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 didn't know how long he'd been trailing them, but one day, while locked in the brig and staring out onto the water, she'd seen a large fin emerge from the water. Sure, it could belong to any shark, but somehow she knew. It was Finley. He was there, he was waiting on her to do something now that she had the key.
She had to do her part and escape.
She has been positively identified. As expected, your intended found sanctuary amongst the pirate scum who inhabit Tortuga, Mercer's missive plainly stated. I have discovered that her sister is living here, masquerading as a BROTHER. Lucy Swann has not only deceived the whole of Tortuga into believing her a male, but she had also married a former prostitute, with whom she runs a tavern on island and lives a life of vice and godlessness with.
The maidens and their father were here with his new "daughter" until Lucy Swann reappeared yesterday. Not only had she been pirating with Jack Sparrow, but she is also in company of Will Turner… and disgustingly enough… former Commodore Norrington. It would appear that he has fallen low and has turned to piracy.
I write to inform you, sir, that while I have not completed my mission and brought your intended back to Port Royal, the only reason I have not done this is because I have heard news of most importance. It would appear that Jack Sparrow is in search of the Dead Man's Chest, and is using the compass you spoke of to find it.
I know that it is presumptuous of me to pretend to understand the workings of your mind, but I believe that, should you be here, you would tell me to stick to Sparrow, and that is what I am doing. We both know where Miss Swann is, and once the Dead Man's Heart is yours - so will the sea.
I will keep you informed as I discover more.
Your faithful servant
Crumpling the letter in his hand, Cutler stared at the map of the Caribbean which hung in the Governor's house, which he'd taken over. He smiled, it was a dark, disturbing sight. "You will regret humiliating me, Lois," he promised. "You will be made to understand in the only way we both know will affect you." He smiled. "I will kill your family, starting with that disgusting crossdressing sister of yours."
Gasping in breath, Lana held her hand to her heart, which beat rapidly in terror. More and more her dreams pointed to danger for Lucy, and while she warned them no one seemed to be taking her seriously. It meant she had to figure something out. She needed to use her dreams - her visions - and find a way to protect her family.
Jack and the others were planning on leaving tomorrow with first tide, and while Lana had planned on staying with father here in Tortuga she realized in growing horror that she had to go along.
'Stay on land, dere is still time' the woman's warning from so long ago rung in her ear.
I do not have a choice, Lana hiccuped in fear as tears filled her eyes. I have to go.
"I do not want you to go." Gi's voice betrayed her presence as the blonde moved silently on the roof and came to sit down next to Lucy. She gazed up at the sky, just like the brunette was. "You know I like Chloe, she is probably the only one of your sisters who I take to, but I feel something hard in my chest." Her gaze finally turned to Lucy. "Do not go."
Turning to look at her partner in crime, the person who'd become her confidant and best friend during her period of independence, Lucy sighed. "I have to go. Chloe needs us to recover the Dead Man's Chest and have it ready for when she finds her way to us."
"How can you even know she will make it out of this alive?" Gi wanted to know. "Lou, she might be dead. Davy Jones is a cruel monster."
"She is alive, Gi," Lucy promised her. "If everything we have gone through these last couple of years show me anything it is that my sister is a survivor."
Gi reached out and gripped Lucy's hand. "I beg of you: Do not go."
Emotion clogged in Lucy's throat, but she pushed it aside, trying to comfort the blonde despite her own nerves. "I will return, Gi." She tried for a smile. "If anything, I need to survive to make sure you and Scarlett do not run this place into the ground."
"Do not joke at a time like this!" Gi snapped, eyes flashing in anger. "I am serious!"
Realizing just how worried Gi was, Lucy shifted their held-hands so that hers now held Gi's, and she squeezed that hand. "I apologize. But Gi, I am going. There is nothing you can say that will make me stay behind."
Gi searched her face in desperation before she growled and looked away, a muscle ticking in her cheek. "Fine." She took in a deep breath. "Then I will come too."
Lucy's eyes widened. "No you are not!"
"Yes, I am." Gi glared at her. "I will not stay behind. If you do not want me to go, then you will stay. Otherwise shut your mouth. We are shutting down the Captain's Bride until we both come back safe and sound, and that's final."
Lucy's parted lips closed and she cleared her lips, able to see the danger in Gi's eyes and knowing better than to argue with her when she was in this mood. Still, she couldn't stop herself from whispering: "It could be very dangerous."
