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.
Here's the last chapter, guys! Hope you enjoyed this!
The key was in a miniature, fist-sized cauldron over a large fire in a small house outside of the treehouse, on the ground. It appeared that Tia Dalma did her cooking and other fire-based activities here, which made sense given her actual house was up in a tree surrounded by water. Davy Jones' key was covered in herbs and flowers as it melted from the heat while Tia Dalma stirred it with a wooden spoon and chanted words in a language Chloe did not recognize but could feel deep within her.
The door opened and James entered, closing the door behind him. "You called for me?"
"No?" Chloe answered in confusion as she turned away from the cauldron to face him.
"I did not mean you," he whispered, not meeting her gaze.
At first she didn't understand, and then she did. Her eyes widened in horror as she rushed to him, slamming her hands in his chest. "What did you do?"
James caught her wrists and kept her from continuing to hit him. "I did what I must to help you."
"No." She shook her head in denial. "Take it back! Take the deal back!"
"No." James brought her right hand to his mouth and pressed a kiss to her inner wrist. "I will not."
Tears filled her eyes as she turned to Tia Dalma in anger. "What did you take from him? What are his conditions?"
Tia Dalma didn't answer, she merely removed the cauldron from the fire and swirled the liquid in it under her nose. The metal and herbs she'd used had melted into one bubbling silver mess. "Smells ready."
"Do not change the subject!" Chloe snapped at the woman. "What are his conditions?"
"Ask him," Calypso responded as she held the container up by the handle towards Chloe. "But before that, drink."
"What?" Chloe asked in horror as she stared at the bubbling liquid. She'd assumed that Tia Dalma would be the one drinking that infernal looking concoction. Never had it crossed her mind while the woman melted it down and chanted over it that the thing had been for her.
"That will kill her!" James snapped.
"Dis is magic I used before I was bound, displaced magic. It is part of da key to my imprisonment on dis island." Tia Dalma stared at Chloe. "It needs to stop being displaced, and once inside you, da spell will be broken on me."
"Will it trap her on this island?" James wanted to know suspiciously.
"O' course not," the goddess in human form snorted before urging Chloe to take it. "What use would I 'ave for her trapped 'ere?"
Taking in a deep breath, Chloe took the small cauldron by the wooden handle and took in a deep whiff of the bubbling, melted liquid inside. It surprisingly enough smelt of flowers, lavender maybe. Her gaze went to James, who looked unhappy about the happening and doing his best to keep from arguing with both Tia Dalma and herself. He knew just as well as Chloe did that she didn't have a choice, and he wouldn't make this more difficult for her.
Closing her eyes, Chloe brought the cauldron an inch from her mouth and poured the boiling liquid inside of her. At first touch it was horrifyingly hot, but within a second the liquid was merely warm as her throat worked, downing the oddly tasting creation. Much quicker, and less painful, than she'd thought it would be, Chloe drank the whole cauldron and passed it back to the older woman. She looked between James and Tia Dalma, not sure what was supposed to happen, and then it did.
Light shone out of her tattoo as her body suddenly lit up from the inside and boiled as if her blood was on fire. She doubled over and would've fallen to her feet if James hadn't caught her and pulled her to him.
James' body wasn't enough to keep the splendor of the magic swirling inside of her, rippling out of her in visible waves like a tumultuous sea. Calypso's power inside of Chloe reacted violently, and Chloe felt herself close to being sick on James' shoes. Images of Lucy and Lois' last minutes of life flashed sickeningly before her eyes, and then suddenly Tia Dalma (who stood next to Chloe) exploded in light… and power raced into Chloe as a scene played in her mind.
Cutler Beckett looked up at her as he finished signing a document. "You have made the right choice. Now, thanks to you, what remains of your family will be safe." He turned to stare at a glass box, within which the Dead Man's Heart throbbed visibly.
Lana clutched her own quill tightly as she glanced over at her reflection in the glass in disgust. "Thank you… husband."
Suddenly pain erupted through Lana's body, it was as if part of her was being torn away, and as the brunette collapsed to her knees in pain she watched as something ripped itself out of her and raced away.
Gasping, Chloe clutched at James' shirt tighter as understanding hit. Whatever Tia Dalma had done had no only freed the woman from whatever was binding her to this island, but it'd started a chain reaction within Chloe's body which had culminated in Calypso's remaining divinity to tear out of Lana and join the rest of it within Chloe's body. That was why Chloe's own body had felt in such turmoil. The magic, now completely united inside of Chloe, crashed against each other like waves in a hurricane.
