"Do you have something to hide?" Beckett asked when James did not remove his mask. Jacqueline made eye contact with James, but she had no idea what he should do. This could not be happening. She had been so selfish…if James died because of this…
James slowly lifted his hands to the cloth that concealed his identity.
He's going to die…Cutler's going to kill him and it will be all my fault…
But Beckett had not killed James before, even when he believed that they were having an affair. He had threatened James' life, but he had not taken it. Perhaps he would show the slightest bit of mercy and let him go.
Jacqueline bit her lip. James' life would come at a great price—probably her freedom. She could not give up the little freedom she had. But she also could not give up James.
What the hell am I going to do?
"Why are you hesitating?" Beckett asked, breaking into Jacqueline's thoughts. "Remove the mask…Admiral."
Panic tightened Jacqueline's chest to the point where she could hardly breathe. He knew. He knew that Peter was really James.
A flicker of hope suddenly dared to rise in Jacqueline's heart. If Beckett already knew who Peter really was and had not killed him yet, then perhaps he wouldn't.
James, seeing no reason to keep the bandana over his face, slowly removed it and held it tightly in his fist. The cloth trembled, almost as though it was caught in a breeze. He's shaking, Jacqueline realized. James knew he was going to die.
No, he can't die.
Jacqueline's finger tensed on the trigger of her gun. She could kill Beckett right now. But they were in his office, with soldiers and guards everywhere surrounding. If a gun went off in here, many would come running to see what had happened. And if they found anyone besides James, the pirate, dead…there was almost no chance of James and Jacqueline making it out unscathed.
"So you traveled all the way from the Caribbean to have an affair with my wife." Beckett chuckled darkly. "Having an affair with a pirate…that seems rather unlike you, Admiral. Or perhaps the title no longer applies," he said as his eyes looked over the pirate James had become.
For me, Jacqueline thought. James had given up everything for her; and he was about to die for it.
"You gave up your life for her? For a woman?" Beckett remarked with a laugh. "No woman is worth that." Jacqueline's eyes narrowed.
"Jacqueline is," James said quietly. "If you're too much a fool to see that, than you don't deserve her."
Beckett's eyes flashed dangerously. "Jacqueline is…an exception. But you don't know who you're dealing with, Norrington. You don't know who she is. I do." Beckett took a sudden step towards James, and Jacqueline inhaled sharply. "Never call me a fool again."
"Who she is?" James repeated, his voice slightly shaky as he nervously eyed the weapon that was aimed at him. "Jacqueline Robin Sparrow, the daughter of Captain Jack Sparrow." James paused and looked at Jacqueline, his green eyes glistening. "And the most beautiful and wonderful woman I have ever met."
Jacqueline's eyes filled with tears. James not only knew he was going to die—he was preparing for it, making sure he said everything while he still could.
"And I love her with all my heart," he added quietly, gazing steadily at Jacqueline.
Beckett growled softly. "I suppose I can't blame you on that account. In fact, I can't really blame you for any of this." He turned and glared at Jacqueline. "Remember that this is all your fault. Your mistakes."
Mon Dieu, he's going to kill him…he's about to kill him…
"Don't," Jacqueline said quietly. Beckett scoffed and prepared to fire his weapon. James swallowed hard, focusing his gaze on Jacqueline. "Please…" Beckett turned to her with an arched eyebrow as Jacqueline lowered her gun and set it down on the nearby desk, leaving herself defenseless. "Please."
Beckett smirked as he turned back to James.
Jacqueline nearly screamed in horror as Beckett pulled the trigger, but she was unable to find her voice.
James fell backwards and leaned against the wall, gripping his shoulder and clenching his teeth in pain as blood covered his hand. But he wasn't dead. It had not been a fatal shot.
"You will stay with me. Always," Beckett said to Jacqueline. "No more pirate adventures or trysts with the Admiral." Jacqueline looked at James and nodded as a tear escaped her eye and made its way down her cheek. A slow grin spread across Beckett's face. "So you understand now?" Jacqueline said nothing. Beckett suddenly struck her, and she cried out in pain. James took a step forward, but Beckett quickly raised the gun to him again. "Don't even think about it, Norrington." James appeared murderous, but he remained still and silent. He turned back to Jacqueline. "Well?"
