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Sail and Souls

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Elizabeth knows her daemon causes unease. It's ever present in the furrowed brows, and dropped smiles; in the slight shuffle that takes place as people try to shield their souls from her.

When she was nine and Hedwig finally settled, with a great cry and ruffle of feathers, the silence was deafening. Her father didn't look her in the eyes for a week, his little terrier skirting away from the piercing gaze of her new shadow anxiously.

After all, what good lady has a hawk as a companion?

One evening, far past the point she should be in bed, she tip-toed down to stand outside his study. Listening intently as he discussed “the issue” with his friends.

The horror in his voice makes her rush frantically upstairs and sob the night away.

No one comments on her puffy eyes, and pale complexion the next day.

No one cares.

The numbing practice of controlling the urge to let Hedwig fly free, becomes so ingrained in her daily ritual that she can almost say it doesn't ache.

That a deep chasm of sorrow doesn't tear her apart, each time she sees the desolate slump of the great bird's wings. When she's forced to tell her, “no you can't see Port Royal from above, you know it makes people nervous.”

Day after day, empty promises of “perhaps tomorrow” slip past her lips; sweet as sugar and twice as sickening.

She's so resigned to her ill fitting fate, as some posh prats pretty song bird, that she doesn't know what to do when Jack Sparrow grabs her from behind.

It's been so many years since someone has held her without fear... the experience is heady.

Being pulled flush against his strong front so foreign a feeling that her head spins, and air comes in short ragged gasps. His hot breath against her neck makes goose-flesh appear, and a shiver run down her spine.

The smile biting his words makes her hyper aware of their audience, of how taboo her proximity to him is.

She can't find it in her heart to care.

When he whispers “it is Elizabeth isn't it?” she bristles. Forcing contempt into her voice as she bitingly corrects him. “It's Miss Swann.”

The irony of them both having bird names, ones which correspond so perfectly with their social rank is not lost on her.

It makes it impossible to stifle a glimmer of excitement.

She prays that no one will notice.

“Miss Swann if you'd be so kind.”

She doesn't want to move, he notices.

“Come, come dear we don't have all day.” The irritated growl in his voice makes the first proper tendril of fear grasp hold of her heart.

When he spins her around, a smug grin of his lips, his effects held carefully in her hands; she looks up at him warily.

“If you'll be very kind,” the implication that she can disincline is laughable. He has a pistol pointed at her head, but the words make her lips twitch anyway. His smile softens slightly in response, taking on a more genuine tilt.

Elizabeth is entranced.

He's so free... she wants it.

Wants to live a life in which she can swagger around and do what she wishes, with nought but a faulty compass to her name, so desperately that she hopes that he will get away.

Maybe then he can offer her a way to escape?

As she fastens his belongings on his person, she casts a curious eye around. Hoping to catch a glimpse of his daemon.

It must be something special.

Meeting his gaze again, the knowing glitter in his dark pools makes her flush. Using her as a shield, he shuffles them so his face is obscured from the watching crowd.

“Looking for something love?” he asks quietly. “A bit of adventure perhaps.” His hand moves slightly, brushing against her neck.

A startled sigh escapes past her lips before she can control her reaction.

His smirk is indecent.

“Where's your daemon?” she mumbles against his collar bone while pulling his belt around his waist.

“Around. Free. That's what you want, isn't it Elizabeth?”

Swallowing nervously a “yes” passes her lips before she can think straight.

The understanding in his gaze makes her want to cry, he's a pirate. He has no right to be so, so... human.

The shuffling of the soldiers behind her, makes her look away from his face. Focusing on tightening the belt.

“Easy on the goods, darling;” he huffs in amusement. 

“You're despicable.” she says loudly, a wave of relief washing over her when he decides to play along. To not publicly call her out on the hypocrisy of the statement.

“Sticks and stones love.”

Hand resting on her shoulder he smiles devilishly. “I saved your life, you saved mine. We're square.” Spinning her back around she is again facing their audience. Flushed and shaking slightly from the cold of the water in her clothes, she looks a disaster.

