Author: Gaya Hriive
Word Count: Roughly 1600
Rating: PG-13 for mention of violence and such
Summary: Elizabeth beseeches Jack to delve into his past and tell her the tale of his first encounter with Cutler Becket that led to the bullet scars on his chest and the brand on his arm.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Not even the computer I'm using to write this.
Spoilers: erm BP, maybe
Warnings: Jack gets serious and sentimental. Be warned.
Notes: I got the idea for this from watching the "No Truth At All" deleted scene on CBP. I enjoyed writing it so I hope all of you enjoy reading it. It could use more detail but I was rushing to get it finished at all so perhaps later I'll re visit it and add some more piratey goodness to it.
Special Thanks: To my awesome, wonderufl, fantabulistic BETA mistress_gwen
“So, is there any truth to those other stories?” Elizabeth asked
“Truth?” Jack pulled up his right sleeve first, exposing the ‘P’ that was branded into his forearm. He lowered it slowly and fumbled with the left sleeve, raising it to reveal a veined scar that trailed from the underside of his wrist to his elbow. Last, he pulled aside his shirt and ran his fingers lightly over the two large bullet-hole scars that decorated the right side of his chest. He looked at Elizabeth with contempt and let his shirt fall back into place.
“No truth at all.”
Elizabeth sighed as she ran her fingers in gentle circles over the two bullet-hole scars on Jack’s chest. They were rough to the touch and sunken, almost as though the skin had caved in, instead of growing over the wound. She was very curious about the scars he had and where he’d gotten them, but she had never found the right time to ask. She didn’t want to alienate him by asking him to tell a story he might not want to tell, but curiosity got the better of her in the end.
“Jack? Are you awake?”
Jack grumbled and shook his head lazily.
“No, luv, I’m just pretending.”
Elizabeth sighed and continued toying with the scars. She bit her bottom lip and cleared her throat.
“Jack, how did you get these scars?”
Jack’s eyes flew open and he turned his head just enough to meet Elizabeth’s eyes. His scowl creased the darkened skin of his face and his hand came up to finger the end of his moustache.
“Now that’s a story from long ago and far away, love. And it’s not an easy or pleasant one to tell, savvy?”
Elizabeth frowned and Jack’s eyes softened.
“It’s not a nice memory, Lizzie, and I’m not accustomed to having to tell it. Everyone who knows the story was there when it happened. So, really, I don’t think I’ve ever had to tell it to anyone at all.”
“Could you tell it to me?” Her voice was small and her bottom lip trembled slightly as she stuck it out in an over exaggerated pout.
Jack sighed and contemplated his options. If he told her, he would have to recall some very unpleasant parts of his life. If he didn’t tell her, she may take it as a sign that he did not trust her. If he really loved her, which he did, then he should be able to share these particularly nasty memories. It seemed like a lose-lose situation either way.
He did trust and love Elizabeth but some things weren’t worth reliving. But he did not want her to think that he was trying to shut her out. He sighed once more and rubbed his eyes with his fore finger and thumb. When he turned to catch Elizabeth’s gaze, he saw fear and anticipation in her eyes. It made his heart sink to see such things in her beautiful face.
“Why do you look so afraid, Elizabeth?”
Tears welled up in her eyes and she averted her gaze to keep from spilling them. She sniffed once and wiped at her face.
“If you can’t or won’t tell me, then I will understand. I’m not trying to force you to reveal all of your secrets to me, but I’m just curious. At times I feel like I know nothing about you other than your name, Jack. I just want you to let me in, if you can. And if you can’t then I will know that it’s because it is just not the right time. If not tonight, I know you will indulge me sometime, and when you do, it will be glorious for me because it will mean that you have given yourself to me as completely as you can.”
Jack fought back the sting that was creeping into his eyes and the heavy weight that seemed to press on his heart. He grabbed Elizabeth’s hand and stroked her knuckles gently in a reassuring gesture.
“That you even thought to say that shows that you know me more than you think, love.”
