A/N: Hey guys! Thanks to everyone who left a review, they make my day! After months (possibly a year?) of hiatus, JE is back!
Disclaimer: PotC belongs to Disney.
Jack paled instantly. He had hoped that the woman of his past and the woman of his present (and hopefully future) would never cross paths. Why did she have to go and look through his journal? Why? He narrowed his eyes at the drawing of Alyssa. He hadn't seen those in years. Not since he met Elizabeth. He hadn't wanted to. Elizabeth was the only face stuck in his mind.
Funny how he was able to forgive her so easily. Lizzie could kill him as many times as she wanted because he knew that she was sorry. But when Alyssa kissed his mother… she hadn't shown any remorse at all. The little guilt she did project was merely an act, a set up. She didn't care about anyone. That was why he never forgave her.
He mentally scolded himself. How could he even try to compare Elizabeth to that evil, maniacal woman? They were nothing alike. One was an angel and the other was a demon. One had his heart and the other had broken it. But Elizabeth had broken his trust.
"What do ye think you're doing?" he asked her, crossing his arms.
Elizabeth frowned. "I was just…"
"Oh, I know what you were just." he interrupted. "How could ye go snooping about me things? And while I'm sleeping, at that."
"Jack, I think you're overreacting. And I wasn't snooping. Aren't you the one who brought forth my tendency towards curiosity? It'd be mighty hypocritical for you to reprimand me for it." She replied indignantly to hide her nervousness.
"Well, if ye were curious, you could just bloody ask me! Not do the dishonest thing and look for yourself." He countered, somewhere in the back of his mind thinking that perhaps she was right and he was blowing the whole situation out of proportion.
Her eyes narrowed. "Dishonest? Dishonest? Who are you to tell me about dishonesty? You're a pirate!" she shouted. "Oh yes, you're Captain Jack Sparrow." She said in a mocking voice. "Well you know what? If Captain Jack Sparrow can be dishonest then so can the Pirate King." She huffed.
"Luv… I'm only going to say this once." He paused and walked to her, taking the journal from her hands. "Stay away from me things. Savvy?" he said and stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind him.
Elizabeth stood there in awe. They had just had a real fight. They weren't bickering, or taunting each other like usual. They had had an all out fight and she found she did not like it one bit. How could she have let this happen? She had finally gotten Jack to forgive her and then… then she made him even angrier.
He shouldn't even be angry over something so trivial but… he was Jack and he was quite guarded about his personal life. Which is why she decided to look in the first place!
Yes, she could have asked him but would he have even told her? She highly doubted it. He mostly kept to himself about his life. And there had to be a reason for it. No one she had ever met, perhaps aside from Norrington, kept so much of themselves and who they were a secret. If she couldn't get anything out of Jack, then who could?
It was true she invaded his privacy but it wasn't out of malice or spite. And for him to storm out like that! How… how cowardly of him! Elizabeth sighed. She was the coward.
She was the one who couldn't even take a chance on the man she loved (yes, loved) and tell him her feelings because she was still so damn caught up in her messed up marriage. Will didn't want her, as it seemed, so why did she even care? Maybe because his heart, his fate depended on her being faithful. But what if her heart was hurting? Should she listen to hers and take Jack as a lover or ignore its pleas and please Will instead?
As if Jack would even take her anymore after what she had just done.
God, I'm just so bloody stupid…
And at that exact moment, Jack was telling himself the same thing. He had gone to the deck and stood by the railing, overlooking the moonlit ocean. All she did was read his journal.
That. Was. It. Nothing else, just the simple reading of a simple journal.
True, she had found out about the one person he never wished to speak of again but she was right. Curious as a cat, she was, that Elizabeth Swann. He couldn't stay mad at her. He couldn't even get mad at her.
And she was also right about him. He was a pirate. And he had been dishonest on many occasions. One of those illustrious occasions, more recently, in which he forged a letter in her name basically to her undead (thanks to him) husband basically telling him to go to hell. He wanted to talk about dishonesty? He was dishonest. And he was being dishonest right now by letting her think that she had done something wrong and that he was a saint.
She could never do anything wrong. She was his Lizzie, the brightest star in the night sky.
With no hesitation, Jack started for his cabin with a purpose in mind. He was going to… apologize. At first, he was going to tell her the truth about the letter but he just wasn't ready for that yet. He wasn't sure he'd ever be ready for that. That letter, those words scribbled in a hopeless attempt at love, was what held him together. As long as she was unaware of his dishonest betrayal, she would still regard him with that same sense of admiration that always tugged at his heart strings. And so long as the whereabouts of the real letter, the one that she had written and was intended to be given to Will remained a secret, his chance at love still existed.
