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PotC: 005 Freckles

June 29th, 2008 (10:20 am)

 Title: Ladylike 
Prompt: 005 Freckles
Fandom: Pirates of the Caribbean 
Characters: Elizabeth Swann, Jack Sparrow 
Word count: 703 
Rating: G 
Summary:  It was romantic for a lady to dream of pirates.  But becoming one was out of the question.
Table link: http://airelement.livejournal.com/93583.html

Eight years of living in Port Royal had given Elizabeth’s pale, freckled English rose skin a glowing tan.  The Caribbean had changed her inside, too; confident and self-assured, she was very much the governor’s daughter in spirit now, as well as in blood.

 

Elizabeth Swann was a lady.  She read pirate stories of course, and fantasised about the villains and their roguish deeds.  A lady was expected to be romantic, and there was nothing more romantic than a good pirate story.  Of course, she automatically despised the real pirates captured and hung by the navy, but that was completely different.  Dreadful deeds and immoral ways were only considered attributes in stories.

 

It was hard to stay ladylike sometimes, especially when Will was there.  But he wanted her to remain a lady, and tried to impress her with his gentlemanly ways.  Elizabeth thought she loved him.  Why else would she want to throw herself into his arms and kiss him harder than any tavern wench would have had he ever been to that sort of tavern?

 

That was a bad thing to think, she knew.  She had to observe proper decorum at all times.  Will wouldn’t want her to do something like that.  He would think she was lowering herself to his level and would wish that she had observed the rules of propriety, no matter how many times she visited his dreams.

 

“You and he will never be happy, Lizzie,” Jack had said.  Of course, she’d scoffed and replied with her usual bitter insults, refusing to acknowledge what her heart already knew.  She and Will had such different dreams, different ideas, and different ways of looking at life.  But that didn’t mean that they couldn’t have a happy marriage, did it?

 

Elizabeth had almost slapped Jack when he suggested they get married right there on board the Black Pearl.  It was the most improper thing to ask a lady, especially when said lady was already engaged to another man.  A lady who would already have married her childhood sweetheart if he hadn’t been dragged away.

 

But was she still a lady?  She certainly didn’t look like one, with her man’s clothing and her hair cropped and a smudge of dirt across her cheek where Jack had touched her with hands grimy from gripping the wheel.  She wasn’t behaving like a lady; for the time being, she was a pirate.  And hadn’t she been about to give up her rank to become a blacksmith’s wife?

 

Elizabeth knew she couldn’t be too angry with Jack.  He was only like her, suggesting the most ridiculous schemes to get the object of his lust.  Like she had done with Will.

 

The problem was, she finally realised, that Jack had been right all along.  You couldn’t have a happy marriage based on lust and childhood dreams.  And the word ‘wife’ was becoming more constricting, more hateful every day.  Elizabeth knew she had to make a decision.  Would she bind herself to Will as she had promised, or would she set herself free?

 

Elizabeth Swann had become a pirate.  And pirates broke promises.

 

--------

 

Five years on the open seas had left their mark on Elizabeth.  Lizzie, as she was now.  Gone were the smooth hands that had once held nothing rougher than the smooth wood of an embroidery hoop.  Gone were the dresses, the pretty slippers, and the dainty hairstyles.  Gone was the ring, leaving her freer than she had ever been before.

 

“I look so different…” she murmured to herself, peering into the mirror in Jack’s cabin.  It was hard to see, there being little light given off by the flickering candles, and she had to squint to see her own reflection clearly.

 

“It’s the freckles, luv,” Jack said lazily, reclining on the bed.  Lizzie’s fingers ran over her nose and forehead, searching for a darker splodge marring the smooth tanned skin.  Endless days of sun had darkened her skin to a shade reminiscent of Jack’s colouring.  The once-abundant freckles of her youth had once been evident to anyone who looked closely enough, but now they were gone.

 

“I’m a pirate,” Lizzie said, surprise evident in her voice even after all these years.  And it was true.