Summary: One-shot. Elizabeth and Will after PotC:Curse of the Black Pearl. DMC and AWE could happen after this, or it couldn’t. Whatever strikes your fancy.
They cannot see each other as often as Elizabeth would like, for propriety’s sake. What is she willing to do to hang propriety and see her lover anyway?
Disclaimer: I do not own Will Turner or Elizabeth Swann. Or Norrington. I do not own the movie of PotC either. Although, I would like to. I mean, if Disney relinquishes its stingy hold on the characters a bit, keep me in mind! (waves and giggles)
She felt a thin layer of sweat gather at her brow while she fanned herself rampantly. The corset was bone crushingly tight. She had made a case for not wearing it, reminding her father of the last time she had been forced into one, and he ignored her, claiming there was no battlement to fall from, as they were in the mansion this time.
Her heavy folds of the new dress just in from London were beginning to flatten in the heat emanating from her overheated form. People were dancing about in the middle of the floor and she heard pretentious giggles behind her.
Turning, she eyed the three girls who seemed a bit older than her twenty one years, and immediately they stopped, diverting their gazes from her befuddled figure. Rolling her eyes, she moved through the room, cursing her father’s speech about propriety that forced her into this mess.
Now she was surrounded by men who were a hair’s breath from asking for her hand in marriage, and she knew she would get a look from her father if she brushed them off. She hadn’t the mindset to care.
One man outside of the large heavy doors, probably in his own home, alone and most likely much cooler than she was now, held her fancy. And he was the only one who she offered her hand to. If only he would ask for it.
Turning from the blazing heat of the party, Elizabeth Swann strolled out onto the veranda and stopped when she heard a giggle. She turned and saw one of the men of whom she had just politely declined to marry nibbling on the neck of another young woman.
The woman saw her first and gasped, her eyes wide as she shoved him away. “Gerald!”
He turned and fixed his eyes on Elizabeth with a smirk. “Ah, Miss Elizabeth. It’s much more refreshing out here than in there, isn’t it?”
“I suggest you find somewhere else to smirk, Lietenant Haskins, and somewhere else to disrupt the innocence of this child. Somewhere that isn’t my home.” Elizabeth fixed an angry glare at the man, so he took the teenager’s hand and stomped away to find somewhere more private.
Elizabeth pursed her lips and crossed her arms, leaning on the banister of the veranda. “I hate parties,” she breathed, wiping her forehead with her sleeve and shutting her eyes, letting the light cool breeze waft across her overheated skin.
“That’s a pity, I usually love them,” said a voice behind her. She spun and came face to face with Commodore James Norrington. He grinned at her, his eyes lit up in a fashion she never quite saw in her entire knowledge of him.
“You wouldn’t seem like the type…”
“…to love parties? No, no, I really don’t seem like the type. But I do love to dance. And where else may I dance but at a party?” He chuckled, coming to stand beside her. “It is quite warm inside, I must say…” His voice died off and his face was much more sober as he looked inside.
The pang of guilt was building inside of Elizabeth as she stood beside him. It had only been five months since she had declined his offer of marriage after already accepting it for the love of another man. She knew he was a good man, but her happiness would never be complete in the arms of any other man but him.
She turned to look out in the direction of his home, feeling a twinge in her heart as she remembered why he could not be here.
He was not invited.
“Elizabeth…” The commodore started.
She turned back. “Yes, James?”
“I’ve been meaning to talk to you about…” His voice died off again. He cleared his throat as she watched him. “You have a look in your eyes of…pity…whenever you look at me now.”
“No! James, I…” She started, but he held up a hand, chuckling slightly.
“I understand, Elizabeth. Please, let me finish.” She nodded. “I want you to understand that my offer to you those months ago was originated from love, but now my feelings are different. The man you chose is a good man, a strong man, and someone I trust with your happiness. I daresay I could not have given you that.”
Elizabeth smiled slightly.
“Where is young William, anyways?”
Elizabeth’s smile dimmed, as well as the ferocity of the fire in her eyes when Will Turner was mentioned. “Father made sure he didn’t get the invite I meant to send him.”
“What? What do you mean?” James stared at her in disbelief.
“He thinks my ‘infatuation’ with Will is short lived. Will is a blacksmith, his father was a pirate, and I am not allowed to have him here in my father’s home, for propriety’s sake.” Her jaw clenched as she thought of the discussion she had with her father that same morning. Or rather, the heated argument.
