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.
With Tia Dalma's directions they made it to a wreckage. Jack made sure to keep down wind and out of sight of the wreckage, a guard up at all hours keeping an eye on the unlucky vessel crashed upon a reef. Davy Jones would come for the souls on that ship, they were all secure in the knowledge, all except Chloe. Tia Dalma had assured her that the directions she'd given the others were only to the halfway point, that Chloe must continue on her own. But Chloe couldn't sneak away, not with a watchman at every hour, not with James, Will, and Lucy keeping an eye on her.
It was why she had brought into (semi) confidence the one person she knew would not try to keep her aboard the Pearl.
Jack Sparrow's kohl-lined eyes widened and he grinned, brightly, proving just how relieved he was that he would not be in such close distance from Davy Jones or the Flying Dutchman. "So you want my help to sneak off the Pearl and be on your merry way to see the dastardly Jones on your lonesome, eh?"
"Tia Dalma said I had to be the only one to see him," Chloe explained that much. "It makes sense, really, if you or the others are anywhere near you will be liabilities. I need to talk to him, face to face, and he has no reason to hurt me."
Jack's sharp, cunning gaze proved he knew there was more to this story than she was letting on, but that he honestly didn't care. This arrangement worked in his favor and he was obviously jumping on it enthusiastically. "I could have a pint too much and distract Ragetti during his watch. I would do it during Cotton's but his parrot has a sharp eye and loose beak. He will go babble it all the second he gets wise of the situation."
Chloe nodded as she took in a deep breath. "I will use the distraction and get into the rowboat." She glanced up at Jack. "What do you want most in this world?"
Visibly taken aback, Jack blinked. "And why, pray tell, would you want to know such a thing?"
"Well, I am going to meet with Davy Jones because you can not use your compass," she responded. "You should want Davy Jones' chest more than anything in this world, but there is something stronger than that. Considering you are very much into self-preservation I am curious as to what could be competing with that."
"It is nothing for you to worry about, Blonde Swann," Jack assured her with a pat on her head, making her feel like a puppy. "Now, scurry off into hiding." He shooed her away with rapid movements of his hands. "T'will soon be time for mischief."
Lana flinched at the sound of her father's outrage. She wasn't sure exactly how they'd managed to sail as long as they had before their father finally figured out that they weren't heading to England. She'd known he'd be unhappy with this unexpected turn of events, but she wasn't used to the sound of him bellowing.
Lois, for her part, looked unconcerned. "Cutler has the king's ear. It is unwise to go to sovereign soil until this issue has been resolved."
"But Tortuga?" Father cried out in horror. "Amongst those… those…"
"We'll be safe with Lucy," Lois interrupted him. "She will give us shelter."
At his youngest daughter's name, father sighed and lowered his head. "I am unhappy with this, Lois."
"I know, papa," she responded. "But there is nothing you can do. We are almost there."
It couldn't come soon enough for Lana as she turned her back on them and peered out of the cabin's window at the endless sea. How she hated the sea! Hated it with every fiber of her being. Nothing good had ever come from the sea. Only sadness and sorrow. It'd taken one sister away from her, and she would not allow it to claim another.
Staring at the vast sea, Lana hugged herself and promised that no matter what she had to do, she was protecting her family from hereon out.
As per usual, the plan did not go as, er, planned. Then again, they should've known that where Ragetti was, Pintel would no doubt be as well, if only because the two argued like an old married couple. With both Ragetti and Pintel on deck there was no way Jack could sufficiently distract enough for them both not to notice her lowering the rowboat, and while Jack gave a valiant effort (enough to shock and distract her for a second while she watched his magnificent flailing and such) Chloe only just managed to dive off of the side of the Black Pearl before the two on watch noticed her.
Her body pierced through the water like an arrow, sending her down, down, and even further into the dark waters. She glanced up at the Black Pearl as it sat anchored in the deep. The waters were so black she couldn't see anything around her, so she chose to surface otherwise she'd be blind.
Taking in a deep breath, Chloe peered up at the side of the Black Pearl and hesitated a second. She should've said goodbye, should've—-. No. If she had he wouldn't have let her leave, and she needed to do this alone.