Her tattoo blazed brightly, painfully, her skin feeling like it was about to peel away from the intense heat emerging from within.
"Finally!" Tia Dalma yelled, hands thrown up in the air, eyes blazing red. "I am free of this island! The bounds shackling me to it, leaving me unable to set foot off of it, are now broken!"
"What is happening to her?" James wanted to know as he crouched down next to Chloe.
"My first step towards true freedom 'as triggered certain events," Tia Dalma responded as she moved towards them, movements more graceful somehow. "Da rest of Calypso's magic has made its way into her…" she paused. "Da rest dat is available at dis moment, at least."
"Will it hurt her?" James looked up at Tia Dalma while still helping support a whimpering Chloe.
"It will hurt… but will nah hurt her," Tia assured him as her own glowing slowly died out so that she appeared as she always had, but to Chloe there was definitely a different air around the older woman. "She would'na been chosen if her body could not take it."
"Stop talking about me as if I am not here," Chloe coughed, nausea rolling within her. She watched as her own body stopped glowing as if fire were just beneath.
A commotion exploded loudly in Tia Dalma's home, but the three in her cauldron room on the shore behind the tree ignored it.
"CHLOE!" Will yelled from the treehouse, the sound of people coming out and hurrying down caused Tia to open the door. The three of them made it out of the hut in time for the group who were not too badly injured appeared, obviously drawn by the explosions of lights which had occurred beneath them in the cooking hut.
Father wrapped his arms around Chloe, the man trembling as he held her closely, his voice shaky as he spoke into her hair. "I thought I had lost you too!"
"What happened here?" Giselle asked as she glanced around in suspicion. "It appeared as if a huge explosion had taken this place.
Chloe met Will's worried gaze over her father's shoulder, and she gave him a small smile, letting him know she was really okay.
"She is fine," Tia Dalma explained to them with a cunning little smile. "We were just conversin about de tings dat would be necessary ta bring de dead back to life."
That caught everyone's attention immediately as their gazes returned to what they believed to be merely an obeah priestess.
"Can you… do that?" Father whispered, his whole body trembling.
"Can you bring Lucy back to us?" Giselle wanted to know, her eyes, red and puffy from endless crying, fixed on Tia Dalma.
"Or Jack?" Mr Gibbs asked as his pirate crew agreed.
"If I could, what would you do?" Tia Dalma eyed the pirate crew. "Would you brave de many dangers at de shores at world's end ta bring back wiley Jack?"
"No." Giselle stepped forwards. "But I would for Lou."
Father nodded as his arms went around his two daughters. "As would I."
"Aye," Will added without a moment's hesitation.
"Aye!" Mr Gibbs yelled, which instigated a cheer of "ayes" from the pirates around them.
The corner of Tia Dalma's lips twisted in a small smile as she glanced over the pirates who stood beneath her home, all falling into place. Her gaze shifted over towards Chloe and James, eyebrow raised, her smile amused.
"Where she goes, I go," James answered the question not spoken, his gaze meeting Tia's dark eyes. "So, aye."
Nodding, Tia Dalma finally fixed her gaze on Chloe. There was something odd behind those dark orbs, but it didn't scare Chloe.
Chloe returned the small smile and nodded.
Reaching out, Tia tapped Chloe's hip with a nod.
Something jolted within Chloe from her tattoo as it burn painfully. She flinched and tightened her grip on father in response. It took her a couple of seconds of breathing through the pain to finally be able to find her voice. "Cutler Beckett has the Dead Man's Heart," Chloe revealed what she'd just seen, causing everyone to turn to look at her in horror. "I do not know how I saw it, but I did. Lana gave it to him." She felt sick to her stomach. "She married him, most probably to protect us."
Father turned to look at Chloe in horror. It just said so much about how this adventure had changed him that he didn't question her ability to suddenly see things that were impossible.
"Whoever has the heart controls the man," Tia Dalma announced grimly. "We must move, quickly. There are many things we need if we are to go to Davy Jones' Locker."
"Aye," Mr Gibbs agreed. "But with Jack and Cygnet both gone, who will captain the Pearl?"
