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megatron ([personal profile] megatron) wrote2007-06-21 02:53 am

Fanfiction: Dreams - PotC - PG-13 - James/Elizabeth

Title: Dreams
Author: [personal profile] whisperwords | [personal profile] megatron
Fandom: Pirates of the Caribbean
Pairing: Will/Elizabeth, James/Elizabeth
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Spoilers for AWE.
Summary: After the events of AWE, Elizabeth finds sleep a precious commodity.
Disclaimer: PotC and the franchise belong to Disney. I'm simply fleshing it out a bit. :)
Word Count: 2,775





Elizabeth couldn't sleep. Nearly every night she tossed and turned, often sweating in the heat, and nearly every night she woke at least once with a start, gasping for air and willing her heart to calm down. Sometimes she woke up panting, gulping for air as she settled herself in the dark, staring up into the darkness as her mind raced, trying to pinpoint why her sleep was so unsettled.

Will Turner had left her there to wait a decade only a fortnight before the dreams began.

*****

Elizabeth wore chains. Shackled to her wrists and ankles, they trailed behind her, slowing her already arduous trek along the seafloor. A cursed piece of pirate gold hung on a chain around her throat.

Sometimes she turned to bones, when she dragged her chains through the shallows and the moonlight shone straight through.

She never left the water, not fully. She didn't feel she had the right to. Not after all she'd done, the lives she'd bartered in her dangerous game. So she'd gone to Isla de Muerta and found the chest once again, the chest that started everything, the coin with Will's blood still muddy and brown dried along the edge. She'd taken it for herself, cursed herself to the depths to walk among the dead and dying, to travel from shipwreck to shipwreck and remind herself of all she'd done.

The Pirate King answered to no one but herself, so she'd sentenced herself to an eternity.


*****

Sometimes when she woke, she'd find her throat sore and her face wet. It was good, she thought, that there was no one there with her to hear the haunted sobs she held inside until sleep took her and set them free. When she woke up needing water she would wander the house with her arms wrapped tightly around her, opening all the windows and staring blankly toward the sea. The wind carried the salt air into her nose and mouth, and the familiarity of it would break her heart all over again.

*****

She heard herself screaming.

"James! No! No!"

The deck of the
Dutchman stopped him and he fell no further, slumping there along the rail. As she screamed the sea got into her mouth, tried to choke her cries down, keep her quiet. She wished for a moment that it would stop threatening and drown her entirely. She swam toward Sao Feng's ship -- her ship -- as his heart stopped for her and as she clawed her way up into the vessel she felt hot tears streaming down her face.

"Captain--"

"Shipwreck Cove," she snapped, growling through her teeth. "Get us there. I'll be in my quarters." She slammed the door behind her and slumped against it, curling her knees up to her chest, her empty heart beating rough and steady behind her ribs.


*****

On the nights she didn't wake -- which were rare, though not entirely unheard of -- she dreamed of happier things. Old memories and good friends, breads and cheeses and meats on banquet tables, rum-drunk pirates singing songs around bonfires. Sparkling green eyes winking at her clandestinely when no one else was looking, smiles meant entirely and only for her, broad grins and cheerful smirks, concealed laughter, all hers for the keeping.

She would wake in the morning to birds outside -- cheerful sunlit mornings on a warm, Caribbean beach -- and she would cry.

*****

"Teach me to fight, Will."

"You already know how to fight."

"Teach me your way. With a sword."

"Your father--"

"Isn't here. Now are you going to teach me or am I going to have to find someone else to do it?" Hands on her hips, she tilted her head just a bit, and he smiled at her.

"Choose a sword, Miss Swann."


*****

The first time she woke with her hand between her legs she hadn't been dreaming of her husband, and though she tried as hard as she could, she couldn't fall back asleep.

*****

His hands were bigger than she thought, and rougher. He ran them gently up her leg, knee to thigh, and grasped at her flesh desperately.

"Elizabeth," he breathed, bringing his lips to hers, "My Elizabeth."

"James," she moaned as he bit gently at her bottom lip. She brought her hands up to his head, burying them in his hair, pulling at it, making him growl gently, a deep rumble in his throat. He pushed at her then, his heartbeat racing, and slid into her. She gasped and arched her back, pressing into him, grasping at his shoulders.

They moved together as they never had in life and the pressure built steadily, higher and higher, and he moaned her name, pressed his lips to her neck--


*****

After three years passed with barely a good night's sleep Elizabeth found herself restless, unwilling to remain in the house any longer, the house she'd barely left since she entered it. She sent a letter out to sea and two weeks later she found herself at the docks.

