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At World's End: Redux 15/27
by SalR323 (salr323)
at July 9th, 2008 (09:09 pm)
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Chapter 15


The Great Hall of Shipwreck Cove was not so great as its title led one to believe. Unlike the Brethren Court, with its grand austerity, the Hall was rough and ready; sawdust mingled with stale grog upon the floor, and the air hung thick with pipe smoke and tall tales. This was where the real denizens of the Cove passed their dark nights, crowded around wide fires with one eye on the bangtails and the other on their neighbour’s knife. It was not a place anyone expected to find one of the nine Lords of the Sea – even a deposed one.

It was late, the crowds were thinning, and Jack studied the Hall through the dregs of his rum, watching the dance of smoke and firelight, and avoiding what lurked in the shadows. Had he been able – had he thought it safe from the sighs and gasps of young love – he would have much preferred to drink himself blind in the comfort of the Pearl’s great cabin….

“I love the Pearl,” he said to no one in particular, allowing his words to slip-slide with the rum. “She’s so bloody beautiful.”

Clever fingers and a temptress’s purr tickled his ear. “Take me there, Suzume. The sun’s still far from rising.”

Jack tipped his head and offered a winning smile. “Not the only thing far from rising, love.”

Almond eyes narrowed. “Too much rum.”

“On the contrary, not nearly enough.”

Kasumi prowled around him, her fingers trailing through his hair with a provocation he felt only as a distant tug below the belt; she held no power over him.

“I never thought to see you so addled, Jack Sparrow.” With dangerous poise, she lowered herself into the chair opposite the battered old chaise on which he lounged, her black silk a whispered promise of delight.

“Rum, someone once told me, is a despicable drink what turns even the most respectable men into scoundrels.” He smiled and waved his bottle toward her. “And I never was respectable, you know.”

“I’m not talking about the rum.”

He lowered the bottle, let the fog clear. Kasumi was a dangerous woman; she saw everything and could not be fooled. “What, then?”

“You love her.”

“The Pearl?”

Kasumi’s steady look didn’t falter.

“What if I do?” He took another swig, but the bottle was almost empty.

“It makes you weak,” she said, examining an elegant fingernail. “It changes the balance of power in the Court.”

“Don’t see how, I’m not even allowed through the bloody doors.”

“Precisely.” Her eyes lifted to his and, for a horrible moment, he thought he saw pity there. “Is that how she led you to your death, Suzume? Is that how she stole your coin and your place?”

“You sound like someone else I know,” Jack said, ignoring the shifting slump of darkness that lurked somewhere behind him. “She’s a pirate, a bloody scallywag. She did what was right by her. You’d have done the same.”

Kasumi nodded to acknowledge the point. “But not to you, Suzume. You would not have permitted me such a victory.”

“Is there a point to this harangue?”

She shrugged, allowing the silk to slip from her shoulder. “She loves the boy.”

Even though he knew it, the words made his guts pitch like a sloop in a storm. “They’re to be married, so I imagine it’ll be a short lived affection.”

“I wonder that you don’t gut him and take her for yourself.”

His smile felt like the edge of a blade. “She’s not the sort to be taken.”

“Love must be given freely, or not at all?” Kasumi cocked her head. “Perhaps I overestimated you, Jack Sparrow.”

“I’m heartbroken at the prospect.”

“You know it makes you vulnerable; a knife to her throat becomes a greater threat than a knife to your own.”

“Lucky for us all, then, that I have nothing left to steal.”

Kasumi rose to her feet, an elegant unfolding of silk. “You should hope it remains so.” Her gaze dropped to his, for a moment honestly curious. “She seduced you to your death; she defeated you at your own game, Suzume. Why her?”

Because I can see my whole life in her eyes... He smiled. “Just bad luck.”

Kasumi held his gaze a moment longer, then her attention slid to a point behind him and a slow smile crept across her lips. “Well, well… Is that not the pretty flush of a maiden recently deflowered?”

Jack turned and there she stood, stark against the ungodly backdrop of the Great Hall. When their eyes met, Elizabeth froze; evidently she’d not come seeking his company, though he dared not imagine what else had brought her to such a place at such an hour.

Kasumi leaned down to whisper in Jack’s ear. “She can still feel the heat of his mouth upon her breast; I wonder what brings her here?”

He cursed, but Kasumi was gone before the words left his mouth.

Cautiously, Jack stood up. The Hall was mostly empty now, the fires burning low. “Little late for a walk,” he said, gesturing for Elizabeth to join him. The firelight gave her skin a rosy glow, added a lustre to her eyes – at least, he hoped it was the firelight. He couldn’t bear to contemplate the other…

“I couldn’t sleep,” she said. He didn’t miss the way her eyes slid from his as she drew closer, nor the absent way in which she perched on the edge of the chaise – as if her mind was beyond the horizon.

