Word Count: approx. 1,150
Genre: General, sadness
Summary: Challenge #10 = Challenge #3 = A swordfight featuring something precious and something torn.
Disclaimer: Nothing you recognize belongs to me, nor am I making any money off this.
Spoilers: Through DMC. (Honestly, who hasn't seen it who's wanted to by now?)
Warnings: Mild swearing
Notes: Please forgive me for errors with swords, ships, etc. I didn't have time to look any of this up, as it was written in under an hour. I was running around all day and didn't sit down to write until right before the deadline. So go easy on me since I barely proofread, too.
They'd been arguing for an hour, around and around in circles, neither of them giving or gaining any ground. Will kept accusing her of having feelings for Jack, but she wouldn't admit it. Neither could she get Will to understand that Jack had left him with Davy Jones as part of a larger plan that all came well in the end, and that he could still be trusted. And as usual when they fought (which seemed to be often nowadays), other, older grievances were dragged in as well: Norrington, marriage, Will's trade, Elizabeth's status.
"I can't be that person!" she shouted, pacing back and forth inside the captain's cabin. It was the only place on the stolen ship where they could be alone, and the crew and even the captain were all too happy to let them shout and rave out of earshot. "I can't sit at home and embroider bags," she went on, "and, and, and order servants around and--not that we'll have many, we'll be lucky to afford a maid and a cook what with a blacksmith's salary--"
"Your father won't let his precious daughter live like--"
"You leave my father out of this! I won't let him pity me, or you! It's our marriage, not his, though right now I'm not even sure I want it to be ours!"
"Why don't you just admit it?" Will roared, taking quick steps toward her to look right down into her eyes.
"Admit what?" she spat, not moving an inch.
"What happened... what happened between you and Jack." The desperation in her eyes as she shoved her lips against his, the greediness of her mouth, the way her hands trembled as if wishing to alight on his shoulders or his waist but not daring to because that would mean she felt too much. Elizabeth had never kissed Will that way. He took a step back and his gaze sank to the boards of the floor. The ship creaked in the silence and they both heard and felt it crest a wave, then drop down into the hollow between. Spray flew past the small window behind them.
Elizabeth looked away, her rigid posture drooping somewhat. "I..." She could still feel the bristles on his upper lip, still taste the rum and salt and warmth of his tongue, still smell the sea and dirt in his hair and the way he made her knees shake with just a look from eyes darker than the ocean's depths. "I love him," she whispered. "I don't know how or why or--"
It took Will only a moment to compose himself from that shock. In a flash his sword was in his hand and he was heading for the door to slash at... at what? Jack? He was long gone, that's why they were on this damned boat in the first place, that's why he was putting up with Barbossa's mocking and Elizabeth's coolness and the overwhelming sense of frustration building in him every day. But something had to be hacked to bits, with the way he was feeling now, and Will was going to find it.
His fiancée, however, misinterpreted his actions. It looked, as he stalked toward the door, like he was advancing on her with that terrifying look in his eyes, that white-knuckled grip on his sword. She did, of course, the first thing she thought of: she whipped out her own sword and crossed his path with it, steel striking steel.
Hearing the clanging of blades, Will automatically stepped into fight mode, rational thought and, indeed, memory blocked out in order to defend his life. He countered and struck before he could even think about it, and suddenly there was a gash on Elizabeth's sword arm. It had all happened so quickly. "My God," he whispered, dropping his sword to the floor. It hit a nail sticking up from the boards and the hand guard was dented, but that was the last thing on his mind. "I didn't... I didn't mean to." Wide-eyed, he reached out to her, but she recoiled, turning her face away and pressing her free hand over the wound. Blood seeped from the cut to trickle down her arm and soak the linen of her shirt. Jack's shirt.
He'd given it to her after she'd come aboard at Tortuga; her own was so filthy and ragged it only stayed on (much to his dismay) because she still wore her coat over it. It was a spare, he said, and her womanly curves would flatter the cloth much better than his own unworthy flesh. Or some such nonsense. She told him to turn his back while she changed, but of course he peeked. She found that she didn't really mind.
"Get away from me," she whispered, her voice hoarse, and she turned to open the door.
"Elizabeth!" Will caught her arm, just below the gash. The blood-soaked linen spread red across his palm, as Elizabeth had left a trace of her blood on the doorknob. "I meant the kiss. I saw you, on the Pearl, before the longboat left. I... I didn't know you... felt that way." He dropped his hand to his side and heard but didn't see her sheath her sword.
"I don't really.... I don't know if I do or not. He's... a pirate. He's a lying scumbag with... with poor hygiene and stupid... hair and... and it's... stupid." A tear splashed on the front of her--Jack's--shirt. "I'm sorry, Will."
"I only want you to be happy," he whispered.
"I love you. You know I do."
"But you can't live that life." He looked up and met her eyes. "I understand."
"No," she insisted, taking his bloodstained hand in her own. "You don't. I can't live that life... but I will. For you. I love you, William Turner."
Those lips that had touched those of the treacherous captain now pressed gently, almost questioningly, against his. He accepted them, then welcomed them, then met them equally. "Elizabeth," he whispered, overcome, as he always was with her. "I love you."
"It'll be all right." She pulled back an inch and put her forehead against his. "We'll find Jack, we'll..." she felt him tense at that but carried on. "We'll go back to Port Royal and marry, it will all be all right."
And now he could breathe again. A fancy. Infatuation, here now and gone the next moment. That's all it was, surely. How could that pompous, sarcastic, half-crazy, rum-sodden pirate captain have truly captured his Elizabeth's heart? It wasn't possible. "I can't wait," he whispered, kissing her again. He grinned down at her for a moment, then stepped back. "Let me clean you up," he said, already turning to rummage through unfamiliar cupboards for soap and strips of cloth for bandages.
He didn't hear the faint sigh that escaped his beloved's lips, nor did he see the bars of a cage reflected in her eyes. He could only see That Life for them, and he knew it was coming soon.