Come What May
Pitter-patter. Pitter-patter. Pitter-patter.
The rain fell upon the dreary town of Marseilles. The formidable weather seemed to have sensed that the port city was in mourning of its lost penniless Frenchman, and the weather had acted accordingly since his death. Bilious and ominous charcoal clouds had surrounded the city in a fortress of mist and fog and it had not ceased raining and thundering for three days.
It was the perfect day for a funeral.
Chevalle's stunning villa was shrouded in darkness, the only light appearing from several candles strategically placed throughout the four stories; enough to provide the dimmest of lights, but yet still casting an eerie glow throughout the luxury estate.
One room had not been disturbed since Chevalle's death.
It was the room on the highest story that faced the sea. It was the room that held the newest captain of the Fancy. It was the room that held the newest Pirate Lord of the Mediterranean Sea.
In that room Helen Turner had decided to hide from the world.
Though she could hide no longer; today was Chevalle's funeral and as his predecessor and protégé, better yet his friend, she was expected to attend.
It would not be an ordinary funeral, for Chevalle had never been an ordinary man. He had been larger than life. Anyway, no self respecting priest would administer the funeral of a notorious pirate. And while Chevalle's funeral would be a small affair, the outpouring grief of the French community, pirate or otherwise, would be felt throughout the service.
Helen sighed as she continually paced back and forth, her thick skirts rustling with her frenzied movements. She was too lost in her thoughts to be bothered by the fact that the tightly-stringed bodice was slowly cutting off her ability to breathe as the corset dug into her skin. Her black hair hung down in curls framing her face, though if she had it her way it would be pulled back so as to not be another bother to her on this already bothersome day. Her face, sun-kissed and tan, was abnormally alabaster due to her grief and lack of sleep. Thick-rimmed circles hovered around her eyes and her cheeks appeared sunken from lack of food.
She had always hated black. There was a reason she was deemed the Scarlet Maiden. And now everywhere she looked all she could see was black. All she had worn for the past few days had been black and once again she was attired in an uncomfortably fashionable black dress to accentuate her mourning. A charcoal cloak, lined with scarlet satin, rested over the back of a chair, it would be what she would wear out in this formidable weather that had enveloped the city.
She didn't look up as a gentle knock sounded against the oak wood of her doorway. She didn't pause in her pacing as Jehan's pale face poked into her room.
"Captain," his hoarse voice sounded as Helen stopped but didn't look at him, "It is time."
"Yes, thank you." she primly responded as she wrung her hands together and bit her lip.
She could do this. It was only death, she could do this. She must do this. Chevalle would have wanted her too.
She wrapped the cloak around her and pulled the hood up to protect her head as she made her way to the door. She softly padded down the winding stairs as Jehan trudged ahead of her, almost as if he was protecting her from the task ahead.
The motley men of the Fancy were assembled throughout the opening hallway of the villa, waiting for their captain to lead their beloved Capitaine home. Helen moved as if she was on water. She nodded to each of her crewmen and with Jehan at her side she walked into the wind and the rain.
The march towards the idyllic cemetery located on a grassy hillside was drowned out by the cold rain. It fell in sheets upon the crew and soaked them to the bone. Though only the crew of the Fancy marched towards the funeral, hidden bodies and faces appeared from window sills and doorways, paying their last respects to Chevalle in the only way they knew how. A stream of white rose petals paved the way toward the cemetery.
The march through Marseilles seemed to last an eternity before the intertwined iron gates of the cemetery came into view. Helen at the lead with Jehan at her side as the faithful first mate he had always been. The paternal side of him that always came out when Helen was involved, wanted to reach out and steady Helen's shaking, but she was his captain and it was not his place to guide her any longer.
Finally, the party of pirates came upon the marble headstone.
The Penniless Frenchman
"Land and sea, weakness and decline are great separators, but death is the great divorcer for ever."
The crowd parted like the sea as Chevalle's magnificent coffin came forward. With reverent care it was meticulously placed within its earthly tomb. Slowly the hole was filled until Chevalle was gone from this world. All the while Helen clutched a blood red rose within her grasp as slowly the raindrops soaked through her clothing.
When finally every crewman had stepped forward and said his final peace to the dead Capitaine; they all moved away and allowed Helen her final respects. She stepped forward with shaking knees and a biting wind slapped her cheeks. Water was freely running down her face now but whether it was rain or tears was unknown even to her. She fell to her knees in front of the newly enshrined tomb and allowed her slender fingers to run over the engravings of Chevalle's name.
"May you live forever, my dear friend. I will not fail you, this I swear." And with the solemnity of a marble stature she laid the rose upon the fresh earth and allowed her hand to clench into a fist tightly around the stem so that the dirt and blood clashed together and was washed away by the rain.
She did not know how long she remained kneeling motionless in front of the tombstone before a somber voice rose above the wind in an eerie tune.
"Some men have died, and some are a live, and others sail on the sea. With the keys to the cage and the Devil to pay, we lay to Fiddler's Green."
A brief pause followed before the timbers and tones of the crew of the Fancy joined in to pay their final respects to Chevalle.
