Elizabeth smiled in the darkness of the sea cave; Will returned a small grin
and licked his lips.
Elizabeth's eyes glistened with the tears she tried to restrain, tears that
asked Will to take a step closer, reach for her arms and pull her shoulders
in tight, and cover her mouth...
Jack threw a particularly large and resonant piece of the semi-worthless
treasure collection. Elizabeth flinched, and the moment passed.
Glancing over his shoulder at the approaching Captain Sparrow, Will's eyes
narrowed guiltily. How could Will manage, if Elizabeth knew anything of the
"episodes" with this...Pirate? Those days aboard the Interceptor,
that one long, delicious night in Tortuga...
Elizabeth's throat tightened, and she swallowed as if she had something
bitter in her mouth. She stepped away from Will.
"We should return to the Dauntless," she whispered.
Will replied, terror in his eyes, "Your fiancé will be wanting to know you
Elizabeth stalked off, every stride turning her wounded heart further to
stone; why should she be troubled by Turner's ill grace?
She's leaving, Will thought to himself. What can I say? What could
I do? Is she aware of my... transgressions? Does she truly love that stuffed
shirt, Norrington? What did I say to her, about Jack? Could she read
something in my face, when I had said "at the moment"? Did I ever mention
"If you were waiting for the opportune moment," Jack interrupted Will's
internal struggles, "that was it. Now, if you'd be so kind, I'd be much
obliged if you'd drop me at my ship."
"Jack?" Will dashed to catch the swaggering figure ahead.
"Will." Sparrow's forward progress was stalled by the hand on his elbow, his
balance nearly upset by his heavy load of treasure and the uneven footing on
the cavern's floor.
"That was the opportune moment?"
"Yes, I do believe it was."
"And I missed it?"
"Aye, that you did, mate." Jack's smile was nearly gleeful. He'd expected a
bit of comeuppance was in order, for the lad's romantic notions of rescuing
fair maid and so winning her heart.
"What shall I do now?" Will's jaw was set, prepared for Jack's ridicule;
ready to brave such a fate, that he might possibly gain some insight into
the situation from the older, more experienced fellow.
"Well, let's look at your options shall we?" said Jack. "You can row
the boat out to the Pearl, and return me to my ship, or you can
convince Elizabeth that she should be the one to do so." He gestured
generously towards his own torso, with the chalice in his right hand. "She
might very well amenable to be developing the firm pectorals, the better to
manage a ripe and juicy bosom, without resort to one of those sodding
corsets. She seems to have a chip on her shoulder, regarding the things,
ever since that pink one maliciously tried to assassinate her. But either
way, someone needs to get me to my ship, savvy?" Jack began to walk towards
the cave's sea-entrance, and the boats pulled ashore there.
"But what shall I do about Elizabeth?" Will grasped at Jack's sleeve again,
but this time Sparrow succeeded in shrugging off the hold in time to
continue his forward progress, still heavily laden with swag.
"Apart from passing her the oars? I don't see as there's much that you
really can do. You may not have noticed, lad, but she tends to be a
mite...headstrong." A sly look crossed the pirate's face for a moment
only. "Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, mind you."
"And she loves Norrington," Will hung his head, dejected.
"I didn't say that," Jack retorted. "Come, let's go get in the boat. The
tide will be turning."
"She doesn't love Norrington?" Will continued in bafflement. "Then why is
she going back to marry him?
"Well, it makes precious little sense to me, but then women often do things
that make precious little sense, boy. Get used to it. Let us depart."
"Why would she wed Norrington?"
"Well, perhaps he's the only offer she's got, and she fears dying an old
"Life often is. I'm finding it rather ridiculous that we're not in the boat
yet, rowing to catch the Black Pearl, and the tide," said an
exasperated Jack Sparrow.
"What could she possibly see in Norrington?" Will was becoming more
distraught by the moment, and failing to keep his voice lowered in the cave.
Sound carried marvelously in the echo-ey chamber. "I've proven my love,
beyond a shadow of a doubt! I'd die for her!"
"Yes, but ye don't follow orders very well, do ye now?" reasoned Jack.
"Perhaps, she prefers her men to have the sense to do what they're told, now
and again? Those blue-coats are all about the taking and the giving of
orders. Which isn't always a bad thing, you see. F'rinstance, I'm telling
you to shut your gob and get in that boat!"
Will summoned his courage, and spoke aloud the thing he most feared. "Do you
think she knows about... about you and me, Jack? About what... happened
between us... on the Interceptor?" His halting speech was more of an
indictment than his actual wording.
"Well, she certainly didn't hear it from me, mate," replied the pirate,
fondly. His eyes darted, almost imperceptibly, to the large rock
outcropping, hidden in shadow, off to the left. "I don't kiss and tell."
Jack's one free finger, the only one unburdened with gold or pearls or other
loot, stabbed into Will's chest. "Boat. You. NOW."
"What in heaven's name can I do, Jack? How do I win her heart?" Will's
plaint was growing ever more tiresome to Jack's ears. And if past
performance were any indication, Will would worry at the topic forever,
unless given some solution to the problem, or...
"Will. Don't. Just get in the boat. Please?" Jack truly hoped he didn't have
to resort to drastic measures, in this instance. Not that he minded a
drastic measure, now and again. After all, Pirate! "Last chance to do as
you're told, William. I said, please."
"You don't understand how import..."