Her father's concerned face reassures her that her lust for adventure hasn't been given away.

Jack's talking again, but she can't hear what he's saying.

The rush of blood in her ears, sea spray on her legs, and the heat radiating from the flippant man making her want to freeze the moment.

It's the most she's felt in years, and the urge to laugh is strong. She focuses on channeling the emotion into tear welled eyes instead.

Better they think her fragile, than frosty.

Suddenly she's shoved forward, barely being kept from sprawling on the floor by Norrington and her Father.

Looking up she takes in Jack's silhouette as he makes his escape. He's daring, roguish, and so very, very tempting.

She's both relieved and dismayed by the fact that she'll never see him again.

That she'll never meet his mystery daemon...

 

 

Later that night her maid asks how she's holding up, assuming how she must be feeling; like everyone always does.

It takes one stern glare from Hedwig for the woman to scurry from the room, looking exactly like her mouse spirit.

A small chuckle is pulled from her lips at the act.

Looking up at the glowing, gold, eyes of her companion; she asks a question which has plagued her since the earlier pirate incident.

“Why didn't you come?”

“You weren't in danger. Anyway I was busy.”

“Doing what?” Elizabeth asks, mildly insulted by her daemon's lack of concern.

“Talking, a lovely little sparrow flew by and said hello. We ended up gossiping most of the morning.”

“A sparrow? Aren't they tiny?”

“Yes, it was rather odd. But it was polite, and not scared at all.”

It's the last murmured statement which makes Elizabeth instantly forgive Hedwig. Almost no daemon they've ever come across hasn't been at least a little uneasy when faced with the birds sharp, deadly, claws and bright eyes.

The instinctual fear of a predator has meant making friends is near impossible, especially in "proper" circles.

"I'm glad," she says, smiling gently at the preening bird. Before blowing out the light, ready for some rest.

 

 

One hour later she's abducted.

Stolen away by pirates completely different from the warm, mischievous rascal she'd encountered earlier.

Hedwig's presence on her shoulder, makes them mutter uneasily when she walks onto their deck. The coin around her neck prompts grins and vile laughter.

Locked in a cabin, she stands looking out a window as Port Royal disappears in the distance.

“What have we gotten ourselves into?" She asks absently.

Silence is her only answer. Her usually opinionated daemon sulking by the door, while a cold breeze snatches her breathe from her.

Glancing upward she spots the moon; a silver specter, bearing witness to the nights activities neutrally.

"At least I have your company." She musses, before turning. Steeling her spine, and plastering a blank expression on her face.

The pirates wanted a damsel?

Well they weren't getting one.

Hedwig's screech of agreement, makes a brittle smirk stretch across her lips.

Time to fly old friend... time to fly. 

 


Jack has always been a magnet for trouble.

His father used to joke that he was a monkey one moment, and a hyena the next.

No one expects his daemon to be a Sparrow. Small, delicate, breakable.

Rather than look on it as a curse, he cloaks himself in the fact. Taking Sparrow as his name, getting a tattoo of his bird. He asks his friend to listen to conversations, to steal small trinkets for the hell of it.

It always ends well.

His companion having a knack for tough spots, which makes pride swell in his chest whenever it pulls another ridiculous stunt.

Grinning he sails through life, accumulating coin, losing it. Never letting any of the hard hits show. 

He refuses to be subjected to pitying side eyes, and whispered well wishes.

If people are gonna stare, they are gonna do so because he is a legend.

It works.

 

Somehow, over the years, it gets lost what his daemon actually is. Only his Father and himself holding the knowledge. Gibbs guesses, the crew gossip, but no one gets it quite right.

It only makes his reputation grow. After all, what mad man either doesn't have one, or is capable of hiding it so totally?

Some nights while sat in his cabin, drinking rum, he'll chuckle about it. Telling Frisco about the latest guesses.

The best one he's heard by far was one drunk deck hand whispering that Frisco's a dragon, and that the frequent storms they encounter are caused by the flap of wings.

Looking at his little friend the thought makes him grin. Ridiculous.