"The bell has been raised from its watery grave; do you hear its Sepulchral tone? A call to all, pay heed the squall and turn your sails towards home! Yo, ho, haul together. Hoist the colors high! Heave, ho, thieves and beggars – "
"Never shall we die…" Helen whispered as the breeze swept her words away to the sea. The emotions of her true feelings fell away as her face became a mask of true leadership. She was their Captain, not their friend, and they would not be permitted to see her pain a moment longer.
With resolution flowing through her chilled blood, she stood, and her skirt rustled with every step she took away from her mentor's tomb. She stared determinedly ahead and did not break her stride until she came upon Jehan. She stopped and glanced at him for a moment with a unyielding hardness in her jade eyes.
"Prepare the ship. We sail at dawn."
She moved away before he had a moment to respond. The crew pushed away from her and watched her go with awe in their eyes as their captain walked with her head held high.
And in the distance thunder rumbled across the sky.
Dawn came swiftly over the sleepy town of Marseilles. It did not affect Helen, she hadn't slept a wink last night. She had returned from the funeral and barricaded herself in her room with historical texts and maps dating back centuries. She had spent the night thinking of strategic movements and how to best improve her arsenal of warfare.
If it was a fight Beckett wanted, then it was a hell of a battle he would be getting in the form of the Scarlet Maiden.
Now dawn came, and it was time to finally make good on her promise to Chevalle.
She stood in her chambers tucked away in Chevalle's - no- her luxurious estate and stared down at the clothes spread daintily out on the bed in front of her.
Clothing made of the finest material she had ever set her eyes on.
Clothing that homely Helen Turner, baker, citizen of Port Royal and wife of a blacksmith would never dream of wearing.
However, she was no longer that Helen Turner. That Helen Turner had died the moment she had declared to follow a certain blacksmith to the ends of the world, even to save the lovely governor's daughter.
She was Captain Helen Turner of the Fancy, the Scarlet Maiden, the Pirate Lord of the Mediterranean Sea.
She was a force to be reckoned with.
However, it would all be final now as she adorned herself as the true captain of a motley bunch of pirates. This was the point of no return. Once she dressed herself in those silks, cotton, and satin she could never be that Helen Turner again; the Helen Turner who loved her family and never imagined a world outside the comfort of her mother's bakery and who pined away so earnestly for Will.
Helen reached out and ran her fingers over the scarlet vest. It felt like heaven.
And so in the breaking dawn of morning's light, Helen Turner became the pirate she had always been destined to be.
She walked confidently down the winding stairs as Jehan faithfully awaited her at their bottom. She heard his gasp as she came into view looking every inch a sophisticated piratess with a few tricks up her sleeves.
"Captain," he greeted her, unable to keep his eyes off of her.
"First Mate Jehan," she greeted with a nod of her head, still becoming acquainted with the rather imposing and large black hat upon her head with a lofty peacock feather flitting off to the side.
"I trust everything is ready for our travels?" she inquired as they began walking to the engraved front doors, the servants watching the pair go with bowed heads.
"Everything is in working order and the men are ready to set sail upon us stepping onto the deck, Captain."
"Excellent." She murmured, stepping into the cool morning air and breathing in the salt of the sea. How she loved that scent. A carriage awaited them and she easily slid into her seat without any help, Jehan joined her a moment later.
"I trust you have everything accounted for as well, Captain." he lightly remarked and a simpler person may not have read between the lines but Helen had always known his ques.
"If you are worried about my piece of eight, you needn't fear. It is upon my person as it should always be." she leaned back into her seat with a satisfied sigh as Jehan saw it fit to no longer question her. As she sat her sleeve rode up and Jehan caught a quick glimpse of the bracelet Jack had long ago given her and a small playing card protectively folded up in her sleeve. Clever girl.
Soon enough they arrived at the docks where the Fancy loyally swayed in the water, waiting for her captain to take command of her. As soon as Helen stepped foot upon the deck all noise and chaos halted as her crew stared at her with anxiousness and awe.
Every single one of them was sizing her up.
She narrowed her eyes and loudly remarked to her crew, "I trust I don't need to ask you men to continue with your activities. You all know what to do."
The command was simple; try and disobey her and wait to see what happens.
Lucky for everyone aboard no one was feeling rather mutinous, not even the sully Gaston. Noise reigned once again as the crew hurriedly set to work and within moments the sails were released and the Fancy was gliding out of the harbor and out to open sea.
Helen stood at the helm as Jehan manned the sturdy ship's wheel as it spun smoothly with his hands.
"Master Jehan," she commanded after several moment's of peaceful silence, "Set a course to Shipwreck Cove."
He allowed a small grin to appear on his weathered face as he turned the wheel due west.
And so they sailed onward to Shipwreck Cove.
It was a gloomy and chilly night as the Black Pearl sailed onward, her first night in the real world in many moons. For too long had she been contained in the Land of the Dead, the dreaded Locker, but now she was free once more with only one thought on her mind.
And so she sailed to Shipwreck Cove with decidedly less passengers that what had been intended. A betrayal and mutiny all in one day had warranted that (and this time it wasn't Barbossa).
All was silent aboard the deck; except for one loathsome shadow that was seemingly making a rather odd contraption involving barrels of rum and a dead body. The shadow was Will Turner and he worked quickly and silently so as to not draw unwanted attention to himself.
