Flash of Green
She couldn't cry anymore. Even if she had wanted to shed tears, she found she had none left. With a flash of green, he was gone from her and yet she could still feel the warmth of his cheek against hers, the rush of long-awaited passion consummated, and his voice. His last words…keep a weather eye on the horizon. Ten years she had promised him and ten years she would live with only this sunset, this fleeting day to keep her company.
As she watched the horizon, a feeling of hopelessness began to set upon her, bearing its weight down on her. Dropping to her knees in the sand, clutching at her racing heart, she wished she could tear it out of chest and give it to him. If only it would save him from his fate. His destiny, a voice in her head amended.
And yet, all the while, her heart ached for more selfish reasons. She wanted to cry for everything she had lost. Not only for Will, but for the sea, for herself, and her freedom. She felt helpless to her fate, as if she'd come full circle. She felt exactly like she had two years ago, awaiting the Commodore's proposal on the ledge of the fort in Port Royal. Were her adventures and triumphs abroad for nothing but to return to her corseted prison beginning?
On the seas, she could be anyone, a King even. What did the land have to offer her but a chest with her husband's still-beating heart inside and a ten year sentence of solitude? The thought was almost unbearable.
She climbed to her feet, dusting the sand off her black dress and looked out at the horizon with a steely determination. She started to walk into the surf, delighting in the cool waves lapping at her ankles. If she was to live ten years without the sea, surely he would allow her this one bittersweet farewell. Another wave crashed upon the sand, taking her further out. The water came up to her chest now and suddenly a thought struck her. She closed her eyes and reveled in the ocean's power and majesty and whispered a single word.
Instantly feeling foolish, she opened her eyes and started to move back ashore. The wave that hit her next came out of nowhere, knocking her off her feet, swept even deeper by the undertow. She tried to break the surface, but the water was too violent for her to pull herself up. She almost laughed at the irony. She loved the sea so much and a silly wave was going to kill her. But then she heard the voice, that familiar lilt, and it was all around her, in the water and in her head.
And then she was once again above the surface, taking in a gasping breath of air, treading water desperately. "It's Turner now, actually." she said aloud. She looked around her, feeling silly, but no one was in sight, so she continued. "Calypso, can you hear me?"
Aye, but it is not yer destiny to die at my hand. Or to live William Turna's.
"But I promised him I'd wait for him. I promised I'd keep his heart safe." Elizabeth spoke over the swiftly calming seas.
Ye will keep de heart safe and ye will wait for William, but not in de way he 'ad hoped. Not your destiny, Elizabet', to wait along the shore like a sailor's wife.
"But I don't understand," Elizabeth cried, "I don't know what I am to do. They've all left, I don't even have a ship!"
Do not attempt to understand a goddess. Or the sea. It will come to you in time. Your destiny awaits ye, Elizabet' Swann, now go.
"It's Turner. Elizabeth Turn—" A wave swallowed her protests and took her under once more. Water filled her lungs and the lack of oxygen made her head sluggish. Her limbs were heavy. She knew if she didn't get above the water soon, she would drown. Dark spots were beginning to swarm in front of her eyes, she knew she was losing consciousness. The last thing she felt before the darkness overcame her was a hand taking hold of her wrist.
She coughed loudly, expelling a mouthful of sea water, and inhaled a huge gasp of air.
"Elizabeth! You're alive! Elizabeth, open your eyes for me, love."
"Jack?" her voice sounded raw and wrong in her ears. She opened her eyes and saw him, dripping with seawater; the look of concern in his eyes struck her. She felt his fingers brush the damp hair away from her forehead.
"What were you thinking?!" he asked suddenly.
Elizabeth lifted herself up on her elbows. "I wasn't trying to kill myself. The wave took me under and I didn't get a breath of air." she explained.
She saw Jack slowly comprehend her, his frown turning into a rare smile. "Let's get you away from the damned waves, then." He offered her a hand and guided her over to the stone where she had left the chest an hour earlier. She leaned against it, still trying to catch her breath.
"What are you doing here, Jack?" she asked.
"I saw you go under. When you didn't come up, I, I…I got here as fast as I could. You were under for several minutes," replied Jack, "But did you really think we were going to leave you to your solitary vigil? He's gone right?"
Elizabeth nodded, biting her lip. "Ten years, Jack. I can't even begin to—"
"Which is exactly why you're coming with us…er…me." Jack said with a nod.
Elizabeth's eyes scanned the horizon. "But I don't see the Pearl." she noted.
"Trifle. I have something much better." With a flourish, Jack displayed the map, or rather, part of the map. With a ringed finger, he tapped a tiny drawing of a chalice.
"Aqua de vitae?" she asked.
Elizabeth suddenly felt overwhelmed with loss. She reached across the rock and pulled the chest to her. She could feel the heart beating in time with hers. She wanted nothing more than to be one with that heart.
"Elizabeth," she heard him murmur and she felt his hand warm on hers. She didn't know she had closed her eyes until she opened them and saw Jack's dark eyes gazing sadly at her. "I know it hurts. But we'll keep it safe. I'm a man of my word, remember? You'll be miserable here. Why not spend your time waiting where you belong? We'll keep the heart safe, Elizabeth."
"His heart. You promise, Jack?" she asked, her voice cracking.
"Promise." His fingers left hers on the chest and slid his hand behind her head. He pulled her head towards his as he placed a firm kiss on her forehead. And then he was taking the chest from her hands and guiding her back to the sea. "Time to go, love."