He sat down next to her with some trepidation; he’d drunk too much and couldn’t take his eyes from the way her arms were wrapped tight about her waist. She looked as though she was holding herself together.

“Where’s young William, then?” He hated himself for asking, dreaded the answer, yet found himself compelled.

Her head dropped and she was silent for a moment. “Do you ever wonder who you are, Jack?”

He blinked, unsure what she meant. “Me? I’m Captain—”

“I don’t mean that.” Her face ghosted a smile. “I mean… Do you ever look at yourself and think ‘Who am I? What am I supposed to be?’”

She was so young, so very lost. His heart laboured in his chest and he knew that he could teach her the world, if she’d only let him. “No one’s the same for long, love. What you were yesterday isn’t what you are today, and tomorrow you’ll be something different again.”

Elizabeth looked over at him, a weight in her eyes he’d not seen before. “I’m no longer the child who betrayed you.”

“No longer a child at all, eh?”

“No.” She looked back down, but not fast enough to hide the tears in her eyes. “I don’t know who I am anymore, what I want, who I—” She sniffed and wiped her nose on the back of her hand. “Everything’s gone, everything I thought would last forever.”

“You’ve had a busy week, love.”

“Busy?” She stared at him for a moment, her disbelief melting into a quiet laugh. “Yes, very busy.”

He offered her the last swallow of rum. “I recommend strong drink and a long sleep, Lizzie. World will seem all the brighter in the morning.”

She took the rum from him, studied it through the neck of the bottle. “You’re always offering me rum, Jack. Funny, how often it’s saved us.”

“World would be a dark place without it.”

She drained the bottle and handed it back. “Thank you, Jack, for bringing rum into my life.”

“Thank you for…” His voice grew a little rough and he had to clear his throat. “For bringing James Norrington into my life.”

“Jack!” She slapped at his arm, seemed to overbalance, and ended up leaning heavily against him. Almost without thought, Jack curled his arm about her shoulders, relishing the illicit sensation of her warm breath against his neck when she sighed. “Who am I, Jack?”

“Queen of the world, love.” He let his head sink back against the chaise, eyes closed, and thought his whole life lay in the weight of her head against his shoulder, in the warmth of her slender body pressed close; it was an exquisite agony, one he could hardly bear to end. And yet… “Is it not time for you to return to Will’s bed?”

She was silent, very still. “He’s sleeping.”

“Ah.”

Kasumi had called him weak, and she was right. A stronger man would have either thrown her off, or taken her for his own; Jack could do nothing but hold her and listen to her breathe. After a while her head grew heavy against his shoulder, her body languid and relaxed in his arms, and she slept. Her hair fell across her face and he reached out to brush it back, but the starkness of his tar-stained fingers against her milky skin gave him pause. She had given herself to Will Turner, and he had no right to touch her.

It didn’t stop him.

“I’ll take you to me grave, Lizzie, I do swear,” he whispered as he brushed wind-swept hair from her face. “I’ll take you to me bloody grave.”

***


The melody seemed stale tonight, the notes that he plucked from the taut gut of the vihuela, forced and unnatural. For the first time in his long and furrowed life, the music brought him no comfort; the tale that it told was drawing to a close and trepidation sat low in Morgan Teague’s belly.

Setting aside the instrument, he rose and walked over to puff his pipe in the open doorway of his small chamber. In the distance, the roar of the Throat could be heard, its fury at odds with the strange calm that hung upon the sultry night air. He knew it was the calm before the storm.

His eyes looked skyward. The Pirate King knew the story now and there had been a sense of relief, it was true, in the telling. But it would not stop events from unfolding, nor halt the celestial fire as it blazed its way across the heavens. Time rained down upon them all, like soil in a new grave, and Teague felt it suffocate him. One more dawn, one more sunset until the debt must be paid. One more spin of the Earth for him to cheat destiny.

Was it providence then that had brought the girl to the Cove, with the coin in her palm? Would such a payment be accepted? Teague closed his eyes and wondered if there was any other way.

“’Tis a strange night to be prowling along old men’s balconies, love.” Teague addressed the shadows, which shifted and melted at his words; Kasumi slid from the darkness, movements like oil, and smiled.

“Nights are always strange in the Cove, are they not, Keeper? Things afoot? Secrets kept?” She closed her eyes and sniffed the air, weaving her elegant neck like a cobra. “And something wicked this way comes, hmm?”