Currently, he was Undesirable No. 1 aboard the Black Pearl since his bout of insubordination earlier that morning. Who knew betraying ones' allies could go so horribly wrong? Did no one understand why he was doing what he was doing? It wasn't to achieve glory or immortality. He left that to Beckett and Sparrow respectively.
All he had ever wanted was to free his father and his wife.
With Helen dead, that only left him one goal to achieve, and he would be damned if anything stood between him and his father's freedom from his bondage aboard the Flying Dutchman. He didn't care how many lines he crossed to ensure that victory. So engrossed in his own justifications, he didn't notice the slightly drunk captain observing him with quizzical, kohl-rimmed eyes.
"Bravo," Jack announced suddenly as Will jumped a foot in the air.
"You escaped the brig even quicker than I expected." Jack gleefully remarked and upon seeing his sometimes-friend-but-more-often-than-not-rival Will sheathed his Father's dagger and glared heatedly at Jack. Jack ignored the hostilities and glanced around the mist-ridden, deserted deck.
"William, do you notice something? Or rather do you notice something that is not there to be noted?"
Oh dear God, not another riddle.
Will glanced around as the hairs on the back of his neck stood up straight. The deck was empty. They were completely alone with the mist hiding them from sight.
"You haven't raised the alarm." If there was one thing William Turner could always be counted it, it was his ability to always state the glaringly obvious.
"Odd, isn't it?" Jack remarked with a chug of rum before jumping down onto the deck to examine William's…device with an air of distaste as he wrinkled his nose.
"Not as odd as this. Come up with this all by your lonesome, did you?"
"I said to myself," Will replied with a smirk and an air of pride, "Think like Jack."
Jack looked deeply hurt as his dark eyes shifted from the body back to the whelp. "And this is what you've arrived at? Lead Beckett to Shipwreck Cove so as to gain his trust and accomplish your own ends?"
Damn. How did he always know these things? He wasn't even conscious half the time!
"It's like you don't know me at all mate." Jack continued with a down-trodden sigh before glancing once again at the blacksmith.
"And what would your dearly beloved think of this is she were here?" Will immediately tensed as his heart clenched painfully within his chest and the pocket in his vest holding the notice of Helen's death seemed to blaze red against his body.
"She's dead Jack." he harshly snapped, "She can't think about anything ever again."
"Yes," Jack agreed while looking out to the horizon, "But your wife hated Beckett with a fierce passion, I am sure. So wouldn't it be a disservice to her memory to ally yourself with the enemy?"
Will shuttered at the image before turning away from Jack. "I must free my father, and to do that then yes, I will have to do something I don't particularly want to, but it's for the greater good. I doubt that you could understand that."
"Oh, Whelp, how you wound me. To prove you wrong, why not allow me to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket. Avoid the choice all together." Will looked up in surprise and watched Jack intently.
"Change the facts," Jack continued, "Let someone else dispatch Jones."
"Who?" Will asked before he placed the pieces of Jack's muddle yet brilliant puzzle together.
"You?" he incredulously asked as Jack nodded and fiddled with his numerous rings upon his hands.
"Death has a curious way of reshuffling one's priorities. I'll slip aboard the Dutchman, find the heart, and stab the beating thing. Your father goes free and you two can have a happily ever after of a father-son bonding…thing. Sounds delightful, yes I thought so myself."
Will was still staring at him like he had grown a second head during the course of their conversation.
"And you're willing to carve your heart and bind yourself to the Dutchman…forever."
"No mate, I'm free forever," Jack responded with a devilish grin, "Free to sail the seas beyond the edges of the map, free from death itself."
Will stared into Jack's eyes to find any trace of deception within them before remarking, "You've got to do the job though, Jack. You have to ferry souls to the next world. Or end up just like Jones." he waggled his fingers in a surprisingly decent rendition of Jones' tentacle extravaganza of facial hair. Jack shuddered as he caresses his smooth skin and imagined oozy scales in its place.
"I don't have the face for tentacles," he gulped, "But immortal has to count for something, right? Oh!" he exclaimed and began digging through his pockets as Will watched him with furrowed brows. He pulled free his mystical compass and shoved it forcefully into Will's hands.
"What's this for?" Will asked inquisitively as he examined the device up close for the first time.
Jack responded with his trademark grin as he stepped closer to Will.
"Think like me. It'll come to you." he leaned in close and breathily exhaled a year's quantity of stale rum into Will's nostrils. Will's senses were no match for that god-awful stench. His eyes rolled into the back of his head, his body slumped, and without any resisting he fell backwards into the black, choppy sea. He bobbed helplessly in the water as Jack tossed in his floating marker, the dead body still attached.
"My regards to Davy Jones!" Jack cheerfully bid adieu to the blacksmith as the barrel of rum fell behind the speed of the Black Pearl. Jack took another sip of rum as he hobbled away from the railing.
"Ah, Helen dearest, what do ye think of our foolishly naïve whelp?" he addressed the mist almost as if expecting an answer in return from the dead woman he had once called a friend. He waited a few silent moments before responding with a snort.
"Aye, I agree. The day the whelp can ever be convincingly conniving will be the day I retire. Let's just hope he has a few brain cells remaining from all the times he's been wacked in the head; he's going to need them to defeat Beckett, Jones and free his father."
