SEALED WITH A KISS
SUMMARY: Once upon a time, Elizabeth sealed Jack's fate with a deadly kiss. Now, nearly a year later, her kiss means something completely different. This is a short but sweet little Sparrabeth oneshot, giving a brief overview of what happened after At World's End.
DISCLAIMER: Jack'n'Lizzie etc. do not belong to me. I make no money from the writing of this fan-fiction.
SHIP: 100 percent Sparrabeth. Willabeth fans are of course welcome, but ye have been warned!
A/N: A few months ago, I came up with a list of phrases and sayings that would make nice story titles. This happened to be one of them, so the idea for this story basically grew out of the title. The passage in italics is a flashback depicting what happened after AWE.
I dedicate this story to everyone who has read and reviewed "Shattered." As promised, here is one of several Sparrabeth stories I've written as I revise that particular story. You guys are wonderful!
I'm not sorry.
Jack Sparrow would never forget those words, or the way Lizzie's voice sounded as she spoke them. She was trying to be so strong, so brave, but the look in her wide eyes told him otherwise. Neither of them really knew it at the time, but he knew her better than anyone ever would. He could sense her fear, her regret. He could feel it himself. He could even taste it, the flavor of her soft lips still lingering on his own.
I always knew you were a good man.
She had kissed him then, kissed him to distract him, to chain him to the mast and leave him for the kraken. She sealed his fate with a kiss. At the time, after watching his temptress flee for her own safety, he wasn't thinking much of it. As a matter of fact, all he could think about was finding a way to escape, something he'd been doing for most of his life. When he realized that there would be no escape, not this time… he thought about her then.
But this is the only way, don't you see?
He had seen her remorse, plain as day, glistening in her eyes. But when he placed his hat on his head and smirked, grabbing the handle of his sword in preparation for the fight of his life, he wasn't really thinking about the kraken. His thoughts were not as they should have been, about cutting that overgrown squid to shreds and then serving up what was left as a meal to Davy Jones. He was thinking about Elizabeth, his Lizzie. He had not expected this from her. This was the type of sneaky thing that Barbossa did, or maybe even the whelp, but not Elizabeth. She was good and pure and sweet.
He wondered if she was going to miss him. He knew she was sorry, despite what she might have told him, but he wondered just how sorry she really was. He really wanted her to be. With the stench of the kraken's breath wafting over him, he wanted her to feel his fear, to know what it was like to have death staring you right in the face, knowing there was no way to get out of it. He wanted her to be lonely and frightened and afraid, to wake up in the middle of the night wondering if he died painfully.
Because he knew he would die a painful death. Everything would likely go black before the kraken's mouth had fully closed around him. He probably wouldn't even feel the beast's razor sharp teeth slicing him open. What Elizabeth didn't know was had he escaped somehow, had he defeated the sea monster, her betrayal would have done him in anyways. Jack had learned the hard way to be careful with one's trust. After the mutiny, it took him years to trust anyone again. It took so long for him to put confidence in another human being, his Lizzie, and one, single kiss to shatter it into a million pieces.
Maybe in the next life, he'd come back as something other than a pirate. Maybe then trust wouldn't be so hard to come by.
A month had yet to pass before the Black Pearl came to weigh anchor near the little island just several yards away from where she nearly went down in the maelstrom. Jack was actually quite relieved to see Elizabeth go that day. Her absence was a guarantee that he would get over his plague-like feelings for the girl. He sighed as his grip on the rail tightened. He should know by now that nothing in life was guaranteed.
He wanted to hate Elizabeth with all that he had, but once again, his pesky humanity came into play. He was concerned for her, for she was alone for the first time in her life. He knew nothing about her mother, except that she died sometime during Elizabeth's childhood. He did know that her father had now gone to join her and that Will, her dearly beloved, was off ferrying the deceased to the next world. Good luck with that, mate.
