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Story Notes:
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Disney, etc.
Spoilers: All three movies, as well as some commentary.
Author's Note: Written for resolute for the 2008 apocalyptothon.
Prompt: Featuring Elizabeth. Crossovers are fine. An apocalypse either caused by the choices of the leads in World's End or one that makes them face those choices. (Trying to not give spoilers, here.)
The world is dying, and the sea cries out for her husband.

Elizabeth can hear the voices, begging to be taken away, ferried into the next world. There are so many dead, the bodies pile up and are burnt away. Ash fills the wind, and she can taste the flesh on her tongue.

Will’s time has passed on the Flying Dutchman. He did his job, and carried them away, and for ten long years she watched their son grow, watched soft, chubby limbs lengthen and harden into young boy, into a child headed toward manhood.

She was faithful and loyal, and won Will back from the sea.

Elizabeth still has the box in which she kept his heart. When she opens it, even if she is far from the water, and the windows shuttered against the storms, she can hear the tide rush upon the land, and in it Calypso’s song.

Their story is so different from what it could have been.

Will loves her so much more than the sea. His heart is whole and unbroken; there is no danger he will be torn between his loves, the woman and the sea. They are not Calypso and Davy Jones, doomed to fight and hurt and harm each other.

She has loved the water her entire life. If it is a woman, does she love herself?

Their story is so different, and she will never know.

~~*

Calypso comes to her in her sleep.

At least, she was asleep in the beginning, but as she slips from her home, walks quiet and soft not to wake her husband or her son, she passes from sleep into something else, not quite wakefulness, but something more than simple rest.

She can hear the ocean crash against the cliff and taste the salt water in the air.

All her life, she’s dared not live to far from the ocean, for without it she fears she will wither and dry, and her flesh will flake away.

“You can’t have him again.” She doesn’t stamp her foot, or cross her arms, or yell. She has the weight of truth on her side. She has learned to rule without temper tantrums or faked fainting spells.

“The sea needs the Flying Dutchman,” Calypso rises before her, water droplets in a vaguely human shape, “and she needs a captain.”

“No.” It is simple, she has waited and earned her right to be with her husband, and she will not give it up. Her son deserves his father. Her family is finally complete.

Calypso lifts her hands and crabs fall from her insubstantial fingertips. They scuttle across the ground, skim over Elizabeth’s boots. She doesn’t kick them out of the way, she doesn’t stomp them, though she’s tempted.

They circle her, and then scramble back to the puddle of water which had been Calypso moments before. Her created body is gone, but her voice remains.

“The dead need him,” she says, “and you must let him free. Pirate King, you owe your people, and you will see.”

Elizabeth wakes fully at the edge of the cliff, leaning forward, watching as the waves crash higher and higher, reaching for her with long fingers of water.

From the house, Will calls her name, and she turns her back to the ocean.

~~*

It takes over a week, but in time she learns what Calypso meant. The dead pirates come for her, shambling, their worn clothes made rattier by their walk beneath the water, their climb up her cliff. They gather, they circle her home as much as they can, but they do not attack.

They stand, and they moan, and they are driving her crazy.

Her son leans out windows to stare at them, his eyes wide. Will hauls him back inside, but their son is getting older, ganglier, and he is curious about everything. He wants to be a pirate.

From the numbers of the dead gathering around them, she and Will are the only pirates left alive.

~~*

“What is going on?” Will asks. They are sitting together in their bedroom, their windows shuttered against the moans, and she thinks she is losing her mind. She can no longer hear the ocean over their cries, and the sound of the dead sneaks through the wood and tar and glass and the pillows under which she buries her head.

“The Flying Dutchman has no captain,” she says, and he is smart, right away he understands.

“You weren’t meant to wait for me.” He reaches for her, cups her cheek. His fingers are rough, callused, and she loves the stroke of them against her skin. “Calypso couldn’t wait, and so you weren’t supposed to either.”

“I love you. You, Will Turner, and you love me more than the sea.”

“More than anything.”

They sit together for awhile, their hands clasped together.

“I should go. The dead, they deserve better than this, gathering and waiting.”

“No!” Elizabeth should have known he would react like this, did know, but seeing him, feeling the energy shift beneath his skin, she is terrified he will run and throw himself out into the water and call for Calypso to bring him his ship. “I need you here. Your son needs you here.”

“This isn’t a life.” Will stands, and goes to unshutter the window. He raises his voice to be heard over the dead. “My family deserves better than this – a life without dead pirates haunting every minute of the day.”

“You were gone so long already.”

“Can you wait for me again?” Will asks, and his eyes are bright and afraid. “Am I asking too much?”

“No,” she says, because he’s not. Because she can wait for him as long as she must, that is how much she loves him. “You never ask for too much. I can wait for you again.”

He nods, and looks out at the dead, out at the ocean.

“Come to bed.” It is more order than suggestion, but he will follow her anywhere, she thinks, and he moves to her immediately.

~~*

He sleeps the sleep of the satisfied, of the good, and does not wake when she leaves their bed. She strokes his hair off his face, and he turns toward her, but still sleeps. Their son is the same, a boy growing into a man who falls deep into slumber.

She will return soon, she promises, but no sound falls from her lips.

~~*

The dead part for her, letting her make her way to the cliff where she last saw Calypso. She needs not wait long, for the water rises and rises, and the ocean itself comes to her, in a form she remembers well.

Elizabeth loves the sea; loving Calypso is the same.

She does not trust her. That is the difference between her and the men who make promises.

“Ten years, it can pass quickly, no?”

“No.” That is the not the game she plays. “I will give you one night of every month.”

“One night? Silly child, that will not clear the dead from your home, much less the entire world. Six months of each year.”

“One week of each month, or I will walk away.”

“You love me,” Calypso says, and reaches for her. “Give me your heart in a box.”

“I love you,” Elizabeth agrees, and smiles. “But Will has my heart already.”

“Hmm.” She twists around her, mist and salt and magic. “One week. Starting now.”

“No. One week, starting tomorrow night, and I can take my son and my husband with me.”

“You ask for too much.”

The ocean explodes around them, slams against the rocks and reaches for the sky. They are going to be devoured, swallowed, swept away.

“Go find another captain.” Elizabeth hides her fear. “Go find another pirate king.”

She turns and she walks away. Before she reaches the first line of the dead, Calypso is in front of her again.

“One week, beginning tomorrow, and you can bring your family.”

It truly is the end of the world, if Elizabeth has beaten the goddess. She waits to continue walking until Calypso fades away. She does not trust her, nor does she trust the sea.

End


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