Coughing, Chloe pulled away and went to the window, throwing it open to gasp in clean gulps of sea air. The sight of fins made her contemplate just jumping out of the window, but Davy Jones was right there. She wasn't sure she'd be able to climb out of the window before he'd catch her, so instead of doing what her instincts told her to, Chloe turned her back on the window, her hands behind her, gripping the frame tightly.
"What would you know about love?" Davy Jones taunted her. "I saw into your mind, two faces reside there."
She gulped and leaned harder against the wall.
"You are not going to deny it?" Davy Jones smirked as if he'd won a terrible victory. "What a fickle heart you have."
"My emotions are not fickle," she hissed. If they were then she wouldn't have the utter terror she did right now concerning both James and Will's feelings. She'd loved them both once upon a time, and maybe she'd never stopped loving either, not completely, but she'd convinced herself that her feelings needed to be ignored and would not be reciprocated - only for both men to confess to her. It was probably why she'd jumped at the opportunity to put some distance between her and them, even if it meant finding herself in the belly of the beast.
"And what, pray tell, are they, then?" He taunted, back to her.
"Complicated." She kept from flinching when he turned towards her. "I grew up loving James, adoring him. He was everything to me for many years, but I believed he loved my sister so I forced myself not to love him so I could still have him in my life and it not hurt every time I looked at him or saw him with my sister." She bit her bottom lip and reached for her pendant, clasping it tightly. "During that time I became closer to Will and fell in love with him. Madly in love with him. But then he broke things off between us, I did not know that at the time he did so because my father asked him to. Like with James, I forced myself to close my heart to him and lock away my feelings." She took in a stuttered breath. "I have come back into contact with them recently and they both confessed their true feelings for me… and I realize now that I might not have been successful in quelling my past feelings for either of them." She raised her chin defiantly. "So my emotions are not fickle, they are complicated."
"And what would you do if I gave you a choice?" Davy Jones asked in an odd tone. "What if I told you I would kill and claim one for this ship for all eternity - and I give you the choice of which?" He moved closer, smile almost infernal. "Who would you sacrifice?"
"Myself." There was no hesitation, no question.
Davy Jones visibly faltered. "I beg your pardon?"
She wouldn't sacrifice either for herself, she wouldn't sacrifice anyone for herself. It wasn't in her nature to do so, and she was sickened at the very thought. Given a choice to decide someone's fate that like she couldn't, wouldn't, choose anyone else. "If I have the choice, then I choose myself, not them, not anyone else."
Fury spread over his face, strengthening with each rapid, labored breath. "I never took you for a weak, sentimental fool."
She stared him in his fishy face. "If I help you maintain your human form I want you to call off the Kraken from Jack's pursuit, and I also want your word that my loved ones will be safe from you and your minions."
Davy Jones leaned in, annunciating each word with dripping disdain. "I do not make deals with sea spirits."
She blinked, caught off guard by his choice of words. "I am not—."
In seconds his crab claw had her by the neck, squeezing her angrily and cutting off her flow of oxygen. "Pick, now! Which do I kill and which do I spare?"
She fought but he was much too strong.
"Choose!" He loosened his grip enough to let a little air, and some sound, back to her. "Give me a name!"
Shaking her head, Chloe closed her eyes tightly. It didn't matter in the end if she died, it might actually be an end of her servitude to Tia Dalma. This death wasn't like the others she'd suffered through, Davy Jones - the mythical master of the sea who had so much power… it wasn't unreasonable to believe that death by such a person could negate any ability she had at resurrection. He could send her soul down to the locker, and if such, then she could not see any reason or way as to how she could come back.
Davy Jones raised her body off of the ground by her neck, slamming her back against the window, the blow forcing the window open violently and her eyes to fly open as well. "I will accept your proposition, you can keep your life - and your loved ones will be safe from me and mine - but you must choose one of them to forever serve this vessel." His eyes were wild, his tone deepening, his grip tightening. "Choose someone! Choose! Save yourself!"
Shaking her head once more, Chloe could see a feral desperation darkening his face.
"I will break your neck," he snarled in promise. "If you do not choose to save one, I will kill them both."