Elizabeth smiled a watery smile and sniffled softly. Jack removed his hand from hers and replaced it on her cheek to catch the tears that were sliding gently down her face. Seeing her that way made his heart swell. That she would cry for him made him both happy and sad. He looked into her face and saw the complete vulnerability that she was laying before him. She had given him her whole heart and now, he was going to give her all of his.
Jack cleared his throat and propped himself up on the pillows at his back. He tucked the blanket in around him and grabbed Elizabeth. She curled up beside him, nestled in the crook of his shoulder, as he stroked her hair absently.
“I will tell you how I got those bullet holes in my chest, love, but it is not a pretty tale. And it’s not easy for me to tell. So please, allow me to get through it first and then you can ask questions, or speculate, or, you know…whatever else you want to do.”
Elizabeth nodded and rubbed her cheek against the warm flesh of Jack’s chest.
“It was ten years ago, not long after I acquired the Pearl, and shortly before I was mutinied upon and left on that island. I had rounded up my buccaneer crew at Tortuga and we set off looking for adventure and intrigue, sailing as far as we could go.
We found our way to the Aegean Sea and plundered as many islands as we could set foot upon. We had collected quite a bounty of jewels and gold and such and were two weeks into our voyage when we ran afoul of the East India Trading Company. That was also the first time I came up against Cutler Beckett.
He set chase on us in his great big boat The Leicester, and we had almost outrun them when we got caught in a horrible storm. They somehow gained the advantage from us and that was that. They took us all into custody and hauled us back to the Motherland.
Becket was an up and comer, a follower, a toady. He did whatever his superiors told him with no regard to morality or illegality. And he hated pirates. I was basically just a whipping boy on which he took out all his insecurities and frustrations at not being good enough to be a leader himself.
He locked me crew in a dungeon of the statehouse but he took me to his own private little torture room. I was chained to a wall and beaten repeatedly for probably three or four days. I lost count after the second day. That’s when he branded me.”
Jack paused and his hand went automatically to finger the protruding ‘P’ that scarred his right arm. After a moment of silent contemplation, he cleared his throat and continued.
“Right, so, he branded me a pirate, tortured me some more and left me to rot in that godforsaken dungeon. It was luck that I escaped. One of the henchmen got careless and I was able to talk him into loosening the chains at my wrists a little. ‘I’m going to die anyway,’ I said, ‘So what harm would it do to just loosen ‘em up a bit?’ As soon as he was gone I wriggled my out of the chains and set out to escape.
I had made it to the docks, which was luck again, but Becket caught up with me before I could make the ship. He drew his pistol and told me to stop so I did. When he tried to man handle me into returning to the dungeon, I broke his arm. But he still managed to shoot me. It was quite good fortune that the bullets missed my heart.
Although bleeding and in the worst pain I’d ever experienced, I was able to get a shot off on him meself. I was aiming for his head but hit him in the left shoulder. He went down, and I made it to the ship just in time to see the rest of me crew running up the dock.
We left port and set sail for Tia Dalma’s. She was the only one who could save my life. The blood loss was incredible and we barely arrived in time but thankfully, we got there and she fixed me. Good ole’ Tia Dalma. She’s dangerous but if she’s your friend, she has the power to save you and she’ll do it. But not without a price.”
Elizabeth wiped the tears from her cheeks and rubbed Jack’s chest in a comforting manner.
“What price did you pay her to save your life, Jack?”
“Ah, that’s a story for another day, love. I’m tired and we need be getting some rest so we can rush off and save Mr. Turner once more. I swear that boy gets captured more than a whore in a pub.”
Elizabeth giggled softly but sobered quickly.
“Jack, I’m sorry about what Becket did to you. When we return to Port Royal, you shall have your revenge. I swear it.”
“Revenge is for the weak of heart, my dear. I have something much better in mind.”
Elizabeth settled against Jack and placed a kiss on each one of the bullet scars.
“Thank you.” She said.
Jack cocked his eyebrows and glanced at her.
“For what, love?”
Elizabeth yawned and closed hr eyes.
“For trusting me enough to tell me your secrets.”
Jack smiled to himself and rested his chin against the top of Elizabeth’s head.
“You’ve got all of me now, love. There’s no going back.”