Steeling herself for what would prove to be a grueling swim, Chloe dove under the surface yet kept close to it. Tia Dalma had told her that she'd know the way to Davy Jones once she made it to the halfway point, but the girl had no clue where to go or how far it would be. She almost surfaced once more, confused and lost, when suddenly her tattoo warmed almost painfully, glowing brightly, the outline completely visible through her wet clothes.
Suddenly the sea rocked around her, and something emerged from the black besides her, spurting water on her. Chloe's eyes widened in surprise to see the young whale once more. It rubbed against her and she petted it once more, watching as its family appeared in the distance, waiting.
"James will be so jealous when I tell him about this," she whispered with a chuckle before easing herself onto the young whale. It was a good deal larger than a dolphin, and hard to straddle, but the second he fixed herself upon its back it dove under. Chloe plastered her body over its back, her arms holding onto its side. How she didn't just slip off was a mystery to her, but somehow she managed to stay on and ride the young whale's back as it made its way to where the other, larger group awaited.
The moment they reached the adults, they dove under to join them, and as one the whole pod started off together.
Chloe sent one last look over her shoulder at the Black Pearl before she pressed her cheek against the whale's back and let it take her far away from those she loved, and closer towards Davy Jones. She still wasn't sure exactly how she was going to find the key to his chest, and how she was going to get it from him, but she knew she had to do this alone. Not only had Tia Dalma told her so, but there was no way that she'd put those she loved in danger's way by bringing anyone along.
But what do I do?
She had no idea, and it terrified her.
Chloe wracked her brain, trying to think of what to do. She didn't know how long she rode on the youngest whale's back, but when the pod finally rested and surfaced once more she found herself next to a wreckage. It was fresh, groans of pain, of the dying, surrounding her. The whales wouldn't get any closer to it and she didn't blame them.
With a soft thank you to them, she slid off of the young whale's back and swam the rest of the distance to the wreckage. In fact, she was in the midst of pulling herself onto the wreckage when she felt the change in the water, the ripples, and instead of completely pulling herself up she instead let go and allowed herself to fall back into the water seconds before a large ship emerged from the dark sea on the other side of the marooned ship.
Submerging herself fully, Chloe peered around the edge to see creatures, half human and half man, boarding the wreckage. They gathered up the surviving men, forcing them to kneel in a row, as a man - was he truly a man? - emerged from the waters and thumped his way towards them. He was the perfect mixture of a human and a squid or octopus. He had to be Davy Jones, and yet she'd never imagined him to look so inhuman.
"Five men still alive," one of the men, the one who seemed half hammerhead shark, turned to Davy Jones. "The rest have moved on."
Davy Jones thumped down the line, each step loud and menacing, before he stopped at random and peered into the face of one of the men, this particular one close to sobbing in fright. "Do you fear death?" When the man nodded with a whimper, Davy Jones continued on. "Do you fear that dark abyss?" Once more the man nodded. "All your deeds laid bare, all your sins punished. I can offer you an escape."
"Do not listen to him!" One of the men cried out, holding a crucifix, and yet when Davy Jones swung his head to glare at him the man flinched and lowered his gaze immediately.
Standing, Davy Jones moved to the man and grabbed his throat, and that was when Chloe realized his hand was a crab's claw, the man's throat between the pinchers menacingly. "Do you not fear death?"
"I'll take my chances, sir," the man replied shakily.
Davy Jones released him and turned to one of his men. "To the depths."
In seconds his minion had slit the man's throat and thrown his body overboard to be claimed by the sea.
Chloe covered her mouth with her hand to silence her gasp of horror.
"Cruel blackguard!" One of the men cried out.
Davy Jones turned to him. "Life is cruel." He sneered in disgust. "Why should the afterlife be any different?" He continued to walk the line. "I offer you a choice: join my crew and postpone the judgment. 100 years before the mast." He stopped at the one he'd been conversing with before and stared him in his eyes. "Will ye serve?"
"I-I w-will serve," the man confirmed in fear.
"There." Davy Jones nodded to his men before he suddenly froze and turned around to face Chloe's direction. His eyes narrowed as he moved towards that side of the ship.
Every instinct told Chloe to hide, to lower further into the black and hide within, but she'd come here to see Davy Jones, to speak to him, and she couldn't back down.
