The final chapter guys! We've made it! Thank you so much to all who have read my story! And a special thank you to those who have reviewed! It means a lot to hear my readers. So enjoy the last chapter!
I sat quietly in my cell, my back pressed against the hull. I felt empty. I had just lost my captain and now I was headed to Port Royal to be hung. I closed my eyes, remembering all of my favorite moments with Barbossa. I remembered all the times we spent sparring as he taught me how to fight, the hours he took out of his duties to show me how to navigate, all the nights he had invited me to dine with him. I recalled all the times we teased each other, the quiet moments we spent just staring out at the sea. A lone tear slid down my cheek. I hadn't realized til now just how much Barbossa had meant to me, and now I would never get the chance to tell him. I opened my eyes and stared down at the golden pendant Barbossa had gifted me. It was beautiful, an intricate oval with a small ruby in the middle, a snake wrapped around the entire thing, the head creating a loop at the top for the chain to hook through. I caressed the snake's head with my thumb.
"I'm sorry about Barbossa." I raised my eyes to Jack who was in the cell across from me.
"What?" I croaked. I cringed inwardly. My voice sounded rough and I'm sure my eyes were red and puffy from crying.
"I'm sorry about killing Barbossa," Jack repeated. "But it had to be done."
I scoffed. "You didn't have to do anything. You wanted to kill him."
The corner of his lips twitched in a halfhearted smile. "Ya got me there. Been waiting ten years to shoot that scoundrel." I shot him a glare and he winced. "Sorry." He grew solemn again. "It wasn't hard to see he meant a lot to ya."
"Yeah," I sighed, leaning my head back against the hull. "I wished I had been smart enough to realize that earlier. Then again, I probably wouldn't have been brave enough to tell him anyway."
"I thought for sure you were going to kill me," Jack admitted.
"I probably would have if it weren't for Abby," I confessed. "As much as I may hate you, I couldn't bring myself to hurt her."
"How exactly would killing me hurt her?"
I shot him a deadpanned look. "Boy you're thick." Jack's only response was a raised eyebrow. "She fancies you, idiot. Even a blind person could see that. Mind you, her taste in men leaves a lot to be desired." Jack gave me an offended look. "But after losing my chance, I wasn't going to be the one to deprive her of her's, no matter how much I hate the object of her affections."
"Well, her taste in men is admittedly better than yours," Jack shot back, though there was no real heat to his words.
I sighed heavily. "I suppose it doesn't really matter now. Barbossa's dead and we're both headed to the gallows. Not exactly how I pictured my life turning out."
"One's life rarely turns out how one might expect. But therein lies the adventure, don't it? Imagine how boring life would be if everything always went according to plan." It was surprising to hear such words of wisdom coming from a man like Sparrow. I leaned back against the hull, caressing Barbossa's pendant as we lapsed into a thoughtful silence.
Drums sounded as the execution began. I was standing between my father and Elizabeth as we watched the proceedings. Jack stood under the noose while Evie waited off to the side for her turn.
"Jack Sparrow…be it known that you have been charged, tried and convicted…" The official droned, recounting Jack numerous crimes.
"Captain!" I muttered under my breath. The official continued to read off Jack's crimes, many of which I could account for in his biography. I spotted Will as he made his way through the crowd. Luckily, he had been absolved of his crimes when we returned. He and I together had come up with a plan to set Jack and Evie free. I shifted slightly and felt my sword rub against my leg under my dress.
"This is wrong," Elizabeth said, her gaze on Jack. Norrington didn't reply.
"Commodore Norrington is bound by the law. As are we all," our father responded. The official continued and Jack smiled as he mentioned something about impersonating a cleric. I made a mental note to ask Jack about that one if today's plan went well. I saw a flutter of blue and spotted Cotton's parrot landing on a flagpole. I smiled slightly. Will apparently also noticed the parrot and made his way towards us.
"Governor Swann. Commodore. Abby," he greeted. I smiled and nodded in acknowledgement. Will turned his attention to Elizabeth, but she completely ignored him. "Elizabeth." My sister looked at him in surprise. "I should have told you every day from the moment I met you...I love you." Elizabeth's jaw went slack as Will moved off. Our father and Norrington glanced at Elizabeth in shock. It took all my willpower not to squeal and jump for joy. I had been waiting for them to finally admit their feelings for far too long. I turned my attention back to the gallows as the drum roll began and the noose was placed around Jack's neck. Will began to push through the crowd, eliciting noises of complaints from multiple people.