“Wicked’s a relative term, Kasumi. And as for secrets, there ain’t no more of those here than you’d find in any other place where pirates may gather.”

She walked over to stand before him, long fingers finding one of his matted braids. “There are secrets aplenty, Morgan Teague. Secrets woven thick and masked with politicking and pedantries. Do you think that, of the eight gathered, none have questioned the particulars of this sacrifice? Do not suppose that we are blind to that which you seek to conceal. It would serve you well to remember with whom you are dealing.”

With a glower, Teague reached up and grasped Kasumi’s wrist in his gnarled fingers, pulling her hand away. “And it would serve you well to take note of your own advice, darlin’. You know enough for now, and more will be revealed at Court tomorrow.” The Pirate Lord’s brow furrowed in displeasure, an unusual expression on her normally serene face. Whether she’d meant to seduce him or threaten him tonight, Teague did not know, but he was too tired to entertain her schemes.

As quickly as it had appeared, Kasumi’s frown vanished, replaced by her familiar curling smile. “Come, Keeper, let us not be at odds this night. Do we not both seek the same outcome?” Her hand slid down to his waist and she drew herself closer. Teague did not move. “Where we will, we’ll roam. Are those not the words of your song? All we desire is the freedom to claim the seas as our own.”

“If you think that’s how this is going to end, love, then you’re in for a jolt. ‘Tis thinking like that what brought us to this conclusion in the first place.” He pulled away and walked to the rickety wooden rail of the balcony. “And if you’re seeking someone to warm your bed this night, then I’m afraid I’ll have to disappoint you on that score too. Go find my Jackie. I’m sure he’ll be happy to oblige, eh?”

But Kasumi merely shrugged and blinked slowly. “I believe Jack Sparrow has other things on his mind this evening. One thing in particular.” Her sharp eyes met Teague’s. “It is my conjecture that our new Pirate King has more than the Court under her rule.”

Teague smiled. “You creatures do tend to cause vexation, pretty as you are.”

Kasumi raised an eyebrow at his attempt to patronise. “Ah, but the vexation is far from one-sided. It was a touching scene that I left in the Great Hall not an hour ago. A love denied. There is no greater tragedy.”

“Don’t follow you, girl,” said Teague, though her meaning was clear.

“Oh, I think you know as much as I, Captain Teague. There are no secrets here, remember?” She drifted across the balcony, back towards the shadows. “However, if you wish to bear witness to the star-crossed lovers yourself, then I suggest you make haste to the Hall, where the Unwilling King is holding court with your beloved son.” And then she was gone, melting into darkness, swift and silent as the night itself.

Teague waited a while before heading down the spiral staircase, taking care not to let his gaze search the shadows. Kasumi would be watching, he knew, gauging his reaction to her words. She would unpick the truth, of that he was certain, but by tomorrow night it would matter not.

Hidden alleyways opened before him, as Teague made his way through Shipwreck City. Narrow, darkened streets yielded beneath his silent footfalls until, eventually, he came to a tiny cul-de-sac, strewn with ragged sail cloth, coils of frayed rope and other detritus of vessels which had long ago assumed a new life as part of the towering city. At the far end, barrels were piled haphazardly, exuding the faint smell of stale rum. He grasped the rim of one and rolled it aside to reveal an opening below, from which led a wooden ladder. Lowering himself into the narrow space, Teague climbed down with an agility that belied his age; at the bottom was a small trapdoor which swung open noiselessly on well-oiled hinges. From this position, high in its ceiling, an unhindered view of the Great Hall was laid out before him.

It was clear then that the Eastern assassin had spoken the truth, for sprawled upon a chaise by the dwindling fire lay Jack, and in his arms lay the recently crowned King. For a moment, Teague felt a surge of compassion for his son that had nothing to do with what the next two days would bring, but rather stemmed from the knowledge of what pain could be wrought by such impossible love. A pain that was increased tenfold if that love remained unrequited.

Yet if Kasumi’s words held any truth…

Teague waited a while, watching the two as they slept, observing how Elizabeth’s hand lingered on Jack’s chest, how her head nestled so easily in the crook of his arm. Was it possible? Was it true? Or might her dreams at this moment be filled with the face of young William? As he watched, however, his question was answered, for the Pirate King awoke.

Elizabeth Swann blinked, rubbing one eye with the ball of her palm, and sat up. As she moved, Jack’s hand fell from her shoulder and he shifted, turning his face towards the dying fire. Elizabeth tensed, watching him carefully, but Jack did not wake. And suddenly the soft glow erased all the lines etched into his face and Teague could see the boy once more – his extraordinary boy whom he’d never understood and whose fey beauty, too much like hers, he had often found intolerable. Regret slit him open, keen as a new sword, and Teague forced himself to look at the girl.