When he peered over the side down at her there was obvious surprise in his orbs. "You be not dead or dying." His eyes narrowed. "What be your purpose here?"
She lifted the hand which had the cuff out of the water. "We need to speak, Davy Jones."
If the cephalopod/human hybrid could blanch he would've. He reeled back a step before his eyes narrowed and he let out an odd sound as he returned to the side to glare down at her. "Who be ye and why should I agree to this talk?"
What did she say? What could she say? She couldn't tip him off to the fact that this was about the key to the chest with his heart in it - and yet how did she find out where he had the key without doing just that? Tia Dalma said that Davy Jones had the key on him at time so it had to be in his clothes. How exactly was she supposed to lift it from him?
"You're the master of the seven seas, are you not? Nothing happens upon these waves that you know not of." She swam closer, eyes on him and only him. "Surely you've heard of Captain Hector Barbossa's cursed pirate crew." At his look of boredom she continued on. "And you must have heard how that curse was lifted, shifted, in their benefit by me."
There was a murmur from his fishmen crew, betraying that word had reached the Flying Dutchman.
"I see." Davy Jones made up his face in disgust. "Have you come to barter your services then? Think you have the power to go against your mistress and undo her spell do you?"
She could hear the murmurs from the crew but didn't allow them to distract her from him. "What will it hurt for you to listen to my offer, Davy Jones? What could you possibly lose?"
"I smell Jack Sparrow on you," Davy Jones surprised her by saying. "That is quite the coincidence considering his Black Spot has disappeared so miraculously."
She smiled innocently at the accusation.
His eyes narrowed on her and he turned towards the hammerhead-shark-man. "Accompany her to the brig. Maybe with some time to herself she will learn tis better not to smile in my company."
The men laughed.
Chloe forced her smile to remain on her face, but as the hammerhead henchman jumped into the water after her it was very hard to pretend that she wasn't absolutely terrified.
Lana Swann peered around the Captain's Bride in search of her cross-dressing sister, but she couldn't see hide or hair of Lucy anywhere. Even though they were here she still could not believe it. Not only was this place not exactly to her liking, but she could see that father was about to have a conniption, or faint. Or possibly both.
"You." Lois noticed someone and stormed to the counter. "I remember you from the last time I was in Tortuga."
Lana gripped tightly to her father and led him towards the counter, worried for him as he held a handkerchief to his nose, apparently unable to take the smell of the place.
The blonde on the other side of the counter frowned. "What are you doing here?"
Lois glared at her. "Where is Lou?"
The blonde - who Lana now remembered as one of the prostitutes who'd slapped Jack - glanced around the bar warily before she smiled (it was visibly forced) and came around to greet them. "Lou is gone on a voyage at this moment, private business."
"Oi! Gi!" Someone else yelled, a redhead with a fake mole who looked somewhat familiar as well. "Who be these hoity-toities?"
Lana glanced down at her dress. They'd all worn their plainest apparel, and yet she realized that it was leaps and bounds from the others in this place.
"They be Lou's sisters," Gi replied. "And…"
"I am Luc—," father began.
"He is our father," Lois interrupted him and turned to Giselle.
Father continued on, eyeing Giselle. "Who are you and why are you in charge of this establishment while my child is gone? And how long will this voyage last?"
A huge commotion rose in the bar.
"Dey don't know?"
"How is it possible?"
"De udder sister knew!"
Lana turned towards the toothless man at that. The other sister? Had they meant Chloe? She had visited the Captain's Bride, Lana knew that, but what exactly had the blonde known that hadn't been told to them?
"Father, the trip has been heavy on you," Lois declared oddly. "You know who she is." She turned to Gi, not looking very happy at all. "That is Giselle Swann, your daughter-in-law."
"What?" Father turned to look at Lois in horror.
So did Lana.
Giselle cleared her throat and nodded as she puffed out her chest and raised her chin defiantly. "Aye, I be Lou's wife."
Lana turned to Giselle in horror. Lucy had married the prostitute? No! That had to be a lie! Why would Lucy marry a prostitute? Why marry a woman at all? And even if there was some good reason as to why she'd had to marry a woman… why a prostitute? SURELY there must've been someone with a better background that Lucy could've brought into the Swann Family! Sure, Giselle mightn't look like a prostitute anymore, but Lana and Lois already knew all about her sordid past! How could they accept her? Accept the marriage?
