Author: Soleil Compeau
Fandom: Pirates of the Caribbean
Title: Life After Loss
Spoilers: set after AWE
Rating: NC17 overall, for sexual content
Disclaimer: These stunt doubles have just reenacted what takes place after the final cut. No profit or wages are being made. I do this out of deep love for the characters.
Summary: Jack impulsively rescues a woman from Barbossa, and she inches her way into his bed and his heart. Can she be his equal on land, and can they conquer the sea, land, and time itself?
Chapter 13 - Fountain
It took them a few days to lay their plans, in part because Sarah insisted on following Gibbs' advice and 'thinking about her future.' So they organized the next few weeks between them before setting out in the longboat, by themselves. The crew of the Pearl were ordered to rendezvous with them at a heading closer to the mainland of Florida.
Jack rowed a tad aimlessly until the longboat was out of sight of the Pearl. He stopped for a moment and looked at his lady with great respect. "You've a much harder will in you than I ever woulda thought when I first met ye, little bit o'Sarah. But I admire you greatly for it. Everything you've said to me about the adventure we're undertaking makes sense."
Sarah nodded almost regally, accepting this as her due. Inside, she glowed with fierce pride at having impressed the great Captain Jack Sparrow with her strategy. They beached on the island where Jack's compass had lost it's direction. Having talked it over with Sarah, he had come to the conclusion that he was caught between two things he greatly desired, and his compass obligingly tried to show him both.
Jack faced the teeming, verdant greenery that seemed almost to whisper, seemed almost to grow before his very eyes. His mind attempted to wander away, his gaze slid from side to side unable to look directly at it.
"There's some kind of...revulsion...like a magic spell to keep people away," Sarah said in a hushed tone.
"Magic? Why would there be magic?" Jack replied.
"It's the Fountain of Youth, Jack. That's pretty magical."
"Well then," he flourished with a grin, "it's a good thing I've got a strong willed lady!" And they managed to clasp hands and walk haltingly forward.
It wasn't difficult, exactly. They seemed overtaken by lassitude. Their minds kept turning to other things that they wanted to do instead. Visit Elizabeth. Steal from ships. Drink rum. Make love.
They would just pause, and let the thoughts come, and enjoy the temptation. Then walk forward again. The fronds seemed to part for their footsteps, the trees bend slightly as they passed. Vines lifted away from their faces. Jack aand Sarah looked at each other in wonder. The lassitude lessened a bit. They walked forward and after a short interval came upon a simple wooden sign with ornate script, bearing the simple inscription:
Keep the secret,
lest it be lost
Beneath the words, two sketches side by side. One of them, clearly the Fountain. The other, a grassy plain.
"What do you suppose that means," she whispered. "Keep the secret? The Fountain isn't a secret, it's a famous legend!" She tried to pass the sign, and was shoved by an unseen force onto her bottom.
Jack hauled her up carefully and brushed her off. "Guess it's something we'd best figure out, darling."
She humphed a bit, hand going protectively to her stomach. Jack narrowed his eyes at this, having seen her do it twice before. "Well someone put this sign here, so I guess SOMEONE must have found the Fountain!"
"Yesss," Jack agreed thoughtfully. "It's not the fact of the Fountain that's secret but the location, after all. Otherwise people would be swarming here."
"And there'd be lots of people who don't grow old. So...the sign is there...so people agree that once they find the Water, they won't tell where it is. Or something..."
Jack was studying the images carved into the wood of the sign. "'lest it be lost'," he mused. "What happens when water is lost? Does it sink right into the ground?"
It struck them both at the same moment. If they revealed the secret of the location of the Fountain, it would sink into the ground and disappear forever. A chart with vague directions and hints was apparently allowed; it had been difficult enough that Jack struggled to decipher it for months before he even met Sarah.
"I've no plans to ever tell anyone where the Fountain is." Jack said carefully, addressing empty air. As soon as the words left his mouth he cocked his head and looked astonished.
Sarah voiced, "The Agua de Vida must stay hidden, for other travelers to discover by themselves." And heard the sound of tinkling water, as of a Fountain.
Awed, they walked towards the sound and soon came upon another sign. They stopped just in front of it, and couldn't help peering through the remaining shrubbery. They saw a shimmery wetness in the air. As one, they looked eagerly at the sign.
Share the wealth,
lest it reverse
Beneath it, the sketches were of a handsome young man and beautiful woman. Next to it, a decrepit couple. The message seemed crystal clear, yet...
"How can we share it, if we have to keep it secret?" asked a perplexed Sarah.
"We keep the exact location secret, love. The water itself we share. If we're greedy, the effect is reversed and we grow old instead of young." Jack growled in frustration. "Well, that's just not the nature of pirates! 'Take what you can. Give nothing back.' It's sort of our motto!"
She looked at him seriously. "Pirate greed cannot cost us this Jack."
He pouted. Then nodded. "I'll share it with Gibbs." Sarah decided suddenly.
"Elizabeth," Jack said. So low she barely heard him, he added, "So she won't grow old for immortal Will."
They passed the sign and Jack took Sarah's arm, stopping her forward progress. He took out two flasks and offered her one. "Empty it, love." He tipped his against his mouth, taking large swallows to clear the liquid out of the container. Sarah hesitated, then poured the rum out onto the ground.
