FEELS LIKE HOME

SUMMARY: Following the demise of the East India Company and the departure of her "husband" to ferry souls to the other world, Elizabeth is in search of a place she can call home. However, she is coming to realize that home is not necessarily a place, but rather a person.

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. Willabethers are welcome, but ye have been warned!

RATING: T (for Teen)

A/N: Hello all! "Feels Like Home" is based on a song of the same title that I've known since my childhood. I've been planning a story to go along with the lyrics for quite some time now and (as my stories often do) the idea finally came to me in the middle of my history class (when there was absolutely nothing I could do about it). So yes, it is a songfic, a type of story that I'm still not fond of but continue to write anyways. Funny little world, isn't it?

For those of you reading "For Your Eyes Only," expect the next chapter to be up by Sunday (at the latest), and expect to find a hurricane, a letter for Lizzie from home, the return of James Norrington and my interpretation of how Jack first acquired the Black Pearl. And just a note for anyone who was reading "Shattered," I have not forgotten about that story and still have plans to tweak it a little bit. I'm not sure when it'll be up again, but hopefully before Christmas.

Without further ado, on with the story!


It didn't take long for her to understand why he loved this place so much, why it was one of the few locations he continually returned to. There was a strange sense of belonging in Tortuga, like the city itself was an old friend that was always willing to welcome you home with a lively song, a pint of ale and all the pleasurable company one could hope for. Men and women with notoriety as great as the legendary Edward Teach and Mary Reade were on equal footing with the lowliest cabin boy. In Tortuga, life was a never-ending party and you were the guest of honor.

When Elizabeth Swann's father took her into London as a little girl, he used to tell her that should she get lost, she was to stay in one spot until he found her. Now, as Lizzie Swann, the pirate king, in what seemed to be a whole lifetime later, she found herself following the very same advice. More or less, that is.

She found herself staying and waiting in several different spots. First, she found herself following her father's advice exactly. She stayed and waited in the very same spot where she had last seen him, spending hours each day just watching, praying to see black sails on the horizon. The black sails never came, however, and with each passing day the sun seemed a little less bright than the day before.

Elizabeth hadn't realized how dark and unhappy life would be without having him around… without their playful bantering, his sarcastic little remarks… without a smile that glinted gold. The previous time he had been absent from her life, at her regretful doing, it hadn't been like this. She had been so busy convincing herself that she did what was right, so preoccupied with trying to hold onto the last thread of her relationship with Will, that she effectively blocked out the gloom of her present situation. And if there ever was an exceeding stretch of bleakness during that period, she always managed to blame it on something else—Barbossa's return and reprise of power, the solemn mood of the crew, another fight with Will.

She had no reason to believe that Captain Jack Sparrow, the man who had managed to worm his way into her heart, would ever come back to her. At that time, sitting on her little beach on her little island, she didn't quite know why she even wanted him to come back to her. She was confused most of the time, trying to start a life from scratch while balancing a gaggle of feelings for a man who did not, and would not, feel the same way. And she wasn't even sure if she was in love with him or not… but she did find it remarkably revealing that she found herself missing (and subsequently, thinking about) Jack more than she did her own husband.

Elizabeth would spend the days that followed holed up in the tiny cottage that she knew would always just be a house, not a home. She didn't even dare to look in the direction of the ocean, feelings of guilt and disappointment in betraying another man who cared deeply for her. First and most importantly, there was her father. She knew that she didn't turn out the proper daughter he had hoped for, the one who was married to a commodore and went to tea parties. She often wondered had Davy Jones not gotten to him first, if his disappointment in her piratical ways might have killed him. Secondly, there was James. He never told her that he loved her and they were only engaged for a short period of time, under false pretenses, no less, but she knew he did. She knew he was in love with her.

Next in line was Will. Sweet, humble, unassuming Will, and she did love him. For a time, her entire existence circled around her kindhearted blacksmith. Elizabeth ate, slept and breathed William Turner. She loved being with him and she loved how she felt when she was. Planning her wedding to him was one of the happiest periods of her life. Ironically, on the day they were due to actually become man and wife, it all went downhill. From that point on, they were never fully the same. It might have felt the same at certain points, but she knew deep down that they would never be the same, as if their interrupted nuptials were an ominous sign of the things to come.