Perhaps she too had found something in Jack’s sleeping face, for she gazed at him intently, as if absorbing every detail. Teague saw her swallow and then, tentatively, reach out to thread her fingers through Jack’s. In his sleep, Jack murmured something and Elizabeth smiled, before leaning forward to whisper soft words in his ear. Teague heard nothing, but didn’t need to. Her actions told him everything he needed to know and, as he watched the Pirate King curl herself back into Jack’s arm, the plan became solid in his mind. He waited a while longer, until Elizabeth’s chest rose and fell steadily, and then, silently, he made his exit. Dawn was on its way and Captain Morgan Teague, Keeper of the Pirate Code, knew now what he must do.

***


Elizabeth woke in the Great Hall to a cold, ashy fireplace and a pale morning sun. Two booted feet were stretched out in front of her and she looked up to find mild disapproval in dark, glittering eyes.

“Fine place for the Pirate King to be resting, eh?” Teague watched her between the shadows etched into his face. “Have you no berth to call yer own, Miss Swann?”

Her mouth was thick and foul with the taste of stale rum. “Not really.” Elizabeth looked around, but Jack was gone and her gaze fixed on the cold ash in the fireplace; she found herself thinking of Will, and the warmth of his affection – a warmth that could never be a heat, not now.

“Pirate King must look the part,” Teague said, stretching as he rose, “if she’s to command the respect of the Brethren Court. Come, I’ve a place you can rest and prepare before today’s meeting.”

“Today’s meeting?”

Teague didn’t answer, simply ambled toward the door, and Elizabeth was forced to scurry after him.

“What do you mean, today’s meeting? We met all day yesterday! What could possibly be achieved by more of the same?”

Teague flashed her a smile that seemed oddly familiar, until she remembered that this man was Jack Sparrow’s father. “Today, love, it begins.”

He lengthened his stride as he spoke, which Elizabeth took to mean that he had no inclination to speak further on the subject. Truth be told, neither did she; tired and hungry, he lured her with the promise of somewhere to rest and prepare. Dared she hope for a bath in such a place as this?

As it turned out, her hope was not in vain. When Teague stopped outside a narrow door, he pushed it open to reveal a tin bath sitting before a roaring fire. “These rooms are yours while you’re here,” Teague told her, hovering on the threshold as he glanced about the small panelled cabin. “There’s food upon the table, and clothes in that trunk if you’ve a desire to burn those rags what you’re wearing. Court convenes at noon; rest well and keep yer mind sharper than yer blade. Savvy?”

She nodded, but her attention was absorbed by the steam curling up from the bath, and she could barely wait for the door to close before stripping herself of the clothes she’d stolen, an eternity ago, in Port Royal. With a rapturous sigh, she sank into the hot water.

Oh, bliss! Heavenly bliss, to soak the soft sponge in water and squeeze it across her shoulders and back. She could feel the salt leaching from her skin, from her hair, from her very bones and she stayed sitting before the fire until the water was cold and she was shivering.

She dried herself and, naked, crossed the room to open the chest Teague had indicated. Perhaps she had been expecting the stolen content of a Lady’s trunk, because she found herself delighted when she pulled out a dark green coat and a selection of shirts and britches, sending dried vanilla flowers fluttering to the floor.

The fit was not bad. She secured the britches with a sash about her waist, and was glad, in the chill room, of the warm velvet coat. A boy’s, perhaps? Narrow enough across the shoulder, at least, not to swamp her. Lacking any kind of comb to untangle her hair, she made do with running her fingers through its length and braiding it tightly down her back.

She smiled, then; for the first time since the morning of her wedding, she felt clean. If there was a significance to that, she tried not to dwell upon it and turned, instead, to the food laid out on the small table beneath the window. Fruit, bread, some dried meats; a veritable feast.

Next to the table lay a smaller trunk, and with a hunk of bread in one hand she crouched and tested the lid. It opened to reveal charts and books crammed almost to overflowing, and her heart skipped in sudden excitement.

During that first crossing from England, her father had shown her the charts and let her trace their route across the endless North Sea. She had been amazed that the captain could translate all those little marks and numbers, and use them to guide their ship across such a featureless expanse.

Her wonder had not dimmed now, despite her impossible adventures, and so she took the chart and sat upon the bed to study it as she ate. It showed the west African coast, for she recognised the names of some cities, including Elmina, though the geography was exotic and unfamiliar. And across the chart, in a close hand, were written curious words and phrases she could hardly make out, but seemed to be instructions – or notes, perhaps: Overfalls, here. Tide rips. Rocks awash, covers at high tide.