James shook his head. “Propriety. The definition of propriety goes as such: suitableness to an acknowledged or correct standard or rule; consonance with established principles, rules, or customs.” Elizabeth raised an amused eyebrow at him. He smiled. “I was forced to memorize the meaning as a boy, so that I would never forget it.”
“Indeed; it’s all relative. So, if you truly thought about the word ‘propriety’, you would wonder if there has been established a ‘correct’ standard for anything, let alone behavior. Therefore, your young man resides in his home, no doubt, missing an invite you surely have within the folds of that dress, and it is within your duty, as his suitor, to bring it to him.” James Norrington chuckled as her eyes widened.
“You would not tell my father…”
“Of course I wouldn’t. I’m getting tired of propriety. One of these days, I’ll leave this place and go somewhere propriety doesn’t exist.” He laughed as she threw her arms around him and took the invitation from her dress’s folds, hurrying to the stables to take a horse.
The man watched her disappear, before he heard the thumping of a horse’s hooves fade off. His eyes dimmed slightly and he cleared his throat, straightening his wig and smoothing his jacket. A good deed done, he decided, was worth it all.
“Commodore Norrington!” Weatherby Swann came out onto the veranda. “Is my daughter out here with you?”
“I believe she’s retired to her bed, Sir. It seems her corset was, in fact, too tight. I would let her have tonight off to rest, Sir.” He smiled cordially at the older man.
“Oh dear, I feel awful. I made her wear that dreadful thing. I should go up to check on her…” He turned to go back inside, but Norrington’s eyes widened, reaching out to the man.
“I escorted her to her room myself. She’s perfectly fine, Governor Swann. You trust me, don’t you?”
“Yes, of course. If she is sleeping, I do not wish to disturb her.”
“You are a good man, Governor. Come, let’s join the party inside. I do love a good dance.”
William Turner sat in the chair beside the wooden table in the middle of the floor in his small room behind the smithy. His feet were propped up on the table, the boots that usually adorned his feet laying beside his bed and his vest draped over the headboard. Now, barefoot and only in an unbuttoned white shirt and trousers, Will was completely in his element, reading beside the candle light.
It was usually at night, when nobody was around, that he read the books Elizabeth provided him with. They were books of fantasy and, dare he say it to anyone outside of himself, romance.
He often slept after reading these stories with the dreams of becoming one of those heroes in her books, for he figured these were the men Elizabeth Swann had always wanted. Men who were dashing, clever, and handsome.
Just as he was getting to the part where the hero found the fair maiden in her locked room, there was a light knock at his back door. He looked up at the door and his brow furrowed. Taking his feet down from the table, he pulled the bookmark down to the page, and set the book down, standing to walk to the door.
He peered through the small hole in the wood of the door and saw a dark figure standing in the moonlight. Reaching beside the door, he took up a dagger and opened the door, brandishing it for safety.
“Elizabeth!” He dropped the dagger as she flew into his arms. “What in God’s name…there is a party you are supposed to be at, isn’t there?”
“Yes, well, you were supposed to be there as well.”
“I was?” His brown eyes widened. “I didn’t know! Was I to receive an invitation? I—I didn’t get one, I don’t think…otherwise…”
“No, we never sent you one. But I wanted to.” She pulled it out from her dress and handed it to him. “My father thought it would be…well…”
“Ah, he didn’t want me there.” His eyes dimmed as he lowered his head, opening the invitation and smiling slightly as he read it. Elizabeth had etched her own small message at the bottom.
Will, please come. I have not seen you in over two weeks and I must see you!
Dress nicely, I wish to show you off.
“My father is an idiot.” She smiled lamely up at him, before he took her hand and pulled her inside of his room, shutting the door behind them. “Will, could I ask you a favor, now that we are in the privacy of your room?”
“Help me take this dress off, will you?” She bit her lip.
“Almost anything.” Will’s throat went dry. “Elizabeth, I don’t think propriety…”
“Oh, hang it all! Propriety: suitableness to an acknowledged or correct standard or rule. There is no correct definition of standard or rule, and thus propriety is a stupid word that should not be used, especially not by you.” She turned from him and pointed to the ties at the back of the dress. “I cannot breathe properly, Will…please. If you do not do it, I shall be forced to do it myself with that dagger you pointed at me and perhaps risk injury to myself.”
Will quickly set his hands to her ties and helped her take the dress off. She threw it on his bed and pointed to the corset. “Hurry, I can feel the last breath leaving me.”
