hi, i'm steph (gorthead) wrote in piratechallenge,
hi, i'm steph

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Challenge #7: Commandeer the Atmosphere

Title: Commandeer the Atmosphere
Author: gorthead
Pairing/Characters: Jack/Elizabeth
Word Count: 893
Rating: PG
Genre: Fluffy fluffiness
Summary: Elizabeth finds herself at odds with the compass, and Jack figures a few things out.
Disclaimer: They're not mine, they're Disney's. I would make up something witty to put here, but I managed to leave this to the last second.
Spoilers: Really, indescribably vague DMC spoilers.
Warnings: Schmoop and "this was written in about an hour, so beware" syndrome. :P
Notes: I missed this challenge a lot while I was in the Bahamas, so I really wanted to submit something! Unfortunately, I had a very busy day, so I haven't even had time to reread this.
Special Thanks: supermeghan and her Jack/Elizabeth mix. I am at her house right now, and we've been brainstorming and generally flailing about J/E most of the evening. This is always inspiring. Also, Architecture in Helsinki, for writing "Wishbone", which is amazingly J/E, and gave me a title for this fic.

Elizabeth met Jack’s gaze steadily, unwavering. “I told you. It’s lost. There’s nothing I can do about it anymore.”

“I will repeat this one last time for your benefit: What do you mean it’s bloody lost? I saw you with it not five minutes ago, standing right here! What did you do? Throw it bloody overboard?” Jack was livid. Throughout this tirade, he gesticulated wildly, his eyes narrowed and piercing.

Elizabeth remained entirely unruffled. She raised her hands in a pose of innocence, widening the distance between them. “I don’t know what to tell you! I left it out here, stepped away for only a moment, and now it’s not here. What do you expect me to do?”

“I expect you to FIND MY BLOODY COMPASS!”

At this, Elizabeth flinched, though she willed herself not to react. Jack’s voice had increased in volume and pitch to a shriek. She could not recall ever having seen him so angry, and certainly never at her. Fortunately, Jack was already storming off, fists clenched, the light-hearted jingling of the beads in his hair incongruous with his mood.

Elizabeth pressed her lips together and turned to face the sea. She had, of course, not lost Jack’s compass. She also realized her story was highly improbable, and was certain Jack knew she was lying.

In a fit of anger and shame and denial, she’d thrown the compass, with force, into a cupboard below deck with the intention of leaving it to the dust and cobwebs. It would be of no use to them, anyway; it was truly broken now, and of this she was certain. She persisted in assuring herself that she did not want Jack, not now or ever, and was thoroughly unsettled by the compass’ seeming contradiction of this fact. It forced her to think of possibilities, of desires better kept suppressed – the only solution was to rid herself of the offending object.

Now, though, so soon after the fact, she felt foolish and guilty. The compass was not hers to dispose of, and if it was broken, the direction of the arrow meant nothing at all. She brushed the hair from her eyes and, thoroughly chastised, she resolved to retrieve the compass and return it to Jack.

She was unaware that, across the ship, Jack watched her. He still fumed, but found himself unable to remain truly angry with her. More than anything, he was at once curious and confused. He couldn’t deny an attraction to her, but was taken off-guard by the fact that it was not purely physical. This matter of the compass, too, seemed odd to him; there was hardly anyone on deck who might have taken it, and it seemed highly suspicious that Elizabeth would leave it unattended for no particular reason. He thought of the compass and its wildly erratic motion; he knew, of course, the cause of its agitation – his eyes were fixed on it at this very moment.

Suddenly, something fell into place; he noted Elizabeth’s apparent discomfort now, his own discomfort at the behaviour of the compass; the two thoughts fell into place that he was amazed he hadn’t made the connection. He smirked to himself, knowing he had been right about her all along.

Moments later, Elizabeth had made her way below deck and cradled the compass in her hands, staring, loath to open it. She knew she had to, almost as if to reassure herself that its earlier behaviour was anomalous; she swung the lid open, and the arrow spun haphazardly before pointing back at her. She was so delighted she could have laughed; she had been behaving ridiculously all along; it really had stopped working.

Her thoughts were cut short by the unexpected brush of Jack’s hand on her shoulder; she stopped breathing. She hadn’t noticed him as he approached her from behind, but now his breath tickled her cheek. She knew he had seen the compass, had seen where it pointed; she expected her thoughts to be racing, but she was completely numb, all her energy seemingly devoted to regulating her breathing, keeping her upright. Briefly, she imagined it may all be in her mind, that she would turn to find no one, but Jack’s voice, breathy in her ear, seemed to prove otherwise.

“Something you’d like to share, Elizabeth?”

She remained standing stock still, unsure of what to do or say or think. She became painfully aware of the silence in the room and wished Jack would fill it somehow. Jack, too, knew that this might be his only chance; he knew Elizabeth had let her guard down, would allow this, here, now, but might never again. This was his opportune moment, as it were, and he smiled in remembrance of Will’s inability to recognize his own.

Without another word, he reached around Elizabeth, turning her to face him. She did not resist – thankful, for the first time, that someone else was in control. Their eyes met for the briefest moment before their lips touched. Elizabeth was no longer the least bit hesitant as she clung to Jack, hoping to lessen the already nonexistent space between them.

As they parted, Jack smirked, appearing almost haughty, as though he would like nothing more than to announce “I told you so”. Elizabeth swatted him playfully, chidingly, and shook her head. “Not a word. I know.”
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