Once he reached his cabin, he slowly knocked on the door (which wasn't really necessary because it was his cabin). Elizabeth opened the door but Jack's eyes were focused on the floor, thinking about what he was going to say to her.
"Jack?" Elizabeth's voice shook him out of his reverie. "Are you alright?"
He sighed. "I'm fine, luv, just… memories. Some very bad memories associated with… your little discovery.."
Elizabeth's eyes wandered along the room, not once meeting his. "I'm sorry."
"What?" he asked, his brows furrowing.
"I'm sorry I read your journal without permission, I just… it's just that I wanted to find out more…" she paused, shaking her head in disbelief at what she was about to say. "I just wanted to find out more about the man I… the man I love." She finished in a whisper.
It was Jack's turn to be surprised. "Luv?"
"I know we've known each other for a few years now but I wanted to know more." She frowned. "It's not like we really know each other, Jack. You were sleeping, I didn't want to bother you. I didn't think I'd come across this, though."
"This being Alyssa." He said, choking out her name.
Elizabeth nodded. "Who was she? It seems like you loved her a lot. She's everywhere in here."
He wasn't sure but he thought he could pick up a hint of jealousy in Elizabeth's voice. Jealousy and something else… disappointment perhaps? Betrayal? Yes, that was it. She looked completely and utterly betrayed. What did she know about betrayal? But then he recalled how he felt every time he saw her hanging on the whelp's arm or laughing at something he said. Alright, so maybe she did feel betrayed. But she had no reason to feel threatened by Alyssa. His heart was closed to anyone but Elizabeth. She had brought it back to life, after all.
"If you don't want to talk about it, I understand. I was just… curious." She whispered cautiously, not wanting to upset him further.
What she couldn't decipher was whether or not he was upset at her or upset at the name that had been brought up. He looked so somber, so hollow that it almost reminded her of that one time when she… but she did not even want to think about that. Or anything that could possibly relate to that day with one exception… she would not mind being reminded with a kiss.
Focus, Elizabeth. This is serious.
Jack's eyes flashed up to her sadly. "It's not that I don't want to tell ye, luv. It's that I'd hoped you'd never have to hear that name or find out her story. It's not a nice one." He sighed. "But there's no sense in keeping it a secret from you, since you're so inclined to find out more about me person. And… I'm sorry, too, luv."
She shook her head. "No, you couldn't possibly have anything to be sorry about. You're a good man, Jack, even if you don't like to show it sometimes. You had every right to react the way you did."
Damn it, Lizzie. Why was she being so nice to him? Every kind word that came out of her mouth only increased the amount of guilt he felt for that letter. He had to clear this up immediately.
"No, Lizbeth. I shouldn't have left the way I did and I sure as hell shouldn't have yelled at ye. I'm sorry. Now about that girl."
"Jack…" she trailed off, reaching out to touch his hand.
He shook his head decidedly. "No, luv. No secrets." He sat down across from her and took her hand in his. "Alyssa…" he paused, grimacing at the name. "She was from England, like you. Beckett's brother's wife but he was killed when his fleet engaged a pirate ship and so she took back her maiden name. It was just a few months before I resigned from the company." He tiredly closed his eyes and started rubbing small circles on her hands. It was difficult for him to talk about it.
"We can finish this in the morning, I'm sorry I ever…"
"Lizzie." He whispered, successfully getting her to be quiet. "Anyway, when I did resign, I ran into Alyssa in Tortuga. She said she was done with England and everything in it and wanted to become a pirate." Jack snorted at that and his eyes, once soothing, were now livid with repressed anger. "I actually believed her. Gave her a place on the crew and a place in my heart. Biggest mistake of my life, I'd wager, next to selling my soul to Davy Jones. I never even for one second thought that she might have been working for Beckett. But she was."
Jack looked into Elizabeth's eyes and frowned. "One night, we docked in Tortuga and I was out with Barbossa, another traitor, planning our next course. She was somewhere in town, I didn't even know where at the time." Elizabeth wanted to cry at the look on his face. He was devastated. She should have never brought this up, if only to keep him from looking so distraught. She had never seen him like this before. "The next day, I came to find she never came back to the inn. I went to the Pearl and saw her sitting on the docks staring at the back of a shop corner. That's where I found her."
Elizabeth took one quick breath and asked, "Who?"
"Me mum. Dead." He mouthed the last word, unable to say it out loud.
He sighed. "I sailed with that pathetic excuse of a woman for months. Never did I think that she could have been capable of such cruelty. One day, I was in the galley and she walked in, not noticing me and she was talking to herself…" Jack remembered with all the clarity in the world that, in that moment, his heart broke. "Confessed her sin unknowingly and I kicked her off the ship. That was the end of that."