Panic raced through her soul as she stopped fighting and hung there, gripping his claw.
He smiled, at it was a terrible sight. "Good, you see your position." He tilted his head, tentacles flicking around. "Now tell me, little spirit, who will I have the pleasure of welcoming aboard the Flying Dutchman for all eternity? James or Will?"
James stumbled to his feet and took a step towards the edge of the dock. His grip tightened on the medallion in reaction to the storm brewing inside of him. Just like the night in which he'd had to fish Chloe out of the lagoon, a sudden, overwhelming and inexplicable sense of dread clasped its icy fingers around his heart and was squeezing so hard he felt like she couldn't breathe.
Something was wrong with her, she was in danger.
I was wrong. Will was right. We should have gone for her right away! He hated himself at that moment more than ever. If she dies because I did nothing I will—!
"What is it?" A surprising voice asked behind him.
He didn't want to see Will Turner, not when he was being proven right once more when it came to Chloe and her safety. That was why he kept his back to Will, his gaze on the dark horizon. "She is in danger at this very moment."
"How would you know?" Will asked oddly.
"I do not know the why or the how," James admitted softly. "It has happened once before, I only barely made it to her in time."
Will was silent for a long moment before he joined James at his side. "You do not understand the magnitude with which I resent you."
James chuckled darkly and sidled a glance in Will's direction to find him staring out at the vast expanse as well. "Or I you." Silence befell them as they both stared out into the water, but James felt the sensation growing and growing in his chest, leaving him breathless. "I harbor ill feelings towards you, Will Turner, and I know that you feel likewise."
"Oh, I do," Will agreed without any hesitation.
"But I believe we need to work together if we wish to help Chloe," James continued after a moment's silence. "We cannot help her if we are too busy arguing, or trying to one-up or sabotage the other. Do you agree?"
There was a moment's silence, and then Will nodded. "I agree."
Taking in a deep breath, James Norrington turned to William Turner and held out his hand. "I call a cessation on any personal issues we have with each other."
Will eyed the hand with a raised eyebrow. "The moment the danger is passed, though, I am winning her back."
"You can most definitely try," James agreed, hand still outstretched.
Shaking his head, Will placed his hand in James' and shook it seconds before pain rattled through their brains as images raced in front of them.
A monster, half human half squid, raised Chloe's body off of the ground by her neck, slamming her back against the window, the blow forcing the window open violently and her eyes to fly open as well. "I will accept your proposition, you can keep your life - and your loved ones will be safe from me and mine - but you must choose one of them to forever serve this vessel." His eyes were wild, his tone deepening, his grip tightening. "Choose someone! Choose! Save yourself!"
Chloe shook her head viciously.
"I will break your neck," he snarled in promise. "If you do not choose to save one, I will kill them both."
Chloe stopped fighting immediately, panic in her eyes as she hung there, gripping his claw.
He smiled, it was a terrible sight. "Good, you see your position." He tilted his head, tentacles flicking around. "Now tell me, little spirit, who will I have the pleasure of welcoming aboard the Flying Dutchman for all eternity? James or Will?"
She stared into his face, clearly thinking. Chloe opened her mouth and tried to get out a word but couldn't, the grip on her throat making it impossible.
The monster seemed to realize this, because he let go of her and let her fall to the floor roughly. "I did nah catch the name."
Glaring up at him, Chloe gulped in air as she stumbled to her feet. "I said I see now why Calypso must have stopped loving you, as well as why you now look the way you do." She held her chin up defiantly. "You look like a monster, Davy Jones, because that is exactly what you are. And who could ever love a monster?"
Davy Jones stood there, almost in shocked trauma, before he let out a deafening roar and backhanded Chloe so hard she slid backwards into the wall and tumbled backwards and over the window, falling out into the sea below. The monster raced to the window and gripped at the frame, staring at the vast, dark ocean, and yet even in the dark he could tell that she had not surfaced. "MACCUS!" He stormed to the door and flung it open, yelling: "SHE HAS ESCAPED! BRING HER BACK TO ME!"
Will and James yanked their hands away from each other and gasped, staring at each other in horror.
Will was the first to react, his eyes wide, his breathing erratic. "She will drown! Or worse!"