 

When Elizabeth kisses him, Jack doesn't know what to do. She's a beautiful lass; strong, vivacious, taken...

Usually that wouldn't be much of a deterrent, but Will is against all odds one of his closets friends.

There's something about sailing together, fighting Barbossa, even the current tumultuous disaster; which has forged a bond between them no woman (no matter how beautiful) can destroy.

The clink of the shackle almost comes as a relief.

She was giving him a taste of the sweet life before his end.

Looking up he spots Frisco flying around frantically, while Hedwig tries to calm him. It doesn't go well.

His flighty friend pecking the other bird viciously when it comes to close. It almost pulls a chuckle from him, instead a bitter smirk curls on his face.

Gaze settled back on the determined woman, he watches as sparks ignite in her eyes while she explains what they both know.

Acid on his tongue he only has one reply.

“Pirate.” A snarl mixing with his semi-amused drawl.

Her flinch makes him grin coldly.

Frisco lands on his shoulder, glaring at the slowly retreating female with beady bitter eyes. While Hedwig lets out a mournful screech above them, circling down to brush her wings across his cheek in farewell.

The bird always was more pleasant company. He musses silently. Sharing a reluctantly amused glance with his daemon when they both hear the other bird's angry cries at Elizabeth.

Freeing himself from the restraint isn't difficult, but it takes too long.

By the time he turns around, the hulking mass of the Kraken looms above them. Breathe reeking of rancid flesh, blood, and shit; he barely contains a grimace when it screams at him.

Drawing his sword he mutters a quiet “thank you little one,” at the steadily loyal bird on his shoulder.

Then?

A mournful roar is the only sound to be heard, as Captain Jack Sparrow dies doing the one thing no one believed he had it in him to do.

He takes a stand.

 


Abir's roar shakes something in Will's core.

Jack could be a real bastard on occasion, but he's been there for so much... always escaping the inescapable. The thought that the other man might actually be gone feels false, like this whole journey has been some awful fever dream.

It's as if the only thing he needs to do is wake up, and he'll find Elizabeth in his bed and Jack long gone. Exploring the far reaches of the map with the Pearl.

But it's not to be.

Instead he is forced to sit and watch as his friend is dragged to Davy Jones's locker, with nothing to do but row and grieve.

 

Discovering there's a way to bring the infamous git back hurts. Ripping at the already gaping hole his death has caused in their group, in their hearts.

Abir is curled protectively at his feet, growling furiously whenever anyone other than the water witch comes near him. Loyal and true, the lion had taken an unusual liking to the erratic pirate; his absence was causing a noticeable dip in the great cat's patience.

A feral rumble hidden behind each yawn.

His daemon is out for blood, it wants to hunt. Will struggles with controlling the matching urge coursing through his own veins.

It will do no one any good if he goes off on a half-cocked revenge spree.

This needs planning, especially since Barbossa is involved.

There's too much damaged history between everyone for this all to be smooth sailing. He counts himself in that equation, there are several people (Barbossa included) that he instinctively wants to rip to pieces.

Fingers running through his daemons mane, he smirks when the other occupants of the room shift in discomfort. Trying to hide their own companions discreetly, failing miserably.

Having a hunter as your oldest friend can truly come in handy. He thinks bemusedly, a vicious smile twisting his face into something unnatural. Predatory.

 

Discovering that Elizabeth, his betrothed, left Jack to die feels like a sharp slap.

That she didn't tell him?

It leaves his head spinning, and a sick churning in his core. It fights against the welling anger which simmers under his calm surface.

Searching for her after the revelation, he finds her below deck; sulking.

The distressed image she makes, completely alone, hunched inwards... makes him pause. Forces him to re-evaluate whether scolding her is the best course of action.

But then he blinks, and all he can see is Abir miserable. Mourning a flighty bird, and foul mouthed pirate who somehow wormed their way into their good opinion.

“You left Jack to the Kraken.”

Her form freezes when she hears his voice, before she turns to look at him with large, expressive eyes brimming with guilt.

“He is rescued now. It is done with.” She says evasively. Looking away from him as her voice drops into a colder tone, almost as if she is trying to wish the problem away.

