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"At World's End: Redux" 21/27
by SalR323 (salr323)
at July 30th, 2008 (09:39 pm)
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Chapter Twenty One


There was no moon that night, no stars. The sky was black as ink, black as sin, and the air rumbled with the promise of danger and doom. Lightning forked through rolling clouds, the storm close and heavy, yet only a dry breeze touched Elizabeth’s upturned face.

Shipwreck City held its breath and not even the heavens could cry.

Elizabeth had wept for her father, wept for Will and for the loss of their innocent dream, but she could not weep for Jack Sparrow. Her heart was too heavy, his loss too keen. When she closed her eyes she could taste the heat of their parting kiss, feel his fingers against her skin, she could wrap herself in the knowledge of his forgiveness and for a moment find a bitter peace. He had forgiven her, at the end - would that she could forgive herself. Would that she had struck the blow before he’d snatched the knife from her hand and, that he now stood in her place, to lead his people against the Tyranny foretold.

But he was gone, and with him her hope. Jack Sparrow had burned brighter than any man and without his brilliance, without his wild embracing of life, the sun had set forever. What use victory now? What use tears? What use anything?

Elizabeth turned from the open window and blinked at the deeper darkness within. Having neglected to light a fire, her rooms were cold and damp and she pulled a blanket from her bed to wrap about her shoulders. She did not attempt sleep, had no desire to dream, and if fatigue made her slow in battle then so be it; once she’d spilt Mercer’s blood, she cared not if she saw another sunset.

Unbidden, the image came – a dying light lancing out from the horizon, the blade plunging into flesh, the way he had slipped through her fingers when she’d reached for him …

Elizabeth shook her head against the memory and pulled the blanket tighter about her shoulders. Outside, the horizon was paling. Even beneath the black clouds, dawn crept ever closer and with it the end of the world.

The battle would be fought this day; if she was lucky, she’d not see dusk. Her sword was already fastened, her gun tucked into her belt. Her powder was dry, her shot ready. She sought one man today, her life was narrowed to vengeance alone, and she cared not how soon she achieved her purpose.

Leaving her rooms, she made her way through the quiet streets of the Cove. She’d no desire for company, for the mindless braying of the other Pirate Lords, or for their quick looks and knowing glances. She craved silence and solitude before Armageddon, so instead of heading for the docks, she made her way back to the cliffs and climbed up to the rim of the Cove. From there, she saw the massed fleet of the enemy – colours of all nations, set to crush this fragile city in their mighty fist – and she wondered if the freedom for which Jack had given his life could survive the onslaught. Would they all die here? And if they did, would the freedom for which they fought die too? Or would it burn brighter elsewhere, even as Shipwreck Cove smouldered in ruins?

Destiny is just the path beneath your feet - so said Morgan Teague. But was it destiny that doomed men to war and slavery? Or was it choice? In the long history of the world, would Jack’s death ever serve any purpose worthy of the grief it caused to those who loved him?

Something overwhelming clutched at her heart and she lifted a hand, balling it into a fist around the blanket she held there. She thought of the tears on Teague’s craggy face, the slack fall of Gibbs’ mouth, Ragetti’s confused scowl; she thought of the candles and faces in the swampy darkness, of the bleak sadness in Will’s eyes.

She thought of the hole where her heart had been, and she knew. I loved him. I loved him…

Above her, thunder rumbled long and low. A wind picked up, racing in with the dawn, and she could hear the sea calling as it crashed against the black cliffs below. Turning her back on the fleet, she followed the path down – down, away from the sheltered waters of the Cove, toward the wild reach of the sea beyond.

Storm-bruised clouds hunkered low in the paling light of dawn, heavy with the threat of rain. Her hair whipped across her face, but she simply tugged the blanket tighter about her shoulders and pushed on toward the strip of beach below. She would taste the sea, embrace the storm before she sailed to war.

The sand was wet, the tide only just turned, and stones glistened along the foreshore as dawn begrudgingly arrived. The little cove was edged with jagged rocks, gleaming blackly as they were pummelled by white crested waves that trailed manes of silver spray. Elizabeth closed her eyes and lifted her face once more to the sky; she felt nothing but the storm against her cheek, heard nothing but the crash of the surf upon the shore.

And so she walked, greeting this bleak day with a heart as stormy as the dawn. The waves swirled about her ankles, her boots crunching against the gravel, kicking against the shingle tossed up by the sea. Ahead, half submerged by the receding tide, a chunk of driftwood – cut loose from one of the many wrecks – washed back and forth in the water.