"Captain," she extended her greetings as she boarded the Pearl. Barbossa smiled at her.

"My King," he smiled. She laughed; she'd missed this ship, this crew. But she soon found out that though she'd left her home, she hadn't left her dreams.

*****

"I died for you," he said, simply. A statement of fact.

"I didn't want you to die," she replied, another truth. His wig was askew and his hat was missing. There was a hole in the back of his dirtied coat.

"I didn't want to die, either," he said, turning to look at her. His skin was green and rotting; here and there, small pieces of him were missing. His green eyes were dulled and milky; the expression in them a deep and seething anger. He reached out to her with hands that were half-decayed. "I should have let them keep you, Miss Swann."


*****

It didn't take long before Barbossa confronted her. She'd been terrifying the crew for three nights straight before he made the move to ask her, but it had to be done.

"The men are startin' to think I've brought a harpy on board," he said to her, and she winced. He offered her an apple, green and shiny in his dirty pirate's hand. She took it and held it, though she did not bring it to her mouth.

"I've been having dreams," she started, and Barbossa raised an eyebrow. "Nightmares," she corrected herself, and he nodded.

"I already figured that out," he said to her. She sighed and moved her thumb across the skin of the apple.

*****

She made sure that he was anchored to the mast as she kissed him. She knew what she was doing. She broke from him and he smirked at her.

"Pirate."

She saw him struggling against the ties as their small boat pulled away; the water was already moving unnaturally. The Kraken was nearby. The water quaked; waves came toward them as it broke the surface. Enormous tentacles wrapped around the
Pearl and sank it; it seemed instantaneous. It was there and then it was gone. Jack was gone. She couldn't change it now.

*****

The water broke all around the Dutchman and drained from her decks as it came alongside the Pearl. Barbossa hailed the captain of the other ship with his hat, motioning with a sharp tilt of his head to Elizabeth beside him. Will Turner smiled brightly at his wife.

"Seems the missus didn't fancy ten years on land," Barbossa said, once Will had crossed to the Pearl.

"I didn't think highly of the idea either," he said, and he brought his arms around Elizabeth. He was warm, and Elizabeth found his embrace overwhelming.

"It's good to see you, Will," she said, and he kissed her.

"I missed you too, love," he took her hand in his. "Would you like to see what I've done with her? She's a fine vessel, now that she's in my care. I've a fine ship, a fine crew--"

"Of course," she replied, and they crossed to the Dutchman together. Bootstrap Bill greeted her on the other side. She noticed his blade as he moved along and fixed her eyes on it, wary of him though she knew he would not harm her.

"The captain's quarters are quite nice, now that I've gotten rid of Davy Jones' pipe organ," Will started, leading her astern. They were almost there when Elizabeth stopped in her tracks.

"What--"

"Elizabeth?" Will turned and looked at her, a confused look on his face. She was staring up into the rigging, her mouth hanging wide open. "Elizabeth, what is--"

"James?" she dropped Will's hand, taking a few steps backward, trying to find a better look. Will looked down at the deck.

"Barbossa didn't tell you?" he asked, but Elizabeth didn't hear him.

"James?" she said, louder. The man in the rigging looked down at her, and then began moving down the rigging. Elizabeth simply continued to stare.

"Elizabeth," he greeted her as he stepped onto the deck. "You look well."

"How..."

"My father told me what had happened," Will interjected. Elizabeth continued to stare at James, though she nodded to show she was listening. "He told me that Norrington had died saving you, that he'd stabbed him for it. He saved your life, so I saved his."

"I..." Elizabeth continued to stare; James fidgeted underneath her gaze. He tried to stare off into the distance, to watch the sunlight play along the waves, to keep his eye on the horizon. But then she leapt on him, wrapped her arms around him so tightly that he almost couldn't breathe.

He moved his arms unsurely; he didn't know what to do with them. He put them around her and squeezed her, but when he loosened his grip she did not loosen hers.

"Mrs. Turner," he said, and she continued to hold him. He glanced at Will, who was standing with his hands on his hips and staring at the bow of the Pearl, his jaw clenched. "Elizabeth," he tried, and she began to cry.

"You were dead," she sobbed, "You died, I saw you fall, I saw it."

"I'm not dead now, Elizabeth, and I need to breathe," he said, smiling at her. She stepped back.

"I saw you," she said, almost a whisper. She brought her hand slowly up to her face, covering her mouth. "I saw you dead. I saw it."

Her knees gave out and her eyes rolled back; as she passed out both Will and James knelt to her aid, and each of them gave the other a territorial glance.

*****

"So this is where your heart truly lies, then?"