Jack knew that he didn't have to care about her. He even knew that he shouldn't care about her, given what she'd done to him. But he couldn't help it, he was a fool for Lizzie, no matter what she did. He was typically so careful with his feelings, to not let other people determine how he lived his life, but she changed all that. She was an exception to every rule. What was cold about him, she made warm. And the truth of the matter was, he actually liked himself better when she was around. He liked the way she affected his behavior, the way she brought out the good in him. He wasn't sure yet if he was actually in love with the girl, but if he was, maybe it wasn't as bad as he once though it to be.
After what happened with Barbossa, for a bloody SECOND time, he was quite unwilling to leave the Pearl. He already had to give up the charts as a bargaining chip for his beloved ship and wasn't rightfully prepared to go ashore. But this wasn't just any jaunt inland. With the success of defeating the East India Trading Company, Elizabeth's fame as Pirate King had grown, and therefore it didn't take long for the news to spread that an heir to the thrown was on the way. So not only was Lizzie alone, she was pregnant. Trying to stay away now was futile. If he ever wanted to regain his peace-of-mind again, he needed to see for himself that she was alright.
"They know if they try anything you'll just get the Pearl back again." Jack glanced over his shoulder to see his trusted first mate, Joshamee Gibbs, standing behind him, his hands behind his back. He grinned. "Ye always do, Jack."
"Aye, I s'pose," Jack sighed. He turned around fully, making his way towards the waiting longboat. "Still, I expect you to give yer life to defend her honor."
"O'course, Capt'n," Gibbs said with a chuckle. "Give the king my regards."
If things go the way I want them to, you can give 'er yer regards yerself, he wanted to say. In a perfect world, Lizzie would be waiting for him with open arms, leaving the whole kraken incident and the rest of the world behind. He'd kiss her with all the passion he could muster and she would laugh, and he would laugh, and they'd be happy. As he carried her back to the Black Pearl, he'd say, "What about Will?" She would laugh again and kiss him, replying, "Will who?" Then again, he supposed that if the world really was perfect, Lizzie would have been his a long time ago.
The row to shore would have been long enough, but when he saw the flicker of a candle go on in the cottage on the cliffs, he knew it would take all the longer. A figure appeared in the window and he knew she'd seen him. So much for being stealthy. Whatever happened to the element of surprise, something he'd gotten quite good at in his time? Perhaps she had been waiting for him… perhaps she knew him better than he thought. Within moments, the figure came to the doorway of the cottage. It seemed the closer he got to her, the closer she got to him, slowly making her way through the tall grass down towards the beach.
Elizabeth was standing at the foot of the beach, where the dirt beneath the tall grasses met the sand. As Jack pulled the longboat ashore, weighing it down with a few rocks, it became apparent that she wasn't going to come closer. That task would be left up to him. He was, after all, Captain Jack Sparrow. He feared nothing.
Then why were his palms so sweaty? He tried to be subtle as he wiped them on his jacket, walking towards her. There was absolutely no use in pretending he hadn't seen her. Besides, now that he had, his escape back to the Pearl was all the more imminent. As he drew closer to her, she crossed her arms, and he could see with the aid of the lantern she held that her face was sour.
"Your highness," he said with mock-enthusiasm, bowing dramatically before her. Her eyes narrowed into slits at this.
"Don't bother, Jack," she seethed. "Why are you here?"
"Well aren't we in a fetching mood this evenin'?" He stood upright again.
"Just tell me what you want, and then you can leave."
"Ye know, Lizzie," he said, marching right past her and up towards the cottage, "Ye've got some nerve bein' cross with me. Out of the pair of us, I'm the only one who hasn't stabbed the other in the back." She said nothing to this and he didn't turn around to see pained look on her face. They walked back to the cottage, her just a few paces behind him, in silence.
When they reached the front door, he stepped aside, allowing her to enter first. She continued her noiselessness as she set the lantern down on the main table, turning to watch him as he took a good look around. The cottage was a cozy, one-roomed space, no larger than his cabin. A fire was dying in the fireplace, a rustic, tired looking dining table in front of it. In the center of the room was a small seating area, and on the opposite end was a big-enough bed and a wardrobe. He couldn't help but notice that she had yet to purchase a cradle.