I loved him. It was at once a revelation and a truism, something she had just understood and something she had always known. Yet regret bit deeper than the cold, and her mind cascaded into a hundred different paths. If only she had realised, if only she had spoken…

Elizabeth kept on walking. Above, thunder grumbled on and on without respite. A single drop of rain fell on her face and Elizabeth looked up. The chunk of driftwood in the surf was gone; in its place lay the naked body of a man, sprawled on his side at the edge of the water.

She stopped dead, heartsick with sudden dread. No, no, no. Not this. Not this!

But the gods, it seemed, were determined to be cruel. Eyes closed, she took a steadying breath, then walked forward into the surf…

***


Captain Teague’s quarters were dark and comfortable, crowded with strange objects and piles of precious books. Will drew in a deep breath, heavy with the scent of wood-smoke and tobacco, and fixed his gaze on the man who sat by the fire.

Though neither of them spoke now, the words that hung between them could not be drowned out. Not even the constant rumble of thunder could break the tension wrought between the two men.

“If you do this,” Teague said at last, “you cannot return but one day in every ten years.”

“I know that.”

“And I’ll be dead before you can return a second time.”

Will was silent. Then he sighed, “I swore it, Teague. I swore an oath to my father. Would you have me break it?”

Teague’s bright eyes glinted with pain, his leathered face impassive. “No father worthy of the name would willingly swap his freedom for his son’s enslavement.”

“Maybe not, but we cannot choose our fathers,” Will said, conscious of the hollow ache, the absence in his heart. “I will not abandon him, as he abandoned me.”

In the grate, the fire spat and crackled. Logs shifted and settled amid the embers. It was a gentle warmth next to that of the forge, yet it drew him closer as if the heat had wrapped about his heart. He ran his tongue across his lips and imagined he could taste the metallic tang of the smelting iron, could hear it sing to him as it was transformed by his touch. Only one day in every ten years…

“I know you feel it, lad.” Teague’s voice was soft, yet bright as the flames. “I can see in you what I can feel in me own bloody heart, Will Turner. The power of it, the purpose. Think on it! What wonders we could create… Ah, but ’tis a fading art, Will. You and I, we might be the last of it, and if we don’t learn, if we have naught to pass on, then the world will be a smaller place. Cold and silent, too, without our music or our fire.”

The flames flickered and jumped while, far above, thunder rolled to the beat of coming war. “I feel it,” Will said softly, his gaze not leaving the fire. “And God knows, I would stay if I could. My heart is drawn here, drawn back to this place – to that forge – and perhaps I’ll go mad from the want of it, but I cannot abandon my father. I will not. I swore I would not rest until his blade had pierced the heart of Davy Jones, and I will honour that promise. Or die trying.”

Teague shifted in his seat. “And what if another were to take your place?”

“What do you mean?”

“What if another were to take your knife and stab that rotten piece of flesh? Would you consider honour served then?”

“And who would do such a thing? Who would take that burden upon themselves?”

Teague shrugged. “There are those for whom immortality is a goal in itself, at any cost.” He sat forward, his musician’s fingers laced. “Barbossa, for one.”

“Barbossa?” Will gave a laugh of disbelief. “You would set Barbossa upon the Dutchman in my place?”

A snap of anger flashed across Teague’s face. “It ain’t your place, lad, that’s the bloody point! Your place is here. With me. The Devil take the Dutchman, I care not who captains her.”

“But I do,” Will insisted. “Barbossa sent my father to the depths, he’s the one who condemned him to the Dutchman in the first place! And he’d have bled me dry to save his own skin; I wouldn’t trust him an inch.”

Teague stood and paced to the narrow window, gazing out at the brooding storm. He moved with a strength that belied his age, and Will remembered the grace of his fingers as he’d plucked the song from the air, woven its power into the steel. “I’m sorry,” Will said. “If I could stay…”

“I knew your father,” Teague said. “Saw him here from time to time, a friend of Jack’s, he was. Saw the guilt in his eyes too, just enough to make him miserable – never enough to send him home. Drowned it he did, in drink and whores, but it always came back. Never let him rest.” He turned around, his face hidden in dawn shadow. “I pitied him, ’till his part in the mutiny against Jack. Then I just despised him.”

“Jack said he was a good man.”

“Jack saw goodness in all the wrong places.” Teague sighed heavily, drawing closer; he looked old, haggard by raw grief. “Bootstrap don’t deserve your loyalty, boy. He wouldn’t do as much for you.”

And Will felt a sudden wave of affection for this man, the sympathy of a kindred spirit, and a shadow of that strange intimacy they’d shared in the forge. The emptiness in his heart seemed a little less cold, but the weight of his destiny grew heavier. “Whether he deserves it or not, my father has my loyalty,” he said. “But… it grieves me to leave.”

