A Means to an End
by Luvvycat


Author's note: This is a sequel to my previous story "Rum and Persuasion" (formerly known as "Curiosity" -- now renamed due to the preponderance of PotC stories by that title already posted on this site.) It amounts to a retelling of PotC:DMC, but filtered through the lens that the interlude between Jack and Lizzie described in "Rum and Persuasion" did, in fact, happen, so though the canonical events described in DMC haven't been changed in any significant way, they are cast in a slightly different light, as are the motivations of certain characters ...

And, don't fear ... I'm not going to retell the entire story of DMC. After all, we've all seen it, and are familiar with the story. But I will "hop around" to certain key scenes, particularly as they involve Jack and Elizabeth, and the evolving relationship between them. These parts have either been "fleshed out" or expanded with additional scenes, or have been retold from a specific character's point of view, enabling us to get into that character's head.

Please note that I've attached an "M" rating, mostly due to flashbacks to certain rather racy scenes from "Rum and Persuasion", and other situations of an adult nature.

Again, Disney owns all things POTC, and I lay no claim to ownership of the films or its original characters.

'Ta for now, and I hope you enjoy this tale ...

-- Cat


- Prologue -
A Marriage, Interrupted

Elizabeth Swann, soon to be Mrs. William Turner, Jr., knelt upon the cold wet flagstones in the courtyard of the chapel at Port Royal, the tepid rain pouring down her face to mingle with the hot tears already falling there, her drenched cream-and-gold confection of a wedding gown pooling on the ground around her like so much melting custard.

Something was wrong. Something was terribly wrong. First, Will had failed to show up at the expected time ... worrisome, but not exactly catastrophic; grooms were frequently late to their own weddings. But then the skies had blackened ominously, the wind had whipped up to near gale-force, and bitter sheets of wind-blown rain had started falling, ruining the fine settings and oh-so-carefully arranged decorations, and causing the assembled guests to scatter like startled birds to seek shelter in the chapel's colonnade. It was as though the heavens, rather than showering blessings on this happiest of days, were determined to drown it out of existence.

Elizabeth wept even as the skies did, oblivious to the rain, lost in her own misery, and a sense of dark foreboding ... wept for her ruined wedding, so beautifully planned and perfectly appointed with the lushest island flowers, the linen-draped tables dressed with polished silver, the finest china and most costly crystal, all the more precious because they were among the few things she had left of her late mother ...

Wept for the guilt that weighed upon her like the crushing weight of a boulder on her chest ...

Am I to blame? Elizabeth thought to herself. Perhaps God is punishing me, for my sins, my lies, my deceptions. Is this my penance, then, for what I did? For what I let happen?

For betraying Will?

Was this the price she was being forced to pay, for her one night of passion -- albeit, ultimately, unconsummated, in the strictest sense of the word -- with Captain Jack Sparrow?

It had been a moonlit night, four months ago, when the captain of the Black Pearl had appeared on her terrace, loudly and, literally, stinking drunk. That night had begun merely as an effort on her part to protect a man she and Will had once saved from the hangman -- a man they considered to be a friend, though not an entirely trusted one -- and, thanks to liberal quantities of rum and stolen kisses, fuelled by a mutual attraction, had ended with her waking up, naked, in bed with a similarly-unattired Jack, with only disjointed memories of what had transpired.

But what little she did remember, in shockingly vivid detail, was most embarrassing, to say the least, and informed her that she had behaved in a manner most unsuitable for an engaged lady expecting to be married in a few months ...

Though she knew she had managed to escape that encounter with her virginity -- barely -- intact, the other things she and Jack had done -- wonderfully sensual, consensual things that had resulted in her experiencing her first sweet taste of carnal rapture -- was a secret she dared share with no-one, particularly Will. Once Jack was safely gone again on the Pearl, Elizabeth had resolved to do everything she could to forget that one night, and rededicate herself to Will and their upcoming marriage ...

The sound of booted feet marching in military time, and the rattle of a manacle chain, roused her from her oblivion, and she turned to see a company of uniformed soldiers escorting a man, bound in irons, into the chapel yard ...

The man in chains was her fiancé, Will ...

And her lovely dream wedding officially became a nightmare ...