"This is hardly befitting for royalty," he sighed, whirling around to face her. The beads in his hair jingled as he did so.
"I'm hardly royalty," she said quietly, coming to sit in one of the wooden, uncomfortable looking chairs near the hearth.
"Some might argue otherwise," he retorted. His eyes continued to scan the room as he came to sit across from her, plopping his feet up on the table. He tried to be polite, but he was, after all, a pirate, and he behaved like one.
"You still haven't told me why you're here." Her eyes avoided his as she spoke and her voice had lost the feistiness that it held when they initially met on the beach.
"Was in the neighborhood," he lied, stretching and feigning a yawn. Perhaps if he pretended he was disinterested, it would make this meeting easier. "Thought I'd pop in an' say 'ello."
"I see." She nodded, secretly hoping that was not the only purpose to his visit. An entire month filled with thoughts of nothing but Jack had passed. She had rehearsed meeting him again so many times in her head, and now that he was actually here, things weren't exactly going according to plan. She briefly looked up at him, desperate to end the silence between them, and shot out the very first thought that popped into her head. "I'm pregnant." Her cheeks turned red. She did not just say that.
"So I've 'eard," Jack said with a chuckle, only adding to her embarrassment. He took a deep breath before his face became serious and he removed his feet from the table, leaning forward and taking a good look at her. "How are you fairin', 'Lizabeth?"
She prayed this wouldn't happen in front of him, but her eyes began to burn and she knew the tears were inevitable. She shot up from her seat, ignoring the surprised look on his face and marched to the door, holding it open. "If all you've come for is to inquire about my condition, then kindly leave." He just sat there, staring at her. "I'm a grown woman, Captain Sparrow, and I'm quite capable of taking care of myself."
He remained silent for several more agonizing moments before finally speaking. "Are you finished, Liz?"
Elizabeth was a bit taken back by this. "What do you mean?" she asked quietly, trying not to choke on her own words. Jack sighed and shook his head, stalking towards her. He pressed his hand against the door, closing it. Elizabeth turned, surprised by his forwardness, even though she shouldn't have been. He turned around to face her, his eyes boring into hers.
"For your information, Mrs. Turner," he said, emphasizing her title. "I came because I give a bloody hell about you an' wanted to provide ye with someone to talk to, seein' as yer all alone an' whatnot. In case you've forgotten, I've seen you in action an' know very well how capable you are of takin' care. I merely thought you could do with a familiar face, someone to talk to." He paused and shifted his jaw, sighing uncomfortably before turning towards the door, grabbing the handle. "But I can see I am not needed, nor wanted, so… Good day, your highness." The knob had yet to twist in his hand before she cried out to him.
"Jack!" Her voice sounded broken, cracking as she spoke. He turned around slowly, letting his arms hang at his sides. She looked away from him suddenly, trying to regain her composure, but when she realized she couldn't, she looked back to him. She brought her hands up to her face, hiding herself from him before crying, "You must think me wretched!"
He sighed and let his face fall, knowing her eyes were hidden from him. "Now, now, Lizzie," he said, walking back to her. He gently took hold of her wrists, lowering her hands from her face. "Crying never accomplished anythin'." He would have said something more comforting, but the last time he'd let his guard down in front of this particular woman, he'd been devoured by an uncooked slab of calamari.
Jack placed one hand on the small of her back and led her over to a chair, sitting her down before he dragged one out for himself, sitting directly across from her. Elizabeth watched him with wide, watery eyes as he tore off a bit of the sash around his waist and handed it to her. He provided a silly grin as he handed it to her, making her laugh softly.
"Thank you," she said, sniffling. She brought the newly fashioned handkerchief to her eyes. "I haven't spoken to another person in weeks," she sighed, dabbing it against her nose. "It seems I've forgotten my manners."
"S'alright," Jack replied with a nonchalant shrug and a wave of his hand. "I forgot mine a long time ago."
She laughed again. "You??" Her eyes widened in mock disbelief.