He untied the strong knot in the ties of the corset as fast as he could and pulled the contraption from her, seeing how impossibly thin her waist was than he remembered it. “God, Elizabeth. This is a death trap.”
“Hm, isn’t it though?” She giggled, rubbing her sides and gasping. “Ouch.”
Will chucked the corset on top of her dress and set his hands in his pocket. As Elizabeth turned back to him, she finally took notice of the fact that he was sparsely dressed. His toned chest, abs, and stomach peaked out from the flowing shirt he left unbuttoned.
Hanging all propriety, rules of society, and anything else that would have normally stopped her, she stepped to him and pushed the shirt from his shoulders, letting it drop behind him. He just watched her, fascinated by the way her eyes flashed.
She leaned up and kissed him, reaching her arms around his neck and weaving her long, thin fingers through his tresses of dark, wavy hair. His hands latched onto her waist and his fingers crunched the soft, cotton material. Suddenly, it hit him like a ton of bricks that both he and Elizabeth had practically nothing on and were alone, and he back away.
Elizabeth stared up at him with pursed lips and fiery brown eyes, narrowed in confusion. “What is it?” She breathed, hardly daring herself to speak.
“I know you don’t like the word propriety, Elizabeth, so I’ll use the word honor. I love you, Elizabeth Swann. And I want to do everything possible to make you happy, but I also want to protect you.”
“So protect me.” She went to him to kiss him again.
“I’m trying to,” he whispered, setting his hand on her chest to stop her. He looked down at his hand which rested on her heaving bosom and went slightly cross eyed, pulling it away quickly. “Agh, I just…”
“You just what?” She asked, amused.
“Your honor is important to me, Elizabeth, and I don’t want to be a part in anything that may endanger it. I’m afraid if you come any closer, that won’t be a problem.” He swallowed the lump in his throat.
“Will, I have not been anywhere near you in the last two weeks. It has made me flighty and strange. My father has been commenting on it nearly every day. He thinks I may be ill. William, I miss you.” She stepped forward again and this time he did not hold her back as she tucked her face into his strong neck.
“I miss you too. I’m driven to distraction while I work.” He held up his hand and showed her his two wrapped fingers. “See?”
“Oh, Darling,” she giggled, kissing it and grinning up at him. “You do care!”
He laughed and hugged her to him tightly. “Elizabeth, please…for me…don’t seduce me late at night like this again. It’s very disconcerting how close I was to actually losing my control.”
“I cannot promise you anything, Will Turner. And besides, no one knows I am here except for James.” She shrugged.
“What?! Elizabeth, I must escort you home at once!” Will grabbed her hand and started for the door, but stopped very suddenly. “First I need to put my shirt on.”
Elizabeth rolled her eyes and stood watching him, her hands on her hips. “Will…”
“Elizabeth, put your dress back on quickly! We may not have much time before your father bursts in here and I’ll be hanged!” He pulled his shirt on and buttoned it crookedly.
He stopped and looked at her. “What are you…?”
“WILL!” She went to him and unbuttoned the shirt, taking it off of him again. “Calm down, James is covering for me all night.”
“What do you mean, he’s covering?”
“I mean my father believes I’m in my room asleep and he shan’t be checking on me, because James covered for me. He is the only one who knows I’m here besides me…” She walked up to him and fiddled with his belt buckle, causing him to lose his breath. “…and you.”
“I doubt he would appreciate you using this time to…”
“…my advantage?” She asked. “What else would I do here?”
“We could talk,” he half squeaked.
“Hm…we could…” Elizabeth pulled his belt from the loops in his trousers and dropped it on the floor. She saw how hesitant and worried he was, so she grabbed his face and looked him in the eye. “William Jonathan Turner, please do not fight me. I love you. If this is the last time I shall see you for weeks and weeks, I want to be with you as…” She blushed slightly. “…wholly…as I possibly can.”
Will cleared his throat and pushed her back, looking into her eyes. He saw only sincerity and love. Nothing else. Then he gathered her in his arms and dropped his hands to her shift, pulling it up as he kissed her passionately.
Elizabeth grinned gleefully against his lips as her hands went to the buttons of his trousers.
“Governor Swann, young Mr. Turner is in the entry way for you, Sir.”
Weatherby looked up from his paperwork and looked at the manservant carefully. “William is here?”
“Yes, Governor Swann.”