Suddenly Teague reached out and seized Will’s wrist. “We’re bound, you and I,” he said. “A bond forged in fire and deep as blood. Don’t tell me you don’t feel it, boy.”

“I feel it.”

Teague clasped Will’s arm with both hands. “I could teach you more than your father ever could. I’ve lost one son today, Will Turner...”

Moved, he covered Teague’s hand with his own. “I will return,” he promised. “Even if it’s only one day in every ten—”

A sudden, urgent rapping on the door cut off his words.

“What the devil?” Teague growled, dropping Will’s arm. “What is it?”

The door opened and Barbossa’s weather-beaten face appeared. “Pardon the interruption, Captain.” Will smiled at the old dog’s deference in the face of true power. “But the Devil’s at the door, and we have a need to act.”

As if to emphasise the question, cannons boomed in the distance and Will felt a tremor ripple through the bedrock beneath the Cove, felt the Earth jar and twist – felt it in his bones, and gloried and despaired all at once. “Jones is coming,” he said with utter certainty.

Barbossa nodded, stepping further into the room, looking about warily. “Will she fight for us?” he asked, addressing his question to Teague. “Will the goddess take our side in this?”

“Unpredictable as the sea, ain’t she?” Teague’s eyes glittered like coal, bright with grief and old anger. “No doubt she’ll want her vengeance on Jones, though.”

“Aye.” Barbossa’s yellow-eyed gaze came to rest on Will. “And Jones will want his vengeance on us. He’ll try to pass the Throat, and if he does… You know there’s none here – none anywhere – what can stand against the Dutchman. And so we must take the fight to him – we must put an end to Jones’ tyranny, or see the Cove fall.”

“Leave Jones to me.” From his belt, Will produced his father’s knife, its blade tarnished and dull in the firelight. How thin and insubstantial it seemed next to the ancient power of the blade he’d forged with Teague.

Barbossa shifted, eyeing him down the long length of his nose. “You mean to do it, then? To serve as master of the Dutchman?”

“I do,” Will said, conscious as he spoke of Teague’s disapproving glare. “My path has long been set on this road and I’ll see it to its end. There’s no other way.”

“There is,” Teague groused, “if you’ll but take it.”

There was a moment’s silence, then Barbossa chuckled. “’Tis a fool’s wisdom, Teague. I used to think like you, used to think destiny could be out run, but I spent ten years running and all I got was old. A man can’t always be ducking down blind alleys in search of another route, sometimes he just has to walk the path fate intends – whether he wants to or not.” He fixed Will with a penetrating look. “Ain’t that so, boy?”

“That’s so.”

“Then we should leave now, before the storm breaks and the Throat becomes impassable.”

Will blinked. “We?”

“Unless you were planning on swimmin’ out, lad, you’ll be needing a ship.” He doffed his hat in an extravagant bow. “And mine’s at your service.”

“The Pearl!” Teague growled, menacing as thunder. “You scavenging dog, I’ll—”

“Not, the Pearl.” Barbossa backed up a step, an unfamiliar gravity pulling his face into heavy folds. “No. Wasted enough of me life, and worse, in pursuit of that treacherous lady. The Black Pearl is still berthed, and I’ll not risk me ill-gotten life prizing it from the hands of Joshamee Gibbs.” He glanced at Will. “The Queen Ann is at your service, Blacksmith. If you’re ready...?”

Will looked away, found Teague’s resigned face. “Barbossa’s right,” he said. “You know he is.”

Teague gave no answer, just stalked once more to the window. Outside the wind was rising, slamming sea-spray hard against the glass, and Will found himself wondering what role Calypso would play in the coming battle. How much goodwill had Jack bought them with his life?

“Go then,” Teague said quietly, not turning around. “And Godspeed. If the Dutchman breaches the Throat, the Cove’ll be ready.”

Taking his words as dismissal, Will was already halfway toward the door, Barbossa one step behind, when Teague called, “William?”

He turned and found the man watching him; had he ever known a father’s love, he would have imagined it exactly like the expression in Teague’s eyes. “If the path beneath your feet divides, son, think carefully about which road to take. You’ve a destiny greater than shepherding the dead to their rest. Mark that, boy.”

Having no further argument to give, Will simply nodded. And if he saw the curious look Barbossa shot him, he pretended not to notice, for he could feel fate calling him now and could spare no thought from the matter at hand. Today he would see his promise kept, though the thought of what he would lose in its keeping made his heart clench in grief.

***


In the distance canon fire lifted its voice to rival the thunder, but Elizabeth did not hear it.

Black hair lay strewn across the sand, unbound and un-braided. The man’s face was turned away from her, his lean body bare and his golden skin unmarked – no ink, no scars. Not Jack then, for Elizabeth had tended his wounds and knew the pattern life had wrought across his back. Relief clawed at her heart, digging up the regret that lurked beneath. It wasn’t Jack’s body; she’d never see his face again, not even in death.