"Well," a voice declared from behind Chloe as the reeds shook. "I reckon that would be me." Captain Barbossa stepped out of the thick reeds, a large grin on his face. "Tell me now, what has become of me Pearl?"
William Turner may be a lot of things, but he was not an idiot or blind. That was why, while everyone congregated around Barbossa, he stepped off to the side and followed Tia Dalma towards the edge of the water. He could tell she knew he was there and that meant she'd expected him to follow her. Who exactly was this woman? Did a mere obeah priestess have the ability to bring other people back to life like this? And what was her connection to Chloe and James?
"You 'ave many questions, William Turner," she announced as she gazed at the dark waters.
"What is your connection with Chloe? With Norrington?" He frowned. "You are the reason she has that tattoo she keeps hidden. You keep insinuating it." He stepped forwards. "You are a part of the secret she has been keeping from us."
"Sharp boy," the obeah priestess praised with a chuckle. "I saved 'er life when she was with Barbossa." She glanced over to where the pirate was speaking to a wide-eyed Chloe and a pale, clearly unhappy Norrington. "She owes me 'er life, and until she pay dat debt, she belongs to me."
Will's eyes widened in horror. Chloe belonged to someone? To this obeah priestess? And she'd belonged to her for so long? "So you are the reason things like her being kidnapped by mermaids happens."
"Not entirely, but yes, I did aggravate the situation." She turned to face him, expression and tone flirtatious. "Did I nah warn you, William Turner?" She folded her arms over her chest. "De other half I know-tis true, dis island's been expecting you. The sea 'as claimed yer heart 'er own, forced allegiance to 'er throne, torn between eart' an' sea, a battle looms before thee."
Will's eyes widened at the memory of the woman who'd come upon them and uttered those confusing words to him so long ago. "That was you?"
"Of course not, I was here." She motioned around her. "But I spoke through a believer. I warned you, but you did not search for de truth. You had my warning, you saw 'er tattoo, but you were content to cover yer eyes and not question anytin." She raised an eyebrow. "Do not blame me if him ask 'er de questions you should have. Do not blame me if him come to me to trade fer her safety. Him want 'er safe, him willing to sacrifice everytin for dat."
"Norrington made a deal with you?" Will whispered as suddenly everything started falling into piece all around him. "What did he have to barter? He has nothing."
"Him has everytin," Tia Dalma corrected oddly as she patted her heart.
Surprising worry filled Will as he turned back to look at Norrington, who spoke to Chloe, a hand at the small of her back. What had the man have to barter… but himself? He wouldn't have bartered himself, though, would he? If he had he'd have assured himself that he would not be able to have her, and hadn't he and Will promised each other a fair fight for Chloe once this was over?
"She will need you before dis is over," the obeah priestess brought his attention back to her. "Before we can get back wiley Jack we must bring back Lois, it be one of 'er conditions." She shook her head. "But we nah have what we need to bring de girl back, nah yet. Dat is where you three come in."
He frowned. "Go on."
"You are de only ones not hurt, de only ones who can make dis work in de time it needs to be done." She stepped closed. "Only de three of you, working together, can make dis happen, can get me what I need ta bring Lois Lane back to life."
Lane? Once again Tia Dalma was calling the girls by different names. She'd called Chloe "Sullivan" once before.
Will waited in silence, but when she said nothing more he frowned darker. "Are you not going to try and offer me a deal as you did Chloe and Norrington?"
"Me never offered anytin to Norrington, him offered me," she corrected immediately with a little huff. "An' anyway, me nah 'ave ta offer you anythin. You will do what I need you ta do, because you want ta protect her." She tilted her head to the side. "And protect her is all me need from you. For now at least." With that she turned and left, leaving Will by the edge of water alone to go over everything he'd discovered.
He glanced over to the others to find Norrington having gone off on his own, the man staring at the water with a frown on his face. Will took in a deep breath and made his way towards James.
James was very wary with this plan to work along Barbossa. It had been bad enough when they were allies with Jack Sparrow, but Hector Barbossa was a whole other issue, and it killed him to be unable to voice his true feelings regarding this. He'd signed those refusals away when he'd made the deal, and while he wished he could refuse to work along with the pirate he wouldn't, he'd made a deal and the outcome of that deal was all that was important.
"You made a deal with the obeah priestess," Will's voice declared behind him. "What was the price you paid?"
