Title: Dead Man's Chest
Sequel to: Curse of the Black Pearl and A Tail of the Sea.
Pairings/Characters: Chloe, James Norrington, Will Turner, Lois/Jack Sparrow, Lucy/Giselle, Lana, Governor Swan, Cutler Beckett... more
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: A year has passed since Chloe started her life on the small, remote island, where she's managed to build a happy life for herself. But she has a debt to pay, and when old friends come a'knocking she finds out who The Voice is, and what she must do to be free.
Chloe forced herself to enjoy the festivities with her sister. At the back of her mind, and in the pit of her stomach, she felt sick, but didn't allow it to interrupt the celebration. While half of her mourned the fact that she had once more caused Will harm unknowingly, the other reminded her that William Turner was an adult, and that his choices had been his own. She couldn't blame herself for them, especially when she'd done all in her power to contact her family and let them know that she was alive. How six letters could've gone astray were beyond her, but they had, and it wasn't her fault. It wasn't.
Anyway, Captain Jack Sparrow and James Norrington were on the same island, that was enough to keep most of her attention focused away from Will.
Also, Jack kept trying to "accidentally" cut her. Jack Sparrow was no actor, and his attempts at subtlety were completely lacking, so by the fifth attempt she merely grabbed him by his shirt and yanked him away from the others into the darkness of the beach, where they were alone with only the moon to shine down on them.
Jack stumbled behind her, eyes wide, hands up. "Now, Blonde Swann, I am flattered, but out of the four of you only your saucy eldest sister holds my fancy!" He slapped her hands away from his person and straightened his shirt. "Please, somehow control your hormones. I know that you have not seen a real man in far so long and you are absolutely desperate for me to place my arms—."
"Oh, shut up Jack." Chloe rolled her eyes. "You are far from my type."
"Of course, lovey." He smiled, obviously not believing her one bit. "You tell yourself that if it makes you feel better."
Taking in a deep breath, Chloe anchored her hands on her hips. "You want to tell me why you have been trying to bleed me all night?"
His eyes widened and he turned away, looking innocent. "No."
She raised an eyebrow at him. "I will tell Lois that you tried to kiss me."
Jack's eyes widened in horror. "A lady like you would do no such foul thing!"
"Look at me, Jack," Chloe ordered as she stood as tall as she could. "Do I look like a lady to you?"
He opened and closed his mouth a couple of times before folding his arms over his chest and pouting. "I need your blood."
"Yes, I figured that much," she snorted. "I just do not understand why."
With an overly-exaggeratedly put-out expression, Jack unwound the cloth from his hand to reveal a dark spot smack dab in the middle of his palm. "This be Davy Jones' work. I made a deal with him to raise me Pearl when she was set alit and sunk by one of the evilest men I will ever know. I was promised a set amount of years as her captain before his accursed beast would be set against me." He scoffed. "Considering I only spent two of those years as captain before the Pearl was stolen by that blackhearted fiend of a first mate I feel doubly cheated."
Okay. This was starting to make sense! "You want to use my blood to somehow alter your curse like it did that of Barbossa and his crew."
"And how I see it, you owe me for coming to your rescue," he announced proudly.
"And how I see it, you only came to 'save me' to get the Pearl back - which you did, so we are even," she responded evenly. "So, that given, what is in it for me?"
He flinched, obviously not having expected that reasoning. "What sort of person asks what's in it to help someone else?"
She raised an eyebrow.
He broke out into a large grin. "Yeah, I could nah keep a straight face meself." He pointed a ringed finger at her. "You sure you do not have pirate in yer blood? You act more like it than William does." He made a face at the thought. "He is so… proper."
Tell me about it! "So, Jack Sparrow, what is in it for me to risk myself like that to help you?"
"A clean conscience?" Jack offered.
"My conscience is pretty clean right now," she offered right back.
He pursed his lips in thought. "How would you like to own an undead simeon?"
Chloe's eyes widened. "You have Jack?" She stepped forwards. "And he's still immortal? How?"
"Apparently he stole another doubloon from the chest before the island disappeared into the sea," Jack muttered. "I can not get him off of my damned Pearl, and no matter how many times I shoot him he will not die."
*Do it* the Voice ordered.
But using my blood tied me to Barbossa and his crew, Chloe worried. What if it ties me to Jack?
*Do it* the Voice repeated.
"Although, I must admit shooting him can be quite therapeutic," Jack muttered to himself.
Chloe glared at him. "Deal."
His eyes widened, he looked shocked and so giddy it was almost funny. "You will take him? Truly? Do you promise?"