"Why do you think I am coming along?" Gi huffed. "Everyone is worrying about Chloe and her safety, and while that is good, you need someone to worry about you and yours." She raised her chin. "That person will be me."
Lucy's throat clogged with emotion and she only managed a smile at her favorite person in the whole wide world. Unable to verbally express the emotions inside her, she merely leaned her head against Gi's shoulder and smiled.
Other than Maccus and Davy Jones, the only other crewman onboard the Flying Ducthman that Chloe came in contact with while locked up was Koleniko. The right side of his face, left shoulder, and arm were fused with the spines of a pufferfish. They inflated and deflated with his breathing. He was usually the one who brought her food and usually had an insult to give her with each meal. Like Gibbs before him the thought of having a female on board didn't sit well with Koleniko, and he hissed at her many times that her presence was bad luck.
Also, apparently, since she'd been taken captive Davy Jones had been in an eternally foul mood, and Koleniko blamed her. So when he arrived that eve empty-handed, and instead unlocked the brig, Chloe stood and eyed him warily.
"The captain will be dining with you tonight," he hissed, almost as if in accusation.
Taking in a deep breath, Chloe nodded and stepped forwards. While the last thing she wanted was to have dinner with Davy Jones this was the best chance of escape that she had been given, and she'd take it.
"You seem to be deep in thought, luv."
Turning her back on the window, Lois blushed, wondering just how long Jack had been there. Had he watched her listening in to Giselle and Lucy's conversation? She honestly hoped not because being an eavesdrop wasn't the finest of qualities, but Lois had needed to hear that conversation. If she hadn't she would've still been eyeing Giselle with what she knew was thinly veiled contempt.
Lois remembered the Giselle she'd met while searching for Chloe, and to be honest when she discovered that Lucy had married the blonde to help keep up her charade of being a male she'd been incensed. Not so much at the charade itself, but at the fact that she knew that the prostitute was using Lucy. Not only would Giselle not have to walk the streets anymore, but she'd be owner (through marriage) of a well-to-do establishment. To be honest, Lois had been terrified they'd learn Lucy had been stabbed to death in her sleep, and she would've known it was Giselle, who'd be aiming for sole ownership.
Lois glanced back at the open window.
Giselle cared about Lucy. It was more than obvious. This wasn't just a show to help Lucy, Giselle genuinely cared for Lucy and her well-being. She was willing to put them out of business to make sure Lucy came back safe and sound.
It was at that very moment that Lois accepted Giselle as her sister-in-law. Now she realized she would not have to always worry about Lucy being here alone with villains and cut-throats, because Lucy wasn'talone.
The thought made her smile.
"Ah, yes, my presence is smile-worthy, I know," Jack declared as he moved closer while eyeing around them suspiciously. "Where be your spiffy father?"
This was the first time she'd been alone with Jack since she'd learnt what she had from Cutler, and Lois wasn't exactly sure how to feel or react. She'd thought Jack regrettably charming before but he'd still been a scoundrel pirate. Now though? She had stories from a man who hated Jack's very existence, stories which made Jack out to be so much more than she could've ever suspected. Somewhere, buried deep under Jack's cocky, drunken exterior, beat a heart of gold. The gold was probably stolen, of course, but it was still gold nonetheless. It made him harder to dismiss, and she didn't know how to handle that revelation.
"You are a good man, Jack Sparrow," were her first words to him since he'd arrived in Tortuga with her sister.
Jack's eyes widened as he brought a hand to his heart. "What have I ever done to deserve such slander?"
She merely smiled at that. Unlike Cutler, who bragged about any accomplishment, Jack shied away from his like the plague. "Where's the rum? I know you have some on you."
He eyed her warily. "Why?"
For a moment she didn't get his reaction, and then she laughed. "I am not about to burn it, Jack Sparrow! Do I look like I need rescuing from a deserted island?"
Jack continued to eye her warily before he finally reached into some pocket or the other and pulled out a bottle of rum, which he handed to her. "You will want to go easy on it, this is—."
Lois uncorked the bottle and threw her head back, downing gulp after gulp of the burning liquid.
Jack's mouth fell open as he watched her.
Finally lowering the bottle, Lois wiped the back of her hand against her lips and coughed as she passed the bottle back to him. "It has a nice burn."
Jack continued to eye her in utter shock before he shook his head and cleared his throat, taking a swig from the bottle as well.