He took another swig of rum before retiring to his quarters.
And so they sailed onward to Shipwreck Cove.
Elizabeth really wondered at times how she got herself into these situations. Of course this time she had only herself to blame, and Will of course for his ill-timed mutiny.
Hours ago she had been safely aboard the Black Pearl, now she was Sao Feng's prisoner. She fidgeted uncomfortably as Sao Feng's concubines dressed her in extravagant Oriental clothing. She was decked out in hues and shades of brilliant teal and the darkest of blues. Her hair had been combed thoroughly, pinned up, and was now hidden beneath and elaborate crown of material.
Honestly, she had never felt more like a princess than she did in this moment.
And that frightened her immensely. For what reason was Sao Feng lavishing upon her such delightful gifts? What did he want from her?
She was scared to learn the truth.
She was pulled from her thoughts as said pirate lord entered the large chambers and bid the women to leave them. Elizabeth watched them go with flashing eyes, but she refused to appear weak before the pirate lord. She would never let anyone think she was weak.
"By this time tomorrow," Sao Feng began as he circles her with a predator-like glint in his dark eyes.
"We will arrive at Shipwreck Cove and you will be free…Calypso."
Elizabeth's head snapped up as she starred into his eyes, her mouth forming an "o" of surprise as she finally learned her purpose aboard Sao Feng's vessel.
"Excuse me?" she breathed out, goose-bumps breaking out across her skin though it was rather heated in the chambers.
"Not the name you fancy, I imagine," Sao Feng as he sipped a glass of the most exquisite wine, "Out of the many you that you have. But it is what we call you."
"We being who?" Elizabeth inquired, keeping her face neutral and listening intently to every silky word he spoke.
He looked at her for a long moment, and though she grew increasingly uncomfortable under his unflinching gaze she refused to be the first to break eye contact. Something must have pleased him for he gave her a toothy grin and said,
"You confirm it."
"Confirm what? You've told me nothing." she snapped as he stepped closer and she took a step back, effectively pushing her back into a giant timber beam. She had nowhere to run.
"The Brethren Court, not I, the first Brethren Court, whose position I would have opposed, bound you to human form, so the rule of the seas would belong to men and not – "
"Me." Elizabeth finished for him as he lips quirked up into a sickening smirk and he leaned in closer to him, admiring her cleverness.
"But one such as you should never be anything less than what you are." He reached out and ran a single finger over her cheek. The sensation of his dirty, filthy nail tracing patterns upon her skin made her skin crawled. She held her stance and peered up into his eyes.
"Pretty speech from a captor," she remarked bitingly, "But words whispered through prison bars lose their charm." she turned her head and quietly sighed in relief as he removed his hand from her face.
"Can I be blamed for my efforts?" he asked with a chuckle as he narrowed his eyes.
"All men are drawn to the sea, perilous though it may be." he continued but Elizabeth was quick to fire back.
"And some men offer desire as justification for their crimes."
He turned to her and stepped even closer than before. The stench of his breath upon her face made her lightheaded as she leaned back into the beam for support.
"I offer simply my desires." he spoke lowly, his words rich as honey.
"And in return?" Elizabeth questioned, all the while staying in character of the ancient goddess.
"I would have your gifts, should you chose to give them." he place both of his hands on the pillar, right next to her head, effectively blocking any form of escape. Elizabeth breathed in and taunted him with her mocking words.
"And if I should choose not?"
It was the wrong thing to say.
Sao Feng's eyes glinted dangerously as his hands clenched into fists and he tensed right before her. His eyes hungrily moved from her eyes to her lips as he passionately declared,
"Then I will take your fury!" before she had a chance to fight him, he enclosed her in his arms and forced his lips upon her. She was revolted as she tried to push him off her, but he was too large and too strong for her thin frame to push away. His kiss burned worse than the memories of the deceitful ones she had shared with Jack and Will.
And right before her eyes flashed the handsome face of James Norrington.
Suddenly, the Empress lurched dangerously to the right as a cannon barreled carelessly through the chambers. It plowed into the pillar as both Sao Feng and Elizabeth were thrown backwards. Elizabeth landed hard upon the ground as her headpiece was knocked eschewed and her locks fell freely down her back. She coughed as smoke filled the chamber. She pushed herself to her feet and peered around for the absent pirate lord.
"Sao Feng?" she hesitantly asked as the sound of screams grew louder every moment outside the chamber's doors.
They were being attacked.
"Here please," a weak voice answered her as she wadded through the debris of the once elegant room. She found him knocked flat against the wall, a rather large piece of the pillar protruding from his side as scarlet red blood flowed freely from his body.
She knelt down to the dying man no longer afraid of him. There was no way he could hurt her know in his final moments. He shakily reached his hand up to his monkey fist necklace and with a last surge of strength pulled the cord loose from his neck and dropped it into her hands.
"With all nine pieces of eight, you will be free. Take it! You are captain now. Go in my place to Shipwreck Cove." he weakly commanded as Elizabeth starred into his eyes.
He was making her a pirate lord.
"Me?" she whispered in disbelief as the chaos of battle grew ever nearer to their quarters. Their moment was broken as Tai Huang came rushing into the room.
