This is just a little story I wrote one night when I was in a creative mood. I was listening to "I will not forget you," by Sarah McLachlan and I thought that it was perfect for a Will/Elizabeth one-shot. This is just a what-if. What if Will couldn't get the ocean out of his mind? How would Elizabeth feel?

For those of you who have read my SM stories, yes, I am working on the next chapter of For Love or Duty. Anyway, enjoy! And don't forget to let me know what you think.

I'd recommend listening to or reading the lyrics for "I will not forget you".

Special thanks go to JaSSerS for beta reading this for me. Thank you, Jas!


Elizabeth Turner sat at the window of her old room in her father's house and stared out at the sea. She watched the ships come, and the ships leave, and how the sun sparkled over the water throughout the course of the day. She waited for one ship in particular, hoping against hope to see its familiar outlines on the water, but that ship never came back.

The Black Pearl. The fastest ship on the Caribbean Sea, and probably, she suspected, the fastest ship on any ocean period. It belonged to one Captain Jack Sparrow, a pirate, and was currently the home of her husband.

Will.

Elizabeth's dark eyes misted over with tears. She closed them, allowing two crystal drops to slip down her cheeks. We were so close.

Images and memories of her handsome, loving husband flitted through her mind. She remembered the love in his eyes whenever he looked at her…..the passion and tenderness in his kisses…the little things he always did to please her.

She recalled all the nights she'd woken up and then just stayed awake watching him sleep. Watching the steady rise and fall of his chest. Seeing how peaceful he looked lost in his dreams. Not all of them were pleasant, she knew, but she loved it when he smiled in his sleep.

They'd fought so hard to marry. Governor Swann had been against them at first, but when eventually they convinced him that they truly loved each other, he removed most of his objections. Though Commodore Norrington was more or less heartbroken, Elizabeth had always privately thought he had been more infatuated with her than actually in love. He would recover. He hadrecovered. Just the week before he had married another local belle. And the local townspeople had come around after a while. A union between a lady and a blacksmith had taken some adjusting to.

But somehow, inexplicably, despite all they'd gone through for each other, she and Will had begun to drift apart. At first it was hardly noticeable. Then gradually, Elizabeth came to realize that her beloved husband was restless. He threw himself into his sword making to make up for it, yet it slowly lost its ability to help him. There would be days when she barely saw him at all, and when he did come home, he fidgeted and puttered around aimlessly.

Elizabeth opened her eyes and watched as the sun slipped down behind the horizon. She needed Will. Needed him to hold her, to kiss her. But more than that, she needed him to talk to. They'd had such wonderful discussions, and had laughed so much. The young woman half-smiled, remembering their merriment.

Will Turner had left his mark on her soul forever. No matter how old she grew, or where she went, she would always remember him. Always love him. No one else could ever possibly take his place in her heart. She wondered if perhaps she'd affected him the same way.

Elizabeth pressed her hand over her mouth as her memory took her back over a year previously, to the morning her world had shattered. Her shoulders shook slightly with suppressed sobs, and she fought to keep them back.

I should have known something would happen.

The Black Pearl had docked the day before and Jack Sparrow had found a way to get in touch with the Turners.

Will was so happy to see him.

The two had sat down over Elizabeth's home-cooked meal and laughed, joked, told stories, and reminisced. She had sat there next to Will, laughing along with them—never realizing that this would be the last time she saw her husband.

After Jack left that night, Will had paced restlessly, his dark eyes roaming around their small house in agitation. She'd finally convinced him to come to bed, but he lay awake for a long time, tossing and turning. Around dawn, Elizabeth felt him slide out of their bed, but there was nothing unusual about that. He often rose early to go to the blacksmith shop.

If only I'd realized what was happening.

She'd gone back to sleep, awakening some time later to the sound of Will shutting the door to their room. She had started to doze off again—it was still just past dawn—but then she jolted awake as her mind registered what was happening. Will was usually at the shop by now. He wouldn't have been at the house still. Slightly alarmed, she sat up in the bed and her eyes fell on a letter sitting propped up on the little table that stood beside their bed.

In that instant, I knew.

Elizabeth threw the covers off, snatched up her robe and flung it over her long nightgown. Then she grabbed the letter and ran barefoot down the stairs, out the door, and into the streets of early morning Port Royal.

I knew it wasn't proper for a lady to run around outside in her nightclothes. But I didn't care.

She'd run to the blacksmith shop first, in wild hope, but all was dark and silent. Then, her fear lending wings to her feet, she dashed to the docks. She dodged horse-drawn carts, pedestrians, and other obstacles, ignoring the astonished looks she received.

