-Everything You Want by Vertical Horizon
Looking back on everything, James knew he should have known Elizabeth was nothing but trouble. But no matter how much his conscience wanted to curse her name, to claim that his downfall, his disgrace was all by her hand, he couldn't.
He wanted to say that she'd made the biggest mistake of her life by turning away his hand, but he knew that no matter how smart of a match they were, he could never make her happy.
She would never want to wait onshore for him. He might not have even made her, but he knew gossip made her miserable, and a commodore's wife who insists on tagging along on her husband's voyages would only attract all kinds of negative attention.
As much as he wanted to think things would have been better with her, he knew she would only be miserable with him, and he couldn't live with that.
-Fourth of July by Fall Out Boy
When she found him in the pigsty in Tortuga, he almost thought she was a hallucination, brought on by rum and the ceaseless onslaught of yearning dreams. She held his face out of the mud and although she was disguised as a cabin boy, she might as well have been an angel to his eyes.
Later in their voyage, they spoke on the deck of the Pearl, and an argument turned into her huffing angrily and grabbing the sides of his face, tugging him into a kiss that nearly cost his consciousness.
They didn't look each other in the eye for the rest of the voyage. James was glad for it. He didn't think he could stand it if she took this any further.
-Parachute by Jaymes Young
Elizabeth stepped down the steps from Sao Feng's quarter's and James' heart leapt up in his throat. She ran into his arms, crying his name and he could have died at that very moment and been content.
Then she seethed at him, with venom he was very much accustomed to, that her father was dead. He stumbled back in genuine shock, his heart plummeting in his chest as he saw the hate in her eyes. He hadn't known, but that wasn't going to be enough for her.
In the following days, he tried to catch her eyes through her bars, but she avoided him like the plague. Not that he blamed her.
He looked out the porthole one night, catching his reflection in the glass, and discovered that he couldn't live under the command of Beckett. He went to the brig, and fully prepared for the disdain in her eyes as he neared the bars.
-All You Had To Do Was Stay by Taylor Swift
Elizabeth couldn't believe it when she heard the words coming out of her mouth. She stood on the deck of the Dauntless in her cremoline, looking up at James and offering her hand in marriage.
He almost didn't believe her; she could see it in his expression.
He took the ship to Isle de Muerta, rescued her Will.
And then Jack was to be hung.
Will saved him, and as they stood at the battlements, Elizabeth stared down at James as he asked if this was what she wanted. She answered easily, and she could see his expression fall, although he betrayed nothing.
She hardly thought twice about it; James was nothing but a dear friend.
-Happier by Marshmello, Bastille
It struck him like a cannonball even as he confirmed his deepest fears. She lifted her chin and said, "It is," and he nodded squarely.
He managed to hold face, by some act of God. He betrayed nothing all throughout their pursuit of Jack Sparrow, all until the hurricane.
They had been so close for months, trailing the Black Pearl so closely. It was then that the crew started to see the Commodore start to crack.
The rain came down in sheets, but he stayed at the helm, yelling down at his crew as they blew from the deck like leaves of paper. His first mate called for them to turn back, that they'd never make it through, but James persisted, his grip on the wooden rail turning his knuckles white.
It was only when they told him how many they'd lost when he lost his composure.
They couldn't find him the day after.
-One of the Drunks by Panic! At The Disco
Elizabeth could hardly believe it when she saw James reeling in the tavern, his wig ruined and sitting askew on his head, his uniform torn and dirtied almost beyond recognition, his face covered in dirt and god-knows-what.
She crashed a bottle over his head, sending him toppling to the floor where one of the bartenders threw him outside with the pigs.
She bit her thumb and went outside to him after a spell, lifting his head from the mud and almost melting as she saw the disbelief in his eyes.
"Oh James, what has the world done to you?"
She was surprised by the pity in her voice.
-Kamikaze by WALK THE MOON
Sao Feng's crew scampered onto the rope, but Elizabeth lingered behind. He turned towards her and saw the expected spite in her gaze.
She was dressed in an oriental robe, her hair a mess framing her dirty face, but she had never seemed more stunning.
When she told him to come with them, he almost did. But from the corner of his eye, he caught a glimpse of one of Davy Jones' crew coming to confront them.
He lied. She caught on. He turned to face her, and for the first time she saw true panic in his eyes.
She almost tugged him along. He kissed her, and she let him.
Bootstrap Bill came around the corner, and Elizabeth stayed behind James.
James urged her to leave, but instead she tugged them both over the side, yanking the rope along with her. The water was dreadfully cold, but James' arms made it a tad more bearable.
-If I Could Turn Back Time by Cher
James often thought of what he could have done differently. A little too often, if he were being perfectly honest.
To start off, he might have paid Elizabeth more attention at her debut. However, his occupation often took him away from shore, and more often than not, he missed the balls she attended.
He might not have called marrying her an achievement in his proposal (as she so helpfully pointed out many, many times, drunk off rum in the galley of the Black Pearl while they searched for Davy Jones' heart).
He might not have taken the heart to Beckett. Yes, that had to be one of his deepest regrets. No amount of rum or bitterness could have excused the ruin that gesture brought.
-Blame by Bastille
Elizabeth knew, deep in the back of her mind, that James had to blame her for his misfortune.
She had broken off their engagement, after he'd seemed so pleased to earn her hand. Although, she did not favor the idea of being some token to be handed off after he'd rescued Will.
And yet, although she had expected spite, she saw surprise, maybe even a hint of a smile as she descended the stairs from Sao Feng's cabin and ran into familiar arms.
She, however, could not let go of her father's death so easily. She pushed her way out of the hug with a clenched jaw, joining her new crew and taking in the look of confusion on his face.
-You're so Vain by Carly Simon
In one of his drunken stupors in Tortuga, James rambled to one of his fellow barflies, "Y'know, I might have tugged the moon down from the sky for her, back then."
He let out a pathetic cackle and tipped back his pint of ale, rubbing his chin with the back of his uniform sleeve as he said, "I still remember the look on her face, just standing there in this blacksmith's arms."
The bartender passed him another pint as he slapped down another coin, taking another generous sip before saying, "She's got hair like spun gold. Walks like a damn goddess, even in breeches."
His fellow drunks laughed raucously and jostled his shoulders, but he simply smirked at them, throwing back the rest of his pint and knowing that a few pints later, he would be reeling in the back alley and cursing his own idiocy.