dwgm: Kimi Birds (J/E - Just a Kiss - by the Nixonator)
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Written for [livejournal.com profile] penknife's "I never wrote..." challenge, prompt: Mirrors. It's only rated 'R', in spite of the title.



~ Occasion of Sin ~


An occasion of sin, her pious nurse had named them, but nevertheless, mirrors had always been a part of Elizabeth's life. There was no streak of the Puritan in her family, and one of her earliest memories was of her mother, seated at the dressing table, with little Elizabeth standing by, watching and wondering in the gilt-framed mirror. She remembered her mother's fond gaze and the curve of her rouged lips, and the scented cheek close against her own. "You shall be a great beauty, my heart. Never doubt it!" she'd said, with a hug, and young as she was, Elizabeth knew this to be a consummation greatly to be wished.

Elizabeth's father had caused the dressing table and it's spindle-legged chair and the fine mirror to be packed up and shipped to Jamaica with them -- one of the few familiar things they had retained from their old life when he left England to take up the governorship. Elizabeth had watched herself grow to womanhood within the confines of that gilt frame, though beauty was another, more subjective thing, a curse when it brought unwanted attention, a blessing in its power.

There were no mirrors aboard the Black Pearl, save the small, secret piece of silvered glass that aided Jack in applying the kohl he affected -- "Helps 'gainst the sun, savvy?" he'd told her the first time she'd witnessed this ritual, but she knew it was far more than that, something closer to vanity than necessity. A different kind of beauty, but beauty nonetheless, fierce, savage and fey.

Elizabeth stared at herself, and wondered what her mother would think of her now.

*

The room Jack had got for them at the finest hostelry in Cartagena was richly appointed, designed to impress the people they'd come here to meet. And had impressed: they would be off in the Pearl again in the morning, to do some profitable business. But there was a whole night before them in this landbound lap of luxury. The bed was the focal point of the room, an enormous thing of carved wood and brocaded canopy, fine linens, bolsters and down pillows, but it was the enormous cheval mirror that stood in a corner nearby that drew Elizabeth.

Jack had gone out on some brief errand. Elizabeth lit a few candles against the gathering dusk, and stripped off her clothing, donning the heavy silk robe Jack had given her, unearthed from a trunk in the Pearl's hold. The design of birds and flowers reminded her of the Orient, of Singapore and Sao Feng, which led to World's End and all that had come after. Will, hers so briefly, now the Sea's. And the new life she had taken up, the life it seemed she was meant to live.

She hadn't tied the robe, and now she gathered her courage and came and stood before the mirror in the candlelight, and stared. Too thin, was her first thought. Her face seemed all angles in the shadows. And the rest of her... she let the robe slip off one shoulder, and her jaw tightened. The scar from the wound she'd taken in the final battle with Beckett and the forces of the East India Trading Company was worse than she'd expected. Jack had tended it with his own hands (and she flushed yet at the memory of it, the first time she'd been unclothed before him, grief and pain assuaged by his care and the surprising gentleness of his touch) and the cut was healed but remained an angry red, marring the smooth, pale skin that covered her bones. Too thin... too...

"Beautiful."

She started. It was Jack, very close behind her, and his fingers curled brown against her arms. "I didn't hear you!" she said, dismayed.

He bent and kissed her shoulder, and said low, "Bad pirate. Though I can understand the distraction."

She leaned against him, but said, "I look different, that's all."

He raised his eyes to her reflection. "Beautiful, Elizabeth."

"Too thin," she whispered.

He straightened and, ignoring her small sound of protest, drew the robe off and let it fall to the floor. One coat-clad arm slipped about her waist to hold her there, while he plucked the combs from her hair, the golden mass coiling down, thick and long. She still had that, at least.

"Beautiful," he insisted. "All of you, crown to toe. Like one of Will's swords, come to life."

The analogy made her heart swell, but she touched the scar. "Even this?"

His fingers slid to cover her own. "Even that." He bent and kissed her neck, then looked up again, his eyes locking with hers in the mirror. "Stay still."

His hands began to move slowly over her, caressing, soothing, setting afire the secret places of her body, dark on light. She gasped his name, only once.

"Hush!" he said, his lips against her ear. "Stay very still. And watch."

*

After, regaining her senses, she realized her eyes had closed of their own volition at the vital moment. She opened them to find Jack’s still upon her in the mirror, with such a look of tenderness and warmth that she ached with joy. "Jack!" she whispered.

"Elizabeth!" And he finally allowed her to turn in his arms and they kissed, with a sweet thoroughness that was most satisfying to both. Presently, his forehead set against hers, he smiled. "Did you like that, then?"

"Yes!" She smiled back. "You know, my old nurse back in England used to tell me mirrors were an occasion of sin, but I'm fairly certain she didn't know the half of it." He chuckled, but the chuckle changed to a soft groan as she moved, sinuous, against the heat of him, evidence of his own sentiments straining against the cloth of his breeches. Eyelids drooping, she said softly, against his mouth, "Your turn!"

