A/N: Hey guys! Sorry for my lack of updates, it's just… my grandfather passed away a few weeks ago and I have not had the time nor the energy to write. But, I did have time to write this somewhat sad little one-shot. It takes place after Jack is rescued from the locker in an AU where the war does not happen, Elizabeth and Will do not get married, and the Pearl isn't taken from Jack. It goes to the song White Flag by Dido which I think really expressed J and E's relationship and how they're meeting after AWE would most likely play out. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: PotC belongs to Disney and the song White Flag belongs to Dido.

Darkness crept over every splinter of the Black Pearl as its crew was locked in slumber after having rescued Jack from the dreaded Locker. Unfortunately, they were still stuck in the Locker until they could figure out the riddle on the navigational charts. There were but two individuals who couldn't find in their power to fall asleep- a murderess and the dead man watching her.

Elizabeth sat on the steps to the helm, her amber eyes red from crying. Yes, they had rescued Jack but it wasn't the same Jack that she had killed. He didn't even bother to spare her a glance and, while she expected to get the cold shoulder for while, nothing could compare to actually seeing the hatred in his eyes when he saw her on that beach.

If the whole crew were to escape, perhaps she should find a way to stay. Living without Jack's forgiveness was worse than an eternity of nothingness. She didn't deserve anything better. The tears flowed freely now. It was the middle of the night and no one in their right mind would be awake so there was no danger of her getting caught in such a devastated and devastating condition.

What she didn't know, however, was that ever since his arrival in the Locker, Jack Sparrow was most definitely not in his right mind and was standing by the mast, watching her curled up form with careful interest. In all honesty, he was torn between what to do. Part of him wanted to walk over to her and toss her bloody treacherous self overboard but a greater part of him wanted to toss her irresistibly beautiful self in his bed and kiss her senseless. So, for the moment, he had decided upon a truce and just watching her from a distance as she revealed just how vulnerable she really was.

Elizabeth's head jerked up when she heard the floorboards creak and a shadowy figure begin to approach her. Her first reaction was fear but when her eyes locked with Jack, it melted away into a burning guilt.

She wiped her tears with the back of her sleeve but didn't even bother to stand up, feeling that he should feel above her. It was entirely ironic that she had tried to criticize him on his morals and his decency and here she was, the scum of it all. Perhaps he really should just kill her. It would certainly ease the pain that she had brought upon herself.

"What are you doing here, Jack?" she asked in a broken voice.

He opened his mouth as though he were about to say something but changed his mind, glaring at her accusingly. She bowed her head and her hidden sniffles echoed in the nighttime air.

"I'm tired of ye thinking that I hate you, Miss Swann." he explained.

She cringed at the name he used to address her and grimaced. "Why bother denying it? We both know that you do."

"Do I?" he inquired, smirking falsely.

She met his cold gaze. "Well, you're certainly not very fond of me, I'm sure."

Jack took a few steps and sat next to her on the stairs, making her decidedly uncomfortable. He turned to face her and she realized that she had never seen him look so serious before. Not even when he killed Barbossa or when he said they'd have to abandon the Pearl. She winced at the memory and was forced to compose herself when he brushed the back of his hand across her cheek, his hands surprisingly soft and warm.

"Is that what you think? Or what you think you deserve?" He proceeded to stroke her jaw and brush his thumb across her lips. "Because I'll have ye know you're wrong, Elizabeth."

A look of complete horror crossed Elizabeth's face, her eyes glistening with unshed tears. "Why are you doing this?" she whispered desperately. "Are you trying to make me feel worse about myself? It doesn't matter what you or I feel anymore. Don't you see?"

He was taken aback. "Would ye rather I not say anything about it? Not much sense in that, is there, luv?" he asked.

"This isn't right. I've already made my choice, don't make it any more difficult." she said through gritted teeth which contrasted against the vulnerability portrayed by the tears rolling down her cheeks.

"It's not my intention, luv. Things will never be the same again, at least not with you and me." he replied, gesturing between her and himself.

I know you think that I shouldn't still love you

I'll tell you that

But if I didn't say it

Well, I'd still have felt it

Where's there the sense in that?

"I don't want ye to feel bad, Lizbeth. There's no point in ye feeling worse than ye have to." he said quietly, his husky voice almost a whisper.

I promise I'm not trying to make your life harder

Or return to where we were

He truly did not want to make things difficult for her. He could understand why she did what she did. He did understand. But he also understood that no matter what he did, things would never be the same between them. He wouldn't even bother to try. He didn't actually know what exactly they had in terms of a relationship. It was complicated. But damn it all, he had fallen hard for the youthful spitfire in front of him and there was no point in denying it. It didn't matter that she had already made her choice. It didn't matter that there was no way she could ever feel this way for him. The fact of the matter was, he could never stop loving her. He would not give up on her, on this fight. Because Jack Sparrow had had many fights in his lifetime but Lizzie, that wonderful goddess of a pirate was the only one worth fighting for.