"I know," he flashed her a smirk, "hard to believe, isn't it?"
They spent the next several hours sitting just like that, talking and chatting like they'd been friends for years. With the rising sun, Jack was reminded of the Black Pearl, waiting for him in just off-shore.
"I should get back to me crew," Jack said quietly, glancing over his shoulder towards the door. "Don't trust 'em any more than I can throw 'em."
"One can never be too careful," Elizabeth replied, her voice just as quiet. They both stood and walked to the door in silence. He turned to face her, a small, sad little smile on his face. "Look out for yourself, Jack."
He nodded. "You an' the wee-one, as well." He paused, sighing more loudly than he had intended. "Mr. Turner would be a wreck to come home an' find you've been hurt."
No sooner had the words Mr. Turner passed his lips did Elizabeth throw herself at him, wrapping her arms around his neck and pressing her mouth firmly against his… not exactly the response he had expected at bringing up the woman's husband. He stood still at first, hesitant towards her kiss, before realizing no harm could come to him from where he was. He placed on hand on her waist, allowing the other to tangle into her hair before deepening the kiss. When the necessity for air pulled them apart, she looked up at him with wide and fearful eyes.
"What did I do to deserve that goodbye?" he asked, his voice deep and throaty.
"Don't go, Jack. Please? Don't go." Everything about her pleaded with him, from her eyes to the quiver in her voice.
"I didn't kiss you because I'm merely lonely, or unaware of my vulnerability," she continued, her voice growing in assertiveness. "The last time I kissed you, I left you to die. I would hate for you to hold such a thing with such an awful memory." Jack opened his mouth to speak, but she quieted him by placing her fingers over his lips. "And you must know how sorry I was… how sorry I still am. Had there been but any other way, I would have chosen it in an instant. I never told you because I knew I didn't deserve your forgiveness, but I'm telling you now."
"So you are," he interjected, bringing his hand down from her hair and placing it on her neck. "But you needn't ask for my forgiveness, luv."
"Wh—what?" Elizabeth looked up at him with uncertain eyes.
He let out a soft groan, as if he was about to admit something he didn't really want to. "Seems I already forgave you. Quite some time ago." He leaned in to kiss her forehead and she closed her eyes, thinking about the meaning of his words. She flashed to the Flying Dutchman, right after Jack helped Will to stab the heart of Davy Jones. She remembered how Jack grabbed her shoulders, holding her to him and carrying her away from a certain drowning. Had it not been for him, she would be dead right now. He saved her when he clearly didn't have to. She was so distracted by her grief then, it would have been so easy for him to escape on his own, to leave her behind. But he didn't. He pulled her to safety. He had forgiven her.
"But Jack, I—"
"Shh." He copied her move and placed his fingers over her soft lips. "What's past is past, Lizzie. There's not a thing we can do to go back an' change it, so there's no use in dwellin' on it. Savvy?"
She nodded, laughing softly. "Savvy."
"Now listen to me," he went on. "I can't stay."
"I know," she nodded again, letting out a broken exhale. She could never expect him to stay away from the sea.
"Oh, Liz, my silly girl." She looked up to him as he brushed a thumb over her cheek. "Let me finish, darlin'. I can't stay because I don't belong on land. Nor do you."
"Jack?" Elizabeth's heart began to steadily increase in pace as nervous excitement took hold.
"Yer a Swann, dearie," he reminded her, placing both her hands on her upper-arms. "I'm a Sparrow. An' all Swanns and Sparrows are meant to be free. Come with me, Lizzie. Sail away with me."
"Will will be here in ten years, as will you. But who's to say ye have to wait here by yer lonesome in the mean time?" He was right. He was absolutely right. She might feel guilty and it might not always be easy, but she wanted this, to taste the freedom he talked about.
"Alright," she said, her voice shaky and uncertain. A smile broke out on his lips, infectiously passing to her. "Yes, Jack, I'll come with you." He leaned in to briefly brush his lips across hers.