~.~






Profuse thanks to [livejournal.com profile] hereswith for editing.

Date: 2007-04-04 01:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] felaine.livejournal.com
Very hot and well-done.
Hate to see (read) Will done in, but realistically that's the only way I can imagine Jack and Liz getting together long-term.
Lovely, lyrical descriptions of the place and furnishings.
And did I mention Hot?

Always good to hear from you.

A joyous and blessed Holy Week to you, m'dear.
Felaine

Date: 2007-04-04 02:03 am (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (PotC: Map to World's End)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
Do you think it's a Mortal Sin to write smut during Holy Week?

Probably, huh.

Hate to see (read) Will done in, but realistically that's the only way I can imagine Jack and Liz getting together long-term.

That's why I've always written it that way, and [livejournal.com profile] hereswith too. Will's a great character, and he and Elizabeth obviously love each other. But if worst came to worst, I think she and Jack could make a go of it. At least, it works in fanfiction. *G*

Very happy you liked the story, and many thanks for the Easter wishes! The very same back atcha!

Date: 2007-04-04 02:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] erinya.livejournal.com
Oooh, lovely! I adore how you've made this AWE-spoiler compliant and yet a happy ending for the two of them. And I love the glimpse of Elizabeth's mother.

The scar from the wound she'd taken in the final battle with Beckett and the forces of the East India Trading Company was worse than she'd expected. Jack had tended it with his own hands (and she flushed yet at the memory of it, the first time she'd been unclothed before him, grief and pain assuaged by his care and the surprising gentleness of his touch)

Oooh. I suddenly really want to read this story, or possibly to write it.

"Beautiful," he insisted. "All of you, crown to toe. Like one of Will's swords, come to life."

The analogy made her heart swell, but she touched the scar. "Even this?"


I've read and written a lot of Elizabeth loving Jack's scars, so it's wonderful to see him love hers.

Date: 2007-04-04 02:39 am (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (Jack: That Lovely Rogue by Erinya)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
Oooh. I suddenly really want to read this story, or possibly to write it.

I was thinking of writing it, too -- but don't let that stop you! I'd LOVE to read your version. It's just that I have an "injury" prompt I need to use from my [livejournal.com profile] 10_hurt_comfort table. :)

I hope (and really think) Disney will come up with a (relatively) happy ending for us. They're pretty clever like that.

Very very happy you enjoyed this! Thank you so much for commenting.

Date: 2007-04-04 02:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] erinya.livejournal.com
I was hoping you'd say you were going to write it. I might play with the idea, with your permission, but I'll probably change it up a bit if I do.

Date: 2007-04-04 03:04 am (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (Jack: That Lovely Rogue by Erinya)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
I'll probably change it up a bit if I do.

As I said, I'd love to read it.

But are you going to finish Jack-in-the-Underworld first? *begs* I love that one!

Date: 2007-04-04 02:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hendercats.livejournal.com
Elizabeth had watched herself grow to womanhood within the confines of that gilt frame
There's so much to love in this, but I'm completely enchanted by this bit. It's a little touch of time-lapse photography (and for some reason it sent brain off on a pair of tangents, one being the fear some primitive peoples had about mirrors capturing one's soul, and the other trying to capture a memory of some book I read eons ago about another world/parallel universe accessed through a mirror, all Alice-like.).

I love the robe, and the battle (can't help but wonder, whenever you write future-fic, whether it comes from what you know), and Jack's tending the injured Elizabeth - so much history in one paragraph. And then *fans self* Jack loving her there before the mirror is incredibly sweet as well as amazingly sexy. Guh.

Date: 2007-04-04 02:33 am (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (J/E - At World's End)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
That mirror in the beginning of CotBP was my first thought when I got the mirror prompt, and then the way E looks in the trailer, in the "It wouldn't have worked..." scene produced the rest. I hope there is a happy ending for all of them. As always, I can't wait for May, because even with inside info, it ain't over 'til it's over. *G*

Thank you so much for reading, and for the wonderful comments! I'm so happy you enjoyed it.

Date: 2007-04-04 02:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] compassrose7577.livejournal.com
Well, you've served up the chocolate again!!! I could get fat (fatter, that is) at this rate.

The images are wonderful, with just enough hints of spoilers to entice us all.

You've a great sense of sensuality--gives me tingles in places we might not want to discuss with our children. No worries on Holy Week. I'm just enough of a heathen to believe the good Lord wouldn't have invented sex unless he wanted us to use it.

Thanks for sharing. Seems the more chocolate I have, the more I want, so please keep serving.

Date: 2007-04-04 02:48 am (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (Jack: That Lovely Rogue by Erinya)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
I'm just enough of a heathen to believe the good Lord wouldn't have invented sex unless he wanted us to use it.

I'm completely with you there.

Not sure about the spoilers -- in spite of inside info that's been passed to me, I believe there may have been revisions. We shall see in May.

I'm very happy you liked the little serving of chocolate. :)))

Date: 2007-04-04 03:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yoiebear.livejournal.com
You know I'm not really much of a J/E shipper, but I love your writing too much to care.
Beautiful!