With another "adventure" on the high sighs, they slowly drifted apart, both of them becoming different people. She watched the metamorphosis of her love for him right before her eyes, coming to love him the way she imagined a sister loved her brother. He changed, she changed, both of them in the same way. Both of them became true pirates, using deceit and lies to get what they wanted. The only difference was how they embraced, or in Will's case, didn't embrace it. She knew, just by watching him, that when all was said and done, he still expected to return to a life of normalcy… Elizabeth knew that there would be no going back. Instead of loving her, she knew that he loved the idea of her, the person who she used to be. He either refused to acknowledge or simply couldn't acknowledge the fact that that person no longer existed.

And then… and then there was Jack. At some point, maybe they were friends. Maybe they were at least on their way to being friends. But she singlehandedly destroyed all that. She deceived him with a kiss before leaving him to die, and though she championed the idea of rescuing him from an eternity in a barren wasteland, she knew things would never be the same between them. She wasn't sure, even to this day, whether that kiss was solely for her purpose, or whether she saw it as the only way to properly say goodbye to him, a silent way of telling him how sorry she was and how she really felt about him. She would always defend her decision. It was the right thing to do. But that didn't mean she didn't agonize over it for hours, didn't wish there had been another way… didn't wish that she had gone down with him.

Elizabeth had to see him again, if only to assure herself that he didn't completely hate her, that the thought of her didn't make him seethe. It was selfish, she knew, but then again, she didn't care. She was, after all, a pirate. So she left. She left her sad little island and set sail for Shipwreck Cove. It was the closest place to her where Jack was likely to show up. If she was going to play to waiting game, she would at least do it in a place where she had a chance of seeing him. If he would not come to her, then she would go to him.

Easier said than done. The few months she spent in the cover were comfortable ones. She was welcomed by those who lived there and treated like a hero, though she was unsure that she deserved it. She knew that her wait would be an anxious one, never knowing when Jack might show or if he would at all. But she was in no way prepared for what she would come to learn.

For starters, her marriage to Will was hardly a marriage at all. As it turned out, pirate captains could indeed perform a marriage… under strict possessions, none of which were present at the time of her exchange of vows with Will. They were surrounded by people, yet had no witnesses, for one thing. She remembered trying to fall asleep that night, tears streaming down her cheeks. They weren't tears of grief, however. She wasn't mourning the loss of her marriage. They were tears of guilt—guilt spurred from the fact that she was relieved over the matter, relieved to return to Elizabeth Swann and say goodbye to the brief period when she was Elizabeth Turner. It wasn't that she didn't still care for Will, or that the idea of being married to him was that horrible. But once a upon a time, Jack had told her that they were peas in a pod. In short, they both craved the same thing: freedom. Being Will's wife meant waiting dutifully for ten years, ten years when she could be out chasing the horizon… years she could spend with someone who understood her the way she wanted to be understood.

Two months came and went and there was still no sign of Jack. Elizabeth liked Shipwreck Cove and she liked the people there, including Jack's father, who gave her enormous insight into the man she spent her nights dreaming about. She got stories from his childhood, the truth behind many legends… things that only a parent would know, things that made her feel closer to him when he was still so far away. Staying in the cove and spending even more time waiting for him was a very agreeable option, but the fact remained that it was a waste. Tortuga was the obvious choice to go next and with Teague Sparrow's guidance, she set sail the very next morning.

It didn't take Elizabeth long to get her bearings in Tortuga. Returning to her tried and true guise as a member of the opposite sex, she was able to live in complete anonymity, much to her delight. Living the Tortuga lifestyle was an adjustment in itself—learning to sleep during the day to spend her nights in the town's bars and pubs, roaming the streets, keeping an eye on the harbor for Jack or any of the Pearl's crew. Completely avoiding confrontation in a place like Tortuga was no easy fete, and she already had a beautiful bruise on her cheek for her troubles. She'd learned how to keep quiet and spent almost every evening the same way, in the back of a rowdy bar, a hat shading her eyes and a half drunken mug of ale in front of her.

She spent twice the amount of time in Tortuga as she did in Shipwreck Cove and Jack had remained elusive, in appearance only. In name, he was as present as possible. It seemed that every night she overheard a new story about the great Captain Jack Sparrow.