"Lizzie, faint!" I whispered as Norrington moved forward, seeming to notice that Will was up to something.
"Marines! -" Norrington started to order.
"I can't breathe!" Elizabeth gasped, collapsing.
"Lizzie!" I cried, feigning concern. Our father and Norrington knelt next to her and our father began fanning her with his hat.
"MOVE!" Will yelled as he pushed through the crowd. He drew one of his swords. A few women screamed and people quickly moved out of his way. The drum role ended and Elizabeth sat up suddenly, wanting to see if it worked. Will threw his sword just as the trap door dropped. The sword embedded itself in the wood, giving Jack something to stand on.
"What...?" Our father wondered, confused. He groaned when he realized she was faking and Norrington ran off to command his men. Will raced up the steps of the gallows and engaged the executioner. Will's sword was knocked away and he ducked, causing the executioner to swing his axe and cut Jack's rope. Will then knocked the executioner off the gallows and on top of Norrington and his men.
"Sorry, father," I apologized and ran off, drawing my cutlass as I went. I ignored my father's call as I raced for the gallows, pushing and shoving through the panicked crowd. Evie met me at the bottom of the stairs.
"What are you doing?" She demanded as I cut her bonds.
I smiled. "You didn't really think I would let my best friend die without a fight, did you?" I handed her my cutlass. "Now go! Follow Will and Jack!" Evie smiled gratefully and ran off. I stayed behind, out of the way of the fighting. Jack tossed one end of his rope to Will and they made their way to the ramparts, using the rope to trip the Marines as they went. Evie blocked a few swings with her cutlass and ran after the two men. Will and Jack jumped and rolled out of the way of two soldiers and Evie clobbered a third. The three finally skidded to a halt as their path was cut off by a row of soldiers with muskets pointed at them. I rushed over to find Norrington with his sword at Will's throat. My father and Elizabeth ran up behind me.
"I thought we might have to endure some ill-conceived manner of escape attempt," Norrington spat at Will. "But not from you."
"On our return to Port Royal I granted you clemency, and this is how you thank me? By throwing in your lot with them? They're pirates!" My father said angrily.
"And good people," Will countered, throwing down his sword. Jack grinned and gloated to the soldiers and Evie rolled her eyes at the pirate. "If all I have achieved here is that the hangman will earn three pairs of boots instead of two...So be it. At least my conscience will be clear."
"You forget your place, Turner," Norrington growled.
Will smirked. "It's right here - between you and Jack and Evie."
"As is mine," I declared, moving to stand in front of Evie.
"And mine," Elizabeth added, standing next to Will and grabbing his hand.
"Elizabeth! Abby!" Our father gasped. Norrington froze as he saw Elizabeth's and Will's linked hands. "Lower your weapons! For goodness sake, put them down!" The soldiers slowly lowered their muskets.
"So this is where your heart truly lies, then?" Norrington asked Elizabeth.
"It is," Elizabeth confirmed. I felt bad for the Commodore. He looked like he had been punched in the gut. I may not have agreed with his methods, but I knew he was a good man, he was just doing what he thought was right.
"Well, I'm actually feeling rather good about this," Jack piped up. He moved to stand in front of my father. "I think we've all arrived at a very special place, eh? Spiritually, ecumenically, grammatically…" My father grimaced as Jack breathed in his face. Jack turned to Norrington. "I want you to know that I was rooting for you, mate. Know that. Elizabeth." Elizabeth looked at the pirate. "It would never have worked between us, darling. I'm sorry, but I've found someone else. Will…" He hesitated, trying to think of what to say. "Nice hat." Will smiled. "Abby." I gave him a questioning look. "The invitation is still open. There's plenty of room aboard my ship." I stared at him, unsure how to answer. I wanted to go with him, but I knew I couldn't leave Evie behind.
"Go with him." I snapped my head to Evie.
"Go with him," she repeated.
"But what about you?"
Evie shrugged. "I'll figure something out."
"I can't just leave you behind!" I protested. "They'll kill you!"
