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.


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.
try_corsets: (Fighting)
The door opens with a bang, blown against the wall by wind and water, and Elizabeth jumps through with Will Jr. on her hip, raising her sword as she turns to fight off someone trying to grab them. The look of surprise on that someone's face only grows when he finds himself stabbed in the chest. Elizabeth plants her foot on his stomach and shoves him back off her blade with a grunt before slamming the door behind her.

Gasping for breath, she lets Will Jr. slide down her body until his little feet are firmly on the ground. She crouches, looking him in the eye, and says, "Remember. Find Uncle Mike. Stay with him or near Bar. Or James, if he's here. Understand? Good. I'll be back." She quickly kisses his forehead. "Soon."

With that she storms back through the door, sword raised, letting out a loud piratical yell for good measure.

Time passes.

Elizabeth does return, if not precisely soon. Hopefully Will Jr. found Mike. First, however, she needs to wash the blood off her hands.
try_corsets: (Small smile)
[OOC: A suitable amount of time after this.]

The decision is not final yet, not without Will's consent, even though they had discussed the name at length, but Elizabeth begins calling her son Will as soon as he arrives, wailing and kicking like he means to take on all the stormy waters of the world and live to tell the tale.

Will, Jr. is loud, irate, demanding some moments; quiet and almost thoughtful others. Elizabeth couldn't be more proud. Or more anxious to introduce him to his father. There's no telling how long the Dutchman will be able to stay, and once she starts wandering closer and closer to the door to check and see, Guppy and Demeter begin to teach her in earnest what to do with a newborn.

Eventually she is declared well enough for the short trip, and so is little Will. Without another word, Elizabeth scoops up her son -- it is only just beginning to be a thing that doesn't feel unnatural, or an ill fit for her -- and makes for the pirate ship in the lake.

It's morning. She hadn't realized that when she stepped out. The mist is beginning to burn off. Whispering to Will Jr., she tucks his blanket a little closer to his tiny chin. Quick glances spaced between a study of any possible obstacles on the ground give way to a hopeful, searching look in her eyes as she starts to make out details on the Dutchman's hull. Any minute now, she will see what she always longs to see whenever she turns a weather eye on the horizon: her husband, looking out for her.
try_corsets: (Weather eye)
Deep down, Elizabeth has known her time was very near. She isn't entirely certain how she has known, but she has. The thought has been drifting through her mind like a lazily meandering piece of driftwood, buoyant but easily pushed aside time and again, left there until she has the desire and fortitude to reel it back and firmly acknowledge the truth in it. For days Elizabeth has existed in a state of semi-awareness, barking orders and making plans, absently noting changes, all at the same time.

Because she's Captain Elizabeth Turner, Pirate King, and she has a position she is determined to maintain.


When the first pain hits, she thinks, Yes, there it is, and stares at her face in her small, cracked looking glass; so different now than the face she'd seen reflected back at her in Port Royal. Better, she thinks. Lived in. The corner of her mouth curves up, and the full lips in the mirror do the same. The scarlet sash today, she decides with a decisive nod, gingerly getting dressed as she had the day before, and the day before that.

Tai Huang eyes her half an hour later, as he is giving a report. Elizabeth slowly, carefully unclenches her fingers from the starboard rail. "The wind is shifting. Starboard tack." As she moves away she does her best to walk straight and tall, not waddle.

Everyone on board knows where to find the Captain at sunrise (keep a weather eye on the horizon), though she's rarely bothered these days. Still, when she gasps aloud and unbends her stiff shoulders to curl in, to try and stop it, two of the men Tai Huang and Gibbs like to keep in their sights guffaw from the main deck. Straightening takes no small effort of will, but she does it; and as she does, she sets her mouth in a thin line and decides, finally, that it's time to find Gibbs. Ready or not, the baby has had enough of waiting.
try_corsets: (In the rigging)
It's late when Elizabeth steals back into the bar, eyes scanning the room for Raph.

The inevitable has come to pass. The crew knew, or at least suspected in increasingly loud whispers, and Elizabeth stole their thunder by casually mentioning the child with her best supercilious glare firmly in place.

Sometimes inevitability really irks her.

Sitting back and allowing events to play out as they will isn't her style, however, so here she is, ready to take preemptive action. Hopefully Raph has had time to study the plans and formulate some of his own.
try_corsets: (Intent look)
A pirate steals into the kitchen, stops in the shadows and looks around.

The Milliways kitchens are never fully asleep, but when it's so late it's actually early one can sneak in relatively undetected and snoop around. The refrigerators are large and fully-stocked, the aromas as appealing as during the busiest dinner hour. All a pirate has to do is ignore the rats and the rest is a veritable feast for the taking.

