(OT: It wasn't the amount of time that was the problem. It was the emotion that I didn't want to this fanfic to end just yet... That I really wanted to do this chapter justice without leaving you hanging or wanting more before or after. I did my best because I think, no matter where you end it, whether you carry it after the end credits scene or end it like in the movie, the audience will still be thinking, "What happened after that?" So, I ran with my instincts for this scene. I think it might be simpler, language-wise, than my other chapters... But maybe that is just me. It is mostly Elizabeth, but I couldn't just leave Will out of the FINAL chapter. I mean, really, I am definately not that silly. The last lines are the bursts of emotion. The heat and the hearts are returned, literally and figuratively, and they were reunited. Hopefully that comes across without actually saying it. heh
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the reviews and encouragement. You've no idea how much that did help me want to keep writing! Enjoy... And I suppose farewell for now. I'm starting with a poem first... That I found recently that is much sadder than the actual W/E story but definately relates in my opinion...)
Now we have met, we have look, we are safe;
Return in peace to the ocean, my love;
I too am part of that ocean, my love;we are not so much separated;
Behold the great rondure;the cohesion of all, how perfect!
But as for me, for you, the irresistible sea is to separate us,
As for an hour, carrying us diverse;yet cannot carry us diverse for ever;
Be not impatient;a little space;Know you, I salute the air, the ocean and the land,
Every day, at sundown, for your dear sake, my love.
Elizabeth propped both bony elbows on her knees, her lungs filling with light and boundless air, like when she slumbered alone in her queen-sized bed. The lady glanced to the open leather and bronze-lined trunk that overflowed with her winter clothing, staring at the thin jackets and trousers. How long had it been since she had tidied her chamber or smoothed the cotton sheets on her bed? She couldn't recollect a time after William's birth when she cared how her furniture was angled or when her pillows were arranged.
She rose from the forest green settee, the walls a paler, similar shade and her short heels clicking against the hardwood floors as she passed through the entryway. She paused at the polished looking-glass and fiddled with her loosely pinned locks, bleached from the abundant exposure to the sun, and fingered the few tresses curling beneath her jaw-line. The woman tugged at the rim of her sleeveless vest, satisfied with her ensemble but irritated by the design of her hair. She had snapped several pins in to secure the bun, no matter its mussed appearance, and her locks were hardly lustrous due to her calming swim that morning so, at first, she did not wish for Will to see her in the least bit unkempt. Ignoring the tolling of the grandfather clock in the drawing room, Elizabeth released her locks from the curly bun, clasped a few silken strands, and then fastened her hair partially, leaving her slightly greasy locks to bounce at her shoulders. It was better. No where near as lovely as it was usually, but it was certainly improved from the bun, flattering her delicate features. She continued into the corridor, nodding to the plump maid who hurriedly greeted her.
"Evenin', Mrs. Turner," she said.
With her gaze glancing past the woman, Elizabeth searched the open drawing room and the adjoining parlor for her son. No use. "Have you seen William?"
"I believe the lad's upstairs, Ma'am. He's been chatterin' all day."
"Ah, thank you," Elizabeth said, gliding around the maid and grasping the oak railing of the staircase. She had long ago forsaken propriety, including her father's rule against screaming in the house, and the blazing sun was already bidding the pair's presence. She leaned into the command as she shouted, "William!" She heard the clomping of bare feet and the rattle of his closet, and Elizabeth lifted one foot, placing it on the nearest step. "William!" she cried again.
"Just a minute," he said, although it emerged as a murmur to the mother.
Elizabeth turned and strode toward the locked door, her teeth grinding against one another. It was almost time, and she could still hear her son shuffling in his bedchamber, yanking on his boots. William abruptly charged out of his room, banged the door shut, and galloped toward the stairs.
"Don't run, now."
He then moved a little slower, his footsteps heavy in the awkward boots as he planted the tricorne hat on his brown head.
"Well, come along, then." The woman's voice was stern. Not in the least bit soft or kind to her only child, and William's lip curled in partial confusion and anticipation. Did she want him to make haste or take his time? His little legs lifted a little faster, and Elizabeth's hand wrapped around the bronze doorknob.
Elizabeth suddenly heard herself barking those commands to her son, and she shook her head as she ambled onto the wide dirt path. Why was she angry? No, it wasn't anger that was flushing into her face. It was anxiety that, for an entire decade, she was misled. Elizabeth hadn't anticipated that emotion. Resolve, excitement, but not anxiety. She didn't doubt it. Thousands of days, millions of seconds, the swelling feeling during the holidays, and she had never thought… Had never pondered the fact that he would not come. She assured herself and closed her eyes, thinking back to their one blessed day together when they had promised to believe that the curse would be broken and that their martial felicity would resume. She crossed her arms as William trotted around her, a smile plastered across his face.
"Aren't you coming?" he asked, little and sweet.
"Of course," Elizabeth said with a pursed grin, and she followed the boy down the path, dust swirling at her feet and drifting up her brown skirt that flapped tranquilly in the breeze. She had made a point of not wearing many layers… It would be easier access later, especially for her own and Will's pleasure.
"Will we wait on the beach?" William asked.
Elizabeth shook her head, and the pair meandered away from Shipwreck Cove's vibrant, grating city and after flipping her skirt up to her knees, the woman cautiously scaled the jagged boulders leading to the beach. She offered her hand to the lad, and he eagerly took it as he scrambled to his mother's side. The two strolled hand in hand for a time along the gritty shore, until William finally released Elizabeth's clammy palm and trotted to the water's edge, his brown eyes squinting, looking for his father in the distance.