"It..." she started. She glanced at James, and then at Will. She looked all around them. There were men everywhere, a sea of red coats and weapons. Will wore an enormous hat with an even more enormous feather. Jack was already swaggering as if he'd asked for a last meal of rum.

James' eyes were the most beautiful eyes she'd ever seen.

"No," she said. Will turned to her suddenly.

"Elizabeth--"

"I don't know," she said. She looked at him and then looked at James again. Will looked exceedingly confused; his brown eyes moving quickly between her and James. James stared at her, almost patiently. She couldn't look at Will again.


*****

"What happened?"

"You fainted," Will said, holding her hand. James knelt on her other side, though he kept his hands to himself. He no longer wore a wig, and his hair was not as neatly kept as it could be. A few stray strands hung around his face. He looked younger than she remembered. She was staring at him again.

"I--" she started, but trailed off. Her mind was racing.

"Stop staring at him," Will grumbled at her. She whirled her head around to face him.

"Last I saw him, Will, he was dying at your father's hand," she snapped. Will blinked at her and then stood up straight. "I'm sorry my disbelief is upsetting you."

"I brought him back because he saved your life, Elizabeth. I didn't bring him back so he could have what's mine."

"I've been on your ship for ten minutes, Will!"

"You've spent half of them unconscious and the other half staring at him!"

"Augh!" Elizabeth threw her arms up. James remained on the sidelines and merely watched. "This is not about him, Will!"

"Then what is it about?"

"I've been married to you for three years now and this is the first I've even heard from you!" she shouted at him. "You couldn't send a letter? You couldn't relay a single message to your wife? I spent three years in a small house on a small island with nothing to do but eat and sleep and write to a husband who didn't write back. I just stood around staring out the bloody windows until I finally thought to myself, 'Elizabeth, why don't you just go?'"

"Elizabeth--"

"I'm not finished! So I got in contact with the Pearl and not two weeks later they've come to get me. My husband can't scratch out two sentences on a scrap of seaweed and mail it to his wife but Captain Barbossa, so evil that hell itself spat him back out, comes running when I call? And all the while I can't even sleep an entire night without waking in a fit over nightmares about some bloody pirate curse that I'd never have known if it weren't for you and your bloody father!"

Will stood stock-still. His jaw was tightly clenched, his hands were pulled in tight fists at his sides. He stared intently at James Norrington, who stood leaning against the door of the captain's quarters and looking everywhere but at the sparring couple.

"Get off my ship," he growled. Norrington suddenly stared straight back at him.

"Will," Elizabeth started, and he stopped her.

"Both of you. Get off my ship." He motioned briskly to Captain Barbossa that the two were returning to the Pearl. James waved a hand at Elizabeth, urging her to go ahead. She shook her head sharply and made him go first.

"Will, this isn't how--"

"You're right," he muttered, jaw still clenched, though now it was clear it was not in anger. "I can't expect you to wait for me, Elizabeth."

"Will."

"Go with him. He's always loved you, and I can see that you care for him. He can be there for you when you wake up in the middle of the night. I can't." Tears welled up in his eyes.

"I do love you," she said.

"And I love you." He always had, and always would. She kissed him one more time and turned to leave the ship. "Don't wait for me," he said, just as she was about to leave the Dutchman. She nodded, and crossed to the Pearl.

*****

Elizabeth stood on a cliff, looking out toward the sunset. A boy of about ten stood there with her; she looked down at him and he smiled at her, pointing toward the horizon. The Dutchman appeared there, a green flash signaling the return of a soul from the other side.

*****

Ten years after Will Turner became the captain of the Flying Dutchman, Elizabeth woke from her dreams with a start, waking her husband with her.

"Elizabeth?" he sat up beside her and placed a hand on her back. "Are you all right?"

"Yes, yes, I'm fine," she said, bringing a hand to her chest and clutching at her nightgown. She was startled; she hadn't woken like that in years.

"Nightmare?" he asked her, a concerned look on his face. She shook her head.

"No," she leaned into him and he put an arm around her. "It was so long ago."

"What was?"

"I dreamt of the day you proposed," she said, and he chuckled.

"That wasn't so long ago."

"The first time," she added, and he smiled. She curled into him, snuggling into the crook of his arm. "When I fell off the battlements."

"Ah," he kissed her forehead. "Right."

"It took us a while to get it right, didn't it, James?"

"It did."

"I love you," she said. It was a statement, a fact. She kissed his shoulder, and then tilted her head up. He kissed her deeply.

"I love you, too." The truth, plain and simple. He wrapped his arms around her and they settled back in under the sheets. She kissed his nose and he kissed her mouth again. Then they closed their eyes. Neither woke again until morning.

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