This particular pirate isn't after rum and something edible to chase it with, however.

Captain Elizabeth Turner, Pirate King and soon to be mother, simply wants some milk to ease the persistent burning sensation near her heart. It is one of many indignities she's been forced to endure lately, and she's not about to sit around and suffer on the Empress when relief can be had here.
try_corsets: (Default)
A hat should be a simple enough thing to find in Nassau, but Elizabeth didn't want just any hat. She'd promised Stitch a true pirate hat, and that's what she plans to deliver.

Eventually, when she'd almost forgotten her task, the perfect hat lands in her lap at a tavern one night.


The pirate who'd been wearing it wouldn't want it for a time, judging by the enormous bump in the dead center of his skull. Rum is all well and good, but the bottles can definitely leave a mark.

Elizabeth smiles at her good fortune and tucks it away. The very next time she's in Milliways, the hat is left with Bar, along with the following note:


A truer pirate hat you'll not be able to find. Enjoy it.

-Captain Elizabeth Turner

It's a bit large, a bit smelly, but all pirate.
try_corsets: (Backlight)

The air is sticky and smells of salt, unwashed bodies, and a large amount of rum. And something else, here in this dirty alleyway, but Elizabeth doesn't waste time or effort puzzling over what that might be.

Mr. Gibbs is beside her, one hand wrapped around a bottle. He takes a drink and watches the docks with an unblinking stare. The port is busy tonight. The Empress won't be spotted, though there are plenty of other ships for Elizabeth to observe through her small spyglass.

A faint click signals that she's put it away. Although they are unlikely to be noticed in the shadows, she's disinclined to stay in one spot, spying, longer than necessary. There's a pub nearby they mean to try, and it looks like one of the captains in which they've taken an interest is headed that way.

She smiles a bit, nodding to Tai Huang at his spot several yards away and resting a hand on Mr. Gibbs’ arm.

Time to move.
try_corsets: (Ready to rumble)
"That's settled, then."

Elizabeth doesn't look particularly unhappy or angry as she steps around the groaning man at her feet and sheaths her sword. Her jaw is set and her expression is firm, but there's a sparkle in her eyes. Remorse is noticeably absent.

It hadn't been a fair fight, something else that doesn't appear to bother her, and the man had paid an appropriate price: not his life but his dignity, which is just as apt to further her reputation, she feels. There's certainly no shortage of laughter coming from the other men.

Tai Huang walks at her back. She keeps her head turned just enough to see him out of the corner of her eye as she takes the last few steps to the tavern door. Once inside, she nods to her man to have a look around and strikes a watchful pose against a pillar while she awaits his return.

The Empress and her crew are back in Tortuga, this time with a purpose.
try_corsets: (Not all treasure...)
It has been a long time since Elizabeth wrote a letter, and this is no idle correspondence to begin without thought or plan. If Tonks has returned, then it's no great matter; her apology might smooth the surface, but it can otherwise be forgotten. If she hasn't...

A firm shake of Elizabeth's head banishes that thought. There's nothing left but to put pen to paper and deliver the note before she thinks better of it.

To the Tonks-Wrangles, from Captain Elizabeth Turner.


I am, it must be said, deeply sorry for my part in your wife and mother's disappearance from Milliways. Never did I expect anything like what happened when I made my request. We do not know what went wrong, but it's clear some combination of magical forces conspired against us.

Elizabeth pauses, wondering if she sounds at all sincere. Her words aren't precisely true; she doesn't regret that it worked, only that Tonks was forced along.

I've recently found another door to Milliways. It's located on my ship, the Empress, the same ship from which Tonks disappeared several days ago. I hope she simply found the door first, and thus preceded me. If so, Tonks, may we speak when you have the opportunity?

Again she sets the pen down and regards the chest beside her knee. A part of her knows she has no right to ask, and yet she thinks Tonks won't mind. She might expect it, or even understand. Elizabeth's hands are tied until the chest is safe.

If not, she writes, clenching her jaw, please let me know. I will do everything possible to find her.


She considers ‘your friend' or 'all my best' and rejects them as soon as they come to mind. The letter is inadequate, and to sign it such would only make it worse.
try_corsets: (Empress)

"Still nothing," Tai Huang informed his captain. "No sign is found of the pregnant woman."

While making his report, the pirate stared openly at the changes wrought upon the cabin in the last several days. At his suggestion, the captain had divided Sao Feng's effects among the men, keeping only his maps, books, instruments and alterable pirate garb. (Most of Sao Feng's weapons had gone to Tai Huang himself, and though he made gruff protest, it hadn't been sincere.) Silks graced the walls again, furniture had been replaced, and Chinese influences were interwoven with the material remnants of her life in Port Royal.