You have a lot of explaining to do when we see you next, Lucy Swann. Father will not tolerate this. Dressing up as a boy and being among pirates is one thing, but marrying someone of your own gender? And a prostitute at that? She honestly feared for her sister's soul. If father didn't condemn it, god surely would.
She turned towards father, terrified of how furious he must be… only to find him white as a sheet.
"Are you ill, father?" Lois asked, sounding just as unhappy and just as nervous as Lana.
Governor Weatherby Swann didn't answer her. He dabbed his napkin to his forehead, which was pale and glistened with sweat. He cleared his throat and eyed Giselle, who stood tall and defiant in front of him. "You married my d—child legally? In a church?" He turned to Lois, loudly whispering: "Does this godforsaken island even havea church?"
"We did," Giselle answered, bringing the attention back on her. "It was a private ceremony in the little chapel outside of the town. Before god and man."
Father dabbed his forehead even more rapidly. "This is highly unorthodox."
Giselle nodded. "Lou wished you could have been there but he understood your position."
Father huffed, eyes narrowed. "This is unforgivable."
Lana flinched. Oh no.
"This is an outrage!" Father snarled, throwing his hands up, not seeming to see the many patrons who stood protectively in Giselle's defense. "How could you do this to me, the both of you?" He turned to Lois. "You knew of the marriage!"
"Only after it had occurred," Lois assured him quickly with a glance around at the unhappy patrons. "Father, please, I know that this must be hard for you—."
"Hard for me?" Father snapped. "HARD for me? This breaks my heart!" He turned to Giselle and took a step towards her, once more seeming oblivious to the unhappy patrons eyes him warily. "You married my child. Legally. In a church. Before god."
Giselle stared directly in his eyes. "I did."
Father took one step, and then another, and then swooped Giselle into his arms, hugging the shocked woman tightly.
Giselle squeaked, her eyes wide in shock. "S-sir?"
"Sir?" Father huffed. "You are legally married to my child, you must call me father or I will be insulted."
Lois' mouth fell open. "F-father?"
Lana leaned hard against the wall as a cheer rose from the patrons, who were apparently quite happy with this turn of events and managed to sit down, knocking their tankards of ale together.
"I was so worried my child had left us for some pirate! One who would be the reason s—he—would one day swing from a rope!" Father explained, utter relief in his face. "The relief I feel right now is overwhelming! My heart will not stop!" He pulled away from Giselle. "Although… poor form in not having us at the wedding. I would have managed it somehow."
Giselle just stared up at father in shock. "Y-you—are you giving us your blessing, sir?"
"I never thought my child would ever marry," Father assured her. "I was worried Lou would be alone and unable to find anyone to protect or provide for… or that some pirate would be the death of he-him." He cleared his throat, hands on Giselle's arms. "Come, you must tell me all about you, daughter."
Giselle blinked and then smiled brightly in relief, looking so much younger than Lana had actually figured her to be. "Come, father, sisters, I will have rooms made up for you in our home." With that she linked her arm through father's and took him on a tour.
Lois and Lana shared looks, wondering just what in the world had just happened.
"I will have your heart!" James snarled at Jack, the tip of his sword pressed against the pirate's chest, seeming not to care or even notice the other pirates with their swords drawn against him. "She could not have left this ship unseen without help, I know it was you. You are the only one foul-hearted enough to send an innocent girl to her certain death if it meant you had a chance of saving your own!"
"Now now ex-commodore…" Jack held his hands up, a smile on his face. "Let us not waste time. Young Miss Swann is doing her part, and we should honor her wishes and do ours as well."
"And what exactly is our part?" Will asked, voice low and calm, but there was a storm brewing in his eyes.
Lucy glanced between Jack, James, and Will, her hand on the hilt of her sword and yet not pulling it out just yet. Should Jack's answer be something she did not agree with she'd join James with her weapon's tip to the pirate's throat.
Jack reached into his pocket and pulled out his compass.
Will's eyes widened and he took a step towards Jack. "We can find her with that!" He turned to James. "That compass points to whatever your heart desires to find the most - we can use it to find where she is."
Jack shifted his grip on the compass and held it high out of grip. "Yes, of course, we could do that, or we could do the smart thing."