“Hm…” He stood and walked out into the entryway, seeing the young man standing near the front door. He was clean and dressed appropriately with his hair pulled back into a slightly messy ponytail that fell onto his neck.
“Well, Mr. Turner. To what do I owe this visit?” He asked, a polite cordiality in his tone.
“Governor Swann, it’s an honor to be able to speak with you, Sir. I feel I must ask for a private conference with you and…” His sentence was cut off by a more womanly voice.
“William…” Elizabeth hurried down the stairs in a less constricting, more comfortable dress. She looked free and gay as she went to him, clutching his hand. In her eyes, Will saw hints of the night before when he had made love to her. It nearly brought a blush to his cheek as she smirked slightly.
“Elizabeth, please. Young William has requested a private conference with me…” Elizabeth looked at her father in surprise, then at Will, the question in her eyes. What did Will Turner want a private conference with her father for?
“Well, Governor, Sir…I actually wanted Elizabeth included in the private conference, as well, if it is at all possible.”
“Of course it is!” Elizabeth answered, still slightly confused.
“Well, that makes it less of a private conference, lad. But if she must be a part of it, then so be it. Come, follow me.” They followed the governor to his study and shut the door solidly behind them. “Now what is it, young man?”
Will looked to Elizabeth who had joined her father behind his desk, sitting on the arm of his chair. With both of them looking at him now, the task at hand was increasingly daunting. He had thought Elizabeth’s presence would calm him, but it only did more to increase his nerves.
“Well, Governor…the reason I come this morning concerns the…uh…” He cleared his throat, deciding to just plow through it and get it over with. “About five months ago, your daughter was returned to safety and you granted me clemency on account my actions were for her safety. Since that day, I have made my affections for her known to Elizabeth, and to you, Sir.”
“Yes,” was all the older man said.
The short answer threw Will off a few paces, but he took a deep breath and was back on track. “I believe Elizabeth has made her affections for me known, as well.”
“Governor Swann, I have come this morning to offer everything I have, including my own life, in exchange for your daughter’s hand in marriage.” There. He said it. Everything was out in the open.
….Had he just asked for Elizabeth’s hand in marriage?
His eyes widened in shock and fear as the Governor sat up straight and clutched the desk in front of him hard. Elizabeth stared at Will in absolute awe and jubilation. But almost as sudden as Will had realized what he had said, she realized as well. And the look in her eyes quickly dropped to apprehension as she turned to look at her father, her heart absolutely racing.
“In exchange…for my daughter’s hand in marriage?” The older man said, his voice low and dangerous in his throat.
“No, Elizabeth. Do not speak. You have nothing to do with this.” He stood up from his chair, his daughter looking on fearfully as he rounded the desk to a few feet in front of where the man she loved waited. She was surprised Will was still there, straight backed and proud, but she could tell he was absolute nerves.
“My boy, you have brought shame to yourself and to me by requesting Elizabeth’s hand with her in the room. It is the decision of the father whether or not she shall be married, and you have not asked me.” Will said absolutely nothing, knowing he had made an awful decision.
“Did you think by having Elizabeth here in the room, it would somehow pressure me to give me blessing? Is that why you wanted her here?”
“Father, you are being absolutely ridiculous!” Elizabeth said, coming around to stand at his side. “He only wanted me for support.”
“Elizabeth, be quiet or I shall force you to quit my office. As it is, you have heard enough of this nonsense and I shall gain nothing by sending you from here anyway.” Weatherby rounded on the poor boy again. “Did you expect me to give my blessing?”
Will just stared at him. He said nothing for a good minute. When he finally gathered his words, he looked away from the man and took a deep breath, looking at Elizabeth, who watched him with absolute pride and love.
“Sir, you cannot imagine how far I would go to make assurance of your daughter’s happiness. I love her more than my own life, and I would forsake everything, my own freedom, to protect her.” This was it, Will realized. There would be no other opportunity to win the hand of the woman he loved. His gut wrenched as he realized he had taken Elizabeth’s innocence the night before, without the surety of her ever belonging to him.
And now the occurrence floated before him that she might never belong to him. And he had taken her anyways. Swallowing the sickness that rose from deep within his belly, he looked proudly at the older man.
“I will not withdraw my proposal, for as long as I shall live.”
“That makes no difference to me, young man, for as long as I shall live, you will not receive the answer you seek. She will not marry you.”