The chest was at the foot of the bed, atop a lushly dyed coverlet the rusty color of fresh blood. Looking from it to the dark circles under her eyes, Tai Huang wondered if the heart kept her up at night.

Elizabeth felt his curious regard and stifled a sigh. She'd come to accept that deference would be earned through experience, not given on the basis of title alone. It would be a long time before she felt secure enough in her position to sleep long and well, with or without the thump, thump of her husband's heart making rest difficult. And she'd be even less likely to rest without it, in all honesty. Wherever Elizabeth went, the chest followed.

"Very well." She ceased her examination of the new, lighter planks of wood patching the jagged hole left by that one murderous cannonball, and turned to face him. Eyebrow arched, she asked, "Do you go ashore?"

"Tonight, yes. One day, maybe two. All repairs will be finished," he said, eyes betraying his pleasure. Soon, the Empress would once more be worthy of her name, the jewel of the South China Seas.

A wry smile curved Elizabeth’s lips. "Best enjoy yourself while you can, then."

"You stay behind?"

"Yes," she answered quietly, shifting her gaze to the map spread out on an intricately carved table. It fascinated her, the way the fluid designs became part of the delicate looking legs themselves. Will would like it. "One evening in Tortuga’s taverns was enough for now."

Both pirates smiled knowingly, at that.

"Leave enough men to protect the ship," continued Elizabeth. "The rest have my permission to do as they like."

Tai Huang started to say something, thought better of it, and gave a quick nod before exiting. Elizabeth watched until he was out of sight, wondering what suggestion or information he had withheld.

Lips pursed, she retrieved the silver and black tunic from the back of her chair and slowly wrapped it into place. Buckling her sword belt, she smiled grimly as a cheerful shout went up and a loud splash signaled the lowering of a longboat.

I'll sleep when we're at sea she thought to herself as she hid the chest and stole up the curved staircase, pausing to wipe dust from the wood paneling. Until then, she would search for Tonks... and keep a weather eye open.
try_corsets: (Captain)
Together, the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman decimate the Endeavor, and with it Lord Cutler Beckett.

When the smoke clears and the armada of Company ships retreats, the pirates rejoice. Two equal terrors of the sea, Jones and Beckett, are no more, and the threat to that which all pirates love most -- freedom -- has been destroyed.

Elizabeth is not immune to the happy outcome, but nor is she entirely prepared for the emotional onslaught that follows. When her part in the celebrating is done, she slips below deck, heading for the spot where she and Tonks had slept for some of their long journey.
try_corsets: (Sideways look)
It's cold.

Really and truly freezing.

Elizabeth sits on the stairs below deck, systematically wiggling each of her fingers and each of her toes, and thinking that perhaps the winter in Milliways hadn't been such a waste of time after all. She'd grown accustomed to, if not fond of, harsher weather than one finds in the Caribbean.

Of course, her hair had never developed frost, either.
try_corsets: (Pirate King)
Elizabeth will say this for the Brethren Court: once war is declared, they approach the matter with all the fervor they put into arguing against it. Boisterous and determined, they descend to their ships to make ready for the coming battle, all too aware that the enemy is probably already lurking outside the safety of Shipwreck Cove.

Not Elizabeth. The recently elected (by popular vote) Pirate King stands outside the meeting hall, waiting for Jack to emerge.

It's time, she thinks, that they talk.
try_corsets: (Intent look)
The governor's mansion sits on a hill above Port Royal like a silent, authoritative sentinel.

In her former life as lady of the house, Elizabeth had rarely appreciated just how high that hill could seem traveling on foot and not in a fine carriage, especially when one's movements are, out of necessity, furtive. Twilight saw Elizabeth, Tai Huang and a small group of pirates moving through town like shadows, and after their lengthy, tense climb, they arrive at the wall to the side of the house slightly out of breath, momentarily safe in the growing darkness. The herb garden on the other side smells achingly familiar. Elizabeth closes her eyes and breathes in the scent, then issues a sharp order and motions to her second in command.

Silently, the pair moves several paces to the left and scales the wall with the help of a tree and its low hanging branches. She'd often studied the tree and plotted how it might be of use; never had Elizabeth considered that she might one day use it to gain entry, not escape.

A large, dark and rectangular object is passed easily between them, as if they've practiced the maneuver, and Elizabeth presses it into her companion’s hands with a meaningful look before leading the way toward the house, the soft soles of her boots quiet on the garden path.

It's absurdly easy. A wave of resentment washes over Elizabeth at the need to sneak into her own home. She knows the schedule, knows the movements of the staff who still live here -- she presumes -- and there's an arrogant, angry tilt to her head as they approach the northwest corner of the house. Raising a hand to halt Tai Huang, she peers around a tall hedge; dying, she notes absently. "Wait here. I'll get what I need from the study first," she whispers, knowing they'll have better access to the second floor from another point of entry.