Jacqueline closed her eyes. "Yes. I do understand." Beckett arched an eyebrow, prompting her to continue. "I'm yours," she breathed, another tear escaping her eye as she felt all chance for freedom escaping her.
Jacqueline found that she could not keep her mouth shut. "You used to want me to love you."
"I know. But I didn't really believe you ever would," Beckett said as he put his pistol back in his jacket. "That's why I never released your father," he said with a smirk.
Jacqueline's heart stopped. "What?" Hatred began to overtake her fear.
Beckett grabbed Jacqueline tightly by the arm and made to leave the office with her. "You never realized? Funny…" Beckett paused near the door. Jacqueline turned back to see James standing by the desk, appearing horrified. "We do have one little problem." He sighed. "No one was to know that Captain Robin Sparrow and Lady Jacqueline Beckett were one and the same."
He moved so quickly Jacqueline had no time to react as Beckett whirled around, shoving Jacqueline to the ground and drawing his pistol.
"But I can take care of that."
Jacqueline screamed as Beckett fired the gun.
Jacqueline was shaking almost uncontrollably as she tried to crawl over to James. A bloodstain was growing around his heart. He had slid to the ground and was now motionless, leaning against the wall.
Oh, my God…this isn't happening…
"James?" Jacqueline said quietly, brushing some hair from his face. "James, can you hear me?"
She was surprised when he took her hand in his. "I love you, Jacqueline," he breathed.
Jacqueline jumped when she heard another gunshot.
She half-expected for the world to fade around her, but she was apparently not the one who had been shot. She was afraid to turn around, instead staring deeply into James' eyes and praying the light did not leave them. They suddenly twinkled, and Jacqueline realized that James was smiling.
Jacqueline looked down and saw that his other hand was wrapped around a gun—the one she had placed on the desk when surrendering to Beckett. She could not help but glance behind her.
Beckett had fallen back against the door, his eyes rolled back and a bullet wound through the head. Jacqueline turned back to James in shock. "I promised I would kill him," James reminded her. "And now you're free." He grimaced, holding a hand to his chest in pain. "You're free," he repeated quietly.
"I love you," James interrupted. "Don't forget that—or me."
Jacqueline shook her head, tears now flooding down her cheeks. "I could never forget you." She leaned forward and gently touched her lips to his. She took a deep breath. "I love you, James."
He smiled softly for a moment before his hand fell from hers and life left his eyes.
"No," Jacqueline gasped. "No! James!" She leaned her forehead against his and closed her eyes. "James…"
She heard the door open behind her and some people entering the office. "Lord Beckett? My God, he's dead!" Jacqueline's hand made its way to the gun in James' hand.
"I am not Lady Beckett!" she hissed, turning and shooting the first man she saw. The other man stared at the body of his dead comrade for a brief moment before hiding behind some furniture.
"Help! She's armed!"
Call for all the help you want, Jacqueline thought. I won't be here.
She stood and looked out the window. She could just barely see the sea from here. That was her home. That was where she belonged.
Except that she now had no one to share it with. Her only real friend, Ragetti, had died years ago on the gallows. Her father was gone, probably killed ages before while she thought him to be free. She didn't even have Lord Beckett. She had no one.
Jacqueline fell to her knees next to James' body. "James…" she breathed, gazing at him lovingly through her tears. She wrapped her hand around his tightly. She had once wondered what her life would be like without him.
He had only been gone a minute, and life was already more than she could bear.
She had no one. Everyone she had ever dared love was gone. Love and death—they were paired in her mind. And she loved James with all her heart.
Thus death will come soon…
"Drop your weapon!" someone shouted from behind her. She kept her grip firm around the handle of the gun and she dropped her head back to look up at the ceiling and beyond to the sky and the heavens…
"You've won," she announced quietly, holding on tightly to James' hand as she lifted the gun and held it under her chin. She closed her eyes, smiling vaguely as she thought of James holding her hand for eternity…
I love you, James…
She pulled the trigger.