"Yes. Anything to keep you from shooting him." She took in a deep breath and paused as she eyed him. "Then again, it seems as if I would be doing you a favor if I took Jack, so I—."
"Take the damned creature as a boon!" Jack begged her. "The monkey and a favor." He grinned, all teeth, some golden, some not. "Not many can say they have the great Captain Jack Sparrow owe them!"
"Is that so?" She raised an eyebrow. "From what I have heard, you owe quite a couple of pirates."
He grinned sheepishly. "Let me rephrase - not many can say Captain Jack Sparrow owes them a favor."
She eyed him thoughtfully. "If I do this, swear to me by the Black Pearl that you will owe me a favor, and that no matter what it is, you will follow through."
Jack flinched. "You drive a strong bargain." He reached out to grab her hand and promise.
Chloe yanked her hand away at the very last second. "Think this through, Sparrow. Remember that I am not just a pirate you can con. I have come back from the dead, I have the power to alter curses, to do things you cannot even imagine…" okay, she might be putting on airs right now, but she needed to scare him. "Do not swear to me in jest or you will prefer whatever Davy Jones has awaiting you."
Jack gulped and pulled his own hand back, almost afraid. He narrowed his eyes on her hand and took in a deep breath, obviously weighing his options, before he groaned, shoulders slumped in defeat as he reached his hand out. "I swear by my Pearl that I will owe you a favor, and no matter what it is, or when you come to collect, I will come through for you."
Chloe smiled, and yanked a blade out of a hidden pocket of her dress. She slit her palm and took Jack's hand in a tight shake, cementing their deal.
Above them the previously serene sky clashed lightning and thunder seconds before a ripple of something raced through Chloe's body, and everything went black.
A handsome young pirate disembarked from a magnificent ship. He glanced around the beach, excitement in his eyes as he searched for someone. "Calypso?" He called out as he ventured forwards, feet deep in the sand. "Calypso, where are you?"
The man searched and searched, calling her name until his smile had been replaced by a broken expression.
Hours passed, he called, he searched, he waited, but no one came.
He finally collapsed to his knees on the beach, a man defeated. "Calypso."
Will leaned against the wall and watched as Norrington returned from having seen the doctor out. Norrington collapsed on the seat next to Chloe's bed tiredly and watched her with concern. It wasn't worry, not truly, much more muted. It made Will feel that this wasn't the first time that Norrington had sat in that chair and sat watch over Chloe as she slept in that bed.
He clenched his fists.
"Exhaustion?" Lucy sat on the bed next to Chloe's sleeping body.
"This has been known to happen," Norrington confirmed Will's suspicions. "This time though… What the devil did Sparrow do?"
Jack was also unconscious in another room. He seemed perfectly fine - just snored a lot and mentioned Lois once or twice in a manner that made Lucy slap the sleeping man (the fact that Jack didn't wake up proved to them that it was more than a normal drunken stupor).
Will's body was beyond tense at this point. He was about to smack Jack as much as needed to wake him up and demand answers when, quite unexpectedly, Chloe sat up in bed, eyes wide.
Everyone shifted their attention to her at once.
She glanced around her before her gaze rested on her palm, which the doctor had stitched and bandaged.
"What happened?" Lucy wanted to know. "Did Jack try to hurt you?"
Chloe shook her head numbly before her gaze turned to Norrington and met his blue gaze. Will could see a question in Norrington's eyes as he glanced quickly towards the sea and back, and when Chloe nodded, Norrington covered his face with a groan.
Will's eyes narrowed on the silence conversation they'd had. Just how close had they gotten during this time?
"What is going on?" Lucy asked suspiciously, having obviously picked up on the same thing Will had.
The door flew open and Jack appeared, exuberant. He flashed his two unmarred hands at Chloe and then winked at her while giving her a thumbs up. "I am going to get you the infernal beast! Good riddance!" And with that he skipped away while humming happily to himself.
Will looked after him, confused. What had that been about?
Chloe groaned as she stood from the bed. "I am going for a swim."
"Probably for the best," Norrington muttered confusingly as he stood as well. "I will stand guard against sharks."
Chloe's lips twitched in amusement.
Will's did not. It was highly improper for Norrington to expect to be present while she swam. The water would cause Chloe's garments to stick to her body. No real gentleman would make that offer, and while Norrington was no longer a Commodore Will had never thought the man would ever stop being a gentleman. He was more and more uneasy the longer he stayed in their company.
"I will go," Lucy declared as she too stood.
Norrington agreed with a nod before he turned to Chloe. "Before your dip - may I have a word in private?"
"Of course you may." Acting as if she hadn't just suffered a mysterious coma, Chloe took Norrington's arm and turned to Lucy. "I will be right back." With that they walked away, voices low as they spoke to each other.