"Well, come, come, dearie, no time to waste." He grabbed her hand, stepping back towards the center of the room in preparation to help her pack whatever she desired to take with her. He'd pack up the whole bloody cottage if that's what she wanted. But she held onto his hand firmly, holding him back. "Lizzie?"
"Jack." She said his name firmly, yet with a hint of trepidation lingering in her voice. "I am pregnant."
"An' you will have the best care a pirate's coin can provide," he assured her, placing both his hands on her waist and bringing her towards him.
"That's not what I mean," she said with a smile, tracing her finger over the flash of tan chest peeking out from under his shirt. "It's Will's, you know."
"Darlin'," he spoke, his voice smooth and comforting, "I don't care if it's Will's child. I don't care if it's Barbossa's child." He paused, grimacing. "Hope it's not… but if it is, it won't matter. The fact remains that it's your child. That's all I care about."
Elizabeth let out a happy sigh of relief, leaning against him. She closed her eyes as she felt Jack kiss the top of her head. Standing there, safe and secure in her pirate's arms, she knew it was only the first of many.
"And… do… you… Jack… take… thee…"
Jack suppressed a groan of annoyance. The preacher had to be nearly a hundred. Cute old guy, but slow. Slower than slow, actually. He glanced over his shoulder, as did Elizabeth, both understanding the danger they were in. He should have known better than to return to Port Royale for this, for such an event was bound to capture plenty of attention, but it's what Elizabeth wanted, to be married in the church she attended as a child. She might have been a pirate, but she was his pirate, and if she wanted a church wedding, then a church wedding she would have.
"I do!" Jack said quickly, interrupting the old man. He smirked at the irritated look on the preacher's face before he continued.
"B—by… the… p—power… invested… in… me…, I… now… pronounce…"
The church's wooden doors splintered open in a terrible crashing noise and Elizabeth gasped before yelping in fright.
"By order of the King's Royal Navy, I command you to—"
Jack's eyes widened and he swooped down, planting a firm and unyielding kiss on his bride's lips before uttering, "Hold on, Lizzie!" He took hold of her hand and started to run, ducking and dodging as the newly appointed commodore ordered them to halt amidst the gunfire of his soldiers.
They ran together, as fast as their legs would carry them, occasionally glancing over their shoulders at their pursuers. The church was not far from Fort Charles, and before they knew it, they were surrounded, stuck between a gaggle of naval officers and the limitless ocean, the Black Pearl waiting below.
"Do you remember what you told me the last time we were both here?" Elizabeth panted, completely breathless.
"Aye," Jack nodded, equally as breathless. His eyes darted back and forth between the soldiers, their bayonets drawn. "It would never have worked between us," he recalled, winking down at her. Elizabeth rolled her eyes. Only Jack could think to wink at a time like this.
"Liar," she said, smirking up at him. He flashed her a grin and briefly leaned down, firmly pecking her on the lips.
"You ready, luv?" he whispered, taking her hand as they backed up together. Within minutes, the commodore would arrive, giving his orders to fire on them both.
"On your lead," she whispered back.
Without a second warning, they turned, running together up the few steps and leaping off the battlement, only hoping they wouldn't hit the rocks below.
"If you're the pirate king," Jack thought aloud, watching Elizabeth as she placed the baby in his cradle. He was standing at the window in their cabin, wringing his dreadlocks out with an already dampened cloth. "Does that make me the queen?"
Elizabeth laughed, turning around to face him. She walked to him, her body language coy, her damp hair wavy around her face. "No." She stopped in front of him, wrapping her arms around his neck. "Just my most faithful subject."
"Ah." He dropped the towel, bringing his arms around her.
"And as your king, I command you to do something."
"An' what's that, your highness?" He brought his face in close to hers, their noses touching.
"I command you to kiss your wife whenever she asks. Am I clear?"
He chuckled. "Is she askin' now?"
"What do you think?" She reached up and gently tugged on the braids dangling from his chin, bringing his lips to hers. Her kiss no longer sealed a grim, dark fate. Now, the only thing it sealed was a limitless future.
A/N: Reviews are appreciated! Thanks for reading!