"And what, pray tell, would the smart thing be?" James' voice was filled with disgust.
"She be searching for the key to Davy Jones' chest, mate." Jack glanced between both men. "What use be the key if we do not find the chest it opens?"
Will's eyes were growing murderous. "This was your plan all along, wasn't it? To use everyone to find the thing you want!" He yanked out his sword and aimed the tip at Jack, just as James had. "Well, we are not going through with your plan, Jack. We are taking the compass and we are going to find Chloe and save her."
"How have your many plans of saving young Blonde Swann gone for you in the past, eh?" Jack wanted to know with a taunt that caused Will to flinch. "I did nah come up with this plan, nor did I twist her arm behind her to get her compliance. The lass came to me because she knew you two would nah let her go. Or worse, you'd want to go with her, and let's be honest here, out of all of us she is the one with the luck of the devil when it comes to somehow surviving despite everything."
Lucy frowned because he was making sense, and she hated it.
"So, instead of going against her plan and going straight towards death like a merry band of idiots with no sort of plan or way to battle Davy Jones or his crewmen or little pet… Not to mention endanger her plan with our very presence…" Jack cleared his throat. "We could instead go with her plan and do our part so that when she has procured the key, we already have the chest ready for her return."
Will shook his head. "Either you give us the compass, Jack, or we will take it from you. We are going after her."
James closed his eyes tightly and let out a deep breath before he surprised everyone by lowering and sheathing his sword. "Unfortunately, Mr Turner, Sparrow is right."
"He is?" One of the pirates asked in surprise.
"I am?" Jack looked shocked as well, before he cleared his throat and nodded enthusiastically. "Of course I am!"
"You cannot be serious." Will turned to James with narrowed eyes. "We have to go after her!"
"No. If she had wanted us to she would have told us." James shook his head, looking extremely unhappy with the situation yet staying strong, stoic. "Sparrow is right that not only do we not have a way of fighting Jones and his crew or Kraken… but our mere presence might put her in danger… or give Jones leverage over her if he uses our lives as a bargaining chip." He grip tightened on the hilt of his sword, that grip so tight it shook. He was clearly unhappy to be saying this. "Our best course of action - the only way we can actually help her - is by uncovering Jones' chest and having it at the ready for when she returns."
"She has gone, by herself, to a ship filled with murderous pirates!" Will snapped, his sword now aimed at James. "I thought you loved her but obviously I was wrong if you are willing to sacrifice her like this!"
James' eyes went a blue so dark they were almost as dark as Will's. "I trust Chloe to have this under control, to have a plan. I do not like this, I want to go after her, but I have to put aside my wants and instead do what is best, what is smartest." He flinched. "And no matter how much it pains me to admit it, Sparrow is right: acquiring the chest is our best move."
"Best for who?" Will snapped, this whole situtaion reminding Lucy of when Chloe had been kidnapped by Blackbeard's crew. "What do you want the chest for so badly?"
"I do not want it!" James finally broke, his voice low and dangerous. "I want to go after her! I want to make sure she's safe! I want to be the one to protect her! Like I told you when she was kidnapped by Barbossa: Do not make the mistake in thinking you are the only man here who cares for Chloe." He took in a deep breath. "But this isn't like when she was taken by Barbossa or even those mermaids, Mr Turner. She wasn't kidnapped. She left. Willingly. And I have to understand that what I wantdoes not matter. What matter is what she needs, and what she needs is for us to help her endeavor, not impede it." He motioned to Jack wordlessly, hand held out.
Jack eyed him curiously before suddenly realizing what he wanted and passed him the compass.
James turned to face Lucy. "Miss Lucy, can you desire the Dead Man's Chest with all your heart? Can you wish to find it more than you wish to find your sister?"
Lucy stared at James, feeling like she'd never actually seen him before. She'd thought she'd known him, had had him figured out, and yet the man standing in front of her asking her to want to find the Dead Man's Chest over her own sister was a stranger to her. "Yes." She tried not to look at Will, could feel his sense of betrayal. "I can want to find the Dead Man's Chest more because by finding it, we will help and hopefully find Chloe."
James nodded and passed her the compass wordlessly.
Lucy took in a deep breath and stared down at the compass' needle as it found a bearing.