Lucy moved towards Will, eyes on their backs. "There is more going on than they are telling us."
"That much is obvious," Will agreed.
Lucy narrowed her eyes. "I will see what I can get out of her while we swim."
"I will speak to him," Will muttered, unhappy with the thought but determined to do so nonetheless.
Decided to get to the bottom of this, the best friends nodded to each other.
Lois wasn't surprised when, after days of imprisonment, she was finally brought before Cutler Beckett. He'd made sure she had days without bathing, without a good night's sleep or a decent meal, before she could be brought before him. All of this was meant to punish her, to humiliate and bring her a peg down. A man like him wasn't used to not getting what he wanted, and for some reason he'd wanted her. He'd never forgiven her for not wanting him back.
A banquet laid before her on the table, tempting, punishing. Cutler ate easily and barely looked up at her when the guards left her at the door and locked it behind them when they left.
Lois' stomach hurt with hunger but she refused to move from her spot, refused to give him the pleasure of seeing her pain.
He finally looked up and motioned to the seat next to his before he reached for a delicious smelling roll. "Come, sit with me and break your fast."
"No thank you." She smiled pleasantly. "I am not hungry."
He looked back at her with amusement. "Is that so? Well, good for you, I, on the other hand, am famished." He took a deliberate bite of that roll.
Lois licked her lips and clenched her fists yet stayed strong. "Why am I here, Lord Beckett? If you do not have anything important to tell me I would like to be escorted back to my cell."
Cutler eyed her. "Are you enjoying your stay in our jail, Miss Swan? If so, I do say that we need to rethink what we are doing wrong." At her persistent silence he raised an eyebrow. "Do you wish to swing from a hangman's noose? Do you wish to watch your sister suffer the same fate?"
"Of course not," she huffed, impatient.
"Then please, sit, eat." He motioned once more to the seat.
Fighting the urge to growl, Lois did as told and sat down on the seat. The only reason she was obeying this monster was because he held her and Lana's lives in his grubby little hands. "So I assume you want something from me." She peered down at the plate filled with delicacies in front of her. "If you think I know where Jack is you will be sorely disappointed. The last I saw him was on Isla de Muerta." That, of course, was a lie, but there was no way he would know that.
"My interest in having you dine with me is in no way related to your brief acquaintance with that pirate," he assured her. "Although, you must tell me what it was like being on Isla de Muerta."
Was this all about the island? "I could not lead you or your men to that accursed place even if I wanted to."
He smiled, it was all teeth and no warmth. "Of course you could not, it fell into the sea months ago."
Lois' eyes widened in shock. It had what?
"I see you did not know," he declared smugly. "As you see, I am better informed than you would expect."
Lois ignored the food in front of her, ignored the pain in her stomach, ignored it when it growled and betrayed her hunger to this monster. "If you do not want me to tell you about Jack, or about the island, then, Lord Beckett, why am I here?"
"You call me Lord Beckett and yet that pirate you call by his christian name." Despite his congenial tone, displeasure shone in his eyes. "How intriguing."
She took in a deep breath. "You implied that our conversation would be about what I can do to keep my sister and I from swinging from a noose."
"That I did," he agreed and leaned with his elbows on the table, his hands clasped under his chin. "Once upon a time you had a choice between marriage to me or not." He smiled. "Now you do not." His smile grew. "Unless, of course, you truly do 'prefer to die' rather than to marry me like you oh so passionately declared when I previously asked for your hand in marriage."
Lois wanted to snarl. She wanted to scream. She wanted to grab the knife by her plate and stab it deep into his neck. How dare he? He was forcing her to marry him or die! He was worse of a monster than she had ever imagined!
What would Jack do?
She could probably get a couple of good hits into Cutler before his men burst in through the doors. But she and Lana would definitely hang afterwards.
What would Jack do?
She might even surprise Cutler enough to actually stab him, like she'd previously imagined. Lana and herself still hung though - moreso after killing the little rat.
What would Jack do?
She might even stab herself - save herself - but that would only doom Lana to hang alone.
What would Jack do?
"I accept." Lois reached for her fork and knife, and instead of using them against him, began to cut up the delicacies on her plate before placing a bite-full into her mouth.
Cutler Beckett seemed somewhat surprised, eyebrow raised and head tilted as he eyed her. "I expected some… fight."
"Why?" She wanted to know after chewing and swallowing her bite. "You rightly declared that I have no other choice, none that is acceptable anyway." She cut another piece of the delicious meat. "Plus, unlike when you delivered your first proposal, at least you have a title now."
