received the letter from Will. He smirked.

"Ye know why I'm here," he said softly. She watched as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a near-crumpled piece of parchment. He turned and sat himself in the chair she'd been sitting in, watching as she crossed her arms and stood in front of the hearth, facing him. "I debated for at least an hour as to whether or not to tell ye I got one." He cocked his head to the side. "How are ye feelin', Lizzie?"

"So he sent you to come for me." Instead of a question, it was an irritated realization. "Unbelievable."

"Now, Liz." His casual air was infuriating and she suddenly felt hot. He stood up and sauntered towards her, prepared to say something witty or sarcastic, but the words wouldn't come out. She looked tired and upset, hurt, anguished. In the few months since he'd last seen her, she looked like she'd aged several years. Perhaps inside, she had. He moved closer to her and placed a hand under her chin, tilting her head upwards towards his. Her watched as her eyes became glossy and her bottom lip quivered.

"Jack," her voice cracked again and she instantly squeezed her eyes shut, tears spilling down her face. She dared not open her eyes when she felt his breath, hot against her cheek. Suddenly his lips brushed against her skin, literally kissing away her tears. She soon felt his thumb replace his lips and she opened her eyes.

"I'm not doin' this because Will asked me to," he whispered. She'd never seen him behave this way, so quiet and gentle. "An' I'm not doin' it because I feel obligated to. I'm doin' it because I want to." He paused, his eyes locked on hers. The fact that she'd never seen him so deadly serious before was proof enough that he was genuine in his words. "I'm askin' ye… come away with me. Let me take—" He was cut off when she again threw her arms around his neck and kissed him, pulling him closer to her. He had so much left to say! So much he had rehearsed and wanted to tell her! Let me take you away from here. Come back the Pearl with me. Sail away with me. Let me be the one who takes care of you. If you come away with me, I promise to always be there, for you and the child. I'll always protect you and I'll never leave you. I love you, Lizzie. I love you.

When she pulled away, they were both breathless.

"Jack," she whispered, her eyes closed, "I need to know that you won't tire of me…" He answered her by placing both hands on either side of her face and kissing her with a tenderness that astounded her. When he pulled back, the fear was still evident in her eyes. "…because I won't come alone, you know. I'm pregnant with Will's—" He interrupted her, kissing her again with the same gentleness. He finished by leaving a trail of kisses all over her face.

"Lizzie, I can't tell ye I know what the future holds," he told her, leaning his forehead against hers. "But I know what's in store." He smiled. God, he was beautiful. "I'm ready for it. Not only that… I want it."

At this, she could no longer hold back the tears. She cried against him, knowing he meant every word by the way he held her to him, soothing her with sweet nothings and stroking her back. And when she awoke early the next morning, still nestled in his arms, she knew her safety net had finally been woven. Jack was her rock. If she hadn't fully realized how much she loved him before, she certainly knew now. She was found, never to be lost again.