"No." James shook his head and turned towards the Captain's Bride. "She is in the water, she will be safe."
"How can you say that?" Will snapped as he hurried after him. "You saw what I did! It was deep water with no land visible outside that window! She will not make it! If some sea-life does not consume her, Davy Jones will take her back, or she will drown!"
"No." James continued forwards. "She will be chased, but now she has an advantage."
Will grabbed James' arm and flung him around to face him. "What do you know that I do not? How can you be so sure? So calm?"
"I cannot go into specifics, it could jeopardize her," James admitted. "But know this, the sea is her ally."
Confusion clouded Will's face. "Is this the same Chloe Swann we are speaking of? The one who has been kidnapped, on multiple occasions, by creatures closely associated with the sea?"
"Yes, it is," James assured him before he yanked his arm free and twirled back around, intent on his mission.
"Where are you going?" Will fell in line.
"To wake up the others," James replied as he walked with purpose. "We need to leave, now."
Waist deep in the waters surrounding her tree-top home, Tia Dalma held her palms face-down in the waters. She'd barely left the water the last couple of days, watching as the Black Pearl left Tortuga with quite a couple of people on board whom Jack Sparrow was not happy with being there, chief amongst them being Giselle (whom Jack was still somewhat scared of) and Governor Swann. For Jack it was hard enough to have James Norrington aboard the Black Pearl, but adding Weatherby Swann made Jack feel somewhat like he was back in the employment of Cutler Beckett. Of course, Weatherby did not have the dark heart that Cutler Beckett did, but Weatherby did share in some of his more pompous characteristics.
Weatherby's presence wasn't only a problem because of that, but because Jack obviously wanted to fornicate with the man's daughter, and Weatherby not only realized his intentions, but actively made himself an obstacle.
If the situation wasn't so frustrating, Tia would be amused. But she wasn't. No. Because all she could do was watch. So much was happening around her, so many things that were out of her control, it was why she'd needed Chloe in the first place. The fact that she'd fallen this low, that she was physically bound to this island and needed to recruit outside forces, angered her every time she remembered, but this was life, and she was never one to wallow in self-pity.
This hadn't been her first plan, her first try. Countless times before this she'd tried for options, items, that could help her on her quest, but never had her proteges been as promising, or gotten as far, as Chloe Sullivan had. Maybe it was due to the fact that the girl was not human. Tia had wondered whether Davy Jones would be able to tell the truth about the girl, and while Tia's sight was incredibly limited when it came to him and the Flying Dutchman she'd used up a lot of her strength to see snippets and know that even if he did not know the truth about the girl he enjoyed torturing, he suspected enough not to kill her.
That did not mean that he had gone easy on her. Tia had felt the connection between her and Chloe activate enough to know that he'd hurt the girl, and considering this was the third day of her trying to contact the blonde with no response, Davy Jones had hurt Chloe enough to knock her unconscious for this long.
Tia found herself worrying, and whispered to those on the Black Pearl to hurry.
"Such barbaric living situations are beneath us," father muttered under his breath as he rubbed his back for the hundredth time that day. Despite the fact that they had been on the Pearl for neigh a week now he had yet to get used to sleeping in the hammocks in the common room with the other sailors. He had eyed Jack's room, harrumphed about being the Governor and being treated as such, and had then been completely scandalized when Jack had snorted and slammed the door in his face.
"Jack has gone over the navigational charts and believes that the compass is leading Lucy to Isla Cruces," Lois announced as she leaned against the railing, enjoying the sea breeze on her face as she watched Lucy by the ship's mast with Giselle by her side. The compass was in Lucy's hand, and she was staring down at it as she spoke to the blonde, whose curls were dancing on the wind.
"Isla Cruces?" Lana asked softly from her side. "Why do I feel as if I have heard that name before?"
"I do believe it sounds familiar as well," father muttered to himself as he fought desperately to keep his extravagant hat on despite the wind's valiant attempt to yank it off.
"Stories of Isla Cruces are very well known," Will's voice brought their attention to him, to find him approaching with James. Those two had apparently struck some sort of alliance between them for the time being, and Lois wondered exactly how long it would last once they found Chloe once more. "The Church went to the island and brought 'salvation'… as well as disease and death. They say the priest had to bury everybody, one after the other. It drove him mad, and he hung himself."