This was a trap somehow. Chloe didn't know what exactly Davy Jones was planning, but she knew there was something going on. It was in the odd way he held himself, in the way he watched her carefully. A part of her thought maybe the food was poisoned but they'd served themselves from a common dish so that couldn't be it. She remembered being in a similar position with Barbossa once upon a time, and the fact that her life seemed to have so many parallels made her shake her head.
"Can you make it permanent?" Davy Jones finally broke the silence, drawing her attention to him. "Can you make me how I used to be?"
"Maybe," she responded softly. "I do not know precisely the extent of my abilities." She picked up an apple and looked at it. "I am still very new at them, you see."
He sat there, his hands (both human and crab) clutching the edge of the table. Davy Jones breathed in, breathed out, and then raised his chin as his eyes bore into her with the intensity of sharpened knives. "I did hear about you, you were right, but to be honest I did not believe what I heard."
"And why is that?" She wanted to know curiously.
"Because," he leaned forwards, "you are the daughter of Governor Weatherby Swann."
"My father is good man!" Chloe cried, insulted on his bath.
"He may be, that is yet to be seen," Davy Jones replied as he sat back down and reached for his pipe and lighter. "But he is not great." He lit the pipe and huffed out a ring of smoke before once more returning his attention to her. "Why would his daughter have any sort of power?"
She hesitated, gaze on the ring of smoke as it rose, before her gaze returned to find his on her. "Because he is not my father, not biologically."
Davy froze, muscles tensed. "You do not say."
"Yes, I do say." She felt like she was betraying her father, but couldn't stop herself from speaking. "I am not originally from this world."
Davy's grip on the pipe loosened before he tightened it once more. "You do not say."
Frowning at his repetition, Chloe cleared her throat. "I do not really remember the events clearly, just flashes of a horrible storm in the sky and rocks falls all around me…" she shivered at the memory. "I was brought here, with my sisters, as children. Our father found us and raised us as his own. He is a good man and a kind, loving father." She took in a deep breath as she pushed the food around on her plate with her fork. "I was born with the ability to self-heal but did not know about it until after Barbossa and her crew took me." Her gaze met Davy Jones' steadfast one. "That was when I discovered many a thing I did not know."
He almost looked afraid, his voice softer yet accent deeper when he asked: "Such as?"
Instead of answering, Chloe glanced down at her cuff bracelet. "What happened to you, Davy Jones?" She peered back at him in genuine confusion. "Why are you and your crew the way you are?" She licked her lips. "Why has Calypso done nothing to help?" She hesitated a beat. "You two were so in love… I cannot understand how she would let you remain this way."
Davy Jones rose to his feet with terrifying force. He turned his back on her and stormed to gaze out of the window at the water below. "Calypso knew not love but for herself."
"That's not true." Chloe stood as well. "I have seen you two together on multiple occasions. You were in love with each other."
"I was a fool!" He snarled as he turned towards her, stalking towards her furiously, eyes wild. "Her heart was fickle, like the sea! As the tide rolled out, so did her so-called love." He sneered down hatefully at Chloe. "I learnt my lesson. Love is a weakness. It is the foolish notions of a young child." His eyes narrowed as he leaned into her. "I feel nothing, not for her, not for anything."
Chloe's heart was racing in fear, so when her voice came out strong she congratulated herself in shock. "Then why are you so angry?"
His mouth opened and closed before he snarled and blew a lungful of smoke from his pipe into her face.
Unable to sleep, James made his way to the small dock behind the Captain's Bride and sat on the dock, his legs dangling in the dark water below as he stared into the dark horizon. They set sail for the compass' bearing tomorrow morning, but it wasn't soon enough in his books. The quicker they could get the Dead Man's Chest, the sooner Chloe would be back safely, or at least he had to force himself to believe that.
No matter what he'd said before, no matter that he'd sided with (god save him) Jack Sparrow, James had wanted nothing more than to join Will and force them to use the compass to go after Chloe. He still hadn't forgiven her for leaving the way she had, especially given where she was going, but he understood that she had a mission. While she was indentured to The Voice then her life, her decisions, would never truly be her own, they'd be driven by someone else's desire, and he was man enough to understand that. It didn't make it easy, though.
Leaning his head against the post, James took in a deep breath of salt air. He wished they were back home. The thought made him pause and chuckle because that was what the island was, home. When had that happened? He even missed conversing with Seamus, and that was hilarious in its own.