It seemed a language on the tip of her tongue, one she thought she should understand and yet which lay frustratingly beyond her reach. The language of the sea, a language she had always thought the province of men. And so it was, in the world beyond this impossible city, a world that bound her in whalebone and ignorance. But here…?

Slowly she stood, turning to gaze out of the window at a sea glittering beneath the morning sun. Closing her eyes she breathed deeply, drank in the salt tang of the air, tasted its freedom. Here, the language of the sea was her language, for she was Elizabeth Swann, Pirate King, and for the first time in her life she was mistress of her own fate.

It was a freedom, she realised, for which she would gladly fight. And for which she would willingly die.

When the knock came at the door, summoning her to court, the Pirate King was ready.

***

Comments

Page 1 of 2[1][2]
Posted by: tuesday_suit (tuesday_suit)
Posted at: July 9th, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC)
Shadow Walkers

Time to challenge the posting word limit. ;-)

The Great Hall of Shipwreck Cove was not so great as its title led one to believe. Unlike the Brethren Court, with its grand austerity, the Hall was rough and ready; sawdust mingled with stale grog upon the floor, and the air hung thick with pipe smoke and tall tales.

Hmm, quite different from the description in my story. Interesting how we see things each in our own way. :-)

Jack tipped his head and offered a winning smile. “Not the only thing far from rising, love.”

BWAHAHAHA!!!! Brilliant.

“Rum, someone once told me, is a despicable drink what turns even the most respectable men into scoundrels.” He smiled and waved his bottle toward her. “And I never was respectable, you know.”

OneBrain alert.....I've something similar in one of the chapters Laura is looking at now. :-)

“You love her.”

Give the lady a prize. ;-)

Even though he knew it, the words made his guts pitch like a sloop in a storm. “They’re to be married, so I imagine it’ll be a short lived affection.”

Ach, poor Jack. But what he said made me giggle.

His smile felt like the edge of a blade. “She’s not the sort to be taken.”

How well he knows her....

“You know it makes you vulnerable; a knife to her throat becomes a greater threat than a knife to your own.”

LOVE this line - and the truth behind it.

The firelight gave her skin a rosy glow, added a lustre to her eyes – at least, he hoped it was the firelight. He couldn’t bear to contemplate the other…

Oh, Jack. My heart breaks for him here. :-(

Her head dropped and she was silent for a moment. “Do you ever wonder who you are, Jack?”

He blinked, unsure what she meant. “Me? I’m Captain—”

“I don’t mean that.”


This exchange was just gorgeous, so sadly beautiful.

“Thank you for…” His voice grew a little rough and he had to clear his throat. “For bringing James Norrington into my life.”

HEE!

A stronger man would have either thrown her off, or taken her for his own; Jack could do nothing but hold her and listen to her breathe. After a while her head grew heavy against his shoulder, her body languid and relaxed in his arms, and she slept. Her hair fell across her face and he reached out to brush it back, but the starkness of his tar-stained fingers against her milky skin gave him pause. She had given herself to Will Turner, and he had no right to touch her.

It didn’t stop him.


Of course. Of course it didn't. *sigh* So lovely, that moment, with his heart all out in the open for all to see.

Perhaps she too had found something in Jack’s sleeping face, for she gazed at him intently, as if absorbing every detail. Teague saw her swallow and then, tentatively, reach out to thread her fingers through Jack’s. In his sleep, Jack murmured something and Elizabeth smiled, before leaning forward to whisper soft words in his ear. Teague heard nothing, but didn’t need to.

Another beautiful one. And made more interesting by Teague's observance of it. Wonder what the old man has up his sleeve....

Here, the language of the sea was her language, for she was Elizabeth Swann, Pirate King, and for the first time in her life she was mistress of her own fate.

And what a heady feeling it must be. :-)

When the knock came at the door, summoning her to court, the Pirate King was ready.

And a fab, fab ending.

This is my favourite chapter so far, for sure. So many wonderful, sweet, sad moments between Jack and his King - the warring emotions in both of them are so evident and sharp throughout. I love Kasumi pinning down Jack's true feelings for him, and also Elizabeth putting on the costume of the Pirate King and taking another step closer to her true self. Perfectly done, all of it. :-)

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 01:26 pm (UTC)
Redux - King

I'm so pleased you liked this chapter! And isn't it interesting how we all see the PotC world slightly differently - that's one of the joys of fan fic, IMO. Same story, different versions. ;)

Things are definitely afoot now, and we'll see a lot happening in the next few chapters. Can't wait to read your thoughts on them!