"It makes sense that Davy Jones would choose that location to hide the Dead Man's Chest," James added. "Isla Cruces was known as a plague island and was deserted. All sane travelers would have avoided it."
Father went pale. "Is it unsafe to venture there, then?"
"Do not worry, Governor, you will remain safely aboard the ship," James assured him quickly. "Only a small group will venture onto the island."
"Who will make up this small group?" Lana frowned as she stepped away from the railing to move closer to them. "Surely not yourselves." She must've seen the same thing Lois did on their faces because she scowled. "You should allow the pirates to take the risk, not yourselves."
"I am a pirate, Miss Lana," Will said with a little more force than he needed to.
Lana drew back, obviously having forgotten that point. She watched Will as he turned and walked away, her expression sad and self-scolding.
James eyed Will's retreating form before his gaze turned to Lana. "Do not worry about us, Miss Lana, we will be safe."
She smiled weakly at him.
Angering Davy Jones into knocking her into the water had definitely been the plan, but blacking out from the pain and the blow had not. Chloe had seen a large figure in the water coming closer and closer, so before she blacked out she knew Finley had to be on the way, but everything after that was a mystery.
All she knew was that when she awoke she was washed up on a beach. Finley was no where in sight. That would've have worried her too much if it wasn't for the fact that she realized she was covered in scratches and bruises that definitely hadn't been given to her by Davy Jones. There must've been some sort of fight, or attack, and she worried about Finley. Had he made it out okay?
Stumbling to her feet, Chloe felt a stabbing pain pierce her. It was thirst and hunger, but not an appropriate amount if only hours had passed since she'd been knocked out. No. She felt parched, her throat on fire, as if she hadn't drunk water for days. Her stomach growled, loudly, cramping in pain as she made her way away from the beach towards the island itself. It didn't look inhabited, at least not this section of it. Her first couple of steps had hurt her, a lot, and when she looked down it was to see her legs and feet covered in more scratches. The bottom of her feet were particularly bad.
Just what had happened?
Limping through the sand towards the jungle visible behind her, Chloe tried to figure out why this island seemed so similar. She knew she'd seen it before but couldn't quite place where she might've seen it, or possibly visited, it before.
It is not important right now, she told herself as she forced herself on despite the pain. Get to the jungle. If there are trees there is fresh water. A part of her told her to just drink the sea water, but she rejected the idea immediately. Everyone knew not to drink seawater. No. She needed freshwater and she'd find it in the jungle.
There were, of course, other things that might be found in the jungle but she pressed on.
It took a while, but when she finally found a river with running fresh water she collapsed into it, drinking her fill as she washed the saltwater off of her. Drinking like she hadn't had a sip of water in years, Chloe only stopped once her stomach began to complain. She then rested in the water, floated happily until the sounds of the jungle brought her attention back to the present.
There was no time to lose. She needed to figure out where she was and how to get to the others. Chloe had assumed Finley would take her to the Black Pearl, but since he hadn't she had to wonder if maybe the sea wasn't safe for her anymore. What if Finley had had to drop her off at the closest island because Davy Jones and his men were catching up too quickly? It would be easier for her to hide from them on land.
Be safe, Finley.
Chloe clutched the crystal swan around her neck and took in a deep breath. She was about to emerge from the water when the sound of giggles caught her attention. Spinning around in the water, Chloe watched as the bushes shook with the quick yet silent approach.
A giggle escaped the rustling bushes as a female emerged from it, a smile on her face as she glanced over her shoulder. Whatever she saw behind her caused her to laugh and run harder, but not fast enough to actually be genuinely trying to outrun someone. A male quickly broke through the foliage, a large playful smile on his face as he chased after the woman.
Chloe watched them go, eyes wide in shock. She pinched herself and then cried out when the pain registered. This wasn't a dream. It wasn't a vision, she was still completely cognizant. So what…?
Scrambling out of the water, Chloe grabbed her shoes and hurried after a young, human Davy Jones, and the goddess Calypso.