dwgm: Kimi Birds (J/E - Siren)
[personal profile] dwgm
Inadvertantly swiped two elements of [livejournal.com profile] erinya's wonderful J/E story, The Testament of Skin, and Other Apocrypha ("Tell me everything" and "Nuns"), but she's given me permission to post this anyway. 20% of the H/C table done! Wheee!

Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] hereswith, and [livejournal.com profile] hendercats for suggestions and editing.



Past Present

The first time it happened he wouldn't tell her what was wrong. They'd been hidden, waiting for the opportune moment to spring a couple of their crew from a Spanish gaol, and had been forced to hole up in a dank cellar. Something about the place -- the light, or perhaps the smell -- threw him off. He was not given to odd humors, he was imaginative, but never let it get in the way of his goals. Even so, something in the whites of his eyes, and in the smile that faltered near the edges, told her things were amiss. And when he dozed finally it was only to wake with a start of terror, which turned to a grim look as he realized what he'd dreamed.

"What's wrong?" she whispered.

"Nothing."

She frowned and took up his hand. His expression lightened, but he insisted, "It's nothing," and kissed her.

She let it rest, and slept again, though she knew he did not.

*

The second time was months later, and it came upon him as they lay in the sweet safety of their own bed on the Black Pearl. In the dead of night he was visited with the same evil dream. He began to mutter, and thrash beside her in the bed, struggling against some nightmare foe, anger and fear combined in panicked protests.

"Jack! Jack, wake up!" She shook him, her hand light and firm on his shoulder, but he cried out and thrust her roughly away. She was dismayed, but the action seemed to bring him back. His eyes popped open.

"Did I hurt you?" he demanded, breathing hard.

"No." It was the truth, or nearly so.

He didn't reply, and she had the feeling he was uncharacteristically overwhelmed.

"Jack... tell me." She moved across the small space between them, and laid a hand on his shoulder once more. "Tell me."

There was a long pause, then a simple, "No. Not now," and he pulled her close, hands trembling, and began to make desperate love to her. She started to protest, but he cut her off -- "Hush. Let me. Let me." And so she did, letting him use her, returning his ungentle touch with that of her own, both of them fighting whatever darkness assailed him. The end was more than he could bear in silence, and his hoarse cry wrung her heart. For once she was left unsatisfied, but it didn't matter. She lay still, holding him as he eased into sleep, tears seeping slowly from the corners of her eyes and into her hair.

It happened again, a few weeks later, but that time she merely watched as he came to himself, then, saying nothing, drew him to her.

*

She was looking out over the sparkling ocean when he came to her the next morning. He leaned on the rail beside her, covering her hand with his own.

"D'you want me to tell you?"

"Yes."

He grimaced slightly at the blunt reply. "No mercy, eh?"

"None!" she said, confronting him. "Not when you must savage me in the effort to forget."

That could not be turned off with a jest, and he did not. "I'm sorry, love. Maybe--"

"Don't be!" she said, cutting him off. "I am yours! But you are mine, too. And I want to know everything."

"Everything." He shook his head, eyeing her askance. "No you don't."

Her patience was close to failing. "Jack, I'm not a child! I don't need a legend to love. I need the man behind it."

His look of consternation would have been amusing in other circumstances.

She took his hands in hers. "Tell me."

After a moment he nodded. "Come back to bed then. It's not a tale for the bright sun and sea. And I promise I won't 'savage' you."

She dropped his hands and took his face between her palms and kissed him. Then she led him aft, back to their cabin.

*

They lay very close, face to face on the velvet coverlet.

Elizabeth voiced what she feared most. "Is it... the Kraken?"

But he chuckled. "No! You'd think so, wouldn't you?  But no. It's only this." He let her go and pushed his sleeve up, baring the puckered pink scar on his left forearm. P for Pirate.

"Only that." Taking his wrist, she gently ran her thumb over the letter. "It must have been dreadful."

"It was. Dreadful's the word. I wasn't so... familiar with pain, you might say. Not back then. Beckett had me, and he told me what he was going to do. I'd a couple of days to think on it. It was a long couple of days, and the end of it worse even than I'd imagined. Moses Law, and then the brand. And then they burnt my ship."

Elizabeth swallowed hard. "But... you were alive."

"Aye. And more or less intact. That's what matters, of course, though at the time I wasn't so appreciative as I should've been."

"How did you escape?"

"Didn't. I became ill, and they thought I'd die, so they set me ashore. At a convent."