"I 'ere that ole Jack found the Fountain of Youth… seems he's years younger, now."

"Saw 'im meself in Singapore. He's got a few lady friends there, he does."

"Captain Jack Sparrow? Retired, he is. Turns out the treasure of Isla de Muerta was his all along. Living comfortably in Cartagena, he is."

"Haven't seen 'im personally, but I heard he was dead. Lost the Pearl and died tryin' to get it back."

Whatever she heard, nothing seemed to bring her any comfort and she surmised that nothing would, save for seeing him alive and well, in person. As for now, there was nothing much she could do. The darkness of the night was being chased away by the coming sun, as were Tortuga's patrons. Too much to drink and a dent in the raging party scene caused many of them to slink away into the shadows. Elizabeth's particular bar of choice had been quiet for hours and with no sign of Jack or even a mere mention of his name, she tossed what coin she had down on the table on her way out the door. She was tired and defeated… all she wanted to do was sleep.

The walk back to the inn where Elizabeth was staying was a short one, yet it felt like it lasted for ages. She had stayed out longer than usual, from sheer desperation alone. The woman in charge of the inn was nowhere to be found as she made her way through the already quiet lobby. Her room was one of the smallest and therefore, the most affordable. The trek up the rickety stairs only enhanced her exhaustion and she spent more time than she would have liked fumbling with the doorknob, trying to unlock it before realizing that she had forgotten to lock it in the first place.

The sun was just beginning to peak over the horizon, but the small window high up on the wall did little to inform her of its presence. She had made it halfway across the room and was ready to flop onto the bed, close her eyes and sleep away her troubles when a voice—a male voice—jolted her awake.

"Ye know… leavin' one's door unlocked in an unsavory place such as Tortuga is a surefire way to risk one's pretty little neck. Anyone could just break in."

Sitting there, in the room's one and only chair, was Jack, in all the glory that made him who he was. Everything was as she recalled, not a dreadlock nor trinket out of place. His eyes were as dark and fathomless as they had always been, his grin still glinted in all the same places. His voice was still smooth like chocolate. His skin still looked warm to the touch. He was still, in every way possible, Captain Jack Sparrow.

Just as she was still Lizzie Swann, still fiercely independent, incredibly stubborn, and secretly, a hopeless romantic.

"Am I to understand then that my neck is in jeopardy?" she asked, folding her arms firmly across her chest.

He stood up, a smirk plastered across his chiseled face. "Am I to understand, dear Lizzie, that you believe the reason for my visit is to jeopardize said-neck?"

Elizabeth stood still for a few moments, just watching him as he stood there. If she was anyone else, she would already be a quivering mess, crumbling in his arms. But she was too proud for that and she knew it. Despite her efforts, she could not admit to him that she'd spent the last half a year of her life trying to find him, that her days were spent thinking about him, her nights dreaming about him. She was not brave enough to tell him she loved him.

"W—why are you here, Jack?" she asked. Her voice was quiet and wavered slightly and all she could do was hope he hadn't noticed.

If he had, he was too polite to say so. "I thought…" He drifted off, his eyes darting upwards as if he didn't know what to say. That in itself was odd. Jack always knew what to say.

"You thought I'd be alone and helpless without Will." Elizabeth crossed her arms again and sighed, knowing that half of that statement was actually true.

And Jack knew it. She knew he knew it. "I thought you'd be lonely, aye. What with your marr-i-age to Will being a non-marr-i-age, so to speak."

Her face fell slightly. "You've been to Shipwreck Cove."

Jack's brow furrowed and he shook his head. "No."

"Then how did you…?" Realization hit her and it hit her hard. He knew. He'd always known. His father was the keeper of the code, for heaven's sake! Jack knew the code better than anyone! "You…" She took a hurried step forward, shoving him slightly. "You knew the whole time!"

"No!" he quickly defended, holding his hands up in surrender. "No. I knew most of the time."

"Some difference, Jack!"

"Yes, some difference, eh?" Jack chuckled, making her all the more infuriated. She shoved him again, harder this time, making him stumble back a few steps. "'Ey, what the bloody hell was that for?"

"How could you not tell me the moment you found out?!"