The callousness of her claim prompts a startled blink from him. His unspoken 'he's our friend' settling heavily between them.

“Will, I had no choice.” She says, some of her usual fire sparking back in the face of his disappointment. Hedwig screeching angrily above them interrupts whatever claim is about to leave her lips.

“You chose not to tell me.”

Abir stalks out of the shadows when the words slip out without thought, bumping against him comfortingly; before snarling at Elizabeth in irritation when she tries to step closer to them both.

Pausing momentarily she presses onward, displaying bravery he's always admired... bravery he wishes she didn't posses in this moment.

“I couldn't.”

Abir growls when she again tries to reach to him. “It wasn't your burden to bear,” she finally says pleadingly.

“But I did bear it, didn't I?” He retorts softly. Looking at her lovely face, taking in the shock that flashes across it at his words.

She didn't know.

It silences a good deal of his ire, leaving in it's place bone deep tiredness.

“I just didn't know what it was.” He explains, stepping towards her slowly. “I thought...”

“You thought I loved him.” She exclaims, guilt ridden horror drifting off her so heavily he can practically taste it. Quickly embarrassment joins the mix and she tries to flee, a irritated cry leaving her when she realizes that Abir is blocking her way.

It changes to a startled squeak, when he boxes her against a wood beam. Pressing them together as he holds her in place.

“If you make your choices alone, how can I trust you?” He asks bluntly, needing to know so desperately that it affects Abir. The lion letting out a huff anxiously, before stalking up onto the deck to get away from his overwhelming emotions.

Looking him the eyes, he can tell what her answer will be before she says it.

“You can't.”

Grip slackening, when against his every hope she delivers the blow, he can do nothing but watch as she runs away from him like she's got hell nipping on her heels.

Slumping against the beam he finds himself alone, with nought but the smell of sea water and a ringing in his ears for company.

 


James Norrington is proud of his daemon.

A Doberman Pinscher, the form causes many jokes both to his face and behind his back as he grows older.

He never lets it affect him... or Faith.

She is his confidante, his friend, 'to hell with what anyone else thinks'; he tells her many evenings when the constant japing makes her head droop low, and eyes shine sorrowfully. Her amused huffs afterward always bring a smile to his face.

 

The night before he proposes to Elizabeth she looks at him with laughing eyes, and repeats the words back at him when he starts to doubt himself.

 

They echo in his mind when he watches Jack Sparrow sail away from Port Royal on the Black Pearl.

“I think we can afford to give him one day's head start,” slips free from his mouth far to easily. But in face of his men's disbelieving scowls he simply chuckles.

 

Losing his position aches. It's what they've worked towards for years.

But he stands by his words, the pirate didn't deserve the noose.

 

Sat in a corner in a bar in Tortuga, Faith looks up at him in disappointment.

He drinks to drown the memory, but every time he glances her way he's reminded of it.

“To hell with what anyone else thinks.” He snorts derisively, ignoring the pang that attacks his heart when he sees her head drop onto the floor in misery.

 

Taking Davy Jones's heart to Beckett is supposed to be a victory, it feels like defeat.

 

Helping Elizabeth escape is one of the easiest decisions he's made in years. She's a creature not meant to be caged; it was one of the traits that drew him to her, and Faith to Hedwig in the first place. The offer to join her is temptation incarnate, but his death warrant has been signed for some time and he is sick of fighting.

The sailor finds them too quickly.

He shoots the line as Elizabeth struggles to reach him, Faith's haunting howl of triumph turning into a pained yelp as he turns around. A startled cry leaves him when he spots the sword piercing her chest. Eyes meeting hers he swallows tears when he hears her voice faintly saying “to hell with what anyone else thinks.” Before she fades away, leaving behind nothing but a gaping hole in his soul where his closest friend once rested.

Shocked he is too slow to block the steel aimed for his heart.

Davy Jones's offer is expected.

Using the last of his strength he gives his answer with his sword.

To hell with what anyone else thinks.

 


Davy Jones loses his daemon the day Cutler Beckett gets his heart.