"Captain, the ship is taken. We cannot – " he stopped short upon seeing the dying Sao Feng. Sao Feng grasped her arm and pulled her close, and whispered his final words into her ear.
"Forgive me…Calypso." he fell back with a gasp and closed his eyes for the last time. Elizabeth remained kneeling upon the splintered ground as shock began to settle within her system.
"What did he tell you?" Tai Huang barked as Elizabeth looked to him with dazed eyes, the necklace still clenched within her fist.
"He made me captain." she whispered in wonderment. A look of disgust fell upon Tai Huang's face as he vehemently denied her as his true captain. He turned on his heels and hurried back to the deck, leaving Elizabeth alone. She forced herself to breathe as she stood and slowly fastened her piece of eight around her neck.
She was a pirate lord.
That thought echoed throughout her mind as she ventured upwards to the deck to join her crew in their defeat. The second she stepped outside of the quarters she was quickly grabbed by one of Jones' doomed creatures. Tai Huang was detained next to her and spat out,
"You are not my captain!"
She only rolled her eyes and looked away to see a sight she never thought she would see again. James Norrington was walking towards her looking every ounce the man she had fallen in love with so long ago. No longer was he the filthy drunkard she had rescued off the streets of Tortuga, but splendidly returned to his former glory as the Commodore of Port Royal.
"Elizabeth?" he whispered with awed eyes and such a loving glance in them. With his voice so gentle and soft there was nothing she wanted more than to propel herself into his arms and never leave them. How she had missed him these last months! How tormented and how lost she had been without him.
But he was here, working alongside Jones' men meaning he could only be a lackey of Beckett's.
She hardened her eyes and shook off the goon before walking towards James who was quick to embrace her. It took all her will power to not hug him back, he smelled so good and held her like he had so long ago. James didn't notice her lack of response and only pulled away to smile at his beloved.
"Thank God you're alive!" he exclaimed as he reached out to caress her cheek, "Your father will be overjoyed to know you're safe."
Elizabeth narrowed her eyes and pulled away from the man she had once hoped to call her husband. How she had loved him…
"My father is dead." she spat and watched as James face turned to horrible confusion.
"No, that can't be true," he murmured as his fingers dug into her shoulders, "He…he returned to England."
"Did Lord Beckett tell you that?" she harshly asked as James tensed in realization. He looked away in shame as Jones materialized magically upon the deck of the Empress.
"Who among you do you name as captain?" the monster demanded of her crew as Tai Huang's eyes grew wide.
"Captain? Her!" he and the crew immediately pointed to Elizabeth as James' brows quirked up high and Jones looked at her with an incredulous expression upon his gruesomely tragic countenance.
"Captain?" he questioned in his thick, Scottish accent. James was quick to lurch to action to protect Elizabeth from Jones' renowned fury.
"Tow the ship," he ordered as Jones' eyes turned towards him, "Put the prisoners in the brig, and the captain shall have my quarters."
Jones looked ready to refused but nodded his head as his crew began to burst into action. Elizabeth only glared harder at James as she pulled herself free from his grasp.
"I thought you a good man," she furiously whispered as a pained expression overtook James' face.
"Thank you," she announced loudly for all to hear, "But I prefer to remain with my crew."
James reached feebly for her but she continued to put distance between the two of them.
"Elizabeth," he pleaded and how she wanted to give in, "I swear I did not know."
"Know what?" she cruelly taunted so as to protect her own heart, "Which side you chose?"
With one final step she was among her men, flanked by her crew as they took a protective stance surrounding her as they admired her spunk. A large chasm existed between James and them.
"Well now you do."
The last thing she saw before being shuttled to the brig of the Flying Dutchman was the heart- rendering expression upon James' face.
Elizabeth paced the tiny cell with gusto as her crew watched her with questioning eyes. They were wary of this tiny woman, but had loyally had accepted her as their captain, yet they still didn't know what to make of the foreign woman.
Elizabeth felt like a caged lion as she tried to push James away from her thoughts. For so long his face had haunted her and now here they were, on opposite sides of a war. He had betrayed piracy and therefore had betrayed her, all to be a pawn in Beckett's sick game.
Oh James, why…
She pushed the plaguing doubts away and focused one something else, anything else. She was aboard the infamous Dutchman, where Will's father was imprisoned…Bootstrap Bill Turner was here…he was here.
She questioned every monstrous crewman that passed their cell if they were Bootstrap Bill, but she only received sneers and howling laughter in return.
"Bootstrap? Bootstrap Bill?" she questioned her latest casualty who only snorted and went on his way out of the brig. She was about to finally give up and accept defeat when a low voice questioned from the cell across the way,
"Bootstrap, you know my name?"
Elizabeth hurried to the cell doors as Bootstrap Bill emerged from the shadows looking decidedly worse for the wear. He appeared almost a part of the ship. Elizabeth gasped as she starred at him.
"Yes," she said after a moment, "I know your son, Will Turner."
The pirate stared at her in confusion for a moment before the name finally registered and an ear-splitting grin fell upon his face.
"William!" he cheered with delightful laughter, "He made it, he's alive! And now he sends you to tell me that he's coming to get me!" His laughter was rough and coarse, almost as if he hadn't had the chance to laugh in so many years.