Date: 2007-04-04 04:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] veronica-rich.livejournal.com
This is true. Some stories transcend preferences.

Date: 2007-04-04 10:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yoiebear.livejournal.com
That they do!

Date: 2007-04-04 03:53 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (Jack: That Lovely Rogue by Erinya)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for reading and commenting! It makes me very happy to know you like my J/E stories, in spite of it not being your favorite pairing. I do like W/E, but... Jack! *fangirls*

xo

Date: 2007-04-04 08:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yoiebear.livejournal.com
I'm not saying Jack isn't beautiful (he most certainly is!), but I don't think he and Elizabeth work well together. Probably because they are so much alike. ;-)

Date: 2007-04-04 04:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] piratemistress.livejournal.com
I loved this! I read the prompt on [livejournal.com profile] penknife's journal and was very curious to see what you would do with it!

My favorite part is the beginning, where you make the mirror a frame that confines her - a symbol of her old life, from which she's now free - she closes her eyes to it, accepts it, and turns away from it.

And hot. Did I mention hot? Beautifully done.

Date: 2007-04-04 04:03 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (Elizabeth - Carriage by inevendim)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for reading and commenting on this. The gilt mirror at the beginning of CotBP was very inspiring, in many ways. ;)

Date: 2007-04-04 07:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] woolymonkey.livejournal.com
Read this in a rush before going away, but I loved it. The comment about "no streak of Puritan" in Elizabeth's upbringing made it impossible not to read the rest. You just know you're in safe hands from there on. Gotta run...

Date: 2007-04-04 04:06 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (Elizabeth - Carriage by inevendim)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
I once read a biography about Abigale Adams, and one thing I remember is that their family didn't believe in having mirrors around, even for grooming, when she was a girl -- encouraged vanity and all that. I think decent mirrors were something of a luxury, too, back then.

Very happy you enjoyed the story!! Thank you for letting me know.

Date: 2007-04-04 02:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cymbeline.livejournal.com
Fantastic! Her nurse probably didn't have this sequence of events in mind with that warning though. lol

Date: 2007-04-04 04:20 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (J/E - At World's End)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
I'm sure her nurse would be appalled. *G*

Glad you liked it! Thank you so much for commenting.

Date: 2007-04-04 04:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sparrows-swann.livejournal.com
How lovely. Really sensual even without smut. I'm adding this one to my favorites.

Date: 2007-04-04 04:17 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (J/E - Siren)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Love that icon, btw -- did you make it?

Date: 2007-04-04 04:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sparrows-swann.livejournal.com
Yeppers, I snatched the photo from the AWE website.

Date: 2007-04-04 04:36 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (J/E - At World's End)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
Really?! I'll have to go back and check that out -- took a look when it was first put up, but haven't been back since.
(deleted comment)

Date: 2007-04-05 12:54 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (J/E - At World's End)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
Thank you! So happy you liked the mirror, and the rest, too.

Date: 2007-04-05 02:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pirates-cove13.livejournal.com
Beautiful. I struggle a bit with Jack and Elizabeth as well (you wouldn't want to hear the curses I laid upon her at the end of the last movie) but in the hands of a skilled writer, almost anything can work.

I particularly like this because I think Jack IS a mirror to Elizabeth in someways, constantly urging her to look at her reflection in him -pirate- and give up the story she sometimes clings to of an innocence and sweetness she does not have.

Beautifully written.

Date: 2007-04-05 01:02 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (J/E - At World's End)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for reading! I'm glad it worked for you. :)

Date: 2007-04-05 03:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] artaxastra.livejournal.com
I don't know how I missed this!

Lovely! I particularly like Elizabeth's reflecting on her reflection, on the changes that life has put on her body, like Jack's. And of course he sees it as nothing but beauty. I also love the line about the kohl, and more like vanity.

An occasion of sin, indeed! Wonderful story!

Date: 2007-04-05 03:26 pm (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (J/E - Between by notglassdoll)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
Your own stories give me such pleasure, and it's a real happiness to me if I can return the favor in any way. Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed it!

Date: 2008-12-30 12:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] choose2live.livejournal.com
Well, I don't believe I've ever read this before! It's beautiful! I love that life's left marks on Elizabeth, and the life that she's leading with Jack. The whole story gives me a feel for where they are in life; somewhere stable and relatively content, a place where they can look back and reflect (no pun intended!). And it's a good place, with a promising future, and a strong relationship. I love Jack's quiet reassurance that she is, of course, beautiful; that he sees grace and courage where she sees flaws. I even like the comparison to one of Will's swords - that statement tells me that Jack is well aware of what Will means to Elizabeth, and isn't threatened by it, but respects it. This is a lovely look at what their future could be.

Date: 2008-12-30 12:42 am (UTC)
ext_15536: Fuschias by Geek Mama (J/E - Just a Kiss - by the Nixonator)
From: [identity profile] geekmama.livejournal.com
Thank you! You got from it exactly what I was trying to say, and an author can't ask for more than that. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

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