As always, thanks so much for the detailed comments. We always love to read them! :)

Posted by: Bell B. (bellbubble)
Posted at: July 9th, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)

You know, I really feel like I'm insulting you ladies' most beautiful piece of pure art by not being able to write a proper, nice, enormous comment, but as it turns out, I can't. It's just too beautiful, overwhelmingly, breathtakingly so... Words go away. Aren't enough.
Well (let me try), it's brilliant, all of it!! The J/E scene in the Great Hall (and what an amazing description of it!!) was heart-warming, tragically beautiful, and I love Kasumi and Teague!! No idea of Fate's plans, but I hope Teague's plans save Lizzie and Jack from Fate's (Calypso's?)... Guh!! I can't believe I'm going to be away for a week, I'll miss the next two chapters! ;_;

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 01:34 pm (UTC)
Redux - Musician

I hope Teague's plans save Lizzie and Jack from Fate's

*Bites tongue* The next couple of chapters reveal a lot, and I can't wait to see what you think of them when you get back from your trip!!

I'm thrilled you enjoyed this chapter, and thanks for your lovely comment; we really appreciate you reading and letting us know what you think about each chapter. :)

Edited at 2008-07-10 01:34 pm (UTC)

Posted by: kenton_bomb (kenton_bomb)
Posted at: July 9th, 2008 11:42 pm (UTC)

Wow, I don't know what to say. I absolutely loved that chapter in so many ways and right now I'm just lost for words.

I'm gonna come back later and write the proper, big comment this deserves :) I promise.

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 01:36 pm (UTC)
Redux - Tyrant

LOL! Really pleased you enjoyed this chapter, it's one of my favourites too. :)

right now I'm just lost for words

That's a pretty good comment right there. ;) Thanks so much, as always, for reading and letting us know what you thought!

Posted by: kenton_bomb (kenton_bomb)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 03:44 pm (UTC)

Posted by: kenton_bomb (kenton_bomb)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC)

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 10:50 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Darnaguen (darnaguen)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 12:01 am (UTC)
J/E freedom

Ooh, wonderful. Once again.

I really love the vivid images you create. I felt as if I was there in the Great Hall with its stale stench of sawdust and grog and the flickering firelight and dancing shadows, and in the murky, winding alleyways of the Shipwreck City.
Oh Jack. Oh Lizzie. You crazy kids and your impossible, epic, heartbreaking soulmate love. <3

And I really, really love your Teague (though, I adore Teague pretty much in any shape or form, he's IMO the best thing AWE gave us <3), and am also still liking Kasumi a lot. She really does justice to her name with her evasive sneakiness, and I love it that she calls Jack Suzume. A really nice detail, and writers who pay attention to little details like that always earn my respect. :)

Can't wait for Sunday. *__*

[BTW, sorry about messing around with the comments and spamming your inbox, I don't know what LJ has against me today. O_o]

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC)
Redux - Kasumi

Totally agree with you about Teague and AWE! What a fab character. :)

So glad you liked this chapter, and our murky Shipwreck Cove. I'm especially pleased that you're enjoying Kasumi. OFC's are always a little risky, so it's great to know that she's working well. :) We wanted to hint at her prior dealings with Jack, so it seemed right that she would have her own name for him. So pleased you picked up on that, and the meaning of her name too. :)

Thanks, as always, for reading and for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment.

Posted by: Lady Di (lady_di75)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 03:12 am (UTC)
fury

Huzzah!! I am Caught Up!

And breathless -- I have quite literally found myself holding my breath as I read, as Jack begins to allow himself to once again be vulnerable with Elizabeth, as Teague becomes more of a presence, and as the Pirate King comes into her own.

It was the scene between Jack and Elizabeth that really had me holding my breath... so lovely.

Her hair fell across her face and he reached out to brush it back, but the starkness of his tar-stained fingers against her milky skin gave him pause. She had given herself to Will Turner, and he had no right to touch her.

It didn’t stop him.

“I’ll take you to me grave, Lizzie, I do swear,” he whispered as he brushed wind-swept hair from her face. “I’ll take you to me bloody grave.”


*sigh* Just lovely. Can't wait for Sunday!!!

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC)
Redux - Song

Huzzah! That's a lot of chapters in one night! lol

as Jack begins to allow himself to once again be vulnerable with Elizabeth, as Teague becomes more of a presence, and as the Pirate King comes into her own.