"Godspoons! He's on his way." he murmured in amazement as Elizabeth bit down upon her lip.
"Yes, Will is alive," she replied, "And he does want to help you." she earnestly remarked, he was so avid in his desire to free his father he had stabbed every single on of them in the back, including herself. Bootstrap seemed to sense something amiss in her tone as he finally got a good look at her. He turned away and sighed.
"He can't help me, he won't come." he whispered in such dejection it made Elizabeth want to weep.
"But you're his father." she responded instantly, confused as to Bootstrap's quick change in emotions.
"I know you," Bootstrap said while starring at her, "Will spoke of you. He can't come because of you."
Now Elizabeth was bewildered by this change of events. What on earth did she have to do with Will freeing his father? A bitter smile played across Bootstrap's face as he softly remarked,
Elizabeth's heart plummeted into her stomach as she felt knocked down by a thousand winds. The image of her best friend played through her mind as she grasped the cell bars for support. Quickly following that was the suppressed memory of her and Will's fierce kiss.
The word seeped into her mind like a poison and kept repeating over and over and over again.
"No," she gasped and shook her head to clear her vision, "I am not Helen…"
Her words were for naught because Bootstrap continued on without even appearing to see her anymore.
"If Jones be slain," he continued in a melancholy tone, "He who slays him must take his place. Captain forever. The Dutchman must always have a captain. If he saves me, he loses you…"
Will had already lost Helen…
"I see." Elizabeth whispered in a pained voice, Helen swarming her vision with her green eyes.
"He won't pick me," Bootstrap remarked with a wistful smile as he gestured to himself, "I wouldn't pick me." he turned away from and wadded into the recess of his dank cell.
"Tell him not to come. Tell him to stay away. It's too late. I'm already a part of the ship."
And right before Elizabeth's eyes he merged his body into the ship and became as still as a stature, staring off into space with a vacant expression in his sea blue eyes.
"Bootstrap!" she called across the way as he looked at her as if seeing her for the first time.
"You know my name." he remarked in wonderment as Elizabeth blinked back tears.
"I know your son," she replied as Bootstrap's eyes lit up like a rising sun.
"William! He's coming, wait and see, he promised." Bootstrap continued to speak to himself in that same manner as Elizabeth only watched him helplessly. She jumped as a hand was placed upon her shoulder and she turned to see Tai Huang regarding her with sympathetic eyes.
"Come away from there Captain, it will do you no good." he guided her away from Will's father and allowed her to sit as the crew regarded her silently. She didn't now how long they sat there in silence before the sound of boots slapping down the creaky staircase echoed around the brig.
James instantly appeared in front of their cell, keys in his hands, as he quickly undid the lock and held the doors open to them.
"Come!" he urged, glancing around to make sure he hadn't been followed. When he turned back no one had moved with the cell.
"Quickly," he pressed never looking away from Elizabeth's eyes. She regarded him for a moment before nodding to Tai Huang who was quickly spurned to action. He shooed the crew out leaving just Elizabeth and James.
"What are you doing?" she questioned as James responded with a roguish grin.
"Choosing a side."
The words melted her heart, but she couldn't give in to him, not when he had chosen Beckett over her.
"Why should I trust you?" she snarled as his smirk fell and he looked rather pathetic before her.
"Because from the moment I met you I loved you." he responded without hesitation as Elizabeth quickly looked away from him so he wouldn't see her tears.
"Come Elizabeth, we don't have much time." he reached for her hand and when she didn't resist him, he quickly led her out of the brig.
In the spurn of the moment he had forgotten to take the keys, so now they hung innocently within their lock…
The posse of motley pirates quietly crept through the deck to the stern of the ship where the Empress was bounded awaiting her captain. Elizabeth's crew wasted no time in shimmying across the lines towards the Empress, once again leaving Elizabeth and James alone as he quickly advised her.
"Do not go to Shipwreck Cove," he urgently warned her as she stared at him, "Beckett knows of the meeting of the Brethren. I fear there may be a traitor among them. Find the Scarlet Maiden, she will aid you in your cause."
"Why are you helping me?" she questioned, "You belong to Beckett."
James sighed and reached for her hands, lightly rubbing his thumb over her tan knuckles.
"I had nothing to do with your father's death." he whispered, "That doesn't absolve me of my other sins."
"Just answer me one question, James." she remarked and he nodded.
"Why did you betray us?" James sucked in a breath before bitterly laughing, his voice echoing all around the dark expanse of night.
"For I was foolish and stupid and an utter buffoon…for I thought you could never love me as a lowly and bitter drunkard. I thought that I had to prove myself to you by regaining my once glorified stature. I should have known that it wouldn't have helped."
Elizabeth's heart broke a little more inside her chest.
"You stupid man!" she cried out as she brought her fists out and began to pound them mercilessly against his chest.
"Not once, in all the time I loved you, did I love you because you were a Captain or a Commodore or whatever else you were. I loved you for the man inside your uniform."
James embraced her tightly as she shook in his arms. How good it felt to be embraced by him and to embrace him in return!