"Sunset, my love. No sooner or later," she said, but the boy didn't bother to glance over his shoulder. He walked closer toward the water, his eyes bulging as the white caps of the whirling waves lunged toward him. Elizabeth crept up on her son, pulling him back by the waist when the wave crashed, and they both giggled, one for the surprise and the other for the reaction. Elizabeth kissed her son's head and then pointed to the towering grass cliffs. "Up there," she said, and she strode toward the bottom.
Elizabeth clasped the corners of her skirt, and William skipped around the woman and spun for a moment in the short grasses as the earth was swathed in an eerie green sunlight. She tossed her hair over her shoulder and murmured, "Do you remember the song Jack and I taught you?"
"Of course I do. How could I forget?" he said with a keen grin.
The lady began to hum the tune, avoiding the clumps of deep muck and stepping around several flowing ferns that splayed across the mead. She paused as she looked to the distant sea and the gigantic cliff they now stood on, and then she opened her mouth wide and crooned softly:
We're beggars and blighters ad ne-er do-well cads,
Drink up me hearties yo-ho,
Aye, but we're loved by our mummies and dads,
Drink up me hearties yo-ho,
Yo-ho, yo-ho a pirate's life for me.
Elizabeth's voice dropped off, but William picked it right back up, trotting past his mother and singing a little louder, obviously hoping it would tempt his father to appear a little earlier.
Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirate's life for me,
We pillage, we plunder, we rifle and loot,
Drink up me hearties, yo-ho.
She thought of her darling husband and his impending arrival. She imagined his black leather boots making deep, heavy prints in the sand, with his glinting sword at his side and his warm smile wrapping her into the night. It was a pleasant image. A blissful, joyous picture she had yearned and dreamed of for ten years. She had only managed a few trips to that strange world of deceased souls and unsettled matters. Once, for her son's birth and the second, three years later because of Captain Jack Sparrow's strange offer. She hadn't questioned it then, and she refused to question it now. Elizabeth continued to climb a little higher as William halted, his voice still floating on the wind.
We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot,
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho,
Elizabeth planted her dainty feet beside her son, and the last phrase that was emitted was soft and carefree, but it came slow and drawled into the seconds and drifted toward the sunset. She stared into the flaring sun that was flashing across the ocean, painting its curse, its blessing, and its time.
Yo-ho Yo-ho a pirate's life for me…
She glanced to her son, who gave her a wary look. He felt her nerves and now, once again, they vibrated along her spine and entered her mind. Would he return… forever?
Yes, she had told him to come back ten years ago.
And he would come. She knew it...
Elizabeth smiled at William, her lips still pressed together, and she outstretched her flapping sleeve, wrapped her hand around William's far shoulder, and pulled him close to her side, adoring his warmth. This was their moment. Her mouth opened slightly, revealing her gleaming, slightly crooked teeth, and her eyes glimmered with tentativeness.
The ball of fire was descending.
Faster now. Sliding into the black abyss that she once longed for.
Her fingers drummed against her son's cotton jacket and then rubbed his thin arm. Don't worry, her gesture meant to say.
It was gone now with a single motion.
And a fiery mass of emerald green light rocketed into the once-horizon and swelled and broadened, making the illumination reflect off of Elizabeth and William's faces. She smiled broadly, subconsciously squeezing the lad's little shoulder, and William looked to her expression, mirroring her excitement. This was all she ever wanted. They would be together, forever, and her sonw ould finally have a present father.
Will embraced his parent's arm in passing and smiled, his white blouse fluttering in the sails' breeze as the Flying Dutchman, its revolting algae vanished and its mood as high as its Captain's, coasted out from the green flash and into the land of the living, the land of the loved. He nodded to Bill as Shipwreck Cove's various structures came into focus, its sandy beaches sparkling in the dropping evening.
"Ten years at sea," Bootstrap murmured.
"An eternity ashore," Will said in an archaic fashion as he released his father's muscular arm and stepped onto the railing. He gripped the braided rope rigging, tilting toward the eclipsing sunset and holding his breath, and his brown locks flickered in the breeze as the silhouette of his lavish bride and loving child came into view. His lips did not part as he smiled toward the beloved pair, and he could admire his love, his Elizabeth, even from afar.
Every aching moment was locked into the deepest corners of his mind and every soul that had whispered their own tales of lost love echoed vibrantly as he valued this mere time. This mere time they had to wait. It was long during it, but now it was fast, it was faster than a single minute, and it was more meaningful than a first kiss or a final adieu. His mighty vessel was gaining on the pair, and he could now see their arching eyebrows and blessed features, so beautiful and poignant and loving. He was home. And as the promise of the future glittered in his Elizabeth's eyes, the muscles in his chest began to thrust, and the vacant spot among his bones was filled, and for the first time, he felt as if he were really breathing, as if he were alive again… And he knew he could keep that promise. They could return to the way they were meant to be. To what they deserved. To what they yearned and longed and desired for from the first grazing of their lips. He felt absorbed in a certain bliss, and as his feet brushed against the gritty shore, darkening as the light disappeared, he whispered her name, watching the idyllic tears dribble down her cheeks.
"You came back," she said, taking his hands in her own and wrapping the other around him. "You came back."