James took in a deep breath. He didn't want to say, especially not to Will, but it would come out in the future, would it not? Hiding it would change nothing. "Eternal servitude to the goddess Calypso."
There was a moment's silence, and then Will was next to him, eyes wide in horror. "Tia Dalma is the goddess Calypso?"
James chuckled darkly. "You were always a lot smarter than anyone ever gave you credit for, Mr Turner."
Will stared at him in growing horror before he looked towards her. "How could you? Chloe will—!"
"She is the reason I did that," James responded softly. "When this is over, and she is… I will pay my price willingly." He closed his eyes. "And when I do I expect you to protect her when I cannot."
Will shook his head. "No. I do not want this!" He turned to James, surprisingly angry. "You will be as bad as I was and break her heart willingly this time!"
"It is for her safety," James pressed. "It is for her freedom."
"I thought the same thing!" Will snapped at him. "And I just went and made her miserable! I made decisions regarding her future without consulting her!"
James took a step back because he realized Will was right. But there was a difference between his situation and Will. "She is a slave to that woman, Will, and I need to be able to help her procure her own freedom. Someone like Davy Jones - if he killed her - she would be coming back."
Will stared at James in sudden understanding and felt reluctant respect filling him. He could finally understand why Chloe loved James Norrington. He was insufferably noble. "I will not stand for this."
James blinked in surprise. "I thought you would be more pleased with this outcome."
"Then you do not know me," Will responded with ire. "This is not a 'win' for me. Chloe loves us both. She needs us both, especially now." It visibly hurt him to say that. "Do you know how much it would hurt her to know that you have condemned yourself to eternal servitude because of her?"
"I was hoping she would not have to know," James admitted. But considering that she now knew of the deal he knew that it was only time before she once more asked him the terms.
Will let out an angry sound. "She will not know because we are going to find a way to get you out of this contract! If I beat you it will be a fair fight! Not because of something like this!" He leaned in and glared at James threateningly as he growled: "I am going to find a loophole to that contract and get you out if it, even if it is the last thing I do!"
James once more stared at Will in surprise, and suddenly understood why Chloe loved William Turner. He was insufferably noble.
Neither man noticed Tia Dalma watching from the shadows, arms folded over her chest, a smile growing on her face.
It had been hard to get her father to agree to stay behind, but Chloe had reminded him that both Lois and Giselle needed him to protect them while Chloe, James and Will were gone to get what Tia Dalma would need to resurrect Lois. It was that fatherly duty which had finally convinced him, and he had agreed that he needed to guard Lois' body, and make sure none of the pirates did anything to Giselle while Lucy wasn't here to protect her. He hadn't been happy though, had been terrified this would be the last time he'd see Chloe, that he'd lose all his daughters.
Chloe had needed some time to herself so she'd gone swimming. It was dark, and there were crocodiles in the water with her, but instead of fearing them, Chloe swam up to the largest and rested on top of its back. She rubbed the beast's head and allowed it to take her away, the flicks of its tail more powerful than any force her own legs could muster.
By the time the crocodile brought her back the sun was slowly returning to the sky. She surfaced to find James and Will leaning against a nearby tree, apparently waiting on her and talking amongst themselves.
James noticed her first. "How was your swim?"
"Fine, thank you." She glanced at Will and then at the crocodiles swimming contently around her, not exactly sure how to explain this to him.
"He knows," James surprised her by saying. "Tia Dalma told him."
Chloe's eyes widened. She absentmindedly stroked the snout of one of the crocodiles who'd nudged her hand with its head as her green eyes rested on Will. "She never gave me permission to tell you."
"James told me," Will surprised her, not only with his words, but the fact that he'd called James by his christian name and not by 'Mr Norrington'. His dark gaze went to the crocodiles in the water. "So… crocodiles like you."
She laughed and nodded. "Anything in the sea likes me."
"Not that she is bragging or anything," James assured Will with a teasing glance in her direction.
Shaking her head, smile bright, Chloe emerged from the water and stood in front of James and Will. Despite it being very improper, neither looked away. She licked her lips as she drew closer, their combined gazes like a huge tidal wave rushing over her.
They'd be leaving in a couple of hours to start their little side adventure to get what was needed to bring Lois back, and for the first time, as Chloe noticed the ease and lack of hostility between James and Will, she felt her anxiety about being alone with them evaporate. She didn't know exactly what had happened while she was gone, but for the first time she felt hope.