I'm so glad you picked out those things, because that's exactly what we'll be seeing developed in the next couple of chapters - along with a couple of other threads too. :)

I've really enjoyed reading your comments as you've caught up, and hope you continue to enjoy the story. Thanks, as always, for taking the time to read and let us know what you think. :)

Posted by: Lady Di (lady_di75)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Geek Mama (geekmama)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 04:33 am (UTC)
J/E - by wapiti_baris

Ah, Jack's got it bad. Rather a lovely chapter, what with the snoozing and bath and fresh clothes -- and Teague's rather sinister machinations. Very interesting that. Looking forward to more!

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 01:52 pm (UTC)
Redux - Musician

Thanks, hon! :)

Teague's rather sinister machinations. Very interesting that.

*G* More of that in the next couple of chapters. So pleased you're still reading along, and thanks, as always, for taking the time to leave a comment. :)

Posted by: djarum99 (djarum99)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 07:15 am (UTC)
jeburn

Beautifully done ♥

The scene in the Great Hall is so heartwrenching, especially the part Teague witnesses. I'm dying to know what it was that Elizabeth whispered in Jack's ear :-)

I love this, of course:

It seemed a language on the tip of her tongue, one she thought she should understand and yet which lay frustratingly beyond her reach. The language of the sea, a language she had always thought the province of men. And so it was, in the world beyond this impossible city, a world that bound her in whalebone and ignorance. But here…?

The charts are Jack's, yes? You've done a wonderful job of showing us Elizabeth coming into her own - I have the sense that she knows herself better than she thinks, and of course she knows her heart.

Lovely angst, superb plotting - I couldn't ask for more. Brava ♥

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 01:58 pm (UTC)
Redux - Navigator

Thanks, hon. :)

I'm dying to know what it was that Elizabeth whispered in Jack's ear

Hee! I'd love to know too. Let me know if you have any ideas...

The charts are Jack's, yes?

I like to think that was Jack's room at some point. ;) And I think you're right, she does know herself better than she realises.

So glad you're still enjoying it second time around! And thanks, as always, for the lovely comment.

Posted by: DC (drillingcat)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 01:40 pm (UTC)
capn jack smug

poor jack. i'll gladly take lizzie's place, afterall it is my middle name. arrr.

:)

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 01:59 pm (UTC)
Redux - Song

LOL! Arr. I think you might find quite a queue to take Lizzie's place... ;)

*pushes to the front*

Posted by: akari (akarii)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 02:34 pm (UTC)
Pirates

Hmmm. I'm not sure I like Kasumi. The way she shrouds herself in mysterious-sounding hints and insinuations doesn't convince me. Tia Dalma is more convincing in the role of the local Cassandra.

Other than that, it figures that Elizabeth should turn to Jack in times of uncertainty. He apparently managed to achieve what nobody else had, to calm her down so that she could fall asleep. Which is, in and of itself, a miracle, since Jack's presence is something that would cause the exact opposite effect on anybody else (including me), if only to secure one's belongings ^__^ .

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
Redux - Kasumi

Kasumi certainly is no rival for Tia Dalma in terms of mystery, or arcane knowledge. But she's a player at the Court and sees things with a shrewd eye - even so, at this point, she can only guess at what Teague knows. :)

Jack and Elizabeth are certainly getting closer, despite the odds. Not sure I could fall asleep within ten metres of Jack either! ;)

Thanks, as always, for taking the time to read and comment.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC)
Redux - King

Oh I love reading your comments! lol

So pleased you liked this chapter, after the big shock in chapter 14. ;) Jack and Elizabeth are definitely closer now, despite everything that's going on. We'll see where that takes them, eh?

after DMC, I would love for Jack and Elizabeth to just get a good hug in AWE

That's exactly what Laura and I wanted too! Hence this fic...;)

So glad you're still enjoying this! And thanks, as always, for reading and letting us know what you think as we go along. :)

Posted by: ruby_scott (ruby_scott)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 03:43 pm (UTC)

Just discovered this. Thought I'd better let you know how superb I think it is. Truly magnificent work- those two hours spent lookling for a decent AWE fic have definately paid off. Can't wait for the next installment!

Ruby :o) x

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 09:32 pm (UTC)
Redux - Tyrant

Thank you so much! I'm thrilled you're enjoying it, and really appreciate you taking the time to let us know.

Next chapter is up on Sunday, and I really hope you continue to enjoy the story! :)

Posted by: jasmine_24 (jasmine_24)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)

I've been lurking, reading your work for the longest time. I got an LJ a while ago so now I can tell you how truly wonderful your work is! It's helped to wash away the bad taste that AWE left in my mouth.
As for this fic, it's everything that I wanted out of AWE but that the ptb cockblocked! This was my favorite chapter. I loved the way you decscribed Teague watching them. It was so subtle and sweet. I'm having fun thinking about what Elizabeth could have possibly whispered in Jack's ear!
I can't really think of the right words to describe how great this fic is! I look foward to Wednesdays and Sundays for this! TY for being awesome!!!