Panting, Elizabeth made it to the dock where Jack had said he'd anchored the Pearl. It was at one end of the port, out of the way mostly, which, considering the Black Pearl's occupation, was rather thoughtful. The berth was empty. She looked out onto the water, and made out the Pearl's distinctive shape dwindling away on the horizon.

"WILL!" she screamed.

It was useless to shout. I knew he couldn't hear me, but I tried anyway, in a desperate attempt to bring him back to me.

She stood there until the ship was out of sight and then fell to her knees. "No. Oh, no. Will, please don't leave me. Don't leave me."

Blinking back tears, Elizabeth opened his letter with shaky hands and began to read.

My dearest Elizabeth,

This is not easy for me to write, but I can only hope that you will understand why I have gone. The sea calls to me. It's in my blood, you know, and I have to follow. Don't blame Jack. My leaving isn't his fault. It would have happened sooner or later. I just cannot stand not to feel the wind in my hair and the smell of salt water in the air, and the feel of a boat moving beneath my feet. The sea is as much a part of me as you are and I cannot deny it any longer.

I will come back to you, Elizabeth, I promise. I love you.

Farewell,

William Turner

The letter fluttered to the deck.

Elizabeth buried her face in her hands as hot tears streamed down her cheeks. Abruptly, she stood and glared out at the sea. "You can't have him!" she cried. "YOU CANNOT HAVE HIM!" The waves lapped gently against the dock in reply, as if gently admonishing her that such words were useless.

It hurt so much. He was gone, and I hadn't even been able to say goodbye. He hadn't even said goodbye. Not really.

"William Turner, how could you do this to me? At the very least, you could have taken me with you!" She turned pain-filled eyes on the sparkling surface of the sea. Usually gazing out at the waves gave her a sense of peace and tranquility, but she had no such feelings now. "I don't want to go back to my father! I want to go with you!"

Elizabeth came to her senses and realized that she was clad in her nightclothes, standing on a dock at the edge of Port Royal. Slowly, she bent and picked up the letter. Then she clutched her robe close about her slender frame and quickly made her way back to the relative privacy of their little house.

I cried for hours. I don't think I've ever cried that much in my life before.

He hurt me so badly. But I—I can't let go. I love him still. I'll always love him.

Governor Swan had not been pleased. He'd raged for hours about how that worthless boy should have taken better care of her. How he shouldn't have gone off to sea when he had a perfectly good blacksmith shop. Despite herself, Elizabeth defended her husband's choice. He'd condemned her to go back to the life she'd had before, but she still loved him too much to agree with her father's opinion. And deep down, she held onto a slim hope that he would return for her.

The Governor had refused to let her live in their little house by herself. Acquiescing to his wishes, she rented out both it and Will's blacksmith shop. She'd taken one last stroll inside, fingering the finished swords and recalling all of the happy memories that she associated with it. Then, head held high and without a backwards glance, she'd taken up residence under her father's roof again.

As twilight descended on the island, a sad, wistful smile crept over Elizabeth's face. She'd had over a year to think about it, and she had decided that Will reminded her of the old stories of elves she vaguely remembered hearing in her childhood. Once the elves came within sight or smell of the ocean, they were never able to shake an intense longing for the sea. In some ways, Will is like that.

Elizabeth sat at the window until the light was gone from the sky and the stars twinkled brightly. Then, reluctantly, she got up from her seat and readied for bed. But she lay awake for a long time, staring out at the sky. Will Turner, wherever you are, I want you to know that I will always love you.

"I'll come back to you," he'd said. Well, then she would wait. Will was not a man who made promises lightly. If he said he would do something, he did. In the meantime, she would struggle to keep on going, and to keep her heart from shattering into pieces. But when he did come back, that man was going to get the scolding of his life.

She traced the slim scar that crossed her palm and closed her eyes. As she drifted off to sleep, Elizabeth imagined, for fleeting moment, that she was cradled in Will's arms. She knew in the back of her mind that it was wishful thinking—that when she woke up she'd be alone again—but for the moment, it didn't matter.

I'll never forget you, Will.


Yeah, I know it's a little depressing. But I know it's happened to people before. shrugs I was in kinda a strange mood when I wrote it. I'd appreciate input, so click on the little 'review' button down at the bottom of the page…otherwise I might have to call up Captain Jack Sparrow and sic him on you! laughs maniacally btw, anyone catch the little reference?