Jun. 10th, 2016

try_corsets: (Love)
Ten years. One hundred and twenty months. Three thousand six hundred and fifty days.

The first time Elizabeth counted, it seemed an insurmountable number no matter how she measured the time. Now, with only a few hours left of the thousands she and little Will had waited, time seemed to speed up and then slow down to a snail's pace by turns.

As they had so often over the years, months, hours, minutes, her eyes drift to the chest holding Will's heart and she feels her own skip a beat. How will he look, back in this world? Happy, whole, alive?

"Will we have to put it back in?" her son asks, his small arm snaking around her neck so he too can stare at the chest, an evening time indulgence they each had frequently allowed the other. Elizabeth slants a look at him, a smile in her eyes, and he gives her his sweet lopsided grin.

An uncharitable voice in the back of her head wonders if they will still have this time when the reason for it is gone. Whether or not her son will transfer all his time and affection to Will once he's home, the way he'd quickly forgotten her existence whenever the Dutchman dropped anchor in the Milliways lake. She knows that won't be the case -- Will would never let it be -- but a different part of Elizabeth thinks it would be all right even if it did. Both of them deserved it, after all. And she knows they'll always come back to her in the end.

"Mom?"

Elizabeth refocuses on Will Jr., smiling at the light in his eyes. Oh, how excited he is. How excited they both are. She pulls him up beside her and looks again at the chest, pretending to think about this irreverent, almost funny question he has asked so many times before.

"And if we do?" she asks, lowering her voice and widening her eyes. "Will you raise the lid... scoop up his heart... feel it beating, beating, beating in your hands... and..."

"No, no! Mother! Stop!" Will protests, starting to squirm with mock disgust. "Nooooooooo!" He pauses. "You do it."

She smiles. "If I must. For that, my very dear boy, is how much I love your father."

"You must," he exhales, starting to laugh. "You really, really must."

They both quiet down and listen to the waves beating against the shore. Not long now. Only a handful of hours.

Elizabeth leans against Will Jr and starts to tell him the tale of how she spotted a boy drifting in the middle of the ocean and all that followed.

It is their favorite story, and soon it will have a new chapter.

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Captain Elizabeth Turner

June 2016

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