This is a song-fic based on Suzanne Vega's "Song in Red and Grey," and BohemianCaneO4's PotC fic, "Song in Red and Gray." I apologise for failing to find an original title, but this one seemed most appropriate especially since there are apparently several songs in red and grey.
Rose Gillette is BohemianCane's complex and fabulous OC, and the words that have been laid in the centre and italicised are lyrics from Suzanne Vega's aforementioned song.
I want to thank Liv for letting me borrow Rose. Love you, girly.
~Song in Red and Gray~
The reproach in your daughter's most beautiful face
Made me wonder just how she could know
Rose stared at the brown curls as the sea-wind played with them even as the spray made them heavy and damp. She could scarcely make out the snatches of shanty that the wind carried over the shore, but the girl's laughter rang clear and true... Like her own in another life.
Of that something that happened between you and me
So much more than a long time ago
A twirl of skirts and water arose on the beach and Rose saw the face and form that mirrored her own.
Her mother, I can see, lives within her still
Cause she looked at me with her eyes
Rosalie was the altered image of her mother, with only her hair to set her apart.
Though I had only just met her right then
I feel that she peeled back my guilty disguise
Rose lived in fear that one day a forgotten face from yet another life would ask her innocent daughter to give him a ride and a suck for old time's sake, but swallowed it back to keep Rosalie from seeing. Daughter ran to mother with girlish enthusiasm. At eighteen, Rose had already grown old, but Rosalie was a child still.
Did I break the thread, or did you break the thread?
There never was any knowing who Rosalie's father was. Rose always wagered that time would reveal either Cutler or James in her features, but Rosalie looked like her mother, save for her chestnut mane -and Rose knew full well that both men had hidden brown locks beneath their stark, white wigs.
Well at this point we could ask who cares
The riddle lay in Rosalie's eyes: clear blue with penetrating intensity, tempered by a warm tenderness. At first, glance, one might say the intensity was inherited from Lord Cutler Beckett, ruthless owner of the East India Trading Company, but Rose knew it was just as likely that the fire came from her own hot blood and the softness from dear James.
As for the promises broken and frayed
It's nineteen years late for repairs
In the end, she was glad she didn't know. Knowing who the father was would betray which man she wanted the father to be and that was a question she never wanted answered.
The grey pewter vase held the deep red rose,
One piece of coral shone white,
Rose kissed her only surviving child's face and tasted salt. Salt. Always salt in this place. Salt: the taste of the Caribbean, of sweat, of tears, and even of blood -all four of the elements that had birthed her fairy-child.
By the brass candlestick near your red velvet coat,
Is everything I can recall of one night
Rose hated and loved the sea as she hated and loved Rosalie. The sight of either brought back memories of soft kisses, of stinging slaps, of the taste of strawberries, and the red of rubies. She could still hear cries in the night... sometimes they were even her own.
Will you please tell me why I remember these things
After all of this time, I don't know
Rosalie headed back to the house, but Rose stopped to stare at the stormy sea.
I must have left all those feelings inside
Cause that year I had no courage to show
It made her ache deep within the emptiness Cutler and James had left in their wake, but the pain reminded her to love them and so she kept looking.
Was I the name you could never pronounce?
So many nights she would cry Cutler's name -in ecstasy or in agony... it never mattered. She was his plaything by night, his secret. She knew Cutler would have rather died than let the world know he had given his cold, black heart to a whore.
Or did I even figure at all?
But James... James never made her scream, only forced her to endure his. Too many nights he cried Elizabeth Swann's name in the darkness, then woke to cling to Rose for comfort. How could she help but love him? -Even when had died for her...
All of this happened before she was born
Did I shadow her young pencil marks on the wall
It didn't matter. Both men died. Both men left her alone. She became a ghost the day what was left of Beckett's fleet washed up on the shore at Port Royal. She thought she would disappear like sea foam. Then there was the quickening and after that, Rosalie... Cutler's child, James' child: it didn't matter. Shadows of both men lay in her eyes.
Still I am sure I was only but one
Of a number who darkened that door
Rose bit back the bitter ire when she realised that in a year's time Elizabeth and her James would walk the same grassy dune she now stood on. Elizabeth... the name James Norrington had called for in her bed, the woman James had died for.
Of your home and your hearth and your family and wife
Who'd been darkened so often before
In a year's time, Elizabeth would come to the beach and await the return of her faithful Will... with the son she'd had the gall to name for her husband's rival.
Oh, the red leaf looks to the hard gray stone
To each other, they know what they mean
Cutler's image flashed before her mind, reading her hatred in death as surely as he had in life. He thrived on it, but so did she. Nonetheless, she blinked back her tears, staunchly refusing to allow them life.
She knew that James would come and take Rosalie away to beach with him, to receive Captain Turner's blessing. There was no point in denying that Rosalie was in love with James Turner or that the boy loved her back with a faithfulness he had inherited from his father. However much Rose hated Elizabeth, she would not see Rosalie denied happiness. -Oh no, Rosalie would have everything life could give her...
Somewhere, their future is still yet to come
In ways that are yet as of now unforeseen