"Oh, my Elizabeth, I have been so very stupid. All this time we spent apart when we could have been together, it is all my fault." He looked as if he wanted to kiss her, but their tender moment was shattered as a bell rang from above. They broke apart and glanced upwards to see a deranged Bootstrap peering down at them.
"Who goes there?" he bellowed before disappearing into the shadows.
"Go," James urged Elizabeth, pushing her towards the railing. She frantically shook her head and fisted her hands into his shirt, trying to hold onto him.
"James, come with me, please."
"I will follow," he promised, but it was a hollow one, even to his ears.
"You're lying." she accused him as he sighed and cupped her face so he could see her brilliant eyes, eyes that had enraptured him so long ago.
"Our destinies have always been entwined Elizabeth, but even with all my efforts they have never been joined."
He swooped in and claimed her lips a final time as she melted into his arms and molded herself against him. She wrapped her arms around his neck and held onto him as tightly as she possibly could. Why couldn't this moment just last forever?
With an effort, James pulled away from Elizabeth and placed a hurried kiss upon her forehead as he shoved her towards the railing.
"Go! Now!" he silently begged her to listen to him and his heart rejoiced when she did as he told her. She scrambled aboard the railing and reached for the cord that would take her to the safety of the Empress. She looked one final time at her beloved before beginning the taxing journey across the water.
James turned and came face-to-face with Bootstrap Bill Turner.
"Back to your station, Sailor." he warned in an authoritative voice.
"No one leaves the ship." Will's father muttered madly as James drew his sword and aimed it at the crewmember.
"Stand down. That's an order!" he commanded as a quizzical smile graced Bootstrap's face.
"That's an order," he muttered to himself, "That's an order. Part of the crew, part of the ship. Part of the crew, part of the ship." he chanted lowly as James watched him with anxious eyes.
"Steady man!" he ordered but it was too late; Bootstrap was too far gone in his madness.
"Part of the crew, part of the ship. All hands, prisoner escape!" his voice echoed all around as noise immediately commenced aboard the Dutchman.
"Belay that!" James called, but it was too late. Elizabeth, hearing the noise, turned her head and gasped as she saw James become cornered by Bootstrap.
"James!" she yelled, drawing her lover's attention as she began climbing back towards the Dutchman, towards him. With his thoughts only for Elizabeth's safety, he quickly pulled his pistol from his belt and shot the line connecting the two, effectively severing it. With a scream of surprise Elizabeth fell into the black sea.
With his back turned Bootstrap found the right moment to strike; unsheathing his own sword he was quick to run it into James' chest. With a gasp the Admiral sunk down against the railing.
Elizabeth surfaced from the water only to see James sink down and his head fall back.
"James! No!" she cried from the water, fighting to stay afloat. She couldn't tear herself away from the sight of him dying.
"Captain! Come!" Tai Huang yelled from the bow of the Empress. The last thing Elizabeth wanted to do was to move even further from James, but she turned away from the gruesome sight and hurried swam to her ship. She was pulled aboard as her crew wasted no time in gaining speed away from the Dutchman.
Elizabeth didn't say a word as a thick, woolen blanket was wrapped around her to shield her away from the chill of the air. Nothing could protect her from the cracks that were forming in her fragile heart.
James was dead.
He was dead.
"Oh God." she cried out as tears fell down her cheeks. The crew kept their distance to let her mourn in peace.
Grief turned to despair, despair to anger, and anger to thoughts of revenge.
She would kill Beckett. He had murdered her dearest friend, her father, and now James. It was all his fault.
With this resolve steeling her against the world, she marched to the helm where Tai Huang stood manning the wheel.
"Take us to Shipwreck Cove as fast as you can!" she snarled as her first mate nodded. She turned away and quickly walked into her own private chambers where she was allowed the privacy to mourn her beloved.
And so they sailed onward to Shipwreck Cove.
Will was now in a situation he had never expected to be in; drinking tea with the enemy. But here he was, at Beckett's table being asked if he preferred once cube of sugar or two.
"I must admit, I am surprised to find you here Mr. Turner." Beckett remarked lightly, trying to draw out Will's true intentions.
"What, with our history and all." Beckett continued as Will growled.
"Yes, in particular being the fact that you're the reason my wife is dead."
Beckett seemed genuinely confused for a flash of a second before a light smirk settled on his smug face.
"Ah, yes, Mrs. Turner. My condolences. She died in a fire, yes? Hmmm, quite an awful way to die, I imagine. You must excuse my lack of sympathy and remembrance of the event, I had much more important matters to attend to."
If Will had had the chance, he would have lunged across the table and straggled Beckett. However, as it was, the bursting open of Beckett's doors broke the moment as Davy Jones came staggering in.
"I cannot be summoned like some mongrel pup!" he snarled to the man he was forced to call an ally. Beckett seemed undisturbed as he glanced up at the mystical sea captain.
"Apparently you can." he replied without batting an eyelash as he motioned to his guest, "I believe you know each other."
Jones set his eyes upon the unwanted guest, and a scowl grew upon his face when he recognized the young man sitting at the table watching Jones with distaste.
The last time he had seen that little bastard was when he had bested him in a game of Liar's Dice. It was Turner's fault that he was now being possessed by Beckett.
"Come to join me crew again, Master Turner?" he mockingly taunted as the young man smirked and nodded to Beckett.