The pain was sharp as broken glass.

Jerking back into motion, she cautiously approached the corpse. The tide was going out fast, leaving its victim abandoned on the beach. Yet the closer she drew, the more she could see of his face – fine-boned and angular beneath a sweep of bedraggled hair – and the faster her heart began to race with a dreadful, burning hope. It’s not him. It can’t be him. And yet she threw herself to her knees in the surf, her hand shaking in dread and hope as she reached out to touch him.

Thunder fell silent, the wind dropped, and the seas calmed; the world stilled as she brushed his shoulder and felt warm, living flesh beneath her fingers. Frantically, she rolled the man onto his back, pushing tangled hair from his face until—

Jack Sparrow opened his eyes.

Her fingers lay motionless upon his face, her shaking breath the only sound in the world, the heat of his skin all she could feel. He was alive, impossibly alive…

Jack stared at her, eyes wide and confused, then lifted a tentative hand to her face. “Are you real?”

When his fingers touched her lips, he hissed a breath and pulled back, but she grabbed his hand and pressed it to her cheek. “Yes…” Her words tangled with a wrenching sob. “Yes…”

He frowned, but the expression looked strange. He looked strange, himself and yet not himself. The defiant mass of hair had been tamed and fell in snarled curls around a face scrubbed clean and deceptively innocent; he had the look of a boy wise beyond his years, or of an old man blessed by eternal youth. “Then this is the Locker?”

“No, not that.” Stroking his face again, she traced familiar lines and angles, searching for the warmth of his breath against her fingertips – for the proof that he lived. She pressed her hand to his chest and beneath her fingertips his heart beat a wild tattoo. A drop of rain fell against his cheek, then another; the heavens were weeping at last and so was she, in silent sobs she could no longer contain. “You’re alive,” she choked. “Oh Jack, you’re alive!”

And then he sucked in a breath, as if it were his first, and seized her face in both hands. Above them, lightning flashed and she could see it flare in his eyes. “Alive?” But before she could answer, his lips were on hers, hungry and desperate for life, and his fingers clenched in her hair, pulling her down into his naked embrace.

Desire and relief exploded with a scouring heat, and all that she wanted was to feel – to feel life, to feel him, heated and rain-slick beneath her fervent touch. He was alive! So very alive. Her fingers were everywhere against his skin, slipping across the shifting muscles of his back and shoulders as he rolled her over, into the lacy edge of the water, and held her there with the stark weight of his desire.

“You,” he rasped against her throat, her jaw, then her lips once more. “It’s you…”

His hair was wild and she pushed it from his face, trying to see him. “What is…?”

“You’re why…” One hand seared the length of her body, his palm flat across her hip and thigh, then back to her face, tracing her lips, her cheek, as if assuring himself that she was real. “You’re why she sent me back.”

“Me?” Beneath her she could feel sand and the running edges of the waves, above there was only the press of his lithe body and the soft rain mingling with his kisses. Her lips ghosted his, each word whispered on the cusp of a caress. “The debt… Is it paid?”

“No.” He kissed her again, deep and searching, claiming her like the sea claimed the shore. “Not paid, forgiven.”

“Forgiven?” Her head was spinning, the world tumbling around her. “I don’t… Jack, I don’t understand…”

He slowed, his mouth softening, breaking into a cascade of tender kisses as his forehead came to rest against hers. “All our deeds laid bare,” he whispered, “all our sins forgiven.” And then he stilled, his breath fast and hot against her lips, and he lifted his head to look at her. It seemed the world was in those eyes, the wide horizon and the endless seas; all darkness had been banished and in its place a warmth like summer sun. “Elizabeth…” He stroked her face, sweeping hair from her eyes. “What I—”

Cannon fire boomed, ricocheting from the walls of the Cove so that that the entire island echoed with the sound of war. Elizabeth started, her gaze darting up toward the towering cliffs, and beyond them to where the pirates faced their enemy. “Will…” The thought of the terrible fate awaiting him turned her suddenly cold.

And in that moment the world froze, the rain turned icy, and Jack’s arms about her became hard, brittle. He moved away, letting go, and at the base of his throat she could see his heart thundering. “Jones,” he said, gazing out across the wind-whipped sea. “It’s not over, then.”

“No.” She sat up, shivering and wet in the coming storm. “It’s just begun.”