"Well, what did ye want from me, Elizabeth?" Jack asked, throwing his hands up. "Would you rather me have told you the instant your dearly beloved joined the ranks of the dearly departed? Rather irresponsible as I see it, what with your grief and all."

Elizabeth opened her mouth, ready to hurl another insult (or at least, a fist), when she realized he was right. She sucked in a deep breath through her nose. "No," she admitted quietly.

"No," he repeated. "Just as I thought." They stood silent for several more minutes, of which Elizabeth found great fascination in her boots. "I did go to Shipwreck Cove," he finally said.

"Oh?" Elizabeth still couldn't bring herself to look at him. "Did you… see your father?"

"Aye, though from what I understand, I'm not the only one who's been enjoyin' his company." At that, her eyes darted up to his, her mind a whirlwind, wondering exactly how much Teague had divulged to his son.

"I've learned a lot from him," she said quietly, giving no mention to the real reason for her time in Shipwreck Cove.

"M'sorry," Jack said. When she looked at him, his eyes were sad, not at all like the eyes of the devil-may-care, free-spirited rogue she had missed so much.

Something in your eyes

Makes me want to lose myself

Makes me want to lose myself

In your arms

"Sorry? For what?" She laughed nervously, suddenly feeling very warm.

"That I didn't get there in time." Their eyes locked and she felt something in her stomach drop. This time, it was Jack who laughed nervously. "Honestly, woman, did no one ever tell you to stay put?"

And something in your voice

Makes my heart beat fast

Hope this feeling lasts

The rest of my life

When he said that, Elizabeth began to laugh. Even as she did so, she didn't quite understand why. Nothing about her situation struck her as particularly funny, just horribly and unfairly ironic. Everything about his statement made her believe that he had been looking for her in the same way that she had been waiting for him. How long after she left her little island was it when he arrived? And Shipwreck Cove? Now?

She stood there laughing and before even aware of it, tears welled up in the corner of her eyes. Before she could stop herself, she was fully crying. She didn't even try to cover her face as she stood there and sobbed, of sadness, of happiness, she wasn't even sure. She just felt so much… so much of everything. There was so much emotion—joy at finally seeing Jack, knowing he was alright; pain for standing in front of the man she loved, a man who was not her husband; frustration at finally knowing that she and Jack had effectively been chasing each other all over the Caribbean.

Through her tear-clouded eyes, she saw him move towards her, but this time the pride that had been holding her back refused to rear its ugly head. She stood still and allowed herself to fall against him, allowed herself to revel in the feeling of him being so close. The soothing motion of his hand running up and down her back, the comfort of him whispering in her ear… She had waited so long for this.

If you knew how lonely my life has been

And how long I've been so alone

And if you knew how I wanted someone to come along

And change my life the way you've done

"I hope these aren't at my doing," Jack finally said, the nervous chuckle returning to his voice. He brushed away her tears with the backs of his fingers.

"No," she assured him, her voice cracking. "No." She smiled slightly, thinking of how he would put it. "Rather at your undoing, I suppose."

"My undoing?" Jack frowned. "Now that's a complexity of words, even for me."

Elizabeth laughed. "I missed you," she finally admitted, so tired of always having to be the brave one. This, apparently, was another thing he knew, for he smiled warmly at her.

"That's it, Lizzie," he said. "S'about time you let yourself live the way you want to."

It feels like home to me

It feels like home to me

It feels like I'm all the way back where I come from

"It certainly is," she agreed, closing her eyes. She didn't have to open them to know that he had gotten closer to her, for she could feel the warmth of his breath on her face and could almost feel the tickle of his facial hair against her cheek. "Jack…" she whispered, not even wanting to open her eyes, not wanting the moment to ever end.

"Elizabeth," he said. "Lizzie, open yer eyes. I need you to look at me, darlin'."

Elizabeth did as she was told, a few stray tears escaping the corners of her eyes as she opened them to look at him. His face was cautiously serious, his own eyes almost pleading with her for reassurance.

"Jack?" she whispered, not allowing him to talk first.

"Aye, luv?"

"Don't wait," Elizabeth said, her voice firm. "Don't ask my permission. Just do it already. Please?" She didn't have to tell him what the "it" was, for she knew he knew. He always knew.

Jack smiled at her. "Alright, Lizzie."