"Not yours, his." he took a sip of tea before continuing with a smirk, "Jack Sparrow sends his regards."
If he was going to submit himself to these two, he may as well have fun with it. And he thoroughly enjoyed the outraged expression that played across Jones' face as he rounded on Beckett.
"Sparrow?" he snarled as his tentacles moved agitatedly.
"You haven't told him," Will feigned surprise as Beckett glared at him. He turned back to Jones and too all his effort not to smile gleefully as he replied,
"We rescued Jack from the Locker along with the Black Pearl."
"What else have you not told me?" Jones demanded of Beckett as the Lord sighed and lowered his cup.
"There is an issue far more troublesome. I believe you are familiar with a person called Calypso."
The effect upon Jones was immediate; he tensed and rashly turned away from his two odd companions as he rage fell upon him in waves.
"Not a person," he spat, "A heathen god. One who delights in cursing men with their wildest dreams and then revealing them to be hollow and naught but ash." he raved before calming himself as he turned towards Beckett and Will.
"The world is well rid of her." he spoke with such finality that it almost pained Will to retort. Almost being the operative word.
"Not quite so well, actually. The Brethren Court intends to release her."
"No!" Jones shrieked as the room grew smaller in his rage, "They cannot! The first court promised to imprison her forever. That was our agreement!"
His words echoed all around before fading into silence as Will watched him with wide eyes. All the pieces of Jones' mysterious and tragic past began to fit themselves in his mind as Beckett asked,
Jones looked almost embarrassed as he elaborated, "I showed them how to bind her. She could not be trusted. She gave me no choice. We must act before they release her!"
"You loved her," Will whispered as he locked eyes with the creature, "She's the one. And then you betrayed her."
Jones was quick to lash out, "She pretended to love me! She betrayed me!"
"And after which betrayal did you cut out your heart, I wonder?" Will retorted hotly as Jones whipped his claw and sent Will's porcelain tea cup crashing into a wall. However, Will was on a roll and would not be silenced.
"I hadn't finished that." if looks could kill, Will would have been dead a long time ago. As it was, Jones just settled on glowering heavily at the former blacksmith. Will saw the right moment to strike and looked clearly into Jones' eyes.
"You will free my father," he declared before turning to Beckett, "And you will guarantee Elizabeth's safety, along with my own."
"Your terms are steep, Mr. Turner. We will expect fair value in return."
"There is only one price I will accept," Jones snarled, "Calypso, murdered."
"Calypso is aboard the Black Pearl,"Will remarked as both sets of eyes fell on him, "Jack has sailed the Black Pearl to Shipwreck Cove."
"And with you no longer aboard her, how do you propose to lead us there?" Beckett smoothly questioned without missing a beat.
Think like Jack.
Will smirked as he produced Jack's compass from his person and held it up for all to see.
"What is it you want most?" he questioned as Beckett's own smirk grew as he placed down his tea cup.
"Very clever Mr. Turner, very clever indeed." he reached for the compass but Will strategically kept it a hair's length out of reach.
"Do I have your word?" he did not break eye contact with Beckett. Beckett impatiently sighed while nodding his head, his hand outstretched the whole time.
"A bargain is a bargain, now give it here."
Will complied as he sealed his own fate and without trepidation handed the mystical device towards Beckett. Soon enough the Endeavor was spurred into action as the course was set to Shipwreck Cove and Jones returned to his own ship. Will then found himself in his temporary quarters aboard the Endeavor as he was left to his own devices in his small cabin.
The moment he was alone he finally allowed himself to relax. It had worked. His plan had actually worked for once. All the pieces were coming together. Soon his father would be free and then Will could forget about the nightmare that had been these past few months. He fell back onto his bed without bothering to remove an ounce of clothing. He didn't even get under the covers, just laid atop the bed starring at the ceiling.
He was doing the right thing. He knew it. He had to free his father, nothing else mattered. No one could be angry at him for that. Sure he had backstabbed his friends, but he hadn't done anything that Jack or Barbossa hadn't done a thousand times over.
He was just protecting his father, himself and Elizabeth.
William groaned as he thought of Elizabeth, because thinking of Elizabeth made him think of Helen and his world was much less painful when he didn't have to think of her.
But she endlessly haunted him.
Her vivid eyes, her musical laughter, and her contagious sense of adventure were all swirling around his mind giving him no peace. Why could she not leave him alone? Wasn't it punishment enough to live without her? Now her specter followed him at every turn.
He remembered every little thing about her. Every last minute detail was all stored in his memory.
The one memory that played across his mind the most was their wedding day. He had been such a fool to not have seen her beauty then and there, but had rather been foolish enough to continue in his infatuation of Elizabeth. How lovely Helen had been that day. She had worn a sea blue gown with her dark tresses in curly locks framing her pale face.
Our love for each other should never be diminished by difficult circumstances and it is to endure until death parts us…
"If I ever saw her again," he whispered to the darkness of his room as sleep came upon him, "I would marry her again in an instant and never let her leave my sight…"
Sleep claimed him with a soft embrace as he into his dreams which revolved around a green eyed minx of a woman. And as he slept the ship sailed on.
And so they sailed onward to Shipwreck Cove.