Jack nodded, though he had turned away and she could only see his profile etched against the clouds. Crow-black hair fluttered over his eyes, lashes blinking raindrops against his cheek, and she was suddenly very aware of the rivulets of water snaking between the muscles of his back. Reaching for the blanket she’d worn, she rose on shaking legs and draped it about his shoulders. He looked up then, but his expression was grave and everything was hidden behind the familiar visage of Captain Jack Sparrow. “It seems the time has come to fight, eh?” He hesitated a moment. “And, no doubt, you’ll want to fight at young William’s side?”

“Yes. Yes, we must all fight.” She wrapped her arms about her waist and looked up toward the cliffs. The canons fired again, a booming ricochet that thundered like doom. “And I have a debt of my own to settle.”

In silence, Jack rose and tied the blanket about his slender hips. A sardonic smile touched his lips, though his eyes slid away from her and out to sea once more. “Then it seems we've both got something to fight for after all, love.”

Elizabeth didn’t answer. The prospect of death, which she had treated so blithely just an hour past, now loomed as dark as the storm above, and she could not bear the thought of losing him again. But she would not – could not – turn back from the path she had chosen to walk. “Mercer’s life is mine,” she said at last, reaching out to take his hand. “But I pray…”

Their fingers entwined, though his smile was resigned. “Come, then, Miss Swann, no time to linger. I’ll take you to your bonny lad – and we’ll see what fate awaits us all this day.”

***

Comments

Page 1 of 2[1][2]
Posted by: tuesday_suit (tuesday_suit)
Posted at: July 30th, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
Barenaked

Jack Sparrow had burned brighter than any man and without his brilliance, without his wild embracing of life, the sun had set forever.

I *love* this line. It is so beautiful and sad, all at once.

She thought of the hole where her heart had been, and she knew. I loved him. I loved him…

Methinks you still do, Lizzie, whether he's there to be loved or not (and I think - hope - he will be.....).

“No father worthy of the name would willingly swap his freedom for his son’s enslavement.”

“Maybe not, but we cannot choose our fathers,”


This scene between Will and Teague is great - so intense!

“Jack saw goodness in all the wrong places.”

Ah, you're wrong about that, Teague. He sees it in all the right places.....although he seems to miss it, sadly, in himself sometimes.

"I spent ten years running and all I got was old."

HEE! Fab Barbossa voice - I can just see him saying this.

"A man can’t always be ducking down blind alleys in search of another route, sometimes he just has to walk the path fate intends – whether he wants to or not.”

That's the smartest thing I've ever heard come out of his mouth. :-)

Jack Sparrow opened his eyes.

Of course. :-) This was wonderful - I could really feel Elizabeth's sadness here, and her dread and hope, and then her joyful disbelief.

He looked strange, himself and yet not himself. The defiant mass of hair had been tamed and fell in snarled curls around a face scrubbed clean and deceptively innocent; he had the look of a boy wise beyond his years, or of an old man blessed by eternal youth.

Is he changed on the inside, too, I wonder? He can't be....and yet how can he not? Time will tell, I suppose.

“You’re why…” One hand seared the length of her body, his palm flat across her hip and thigh, then back to her face, tracing her lips, her cheek, as if assuring himself that she was real. “You’re why she sent me back.”

His heart, at least, appears unchanged. ;-)

Crow-black hair fluttered over his eyes, lashes blinking raindrops against his cheek, and she was suddenly very aware of the rivulets of water snaking between the muscles of his back.

Guh!!!

Their fingers entwined, though his smile was resigned. “Come, then, Miss Swann, no time to linger. I’ll take you to your bonny lad – and we’ll see what fate awaits us all this day.”

Ooooh, shivers. A fabulous ending to a completely lovely chapter. I'm loving the way all the stories are unfolding, both by themselves, and yet also so tightly entwined. Wonderful work, as always. :-)

*waits impatiently for porn*

Edited at 2008-07-30 09:23 pm (UTC)

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
redux - Jack

Heee! Thanks hon. As always it's such a pleasure to read your comments.

So pleased you enjoyed this! :) A bit more story still to go, so I'm saying nothing about the possibility of porn. ;)

As always, thanks so much for reading. :)

Posted by: Bell B. (bellbubble)
Posted at: July 30th, 2008 09:46 pm (UTC)

Awwwww... J/E!! Jack's alive!! Teague&Will!!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Lovely, most beautiful chapter!! Can't wait for more!! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

For a change of my usual don't let Jack / Elizabeth die, *please* don't let Will die...

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)
Redux - Blacksmith

Thanks so much! Really pleased you enjoyed the J/E, and especially pleased that you enjoyed the Teague and Will scene. As for Will's fate, well, I'm saying nothing... ;)

Next chapter up on Sunday, and as always I hope you enjoy it!

Posted by: Claudia Mary Gacrux (cmgacrux)
Posted at: July 30th, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC)

I'm so glad Jack's back. ♥

Lovely as always. I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment.

