Summary: AU, B/E. Elizabeth Swann and Lord Cutler Beckett are a smart match. And sooner or later, they'll figure that out for themselves. Probably. Cameos from: James, Will, Jack, Barbossa and the rest.
Disclaimer: I was listening to a lot of Imagine Dragons when I started this.
All My Worldly Goods
As the Governor of Port Royal's daughter, Elizabeth Swann was afforded a certain level of freedom other young women of her stature could not obtain. Weatherby found his daughter's sharp wit and even shaper tongue as something to encourage rather than something to deter. His beloved wife had died when Elizabeth was just a small child, and in his grief he found delight in allowing his daughter to participate in whatever activities she pleased.
She had lessons with her tutor in math, science, history and a variety of foreign languages. She met with a governess to learn proper etiquette and how - when necessary - ladies of her stature should behave. She sat in her father's study while he explained politics, both local and global, economics and the blossoming trade market that had brought them to Port Royal in the first place over games of chess. And she was always given a seat at the dinner table when Weatherby entertained, no matter who the guest was. She was quietly reminded to do more listening than speaking before each such event, but if she did speak her mind she was very rarely reprimanded.
It was not an usual circumstance then when she as invited to join her father and Port Royal's newest citizen, Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company, for dinner.
Her father was politely inquisitive about Lord Beckett's line of work, and their guest was not so shy that he was stricken unable to brag of his vast profits - for himself, the company and, even on occasion, their king.
"It's curious," Elizabeth said, speaking for the fist time that evening.
"Elizabeth?" Her father asked gently.
"How one section of our town can flourish so completely, and yet so many have been ravished by this most recent storm. I was just down at the church yesterday. It has become a residence for many who now find themselves homeless."
"Elizabeth," her father said again, his tone of voice different than before.
She smiled and nodded her head once in a feigned act of contrition. "Of course. The owners of the sugar plantations faired just fine - so perhaps there is hope after all."
Lord Beckett appraised her openly, his face altogether impassive but his fingers trailing over the lip of his glass of brandy. The left corner of his mouth twitched ever so slightly when he said, "Perhaps there is."
Two days later, Elizabeth's most trusted maid - Estrella - entered her bedchamber with news and obvious delight on her face.
"Lord Beckett came to call on your father, miss," she whispered. She took the hair brush from Elizabeth's fingers and stroked the bristles gently through her hair. "We best prepare you, just in case."
Even though Elizabeth could hardly comprehend what her maidservant was implying, she allowed herself to be made up in one of her nicer dresses. They had just barely gotten her corset tied and the dress over her head when her father knocked on the door and stepped inside.
She walked out from behind the privacy screen and he smiled broadly at her. "Elizabeth, you are lovely."
She couldn't help but smile back at him.
Weatherby nodded at Estrella, excusing her from the room. When the door closed quietly behind her, he cleared his throat. "Lord Beckett is waiting for you in the garden. It's your choice, of course. Always. But…it is a smart match, Elizabeth."
Elizabeth dropped her eyes to her hands, but only for a moment. She sought out Weatherby's warm gaze. "Would it please you, Father?"
He smiled at her, eyes bright. "You please me, Elizabeth. Always."
Lord Cutler Beckett did not speak to Elizabeth as she approached him in the garden, only acknowledging her presence with the barest of nods.
She stood beside him, looking out at the ocean that the view from the mansion provided. She wasn't quite sure what to expect or how to behave, but Elizabeth was not about to let him become aware of her uncertainty - or worse, her nervousness. She kept her chin up and her eyes on the ships in the horizon.
Weatherby used to take her on short voyages when Elizabeth was a young girl, always work related, of course. But she had loved it all the same. Now here she was, on the very precipice of adult hood, and she found herself wishing she'd been able to spend more time on a ship, out at sea, free.
Cutler offered her a beautiful white flower he had picked from the garden. She barely hesitated when she accepted it from him.
Their wedding date was set for four months later.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due: I was largely inspired to write this after reading Desert by labyrinths here on this site. I would have stated that at the beginning of the prologue, 'cept I was scared ya'll might jump ship and read that first and that would not bode well for me because it is so much better than anything I might ever hope to write.
Beckett has always been my favorite of all the PotC boys, but I never realized I could write a fan fiction for him. Or I was afraid it would ruin my chances with Tom Hollander. You know. As one would realistically worry. Anyway. I'm new here and I'm left wondering…
Is anybody out there?
Spoiler for next chapter: James!