"A convent?"

"It was a poor, run down place, on the coast of Spain. I was a good while healing. The sisters taught me Spanish. And I taught them... other things."

"Nuns? Oh, Jack! You didn't!"

"Of course. Mostly other things other than what you're thinkin' of."

Elizabeth pursed her lips at the glint of humor in the dark, half-lidded eyes. "But... you weren't healed entirely, were you?"

The humor waned. "No. As you see. Some things you just live with, as best you can. Most things are easier. But that... well, it still plagues me, now and again. Damaged goods, darlin'. But you knew that."

Elizabeth kissed him. Slowly, and quite thoroughly. He finally made a little choking groan deep in his throat and gathered her close, and she smiled against his lips, her hands wandering over him, savoring the very real, rather slight, but wiry form that lay beneath the garb of a Pirate.

When he could, he breathed, "You don't mind, then?"

"Of course not. You cannot have thought I would."

"Never know about women. Take some odd notions... ah! Do that once more, will you, love?"

"Only once more? I was thinking perhaps you'd like to savage me again. Just a little."

"Very possibly. Almost... almost certainly, in fact. Insatiable wench." His own hands drifted to pull at the ties on her shirt. "'Twas the part about the nuns, wasn't it?"


~.~

Date: 2006-09-25 08:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] one-lone-pirate.livejournal.com
Great work. Loved it all, and loved the last line as well. :)

Date: 2006-09-25 08:24 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (Default)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I'm very glad you enjoyed it.
(deleted comment)

Date: 2006-09-25 08:56 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (Default)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
Thanks! Glad you liked. ;D

Date: 2006-09-25 09:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yoiebear.livejournal.com
I am absolutely loving these prompts! While I am not really a fan of the Jack/Elizabeth idea, you make it work - and work well.

Date: 2006-09-25 09:22 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (Default)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
So happy I'm able to persuade you! I'm very glad you're enjoying these. Thanks so much for letting me know!

Date: 2006-09-25 10:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sage-laurel.livejournal.com
Loved it! I adore h/c fic, especially when we get to see the faces of some of Jack's hidden demons. Beautifully tender in Liz's interactions with him.


Laurel

Date: 2006-09-26 12:57 am (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (J/E - Siren)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
They are very well hidden, which makes it all the more affecting when they do peek out. So happy you enjoyed the story. Thanks for letting me know!

Date: 2006-09-25 10:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cbtreks.livejournal.com
This is a good one! I like Elizabeth's line about not being a child and not needing the legend to love. Very nice all-in-all.

Date: 2006-09-26 01:00 am (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (J/E - Siren)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
Thanks! She's so much younger than he I can see it being something of an issue between them.

Date: 2006-09-25 11:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hendercats.livejournal.com
Yay, you've posted it!

"Don't be!" she said, cutting him off. "I am yours! But you are mine, too.
I love how much this says about the closeness of their relationship, that she says this with no doubts.

She dropped his hands and took his face between her palms and kissed him. Then she led him aft, back to their cabin.
Have already told you how irresistable vulnerable Jack is to me, and Lizzie in the role of protector is right, here (why is it, I wonder, that I respond so positively to her assuming a protective role toward Jack, yet have trouble when she does so with Will?).

But no. It's only this.
Hadn't considered this on first reading, but he's embarrassed that something (seemingly) smaller is what's bothering him so much, isn't he? But it's really not (smaller, that is) - the explanatory paragraph and the "damaged goods" line later both show what a huge thing this was. And if we accept what's been said about Jack history to be revealed in P3 regarding Beckett and the brand, this was a life-changing event, in addition to what marks him as being damaged goods. Amazingly well-crafted story - you're doing h/c on the surface and giving us beautifully detailed Jack history (that dovetails so nicely with canon) at the same time!

I wasn't so... familiar with pain, you might say. Not back then. Beckett had me, and he told me what he was going to do. I'd a couple of days to think on it. It was a long couple of days, and the end of it worse even than I'd imagined. Moses Law, and then the brand. And then they burnt my ship.
This paragraph gets better every time I read it. Makes me want to don a pair of steel-toed boots and kick Beckett in the shins. What a perfectly slimy, horrible villain he is.

And the convent, and the nuns and the other things other than what you're thinkin' of are still producing quite unladylike snorts. *applause*

Date: 2006-09-26 01:30 am (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (J/E - Siren)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
why is it, I wonder, that I respond so positively to her assuming a protective role toward Jack, yet have trouble when she does so with Will?