Someone is obviously in residence, judging by the number of lamps lit. Elizabeth ponders who that might be, while darting like a ghost along the side of the building to the wide double doors and the study beyond -- her father's study, or perhaps already the study of another Company agent. The thought bolsters her resolve as she slips into the room and crosses to the heavy desk. Allowing herself a quick glance at the remembered bookshelves, paintings and maps, Elizabeth quietly opens a desk drawer and begins searching for the first item she means to repossess.
try_corsets: (Watching)
Things hadn't gone well with Will.

Elizabeth hurries up the stairs and over to the port rail, taking deep breaths of the hot air.

One of the crew walks by and catches her eye, but she quickly looks away again, unsure of her reception now that Jack has revealed the truth to all.

It's not unexpected. It's still unsettling, however.
try_corsets: (Captain)
To Elizabeth's surprise, none of her crew elects to stay behind in Shipwreck Cove and sail with one of the remaining ships on a later tide.

She'd been certain she'd lose one or two. Tai Huang informs her there's some prestige to be gained in sailing with the Pirate King, and while she accepts his explanation as truth, Elizabeth is aware that the crew feels a certain loyalty to Sao Feng's dying wish. As much loyalty as a pirate can inherently feel, at any rate.

Additionally, her mid-battle marriage to the man now captaining the legendary Flying Dutchman hadn't hurt her reputation any. Will is an unknown force, but stories of Davy Jones are almost as hard to kill as the old pirate himself. Everyone on board knows well what is in the chest their new captain had stowed safely in her cabin.

Their first day at sea, Elizabeth stands beside Tai Huang at the helm and endeavors to learn as much about the Empress as she can in a relatively short amount of time. One by one, her first mate introduces the crew. They stare, wondering at the tall, willowy woman who had assumed command and given them pretty speeches, and Elizabeth returns their stares with interest, refusing to look anything but confident. Some sneer. Some approve.

When she sends Tai Huang to collect charts and solemnly walks to the prow, eyes fixed on the horizon, they let her be.

After supper, Elizabeth orders an extra ration of grog for all who want it. (Later she'll discover that the pirates help themselves whenever they wish, but it seems like a good-faith gesture.) She takes her cup to the quarterdeck stairs, content to watch the movements of the unfamiliar sails and let the deepening shadows slowly hide her from view.

She's not there long when voices raised in anger reach her ears. The words are rapid and entirely unfamiliar, and Elizabeth again regrets that she hadn't learned more Chinese from Mal. Sounds of scuffling follow, and before she has time to blink, she's up and pushing her way past several pirates avidly watching the fight. A moment later, she has her knife to the throat of one man bent over another. "Stop," she growls low in his ear.

But Elizabeth is too late. The man -- she's already forgotten his name, though she thinks he's one of the lookouts -- straightens, revealing a bloody knife in his left hand. The other pirate slumps to the deck, and doesn't move.

Elizabeth sucks in a breath, fighting uncertainty. She doesn't know what to do, doesn't know what to say, and most of the crew is watching her expectantly.


Suddenly her chin snaps up, and she glares at those assembled. "Listen to me!" she shouts, baring her teeth. "I will not tolerate such behavior on my ship! If you wish to kill each other off, I'll save my deck the bloodstains and leave the lot of you on a deserted island with only a single pistol to make one lucky person's death a bit more pleasant." Eyes narrowing, she jerks the man closer. He grunts as the knife nicks the vulnerable skin of his neck. "And if you even consider mutiny, I swear to you the results will be much the same.

"Tai Huang, take this bilge rat to the brig. I'll deal with him later." She shoves the pirate aside and snarls, "The rest of you, get back to work!"

It's not what you say, so much as how you say it.

Their audience slowly disperses, and Elizabeth, more shaken than she has any intention of letting on, crouches beside the fallen pirate and checks his pulse, then clasps her hands together. He's unquestionably dead.

At sea.

Elizabeth lifts her head and casts an appraising glance at the red glow of sunset on the horizon.
try_corsets: (Semi-tragic)

It's odd, Elizabeth thinks, how the name had once had a fairytale-like quality to it and had represented a place she was destined only to visit in books or the stories of officers who passed through Port Royal.

Singapore feels very real now, tangible and close enough that Elizabeth keeps a weather eye on the horizon, harboring hopes of at last seeing land.

Everyone on board is aware of how impatient she is to get on with things. A man -- or a woman -- would have to be blind to miss the way she's coiled tightly, dangerously, whether pacing the ship or sitting very still for long periods of time.

There's been too much waiting.


try_corsets: (Default)
Captain Elizabeth Turner

June 2016

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