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
redux - Jack

Thank you! :) Really pleased you enjoyed it, and really appreciate you taking the time to let us know.

Posted by: kenton_bomb (kenton_bomb)
Posted at: July 30th, 2008 09:55 pm (UTC)

What can I say? Brilliant, brilliant chapter once again!

So sad how Elizabeth cared not for her own life as long as she killed Mercer first and of course it was written beautiful, I could real feel for her.

Her realization [i]I loved him[/i], of course you did Lizzie. And he, you. Wonderful how you wrote her as only just realising, yet deep down she knew all along just didn't accept it. Her and Will have drifted apart, become completely seperate parts of the story if you will, and now her place in the story is with Jack and she knows that.

The scenes between Will and Teague were great. Though I do seem to detect a hint of Will/Teague - what can we call it? Teagium? lol. no,but seriously, I love how he's being so fatherly and such. He's lost his son and therefore wants to look after someone elses. I have a feeling their little story has only just begun, the Musician and the Blacksmith.

When the Barbossa taking Will's place came up, firstly I laughed. There you go again Teague with the what if someone else could do it thing. And then unbelievably I found myself wshing Barbossa would take his place as I didn't want Will to have to go through with it. And that must say a lot for the quality of you two's writing, before now I've never liked the character of Will whatsoever.

I couldn't wait to get back to Elizabeth's story and her finding the body on the beach. And then it came and like the idiot I am I accidentally glanced a few lines down first and read that it wasn't Jack and was of course devastated lol. But alas, it was him; thank god.

That scene was written so beautifully, it could have been handled in many ways. There was of course the obvious 'porn' way as tuesday_suit is so very patiently waiting for lol, then there was the way you wrote it. I don't think we could have asked for a more perfect reunion. How glad they were to find each other once again, how Jack couldn't believe she was real and of course how he couldn't keep his hands off her;). I feel sorry for him though towards the end, he still thinks she belongs to Will.

Hopefully, our heroes will survive the impending battle, a new Captain of the Dutchman will be 'crowned', we'll be rid of Beckett and Mercer [though not without a lovely beckett jack reunion i hope] and Jack will finally realise he's in with a chance lol.

Great work as always, can't wait until sunday now. hope this comment actually made a little bit of sense. xx

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 07:31 pm (UTC)
Redux - Tyrant

Teagium! LOL

You know, when we were writing it, we debated whether it would come across that way and decided to just let our readers make up their own minds. Really pleased you're enjoying their interactions.:)

We shall be seeing more of Beckett and Mercer in the up coming chapters, and I can't wait to see what you think of their stories.

As always, thanks so much for reading and commenting, we love to read your thoughts. :)

Posted by: alana1079 (alana1079)
Posted at: July 30th, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC)
Captain Sparrow

Jack Sparrow had burned brighter than any man and without his brilliance, without his wild embracing of life, the sun had set forever. What use victory now? What use tears? What use anything?

First of all, how glorious is that line? *applause*

Secondly, thank you so very much for giving Jack back to us. I know we never really lost him, but Elizabeth did, and she needs him more than we. It was a truly wonderful scene you painted in their reunion.

Last, but very not least, my last request is that you please have dear Lizzie inform Captain Sparrow of her feelings. He's too obtuse when it comes to his lady love, and if you let him he'll be self sacrificing to the point of idiocy.

Thank you so much for sharing. I loved every word.

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
Redux - King

Thanks so much! So pleased you enjoyed this chapter, we loved writing it. *g*

There will be more between Jack and Elizabeth later, but I'm saying nothing about what will happen. ;)

As always, thanks so much for taking the time to send feedback. We really appreciate it.

Posted by: Lady Di (lady_di75)
Posted at: July 30th, 2008 10:46 pm (UTC)
Jackpout

*Sobs* What an amazing reunion scene... so raw and real and touching and utterly, unabashedly romantic (without being treacly):
Above them, lightning flashed and she could see it flare in his eyes. “Alive?” But before she could answer, his lips were on hers, hungry and desperate for life, and his fingers clenched in her hair, pulling her down into his naked embrace. Guh. I could practically feel it myself... *sigh*...

That said, it seems as though Jack has misunderstood Elizabeth's intention to fight 'beside' Will... please, please, no further heartbreak for him now; he's had enough!!
And I must admit, I am very intrigued by what destiny has in store for young William... is it Sunday yet?

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 07:35 pm (UTC)
Redux - Blacksmith

Hee! Thanks so much. :) So pleased you enjoyed that scene (we liked it too!).