Evie stepped towards me and placed her hands on my shoulders. "Abby, you have the chance to be with the man you love. Don't deny it!" I closed my mouth with an audible snap. "Don't make the same mistake I did." I sighed, thinking over her words. Suddenly, I had an idea.
"Jack, we're bringing Evie with us!'
Jack eyed me suspiciously. "I don't think that's the best idea. How do I know she won't strangle me in my sleep?"
"She's not going to strangle you, are you Evie?" I turned to Evie with a raised eyebrow.
Evie shrugged. "Can't really make any promises." I narrowed my eyes warningly. She sighed heavily, almost sounding tired. "Fine, but he better behave."
I grinned. "That's decided then!" I grabbed her hand and dragged her to Jack who then grabbed my hand and dragged us to the wall.
"Friends! This is the day you will always remember as the day that you -" Jack never finished his sentence as he backed too far and tripped over the edge of the wall, falling into the water below. Evie rolled her eyes and jumped over the side. I turned to my adopted father and Elizabeth.
"Thank you, Governor, for everything. Elizabeth, you were the best sister a girl could ask for. I love you both very much." I turned to Will. "Will, take good care of her." With that, I followed after Jack and Evie. I came up sputtering.
"Now what?" Evie inquired as the three of us treaded water.
"We swim for the ship," I told her.
"Sail ho!" A soldier announced from the fort. We all turned to see the Black Pearl, returned to her pre-curse glory, sailing around a cliff.
"That ship," Jack grinned.
"Race ya!" I shouted. We swam for the ship and Cotton tossed a rope down for us. Jack grabbed the rope and wrapped an arm around my waist.
"Hold on, luv." We were hoisted into the air and Evie quickly grabbed onto the rope below us. We were dropped onto the deck and the crew approached us. "Thought you were supposed to keep to the code," Jack told Gibbs.
"We figured they were more actual...guidelines," Gibbs replied, causing me to grin. Gibbs offered his captain a hand.
Cotton handed Jack his hat. "Thank you."
"Captain Sparrow…" Anamarie called, getting Jack's attention. She walked over and placed Jack's coat on his shoulders. "The Black Pearl is yours." Jack slowly walked over to the wheel and ran a hand fondly over the black wood. He paused, as if suddenly realizing the crew was watching.
"On deck, you scabrous dogs! Hands to braces! Let go and haul to run free…" The crew rushed to obey his orders. I moved to obey, but Jack slid his arm around my waist and drew me to his side. "Where do you think your goin?" He asked, his breath tickling my ear.
"To follow your orders, Captain," I replied.
Jack smiled and hummed appreciatively. "I like it when you call me Captain."
I smirked. "Well, lucky for you, I'll get a chance to say it more now." Suddenly, Jack's lips were on mine. I froze in surprise, but quickly melted into the kiss. I slid my arms around his neck and he let go of the wheel to tangle his other hand in my hair. When he pulled back, I was breathless.
Jack smirked at my expression. "I've been waiting a while to do that."
"Why didn't you do it sooner?"
Jack lifted a hand and stroked my cheek. "I was somewhat preoccupied with other matters."
I smiled mischievously. "Well, then maybe you should do it again to make up for lost time." Jack smirked and obliged, connecting our lips once again. He pulled away again and returned a hand to the wheel, keeping his other arm around my waist.
"Captain Sparrow." We both looked down at Evie on the main deck. "If you hurt her, you're going to wish you kept that piece of Aztec gold." The usual warmth to her green eyes was gone as she gazed cooly at the dreadlocked pirate at my side. Jack gulped and nodded. Evie narrowed her eyes before finally nodding in satisfaction and went to help the crew.
"Scary, that one," Jack said.
"Actually, that was rather mild considering what she did to my last boyfriend," I admitted.
Jack glanced at me with a cocked eyebrow. "Do I even want to know?"
I chuckled and shook my head. "No. She means well, though."
"Well, I better make sure I stay on her good side then." Jack pulled his compass from his belt. "Now... Bring me that horizon…" He glanced at the dial and adjusted the wheel a few degrees. As we sailed, he began humming to himself. "...and really bad eggs... Drink up me hearties, yo ho…" He snapped the compass shut and we were off on our next adventure.