Prompt: 'Ends' and 'New Beginnings'
Word count: 496
Pairing: Will-centric (background Will/Elizabeth)
Disclaimer: PotC definitely isn't mine; no profit is being made.
Spoilers Spoilers for AWE; please don't read if you haven't seen it yet.
Summary: It is not precisely how he would have had things end. (written for potc_love)
It is not precisely how he would have had things end.
His first impression of it all had been of unbearable light, sand pale enough that it burned his eyes when reflected against the sun, and no one else in sight. It hadn’t been until they were trying to find a way out, frantically seeking the path back to the Land of the Living, that he had realised this was truly a place of the dead.
He can still hear Elizabeth’s cries in his head as she screamed for her father.
It is strange that even without a heart the memory of her still hurts, a pain both wonderful and bittersweet, but he reminds himself that Davy Jones could not have raged so powerfully if he had still not loved Calypso so desperately. The absence of a still-beating heart does not make it beat any less in the chest.
It is foolish to forget that Elizabeth still holds his heart, both figuratively and literally.
There is a ridiculous amount of work waiting for him, Jones’ neglect of his duties painfully apparent in all that he must now set right. Will squares his shoulders, grimaces, and sets to work as they begin to pick up passengers, frightened souls once lost or unwilling to go to their destination without some outside help.
It is both awkward and a relief when Governor Swann arrives onboard, a man now weary and death-ravaged. He grips Will’s hand too tightly, gives him a look of shared pain, and tells him to take care of Elizabeth. He pauses, then, and adds sheepishly to take care of his daughter as much as she will allow him to, and Will realises that the Governor had known his daughter better than they had given him credit for.
Norrington’s arrival, however, is more awkward, neither of them knowing where to look and yet unable to keep the other out of their sights. Bootstrap makes himself scarce, after reluctantly informing Will of his role in Norrington’s death, and Will allows him to stay away.
But it is the arrival of Beckett, now a hesitant, wary figure with a twitchy, nervous expression, that makes Will wish he had the power to grant death again upon those who board his ship. He takes a perverse sort of pleasure from being able to inform Beckett that he has no part to play in the judgment that awaits him – only Beckett’s actions in life will do that.
And so it goes. Time has a curious way of moving both quickly and horrifyingly slow all at once, and the souls all gradually blur together save for the occasional face he recognises from the Pearl’s crew, none of whom are ever Jack or Barbossa.
But time means little when you’re something close to dead, really, and the end of the ten years comes closer and closer.
In the midst of the dark and the suffering and the pain, Will allows himself to hope.