Well I will go down with this ship

And I won't put my hands up and surrender T

here will be no white flag above my door

I'm in love and always will be

Elizabeth didn't even notice him retreat to his cabin. She was too immersed in how lightly he seemed to take the whole situation. It was a complete and total paradox, really. He treated her killing him as if it were nothing but she knew how he must be feeling deep inside.

I know I left too much mess and

destruction to come back again

She had made a mess of things. A mess of their relationship, whatever it may have been, and ultimately, a mess of her entire life. Of life in general. Why should he forgive her? She killed him. She destroyed everything that was precious to him. It was all her fault.

And I caused nothin' but trouble

I understand if you can't talk to me again

And if you live by the rules of "it's over"

then I'm sure that that makes sense

What had she been to him since the very beginning? Trouble. When she fell off that cliff and he played the good man to save her, he was caught to be hung. When he did not even think to lay a hand on her on that island, she went and betrayed him by burning the rum. And when he had put himself out there, laid his feelings bare in a moment of vulnerability, she went and killed him. She knew that everything they ever had, any moment they had spent together that he maybe might have cherished, was over. There was nothing to discuss. It was all gone. Well, almost all gone.

He could hate her, he could pretend to hate her, he could be indifferent towards her. It didn't matter. She would never give up on him. No, she'd never truly say it to his face… but she would never stop loving him. She was in too deep and it was pointless to abandon it. She couldn't even if she tried.

But I will go down with this ship

And I won't put my hands up and surrender T

here will be no white flag above my door

I'm in love and always will be

She knew that soon enough, once they'd get out of there, she and Will would be dropped at the nearest port. Perhaps they'd get married, if Will still wanted her, but either way she would not be happy.

She would lose him. But suddenly, a small smile graced Elizabeth's lips. She knew she'd be seeing him again.

The sun crept over the horizon as Elizabeth made her way to work. She frowned as she walked into The Faithful Bride where she was a waitress. Jack had been thoughtful enough to drop her off in Tortuga and Will elsewhere, seeing as he wanted nothing to with her. She recalled how they made it back from the Locker easier than she had expected, thanks to Jack's ingenuity. Jack. There he was again, invading her thoughts like every other morning for the past three months.

Today, however, was a very busy day with plenty of thirsty pirates anxiously awaiting their beverages. Elizabeth nearly dropped the glass of ale she was bringing a customer when she saw him walk inside looking as handsome as ever. He scanned the room and locked eyes with her, taking a few long strides until he was standing right in front of her.

"Hello, Lizzie." he smirked, trying to hide his joy.

And when we meet

Which I'm sure we will

"Jack." she nodded. "How- how are you fairing?" she asked timidly, acknowledging that her knees would buckle any second now.

"Me?" he inquired with smoldering eyes. I lost everythin' when ye left. "I'm fine, but how are ye doing, luv?"

His heart was pounding in his chest; she could barely breath.

All that was then

Will be there still

You broke my heart. "Better than ever. Everyone here is very nice. I'm… happy." she said with a fake smile, trying to keep the tears from falling.

"Oh, good then. I'm glad ye like good old Tortuga. Well, I'll just have me a bottle of rum and be on me merry way, aye?" he said, his face unreadable.

She choked on her words but managed to say something along the lines of "be right back."

She brought him some rum and he took it with the smirk, letting his fingertips linger on hers for just a moment.

"I'm happy for you, Elizabeth." His voice sounded strangely foreign, like it didn't belong to him. Just let her go. Let. Her. Go.

She grimaced, trying to smile but failing terribly. "Thank you." It's not meant to be. Let him be on his way.

I'll let it pass

And hold my tongue

And you will think

That I've moved on...

With a sad smirk, he turned around and fled from the tavern leaving Elizabeth in a tangle of thoughts and a crushed heart. Once he was out and away from her, he sighed with exhaustion. It had been worse than he thought it would have been, seeing her again. He had just come to check up on her, expecting to find someone broken, someone who needed him. But apparently… she was doing just fine on her own and didn't need him. She had never really needed him anyway. It was time to let it go but her… he could never let her go.

Well I will go down with this ship

And I won't put my hands up and surrender

Elizabeth watched him leave and knew that he would never come back again. He'd moved on but she could never do the same. She could never let him go.

There will be no white flag above my door

I'm in love and always will be

"I love ye, Lizbeth." he whispered into the wind as he sailed away on the Pearl.

Elizabeth stood at the docks, watching his ship sail away. "I love you, Jack."

And I always will.