His lips just barely ghosted over hers before he kissed her. It was exactly as perfect as she imagined it being—it was passionate, yet soft, and so very Jack. Something about his lips moving with hers instantly told her that the last six months of solitude had been completely worth it. The worrying, the wondering, the waiting… if all of it was there just to lead up to this moment, this perfect moment of just her and Jack, then she was willing to go back and wait all over again. This was what she had been praying for. Jack was the answer to her prayers.

This, the two of them together, was right. She and Jack fit. Call it destiny, call it fate. Whatever it was, it was meant to be.

It feels like home to me

It feels like home to me

It feels like I'm all the way back where I belong

His lovemaking had been just as perfect as his kiss—unhurried and sacred, as if she were the only person that mattered to him. She fell asleep in his arms, the steady beating of his heart and his smooth humming lulling her into some much needed rest. Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me…

She awoke with a start, the sound of a fight breaking out (accompanied by gunfire) down the street tearing her from her slumber. A hearty brawl in Tortuga, even in the middle of the day, was not uncommon, but she had yet to adjust to the incivility of the people there. She had shot straight up in bed, feeling panicky, when a hand ran up her back, coming to lightly squeeze her shoulder.

"S'nothing to be afraid of," Jack whispered. "Yer tucked safely away in here, with me."

Elizabeth let go of the deep breath she was holding. "I know."

"Come 'ere," he urged, pulling her towards him. He lay back against the pillows, holding his one arm out for her to nestle against his chest. She did so, wondering if he would always be this warm, tracing imaginary shapes over his torso. He was right. With him, she would always be safe.

A window breaks

Down a long, dark street

And a siren wails in the night

But I'm alright, 'cause I have you here with me

And I can almost see

Through the dark, there's a light

"Jack?" Elizabeth traced a heart over his own before splaying her hand over the expanse of his lean, tan chest.

"Aye?"

"I love you," she whispered, instantly feeling like it wasn't enough, like she needed to say more. "Rather, I'm in love with you."

Jack laughed, running his long, elegant fingers through her soft, wavy hair. "Well then, I suppose I'm in love with you, too." At hearing his words, something inside of her melted, melted into him, becoming completely surrounded by all things Jack.

If you knew how much this moment means to me

And how long I've waited for your touch

If you knew how happy you are making me

I never thought I'd love anyone so much

"Is that it, then?" Jack asked.

"Is what it?"

"Is that why ye came to find me, darlin'? To tell me you love me?" He paused. "'Cause had I known it all along, I can bloody well guarantee that I wouldn't have missed you back in Shipwreck Cove."

Elizabeth laughed. "Let's just say I was feeling a little homesick."

It feels like home to me

It feels like home to me

It feels like I'm all the way back where I come from

Another long, comfortable silence resonated between the two of them before she started to think about him, about his lifestyle, wondering if she had a proper place in it. True enough, he had told her that he loved her, but was he willing to take her along with him? Was this supposed to be their one perfect night together? The thought made her throat feel tight and she begged every God in heaven to hold back her tears.

"Jack?"

"Hmm?"

"What…" She didn't even know how to properly phrase it. "How long can you stay?"

"Ha!" Jack laughed, causing her to pull away from him and sit up. How could he laugh at her? Could he not see, not understand, how serious she was? Perhaps it was her naivety that he found amusing. She swallowed, watching him with wide eyes as he sat up, inching closer to her. He brushed several strands of hair out of her face before leaning in and tenderly kissing her forehead. "Lizzie, I love ye, darlin', but yer a daft strumpet if you think I'm about to leave you here or anywhere else. The Pearl is your home just as much as it is mine and I'll be damned if you think of another place with the same affection." He paused, leaning in again to gingerly kiss her lips. "So what say you, Lizzie? Sail away with me?"

It feels like home to me

It feels like home to me

It feels like I'm all the way where I belong

"Oh, Jack…" The tears she had prayed against came anyways, though she found she didn't mind them like she thought she would. She leaned into him, letting her head fall against her chin. She inhaled his scent, a warm, spicy smell that she never wanted to be without. "I wouldn't dream of being anywhere else."

It feels like I'm all the way back where I belong


A/N: Well, that's all, folks! I hope you enjoyed it!

Thanks so much for reading, now go review!