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 09:35 pm (UTC)
Redux - Admiral

Thank you! :) I'm really pleased you're enjoying this, and some of my other stories too. AWE certainly prompted a lot of fic! lol

I liked this chapter too, so I'm pleased you enjoyed it too. It's pretty much the calm before the storm, because things heat up in the next coupld of chapters. :)

Thanks so much for reading and for letting us know what you think of the story. Cheers! :)

Posted by: Anne (ladyofthesilent)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC)
Regret

What a wonderful, angsty chapter! Definitely one of my favourites, so far!

I loved the atmosphere you created when describing Shipwreck City, particularly the great hall and Teague's surroundings. It's a shame we didn't get to see more of this fantastic place in the movie, but on the other hand, I'm glad it was left to the fanfic-writers to create their own world when using the city as a setting for their stories. The atmosphere was kind of tense, which is hardly surprising, considering that treachery seems to lurk behind every corner.

Kasumi is a wonderful character! You've written her in a way that is normally used to portray male characters, a shadowy, mysterious figure whose true intentions stay a mistery to both the other characters and the reader. She seems to like Jack quite a lot, and I got the impression that her words were actually dictated by her own jealousy.

I'm feeling sorry for Jack. Kasumi said it perfectly:

A love denied. There is no greater tragedy.

I do so hope that tragedy will turn into something else, but I suppose this chapter could be read as the beginning of a somewhat different relationship between J/E. Speaking about the two of them, I really, really loved their interaction here. They seem to be at ease with each other, still joking and smiling, even though they're both troubled.

It's funny, actually, that you had Teague watching them sleep. Before AWE came out, I wrote a one-shot using a similar scenario, also set at Shipwreck City. I still like the idea and it was wonderful to discover you used something similar here. I wonder if it is a good or a bad thing Teague saw them together ...

He seems not very good at reading his son (he actually said so himself, amazing description, btw), but I really hope he only wants him to be happy. And he cannot have missed the tenderness in Elizabeth's actions - can he?

Oh, and I could actually feel Elizabeth's relief, being able to take a bath after such a long time ;)

I'm looking forward to Sunday!

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC)
Redux - Musician

Your comments are always such a pleasure to read! :)

I'm so pleased you're enjoying Kasumi, because we really loved writing her. I think you have her spot on - she admires Jack, and likes him as much as she's able. I see her as very similar to Jack, only with a much less developed conscience.

As for Jack and Elizabeth, they are definitely moving closer despite everything going on around them. But there's still a lot to come for them both...

BTW I would love to read your one-shot about Teague watching the two of them sleep, if you have a link. :)

Talking of Teague... There is something he wants for his son, and we'll find out more about it in the next couple of chapters. *g*

As always, thanks so much for your lovely detailed comments. And I hope you enjoy chapter 16 on Sunday!

Posted by: Anne (ladyofthesilent)
Posted at: July 11th, 2008 08:28 am (UTC)

Posted by: hereswith (hereswith)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 08:36 pm (UTC)
Elizabeth

Oh, I really enjoyed this chapter, especially Elizabeth falling asleep in Jack's arms, the scene Teague bears witness to, and the ending with Elizabeth preparing. Looking forward to things unfolding :-)

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 10:00 pm (UTC)
Redux - King

Yay! So pleased you enjoyed this one, and you're right - things are going to start unfolding pretty soon. :)

Really appreciate you reading and commenting. Thank you! :)

Posted by: .rachel. (whensheflies)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
PIRATES liz w/Jack distant

“I’ll take you to me grave, Lizzie, I do swear,” he whispered as he brushed wind-swept hair from her face. “I’ll take you to me bloody grave.”

You kill me dead. Just absolutely wonderful. I love my J/E angsty and a bit tortured so this is just lovely.

I still think Kasumi is hot, but maybe it's just me.

I'm constantly amazed by how much storytelling genius there is between the both of you. I'd be lost without this story.

Edited at 2008-07-10 09:41 pm (UTC)

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: July 10th, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
Redux - Kasumi

Thanks, hon! :) So pleased you're still reading, and still enjoying the story.

I still think Kasumi is hot, but maybe it's just me

We like her too! :) And I think Jack has liked her in the past, at least once...;)

Thanks so much for commenting so frequently, we really appreciate you taking the time. :)

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