It was no use. Had to break the lad's compulsion, or there'd be no progress
whatsoever. Jack dropped the golden idol and intricate goblet he held, and
grasped Will's cheeks. "SHUT. UP." Jack shut Will's mouth with his own, and
plundered the riches there with thrusting tongue and nibbling teeth and
caressing fingertips. Struggling against Jack at first assault, Will
gradually began to respond to the affront with his own tactical advances,
hands brushing down Jack's back, long fingers twining up to grasp the nape
of Jack's neck– and finally a muscular thigh pressing insistently against
the willing, arching form. Jack's fingernails left little pressed half-moons
in the skin at the curve of Will's jawline. Will's hips, grinding against
the pirate's breeches, were aggressive, predatory, seeking something he
obviously had enjoyed before.
Elizabeth just managed to stifle her gasp, from her hidden position behind
the basalt outcropping. Well, that removed all doubt whatsoever. It
shouldn't hurt. It was obvious, in hindsight. Clearly, turnabout was fair
play. She had given her word to James to become his wife, and she would go
now, and fulfill that word.
But not before a few more tears of rage and frustration leaked from her.
"Ow!" came the kiss-muffled cry from the Pirate's lips, as the crest of
Jack's pelvic bone was slammed by something hard in Will's waistcoat pocket.
"What the devil have you got in there?" the injured party inquired.
Still clinging tightly, Will fished in the pocket, brought out a small,
glittering blueglass bottle, stoppered with a cork. "You never did show me
what you meant by nirvana in a bottle, Jack."
"Not this time, Will." Jack broke the embrace first. "We've no luxury for
play at the moment. Let go, luv."
And blessedly, mercifully, Will released the object of his loins' affection,
and called out for the object of his heart's affection, without any more
protest about who was about to be marrying whom; "Elizabeth!" ...who was
nowhere to be seen. The blacksmith's voice grew more insistent, when she did
not immediately appear. He lurched for the darker reaches of the sea cave,
concern clouding his features.
Jack paused from his task of tossing his briefly discarded treasures over
the little gunwale, grappled the younger fellow's collar. "No, you stay in
the boat. It was too much trouble to get you here in the first place. If you
go after her, there will be some more sighing and gazing and
tears-in-the-eyes, and NOT ENOUGH BOAT ROWING." Jack spoke as if to a
disobedient puppy, waggling an admonitory finger. "Sit. Stay."
Miraculously, Will complied. Some days, all the luck really did flow
in the general direction of Captain Jack Sparrow.
Jack made a beeline in the direction where he knew Elizabeth sat, crouched
and hidden. She, in turn, made a similarly direct course to the location of
the little boats. Rounding the corner of a largish boulder simultaneously,
they collided. It was possibly an accident, where Captain Sparrow's hands
fell, in that moment. It was most definitely not an accident, where
Elizabeth's knee attempted to lodge, immediately thereafter. Only long
practice with such maneuvers saved Jack a dose of pain, but again, lucky or
merely nimble, Jack sailed clear of minor disaster.
"Elizabeth," he said from beneath the pile of splayed limbs, "Come. It is
time to keep your word. And to get me back to the Pearl before your
Bloody Commodorish Beau blasts her to smithereens." He nudged gently to aid
her rise. That he did so with his still-turgid pelvic region was merely a
point of style.
"Yes, very well, Jack." Elizabeth's voice still cracked slightly, but she
was past her tears now, despite the slightly crimson tint to her lids. "I
see now that I must go through with this."
"So?" Jack held out his arms in elaborate pantomime, "Could you perhaps
expedite this a bit, my dear? The matter is an urgent one."
Elizabeth was not deliberately maddening with the lack of speed in her
scurry. It really was that damnably difficult to make progress over
the uneven, slithering stones of the cave's floor near the water's edge.
Jack's patience ran thin, and Elizabeth found herself swept into the
pirate's arms like a babe, and carried in long jouncing strides to the boat,
where Will was still shipping the oars.
"Why thank you, Captain Sparrow," she said, as Jack set her feet beside the
little wooden-hulled vessel. Something in her tone made both men turn to
look at her directly. "Oh, by the way, Captain Sparrow, before we go? I have
something I'd like to say to you."
Jack rolled his eyes exaggeratedly. What now?
Elizabeth snaked out an arm, took the little beads on Jack's chin, tickled a
little, and then tugged him forward to be devoured in her own deep kiss.
Despite his impatience, Jack surrendered languidly to the complete enjoyment
of the moment— fully realizing that this was the quickest way of getting
Miss Swann's point across to Mr. Turner, and thus concluding these
machinations and GETTING HIM TO HIS BLOODY BOAT.
Elizabeth separated their lips with an audible slurp, and said "I am
infinitely grateful, Jack, for everything you taught me on that island. I
found it immensely entertaining."
Will gawked at them for a moment, the proverbial slack-jawed idiot. The
lowering thunderclouds were very nearly visible, as they formed over
Will's gradual shift from shock to stun to seethe. Jack merely grinned and
glittered and shrugged at them both. "Now can we take me to my ship?
I sincerely hope all this delay hasn't left me without a ship to return to!"
Will rowed the boat, steady strokes beneath the moonlight.
Jack, crown askew, looked out over an empty sea.
Red-coated Elizabeth said, "I'm sorry, Jack."
"They done what's right by them. Can't expect more than that."
All three knew he didn't mean the new crew of the Black Pearl, alone.