I was thinking about it all the way home from work (read your comment right before I left). I think it's because Will, being much younger, still has a lot to prove and, additionally, is all about the angst to some extent. Jack, on the other hand, has so much life experience that minor difficulties don't bear worrying about, and major ones are just something to trust to luck and the opportune moment. But there are things that happen when we're young that stay with us whether we want them to or not. Then there's that whole trust issue -- showing the chinks in one's armour is always a risk.

Makes me want to don a pair of steel-toed boots and kick Beckett in the shins. What a perfectly slimy, horrible villain he is.

He does make a truly poisonous little toad, doesn't he? Have you seen Tom Hollander in Pride and Prejudice as the awful Mr. Collins? He's great in that part, too. I hope they have the Kraken eat him in AWE. :D

Re: the nuns -- I was observing to [livejournal.com profile] outinthestorm that Jack and a gaggle of nuns is an inherently hilarious combination.

Thank you for writing such a detailed review! I appreciate it so much.

Date: 2006-09-27 12:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hendercats.livejournal.com
Have you seen Tom Hollander in Pride and Prejudice as the awful Mr. Collins?
Oh yes! Mr. Collins was so delightfully dreadful (even more so the second time through). When I realized about a week or so before seeing DMC that Tom Hollander was the voice from the trailer calling Jack one of a dying breed, I was just bouncing with anticipation. Love your idea about him becoming kraken-chow! *g*

Date: 2006-09-25 11:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] outinthestorm.livejournal.com
Fabulous. You write the intimacy between them very very well.

And that last line made me giggle.

Date: 2006-09-26 01:03 am (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (J/E - Siren)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
Jack and a gaggle of nuns is a sure formula for comedy. So very happy you enjoyed this! Thanks for letting me know. :D

Date: 2006-09-26 06:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sawasdeekha.livejournal.com
Is that what a group of nuns together is called then - a gaggle! Certainly makes for some interesting mental images anyway!

Loved the intimacy of this and the fact that Lizzie wants him to be open with her. Particularly liked the following:

Her patience was close to failing. "Jack, I'm not a child! I don't need a legend to love. I need the man behind it."

And this:

"Very possibly. Almost... almost certainly, in fact. Insatiable wench." His own hands drifted to pull at the ties on her shirt. "'Twas the part about the nuns, wasn't it?"

Brilliant!

Date: 2006-09-26 06:28 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (Default)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
Is that what a group of nuns together is called then - a gaggle!

I picture them bouncing along together, habits swaying, rather like geese, yes. A cute picture -- Jack would've enjoyed them, I'm sure. *G*

So happy you enjoyed the story! Thanks for letting me know.

Date: 2006-09-26 06:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] artaxastra.livejournal.com
Just lovely!

I wasn't so... familiar with pain, you might say.

This is the line that makes me wince. Yes, he's familiar with pain. He's used to it. It's just pain. And that's the thing that's got to be so hard for her to hear.

Beckett had me, and he told me what he was going to do. I'd a couple of days to think on it. It was a long couple of days, and the end of it worse even than I'd imagined. Moses Law, and then the brand. And then they burnt my ship."

I couldn't help reading that and wondering about the possible double meanings in the first clause, even if Elizabeth doesn't. It seems like there's the potential for that history there.

Damaged goods, darlin'. But you knew that."

And this. Just stabbity stab me through the heart, why don't you?

Date: 2006-09-26 06:33 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (Default)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
I couldn't help reading that and wondering about the possible double meanings in the first clause, even if Elizabeth doesn't.

Very perceptive of you.

Exactly.

Just stabbity stab me through the heart, why don't you?

Me, too, even writing it. It is h/c, of course.

Thank you for reading and commenting. I am very happy you liked the story.

Date: 2006-09-27 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] artaxastra.livejournal.com
I couldn't help reading that and wondering about the possible double meanings in the first clause, even if Elizabeth doesn't.

Very perceptive of you.

Exactly.


Yeah huh. That's something I'd wondered about, much as I hate the Big Gay Villain thing.

Date: 2006-09-27 02:05 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (Default)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
much as I hate the Big Gay Villain thing.

Well, he'd be a Small Gay Villain, wouldn't he now?

Seriously, I don't write slash (though I read it if it's well written and seems plausible), but one can't help seeing the possibilities.