An image flashed before his eyes. It was of Chloe wearing dirty, stained clothes. Her hair was tied back and held in place with a cloth, and her face was smudged with dirt, but her smile was wide. She cleaned the windows and criticized his sweeping abilities, while he informed her curtly that he was an ex commodore and that meant that he could master such a commoner task as sweeping thank-you-very-much.
"Protect her," he ordered the sea as he pressed his head back hard against the post. "She is peril because of what are no doubt your orders."
There was no answer to his demands, but he hadn't quite expected any. Still, he reached into his shirt and pulled out the gift Tia Dalma had given him on the sly back in her tree-top home.
Will never stopped watching Chloe. James noticed because he watched her as well, but he knew that anyone with two eyes could tell the boy had feelings for the blonde. He wondered if Will had always been this obvious but James had been oblivious to it. The Will Turner before Chloe's first kidnapping was a quiet, reserved young man who was conscious of his position in life and never did anything to make himself noticeable or memorable. That Will would've never dreamed to watch Chloe with such open want and longing in his eyes.
James wondered if he too had changed that much. Did he wear his emotions on his face as well now, or were they as guarded as they'd always been?
"You know who I am," Tia Dalma's voice spoke from behind him, causing him to turn his back on Will and Chloe, who were conversing with Lucy about something or the other.
James turned towards the woman he was more than sure was The Voice due to Chloe's reaction to her. "Yes."
"Den you know she is special to me, important." Tia Dalma motioned towards Chloe, a fond smile on her face. "She 'as a touch of destiny to 'er, but so do others in dis room tonight." She reached out and trailed a finger down the side of his cheek. "Even you, James Ezekiel Norrington."
He didn't back down, wouldn't. "How can I help her?"
Her lips twitched for a second, as if amused by his question. "What do ya want? What can I offer you dat you do not already have, or cannot accomplish on yer own by yer own merit?"
"Her freedom," he responded quickly. "You can give her her freedom."
Tia Dalma's brown eyes widened and she tilted her head to the side. "You would trade someting precious wid me for 'er freedom when she is already earnin' it fah 'erself?" She leaned in closer. "Do you nah tink it is a waste of an offer?"
"No." James shook his head. "It is not."
Tia Dalma observed him quietly. "You love her."
Gulping, James' gaze found Chloe as she smiled at her sister, before he returned his attention to the obeah priestess. "I always have."
"An yet you let 'im take her." She motioned towards Will. "How strong can yer love truly be?"
He flinched. That was true. He'd been a coward for so long and had hurt Chloe so horribly. Just remembering her confession on that beach still tore at him. He'd acted so selfishly, so cowardly, and in the end he'd ended up hurting not only himself, but Lana and Chloe as well. James didn't think he'd ever forgive himself for that, or for how passively he'd reacted to Chloe's news of her courtship with Will. On the eve of his departure from Port Royal he'd gone to her house to tell her his feelings despite everything, and yet even then he'd taken the coward's way out. He hadn't wanted to lose her friendship, not when he had already lost everything else.
"I want her freedom," James whispered. "Even if she uses it to be with him, I still want her free."
Tia Dalma stared at him in silence before a surprisingly tender expression appeared on her face. She reached up and clasped his jaw. "You remind me of someone I used to know." Her voice was thicker, lower, before she cleared it and took in a deep breath. "I cannot barter 'er freedom wid you, dat is 'er barter." She raised an eyebrow. "If dat is yer only desire, den we cannot 'ave a deal."
He knew she was playing with him, and yet—. "I want to have the ability to help her, then. If I cannot give her her freedom, I want to be able to help her attain it herself."
Tia Dalma once more just stared at him, and then she smiled and nodded. "And what would you give me for dis?"
"What would you ask in return?" He asked instead.
Tia Dalma grinned a toothy grin. "Dis be no small ting ye desire. Its cost might be too great."
James closed his eyes and took in a deep breath as he readied himself. "Name it."
Licking her lips, Tia Dalma stepped closer. "In return for giving you what you need ta help free 'er from 'er debt to me…" She lowered her voice yet it was still strong, clearly audible. "…dere can only be oneprice for dat."
Staring at the intricate, clearly ancient yet magnificently preserved medallion, James sighed as he stared at the dolphin engraved on the front. He didn't know what it meant or what it did or how it would help him in his mission to free Chloe from her debt, but he'd bartered for it for a very price, so he kept it on its accompany chain, which was long enough for the medallion to rest by his heart.
Closing his fingers over the medallion, James peered back towards the sea.
The price didn't matter, it wouldn't, not as long as Chloe was able to live a long, happy life in freedom.