I'm saying nothing about anyone's destiny, apart from that there's only six chapters left to go! I really hope you like where they all end up in the end. :)

And thanks for taking the time to comment, we really appreciate it. :)

Posted by: awickedwench (awickedwench)
Posted at: July 30th, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC)
Lizzie

I loved him. It was at once a revelation and a truism, something she had just understood and something she had always known.

Jack Sparrow had burned brighter than any man and without his brilliance, without his wild embracing of life, the sun had set forever.

The depth of Lizzie's emotions when she realized she loved Jack and then had thought him lost forever was palpable. Really wonderful writing. Loved this chapter. Can't wait for the next one!


Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC)
Redux - King

Thanks so much! This was a big emotional climax for the story, so I'm thrilled it payed off for you.

Next one on the way! ;)

Posted by: DIO (ebutts)
Posted at: July 31st, 2008 12:25 am (UTC)
A 1000 Words - J/E

Herein, is where I beg for your noble and patient forgiveness, for my having been silently LOVING every minute of this whole piece and not finding a moment in which to tell you both. Between buying a house, and a car, and having said car total-ed and fighting with insurance companies, it's been a pretty bleak and miserable summer. Thank you both SO much for this lovely masterpiece which has been a treasured distraction from everything else.

And now, finally finding a moment to comment, I'm almost overwhelmed! This story is everything AWE should have been, and more. I love what you're doing with everybody's story, and how much you have developed each character and their motivations. Jack/Beckett - FABULOUS; Teague - OUTSTANDING; and of course, I have untold amounts of love for the way you write J/E...and the way you've written W/E as well...I think you've done a brilliant job of handling the pain of it all, and still demonstrating how they care for each other. Perhaps the hardest end to a relationship comes when the parties still have a level of love, even if it's a different form of it, for one another.

I noticed the discussion about the themes of forgiveness and love in the last chapter, and they've got my little brain cooking away. Especially in light of this chapter, I have to wonder about Elizabeth's incapacity to forgive Mercer. Not that I'm advocating that she should at all - I just wonder how in the framework of this story this will affect her. I also wonder about each characters' capacity to forgive themselves...

On to lighter things, though (if such a thing exists here, at the end of the world) WOW WOW WOW at the emotional roller coaster you took us on in this chapter! Squees of delight and gasps of shock abound in my living room this afternoon - luckily, only residents of the four legged variety were here to judge me as crazy. I cannot wait to see how things progress, and I'm eagerly anticipating Sunday (and the reactions of other denizens of the Cove to Jack's return).

Brilliant!

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)
Redux - Assassin

Wow, fabulous comments, thanks so much. :) I really appreciate you finding a moment to drop us a line in your hectic life - I know exactly how it can be!

So pleased you're enjoying the story, and I'm thrilled that you picked up on the theme of forgiveness because it's pretty essential to our story. Keep it in mind for the upcoming chapters too. ;)

So glad you enjoyed the reunion, and hope it didn't frighten the cats and/or dogs!

More to come on Sunday, which I hope you'll enjoy! And, again, thanks so much for reading and commenting. :)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: July 31st, 2008 02:22 am (UTC)

SO. MUCH. LOVE. ♥

*flails*

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
Redux - Calypso

Thank you! *g*

Posted by: megcantsleep (megcantsleep)
Posted at: July 31st, 2008 03:46 am (UTC)

This chapter?
PERFECTION.

The reunion between Jack and Elizabeth was absolutely gorgeous.
I love the relationship between Teague and Will, as well. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it, before. I'm kind of hoping Will will go back to the Cove!

Anyway.....guhhhh.
I'm going away this weekend, and am already trying to figure out a way to get myself to a computer on Sunday. There's no way I'm missing the next one!

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
Redux - Musician

Thank you! So pleased you enjoyed this - especially our take on Will and Teague. I'm saying nothing about Will's fate, but Teague would certainly like him to go back to the Cove...

Hope you enjoy Sunday's chapter - whenever you get to read it! And thanks, as ever, for taking the time to read and let us know your thoughts. :)

Posted by: djarum99 (djarum99)
Posted at: July 31st, 2008 06:10 am (UTC)
jeburn

Shipwreck City held its breath and not even the heavens could cry.

Oh, that was gorgeous. Loved the beach scene - so tender, and so heartbreaking.

“Then it seems we've both got something to fight for after all, love.”

Heartbreaking. One storm over and another just begun. Wonderful, lyric work, ladies. Champagne, strawberries, chocolate, and a zillion virtual roses to you both ♥ ♥


Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 07:46 pm (UTC)
redux - Jack

As always, thank you. :) Glad you liked the beach scene, because we reworked it from the draft you first read, so I'm pleased it worked.