Jack and Lizzie

Date: 2006-09-28 02:11 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
My friend yoiebear emailed me a link to this - awesome story! I'd like to read more, like how/when did Jack and Elizabeth hook up in the first place.

Re: Jack and Lizzie

Date: 2006-09-28 03:29 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (J/E - Siren)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
So happy you enjoyed the story! I must thank [livejournal.com profile] yoiebear for directing you here.

There are numerous stories about how/when Jack and Elizabeth hooked up. Post DMC my ideas about the scenario and character are a little different than they were previously. If you enjoy the pairing, and would like to read a variety of theories about their relationship, here's a link to a page of Jack/Elizabeth recs that [livejournal.com profile] hereswith (a superb J/E writer) and I have compiled. Happy reading!

Date: 2006-09-28 07:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hereswith.livejournal.com
*comes to a screeching halt* Fell behind. Sorry. This is lovely, as I've said, and you write the two of them together so very well! The structure of this works perfectly, him finally telling her the truth is a touching moment (poor Jack, it must have been a terrible ordeal), and the bit about the nuns made me smile, especially the very last paragraph, which is great :-)

Even so, something in the whites of his eyes, and in the smile that faltered near the edges, told her things were amiss. I really like this, because it shows how familiar she is with the shifts in his mood.

"Jack, I'm not a child! I don't need a legend to love. I need the man behind it." I love her determination here, and his consternation :-)

Elizabeth kissed him. Slowly, and quite thoroughly. He finally made a little choking groan deep in his throat and gathered her close, and she smiled against his lips, her hands wandering over him, savoring the very real, rather slight, but wiry form that lay beneath the garb of a Pirate. When he could, he breathed... I adore this. Elizabeth taking his breath away never fails to push my buttons. *grins*

Date: 2006-09-28 08:27 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (Default)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
What a lovely long comment! Thank you so much for reviewing here, as well as editing and commenting in your capacity as Beta Reader Extraordinaire.

poor Jack, it must have been a terrible ordeal

[livejournal.com profile] choose2live wanted more detail in that respect, but the whole idea of it is so awful. I don't think I have the kind of courage it takes to write graphic violence. Extremely whimpy, me. I much prefer effective but oblique references, and the more pleasant h/c of the aftermath.

Thank you again for commenting here. I appreciate it so much!

Date: 2006-09-29 03:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zagzagael.livejournal.com
This is such a tight piece of writing - it's a sheer joy to read. Your craftsmanship really shines through.

I think with this sort of...prose outing, that vignettes work magnificantly and I applaud your choice to use that form. So much more can be said in shorter bursts.

You've got a deft hand at gentle intimacy and you've done a fine job of creating a "couple" out of two individual charas. That's one of the strongest bits of the piece. Nice!

Date: 2006-09-29 03:44 am (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (Default)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
Oooooh! Icon!!!

So much more can be said in shorter bursts.

I think that especially with fanfiction, where the reader already knows a great deal about the characters and setting, vignettes are just the right length to paint a portrait of a given situation. I used to wonder if I'd be able to write short stories, which amuses me now. So much easier than writing long involved fics.

Thanks so much for the encouraging comments. I'm happy you enjoyed the story and very much appreciate you taking the time to review.
(deleted comment)

Date: 2006-09-30 01:54 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (Default)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
I like the honesty between and the sense that they're equals

I think there's evidence in both movies that this is the direction their relationship is heading, disconcerting as it is to Jack.

ny story that implies that Jack debauched nuns is a winner!

LOL! Yes, there are so many possibilities in that scenario. *G*

So happy you enjoyed the story!

Date: 2007-09-29 07:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weather-eyes.livejournal.com
Heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.

Just beautiful.

Jack and Lizzie - perfect.

Date: 2007-09-29 02:11 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (J/E - by wapiti_baris)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
What a nice surprise to get a review on this one, so many months later. I'm so happy you thought Jack and Lizzie "perfect". Thank you!