"I did not realize the lure of being Lady Beckett," Cutler declared with dark amusement.
"Let me be frank with you, Cutler," she announced as her eyes met his. "The last time you proposed you did not deserve to marry someone like me, not someone of my breeding and position in society. It was an insult. At least this time you have some appeal to you."
"I was born into a wealthy family," he reminded her.
"Not wealthy enough." She placed another piece of meat into her mouth and chewed as she gazed ahead of her thoughtfully. "I did not spend years tending to my father's affairs and his household to be anything less than a Lady."
Cutler eyed her and nodded his head as he raised a cup. "To our engagement."
Lois raised her own cup. "To my engagement ring."
Cutler blinked before he toasted and took a long sip of his drink.
Taking a long gulp of her own cup, Lois fought the smirk that threatened to spill on her lips.
This was exactly what Jack would do.
"Was it the Voice?" James asked the second they were out of hearing, his gaze on Chloe's face.
She nodded. "She ordered me to, James."
"What did you do, exactly?" He wanted to know.
She took in a deep breath, clearly anticipating a bad reaction on his part. "Jack made a deal with Davy Jones, who has come collecting and left a mark on him - a curse so to speak. Jack asked me to use my blood to somehow alter it like I did that of Barbossa's crew."
"Can you do that?" James' eyes widened.
She shrugged. "His mark disappeared."
He frowned. "If I remember right, you told me that when your blood was used with Barbossa's crew it tied you to them." At Chloe's wince he glared. "Chloe!"
"I did not have a choice, James!" She hissed and pulled closer. "She told me to! Until I fulfill her purpose for me I have to do whatever she wants me to!"
James groaned as he closed his eyes tightly. "Is the mark on you?"
She shook her head. "No, I checked when I woke up."
He took in a deep breath and opened his head as he nodded. "Okay. Whatever happens as a result of this we will deal with it."
Chloe stared up at him and smiled softly. "We will?"
He nodded once more. "Of course."
Her smiled grew as she rested her cheek against his arm. "On the bright side, I made Jack mine."
James frowned, eyes wide, disgust and horror mixing in his stomach. "Why would you want that no good, bottom of the sea filth?" Forget what he'd said to Will earlier, he didn't care about the trouble he'd get in, he was going to destroy Sparrow! Because of Sparrow James he'd lost his father's respect and his commission in Port Royal. He would not let that pirate ruin the last good thing he had!
Chloe stared at him in open confusion for a couple of seconds before her eyes widened. "Not pirate Jack! Undead monkey Jack!"
"Say that again?" James blinked, confusion overcoming his previous hostility. Clearly he hadn't heard any of this clearly - or he was missing a part of the puzzle that was the events Chloe had lived through since being kidnapped by Barbossa.
Chloe pulled away and grinned, brightly, excitedly. "He's a monkey and his name is Jack, he used to be Barbossa's pet. He's adorable - even in the moonlight when he appears like a skeleton. He's mine now."
James just stared at her as the situation hit him full-force. "You purposely bargained for an undead simeon?"
She nudged her side into his. "You will love him."
He highly doubted it.
Chloe's smile fell. "She has never given me permission to tell anyone other than you, and I do not want to risk the consequences." Her greens rose to James' blues. "We cannot tell Lucy or Will or anyone else what you know."
"Of course." He nodded, not for the first time feeling humbled and privileged. James didn't know exactly why this mysterious Voice had chosen to allow him of all people to know Chloe's secret, but he was ever grateful for it. Chloe needed all the help and support she could during this time - he couldn't imagine how it must've been when she'd shouldered everything on her own. "We will get through this."
She nodded and smiled up trustingly at him. "Of course."
Lying in her tub, filled with warm water and bubbles all around her, Lois soaked after having scrubbed the filth off of her. Her hair was held up, her skin red from the scrubbing, and her lips curved in a smile.
Cutler's self-importance, his pride, was really going to be his undoing.
Reaching for a glass of some of the rum she'd hidden in the house for such-a-time-as-this, Lois brought it to her lips and took a deep gulp of the alcohol she would never admit to having acquired a taste for during her time with Jack Sparrow.
Cutler had not only returned her and Lana to their home, but he'd given them both pardons for themselves and Will and Lucy (Lois had demanded it as a wedding gift, saying that both her sister and Will had to be present at her wedding, and so he'd granted it to her). All Lois had to do was play this part for a while, he might be eyeing her suspiciously now but she knew him well enough to know that his pride would soon assure him that he had everything, had her, under his control. And that was when she was going to strike.
Lois' smile grew as she stared ahead of her, plans brewing in her head.