Tears escaped Elizabeth's eyes. So it was the woman whom he thought loved him that had taken away his mother? And then, suddenly it all made sense. Everything. Why he was the way he was. Because that girl had broken him, broken his spirit. He covered up his pain with wily banter and witty remarks but deep down, he was hurting. Deep down, he was just a broken man with a broken heart. That explained why he never let anyone in. Why he kept his heart so guarded. She sobbed quietly and Jack ran a soothing hand across her cheek.
"Don't cry, luv. It's alright."
"No, it's not. I'm just like her." She muffled into his chest, her hands holding the lapels of his shirt.
Jack's face fell. Elizabeth was the complete opposite of Alyssa. "Don't ye ever say that again, Lizzie. You are nothing like her."
She peeked up at him through her lashes. "Yes. I am. I betrayed you, just like she did. I killed you, just like she killed your mother. I'm just as bad as she is."
Jack couldn't take it anymore! This girl was driving him bloody crazy. Could she not see the treasure she was? How truly and utterly special she was? In general? To him? Especially to him…?
He stood up and grabbed her by the wrists, backing her up against the wall. Despite the fact that she should have been afraid, she was not. All she could focus on was the loving, tender look on his face. She knew he would never hurt her. She had also never seen him look so serious.
"Lizbeth… What else can I do to show ye how much ye mean to me, hm? I've tried and tried and tried and ye still don't think you're worthy of anything." The tears stopped flowing on her face. Well, that's a start. "Luv… I forgave ye for that a long time ago. I'd forgive you if ye did it again. Hell, I'd forgive ye if you told me you were going to do it right now! But I will never forgive that conniving and deceiving woman. She was never sorry. She didn't care." He leaned in closer and inhaled her scent, propelling him to go further. "I wasn't exactly the best of people after I lost the Pearl. I was cold and cruel and uncaring. I-…"
"I'm sorry, but I don't believe that." She said quietly, absentmindedly playing with the buttons on her shirt.
Jack placed his hand on her mouth causing a shiver to run down her spine. Jack noticed; she noticed that Jack noticed; she blushed. "Now, darling… no interruptions." He slowly removed his hands, gingerly letting his fingers linger for a few more moments than he should have. "As I was saying, I wasn't a good person. Maybe deep down, like you say, I was but not on the outside. But then… one day, a few years ago, I met ye. And… here we are."
Elizabeth was silent for a few moments, trying to word what she wanted to say perfectly. "So where exactly are we, Jack?" She looked him the eye. "What is this?"
Jack smirked. "You want to know what this is?"
She nodded, smiling softly when his other hand crept up to rest on her hip. He leaned in and kissed her lips tenderly, waiting for her to respond before escalating it further. And as much as she didn't want to give in, she started kissing him back and all those other superfluous thoughts of right and wrong faded away. A groan of disapproval escaped her lips when Jack removed his.
His eyes stared at her, calculating. He looked so serious. But then a spark of mischievousness made its way into that delightful smirk of his. "I think ye know… you feel it too. It's a comfort, like…" he trailed off when he saw her go serious, as well.
"Like nothing you say or do will matter. Because all that matters is that you're here, together." Jack smiled inwardly. "But it's more than that. It's a…"
"A need. I need ye, Lizzie." He buried his face in the crook of her neck. "I love you."
A choked laugh broke out from her and she couldn't help but smile. Jack had just admitted to loving her.
"I love you, too." She said into his ear, wrapping her arms around him tightly.
"I love ye, Lizzie, me luv. I've always loved ye. From the moment you tried to save me from the navy, so brave and stubborn, I've loved ye." He kissed her again, gently. "Me pirate princess."
Elizabeth feigned shock. "That would be pirate king to you, Mr. Sparrow."
"Aye? And that'd be Captain Sparrow to ye, luv."
She grinned. "I know. Captain. Jack. Sparrow." She muttered between kisses.
"Glad to hear it, darling." He said as his mouth crashed against hers once more.
After a while, the night was taking its toll on the both of them and Elizabeth yawned accidentally.
"Tell me, Lizzie. Is kissing me really that tedious of a task, enough to make ye want to go to sleep?" he asked, feigning feeling offended.
She narrowed her eyes coyly. "Oh no, Captain Sparrow. It's just that your… expertise has worn me out."
"Have I told you I love ye?" he said as he carried her back to his… to their quarters.
"Not enough." She mumbled, sleep overtaking her quickly.
He smiled. "Well, there should be plenty of time for that tomorrow, luv."
"And the next day, and the next day…"
"I do like the sound of that, dearie." He gently carried her to the bed and placed a kiss on her forehead. "Sleep, my Lizzie."