“Father!” Elizabeth’s cry was angry, but even more so, her heart raged inside of her throat. She realized the importance of this situation as well as William Turner did, though not in the same way at all.
She would never regret the night she spent with Will. Losing her innocence to him would always be the best decision she would ever make in her life, she knew. But she did know that this was his last chance to have her as his own. And while, physically, she would never belong to him if he did not succeed, mentally and emotionally, she would always be his.
In every sense of the word, he belonged to her.
“Do not argue, Elizabeth.”
“He saved my life! Did you forget about that?” She asked him, grabbing his sleeve. “Father, stop it. You have no reason for this.”
“I have my reasons. It is my decision.”
“It is my decision, Father! For it is I who will be married. Not you.”
Weatherby Swann grunted. “My answer shall not change.”
“Governor Swann, I respect your decision, but I cannot back down. I hope you will respect my own decision to argue my case for your daughter. I am afraid our affections are alike in the fact that no other person will do.”
Will figured he was already in trouble, he might as well go the whole way. He had nothing to lose if he at last lost Elizabeth. So he would fight for her to his very last breath.
“Elizabeth may not love the man she marries, but she will have a comfortable life. If that is all that can be gained, so be it.”
“Father, don’t be ridiculous! How can you say that?!” Elizabeth asked, her tone incredulous. “I love him. That will be all the comfort I need.” She looked at Will and her eyes shone with each word she said. Tears sat at the corners of her eyes.
“Elizabeth, let it go.”
“I will not let it go!” She roared at her father. “This is the most important moment of my life, Governor Weatherby Swann, and I will not let you ruin it! You may be my father, but the moment you cut me off from Will, you will be nothing to me.” Her tears came from her eyes as she turned away from both men.
Will held back the urge to go to her and hold her in his arms. If he did, it certainly wouldn’t make anything better. The Governor was already red in the face and looked as if he might explode. And explode he did.
“Oh, for propriety’s sake, Elizabeth!” Governor Swann belted.
William Turner interceded, suddenly aware that it was his time now. He had to protect Elizabeth and make his own case. Their love would forever be banned if he did not take his stand now.
“Governor Swann, instead of worrying about doing things for the sake of propriety, try thinking about the sake of your daughter.”
There was utter silence in the room as both the Governor and his daughter, who turned with tear streaked cheeks, stared at Will, one in absolute consternation, and the other in ardor and devotion.
“Young man,” Weatherby Swann almost whispered. “Everything I do is for the sake of my daughter.”
“If that was the case, Sir, you would look passed my lot in life, something of which I have no control over, and you would see a man who will do everything that need be done to keep your daughter safe and happy. You would see that she will be loved for the rest of her life, adored, worshipped.” He swallowed the tears that threatened to surface and looked at the daunting man with strength in his eyes.
“I do see that,” Swann murmured, rubbing the bridge of his nose. “And I have seen it since you were just a boy, William. It is what has kept me looking after you all these years. It is what endeared you to me.”
“Then why do you deny me, when you can see your daughter is just as ardent as I?” Will asked, seeing the soft spot in Weatherby’s heart finally.
“I don’t want her bruised by society. For propriety’s sake, my boy, you are a blacksmith. What will people say about my daughter? Their words will poison her heart, your heart. I only look after both of you.”
“We can look after ourselves, Father,” Elizabeth breathed, her hand on his arm squeezing him lovingly. Tears resided in her eyes as she watched the toil inside of his blue eyes. “Please. With all my heart, I want this.”
“When could I ever deny you?” He muttered, reaching over to put his hand on hers as tears leaked from his own eyes. Elizabeth threw her arms around his neck and clutched him with everything in her.
“Oh Father, I love you.” She laughed softly, shutting her eyes in bliss, before she pulled away and wiped the tears from her chuckling father’s eyes. She turned to Will as he grinned back at her, his heart brimming.
“Come here, young man.” Weatherby hugged the boy that had been a large part of his daughter’s life the last nine years, a large part of his own life, though no one knew it save Weatherby himself.
“If you are both able to deal with the repercussions of your decision, I cannot stop you. I see the happiness that lies ahead of you, nevertheless, and so, my dear boy…you have my permission. My daughter is yours to have.”
Elizabeth paused only a moment, before launching herself into her fiancé’s strong arms, holding him tightly. Will could only thing of how happy his life would be now that he had the one thing he had ever wanted.
Thank God, too.
It would have been hard to explain why Elizabeth wasn’t a virgin to any other man she would have married.