Date: 2007-09-29 02:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weather-eyes.livejournal.com
You're welcome. :)

Do you have a list of all your Sparrabeth stories? I love them so much that I'd like to read all that you have written (in chronological order if possible ;)

Cheers. :)

Date: 2007-09-29 02:57 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (J/E - by wapiti_baris)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
They're in my "Memories", here, except the more recent ones, and a couple of the h/c table ones. They're not really in order, although Lost and Found was the first one I wrote, sort of laying the groundwork for the J/E universe I had in mind, back in August '04, and Jealous (one of my few NC-17 fics) was the next, and The Christmas Guest was a couple months later. My post-DMC and post-AWE J/E stuff sometimes uses a more canon approach, but occasionally I like to go back to that happy little post-CotBP world -- much less angst involved. *G*

Date: 2008-12-31 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] choose2live.livejournal.com
I never commented on this fic?! But it's one of my favorites! I do hope that I gave you feedback 'in person' as it were, the first time I read it.

The line that's stuck with me is this: "Jack, I'm not a child! I don't need a legend to love. I need the man behind it." It's striking in and of itself, but it also says so much about Elizabeth and the relationship she has with Jack. It's a mature relationship, a confident one, one that has withstood trials and will again. Yet it's a relationship that's ever growing, that still requires reassurance and effort - relationships always do, and she won't allow theirs to grow stagnant.

I'm also so impressed by your portrayal of Jack's issues (for lack of a better term). Here you successfully balance a real and vivid expression of his fear while never compromising the essence of Jack. It's impossible that Jack would have made it through his life without some psychological scars as well as physical ones, and it's good to see them peeking through here - with Elizabeth doing her part to heal them.

Date: 2009-01-04 05:36 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (Jack Sleeping by inevendim)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
It's impossible that Jack would have made it through his life without some psychological scars as well as physical ones

I think his "issues", and the ways in which he copes with them and rises above them, are what make him a great character, a real character, and so fascinating to write.

Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed this! It makes me very happy when I get surprise reviews on my older stuff.

I hope the new year is going well for you!

Date: 2009-01-04 05:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] choose2live.livejournal.com
So far 2009's being good to me! (except in the pro football realm, but I'll get over it ;-) ) I have all that New-Year's-Resolution energy that I'm going to channel into an additional job so as to get to CA faster! I need more to do, all the downtime I have is bad for me.

How about you? How are the girls? And Jack? Toby says hi! :) I hope your year's off to a good start as well!

Date: 2009-01-04 05:53 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (We named the puppy Jack)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
I'm back to work tomorrow. It's been a fun-packed holiday, even with having two colds in succession. I'll be organizing the rest of the work on the house (you won't recognize some of it when you visit again), and there is just way too much I want to do in my spare time. :) Older daughter will graduate with her PhD in June, younger is doing great at the university and with her job, [livejournal.com profile] gingersnapps is doing well at D-land. Jack and Faline are snoozing at the foot of the bed (though they were in a fight over chewie sticks last night, the bad things). We all send hugs and love to you and Toby!

Date: 2010-10-14 07:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] just-a-dram.livejournal.com
"'Twas the part about the nuns, wasn't it?"

Ha! I laughed long and hard over this line.

Date: 2010-10-15 02:04 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (Jack (blank by  unen2gemismasin))
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
Very glad I left you with a smile. Thank you for commenting!

Date: 2014-09-18 04:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pearlseed.livejournal.com
I know why I didn't comment on this when I first read it. I am hugely affected by stories like this. I absolutely avoid anything that deals with WWII or anything that might be about torture becos those images never get erased for me and I don't have a place to "bury" them so I can escape. I identify with Jack's reaction so strongly. I want to be the avenging angel who smites his enemies (Beckett is such a dastardly piece of business).

That said, this is a strong story and deals with the hard work of relationships. Ain't never easy to be with someone, even if you love them with all your heart. Just takes give and take, learning and bearing. This one is your story, got your mark all on it, and tells me what clear eyes you have for the world. You're brave as Elisabeth is, a warrior woman of heart and spirit.

Date: 2014-11-08 07:17 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (Really Big Hat by Honorat)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
Oh dear, what wonderful compliments and comments, and I never replied with my very deep appreciation. The truth is, I am just now digging out my inbox, which got severely out of hand in August and September with the opening of school.

It seems to me, looking back on it, these stories practically wrote themselves, with my just scribbling away thinking "Of course!... of course!" as they appeared. Relationships are hard for most of us, which is why Sparrabeth is so much fun to write: the relationship works in spite of their history, and because of it, too. A strange and wonderful thing, and a real gift from the writers and creators of the films.

Thank you again for leaving your comment on this. It's amazing to know that the stories hold up as well as they do, for the most part. I hope someday I'll be able to do some writing again, and revel in that creative glow.

Hugs to you, and hope you are enjoying your retirement every day!!

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