"You're not coming?"
A small grimace flashed across his face. "I'll be right back. Got to take care of some things."
"Alright." She snuggled in closer to the pillow. "Hurry, Jack." She whispered before she drifted off to sleep.
Jack stood there a few more moments, just watching the rise and fall of her chest. Finally. It had worked. Everything had worked out so perfectly. More perfectly than he ever thought it could. When he changed that letter, he had no idea that everything would fall into place so wonderfully. But it had. And the proof was right in front of him, a sight he had wanted to see for a very long time now.
Slowly, so as not to wake his angel up, he snuck out of the cabin and shut the door quietly making his way to the rum cellar. He needed to clear his head. While he was ecstatic with the progress he and Elizabeth had made, he hadn't counted on Alyssa making her return. Figuratively, that is. He hadn't thought about that blasted woman in a long while and it bothered him that she was making her way back into his thoughts. The circumstances with Elizabeth brought back other memories, too. Happier memories of the first woman to ever claim his heart.
Jack was walking around the streets of Tortuga jollily, a new sense of freedom overcoming him. He hadn't been to the pirate port in years, not ever since he had joined the company. Now that he had resigned, he felt liberated from the restraints he was once held to. It was then that he realized how welcoming Tortuga could be. He recalled his favorite tavern, the Faithful Bride, and scurried to it in need of some serious celebration. The moment Jack walked inside, his eyes lit up as he saw a familiar face. Alyssa Beckett, born Wright, sitting at the bar. Her eyes were scanning the tavern and caught his eventually. The most beautiful blue eyes he had ever seen. Just like the sea, he thought, engrossed in her beauty.
He wondered, of course, why he had never noticed how beautiful she was. Oh. That's right. She was the widow of his former boss. He had no right to even look at her subjectively. But now, he could look at her all he wanted. He didn't even notice when she stood up and approached him, casually touching his arm in a greeting gesture.
"Well, if it isn't John Teague. What brings you here?" she asked, her voice ringing in his ears.
He cleared his throat. "I'm sure you heard about my resignation. I'm free to do what I want now. But what are you doing here, Mrs. Beckett?"
A strangle smile flickered across her face. "It's Wright, now. And I've left England for good. I'm tired of it, John. All those rules and such. I don't want to be a part of that anymore."
"It's Jack." She looked at him, confused. "Jack Sparrow, now."
"Why the change?"
"I think we all need a change, don't you, Miss Wright?" he asked, winking his eye at her.
A ghost of regret flashed in her eyes but it was gone a moment later. "Yes."
"Do ye have a place to stay, then?" he asked, his tone hopeful.
"No, actually. I came here on a whim a few weeks ago and I've been staying at an inn but I'm nearly out of money." She laughed nervously. "I don't know what I'm going to do."
"I do." He replied confidently.
She arched a brow. "Is that so, Mr. Teague? Oh, pardon me. Mr. Sparrow?"
"It's Captain. Captain Jack Sparrow."
"That's a wonderful name. I'm sure you'll live up to it, Jack." Her hand returned to his arm and he felt a smile cross his face. Strange how this woman could make him feel things he had never felt before…
"Back to the matter at hand, Alyssa…" his voice trailed off at her name, lingering on it. "I do know what you're going to do."
"And what am I going to do?" she whispered, her lips so close to his. If only he would lean in, just a bit.
"Well, I've got myself a ship, luv. And plenty of spare room."
She laughed, a tinkling sound as lovely as her rosy lips. "God, I can just see the look on Beckett's face were he to know I'm to become a pirate."
"I never mentioned piracy, as I recall." He teased, a smirk on his face.
"It's not too difficult to guess. You left the company, you're a captain, you're in Tortuga…"
"What else do ye need, aye?"
One Month Later
"Jack? Are you in here?" Alyssa walked into the cabin, looking for her pirate. Where has he gone off to, now?
She sat down on his (their) bed and buried her face in her hands. This wasn't supposed to happen. She was never supposed to truly fall in love with him. It was a job, just like any other but it turned into so much more. Alyssa was in love with Jack Sparrow. How could she continue to deceive him in this way, feeding the navy all this information? And what they wanted her to do… kill his mother… that was just absurd. She would never be able to go through with it. I love him too much.
But she didn't have a choice. If she didn't comply with what they wanted, they would kill Jack themselves. And his mother, regardless. She would do anything to keep that from happening. Jack didn't deserve to die and while neither did his mother, Jack was more important. He would not die because of her cowardliness. He would hate her but he would live. That was all that mattered.
Jack decided to stop thinking about that woman. She had already invaded his mind too many times for his liking. Enough to last him the rest of his life. He never wanted to hear of Alyssa Wright again.