Another storm just begun indeed... ;)

Posted by: lady_linnet (lady_linnet)
Posted at: July 31st, 2008 07:57 am (UTC)
sparrabeth because:

You not only have Jack's character down, you have his essence down too, if that makes sense. Especially in this chapter, the characters are absolutely stunning, I love it :D

Cannot wait for the update!

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 07:48 pm (UTC)
Redux - Song

Wow, that's a fabulous compliment, thank you so much. It's excellent to know you feel that we've captured the characters, because it's something we really tried to do. :)

Thanks for reading, and for taking the time to comment, it's really appreciated. :)

Posted by: The Deep Blue Ocean (creativeideas)
Posted at: July 31st, 2008 10:46 am (UTC)

Oh so happy Jack is back *bounces* and the J/E was sooo beautiful *melts*. I have a sneaky feeling you have another trick up your sleeve with regards to the Captain of the Flying Dutchman but even if it is Will I won't be sad. I don't see that role as tragic, quite the opposite - very noble if done by the right person - although I'm pretty sure that's a minority view :-). Looking forward to seeing what happens next :-)

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC)
Redux - Blacksmith

So glad you enjoyed the J/E, and as for the rest, my lips are sealed! ;)

More will be revealed in the next six chapters - I really hope you enjoy them! And thanks, as always, for taking the time to read and comment. :)

Posted by: Anne (ladyofthesilent)
Posted at: July 31st, 2008 12:07 pm (UTC)
Rain

It's far too hot to work here, so I thought I could just as well enjoy your latest chapter :)

First of all, I really liked the approaching thunderstorm as an atmospheric background for what happened in this chapter.

Shipwreck City held its breath and not even the heavens could cry.

This line sums it up rather nicely. How fitting you had at least part of the tension relieved when Jack and Elizabeth kissed on the beach! Colours and nature can be a very powerful tool to emphasise on the characters' emotions; you've done a really great job at evoking a scenario that goes so well with what happens inside the ones involved in the final battle.

Jack Sparrow had burned brighter than any man and without his brilliance, without his wild embracing of life, the sun had set forever.

I loved this line, especially the "his wild embracing of life"-part. Oh yes ... *sighs* ... you've done him justice here. That's Jack!

She sought one man today, her life was narrowed to vengeance alone, and she cared not how soon she achieved her purpose.

So many similarities between Jack and Elizabeth here! When we first met Jack, his life was narrowed to vengeance as well! Elizabeth seems to be dwelling in his footsteps now, and I really like how you've made her become a younger version of Jack, proned to every mistake he's made himself.

And if they did, would the freedom for which they fought die too? Or would it burn brighter elsewhere, even as Shipwreck Cove smouldered in ruins?

I love the notion that they're actually fighting for freedom, not for piracy.

The description of Elizabeth finally discovering she truly loved Jack was heartwrenching.I guess you sometimes have to lose something to discover how much it actually meant to you ...

My favourite part of this chapter (apart from the J/E-reunion) has to be the dialogue between Will and Teague. This is a completely new take on their relationship, and I am still astounded by the depth it gives to both their characters. Especially Teague who has lost one son to gain another had me sitting in front of my monitor with teary eyes.

Your take on Bootstrap is interesting as well, and as much as I love the character, I cannot help but agree with what Teague had to say about him. Will shouldn't even consider throwing away his life for a parent who'd never have done the same for him. Still, knowing Will, he'd probably stick to his promise, so I really can't wait to see which twists and turns you've still hidden up your sleeve, here.

Black hair lay strewn across the sand, unbound and un-braided. The man’s face was turned away from her, his lean body bare and his golden skin unmarked – no ink, no scars.

I KNEW it!!!! That's exactly how I pictured his return from Calypso's realm. All naked, no scars, no braids ... *sighs*
What a beautiful picture!

Their reunion, their kiss ... it was all so beautiful, so intense I really don't know what else to say.

Amazing job, my favourite chapter so far (but then, I've said this about most of the chapters ;) )

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
Redux - Musician

Squee! As always, your comments are right on the money - and so much fun to read! Thank you.

Laura and I did a doubletake at your comment about Jack's return in the previous chapter - we thought you must have borrowed our brains! ;) Really glad we didn't disappoint on that one.

And I'm loving that you are enjoying the interactions between Will and Teague. In our story they have a special connection born of their elemental talents and we wanted to explore that a little, I'm thrilled that it works for you.

More of everything to come, so I hope you continue to enjoy the story!

Posted by: DC (drillingcat)
Posted at: July 31st, 2008 01:07 pm (UTC)
capn jack pic CotBP

the raw emotion from liz and jack hit me right there ...

Posted by: SalR323 (salr323)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 08:00 pm (UTC)
redux - Jack

Thanks hon! Your icon hit me right there too...;)

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