Jack noticed this out of the corner of his eye, and stared in amusement and surprise. Not since he'd met her had his Sarah turned down rum. She seemed to have a taste for it to match his own. She smiled weakly at him, and walked towards the Fountain to forestall his questions.
Together they stood and looked on the Fountain of Youth. Or tried to rather, since the bubbling liquid glowed brightly like the sun. If they closed their eyes and listened to it's bubbling, they seemed to hear the sound of laughing children. The plants around it were mere seedlings, maturing only as they progressed away from the Fountain's edge.
Who knows how long they stood there, looking and listening and reveling in the discovery. It was beautiful just to bask in the loveliness. At last Sarah drew in a deep breath. She felt as if she were sucking in that glorious glowing and infusing her entire body with it. "C'mon," she tugged Jack forward.
Reverently they knelt at the water's edge and filled the flasks. Their hands got wet with Fountain water and when they drew them out, the skin was glimmering with faint echoes of the fierce glowing. "Now we drink," Jack whispered. "Here's to eternal youth."
Sarah grabbed his hand. "No, not eternal." She shook her head solemnly. "Can you imagine a world where no one got old? Ever? And we still had babies at the same rate as ever? It would be awful."
Seeing how seriously he took that, she smiled and tried to lighten it. "Drink up, me hearty!" They took only a few swallows. It was like drinking light, they could only bear a bit. Once they finished, they sat looking at each other for a few minutes, grinning like fools.
"So when are you going to tell me, Sarah?" Jack asked. His eyes dropped down to her waist.
Sarah let out all her breath in a whoosh. He knew? "I'm going to have a baby, Jack. And I've just drank Youth water. Our child will have long life."
His slender hands reached for her, gently touched her stomach. "So soon?" he whispered in awe. It's only been two months that we've been together!" His teeth glinted white and gold as he caressed her. "Though we've been joined at the hip, as it were, nearly every night!"
He stood, and helped her stand, and kept an arm around her waist as they backed away from the Fountain. They couldn't bring themselves to turn their back on it. "C'mon darlin' we've got a wedding to plan!"
Chapter 14 - Wedding and Honeymoon
She pulled Mr. Gibbs aside once they were near the Florida mainland and unscrewed the cap of the flask. "Drink just a sip Mr. Gibbs. This is water...very special water. It'll stop you growing old."
Gibbs looked at her and his eyebrows shot up. "Found it, did ye? Fountain of Youth?"
"How did you know?"
"Jack's a clever bugger. And I know he wants to live forever!"
"I'll give it to Mr. Cotton too. You two are the oldest members of the crew. Mr. Gibbs, will you give me away at my wedding?"
Once they reached the bluff where Elizabeth Turner lived out her long lonely wait, she raced out to meet them with arms outstretched. Sarah was grasped, squeezed hard enough to nearly crack ribs, and kissed soundly on both cheeks. "Sarah, you've come back to see me! Oh, now I know we'll be good friends!" Elizabeth actually ignored Jack in favor of linking arms with the shorter woman and strolling with her across the yard to her kitchen door.
"Oi!" Jack yelled indignantly from behind them. And Elizabeth burst out laughing, swung around, and ran to hug him as well. Sarah watched him whisper in her ear and remove the Youth water flask from his frockcoat pocket. She turned away. That was a private conversation.
Later, as they ate, Elizabeth was very quiet. She kept patting the baby within her and staring out the window. Whatever her thoughts were, they seemed bittersweet, for tears glistened in her eyes even as she smiled to herself. Jack watched her with a rare look of tenderness in his eyes, and kept glancing at Sarah and smiling proudly at her.
The woman shopped together for Sarah's wedding dress, leaving a very disgruntled Captain pouting because they would not let him in on their plans. For a full day Elizabeth fussed and powdered and curled and laced up Sarah. That evening, as the sun was setting, they finally involved him.
He stood near the chaplain that Elizabeth had talked into performing the wedding ceremony at her home. He stood alone, and looked more terrified than Elizabeth had ever seen him. He also looked a fair bit cleaner than usual, and his clothes were clean. 'Will should be here,' she thought, feeling a deep grief welling up within her. 'Not only for Jack...'
The pirate Lord who'd faced so many fearsome enemies looked as if he might run away, arms flailing, and hurl himself over the edge of the bluff. The band she'd assembled began to play, and Sarah appeared beyond the lawn, on Joshamee's arm. Jack blinked a few times, and Elizabeth could see his Adam's apple bobbing.
Mrs. Turner had to admit that Sarah Deverleigh looked gorgeous. Her hair was pulled up in a bun, and several long locks were pulled down and curled to enhance her bared shoulders. Her dress was a very pale pink, and pink seashell earrings and necklace were her only jewelery. A golden veil covered her face, secured in her hair by Elizabeth's golden combs. Mr. Gibbs escorted her, wearing clothes similar to his uniform in the Royal Navy, looking more dapper and respectable than he'd looked in years. He was beaming as proudly as if Sarah were indeed his own daughter whom he was giving away.
Sarah appeared calm and lovely but the flowers she held were trembling visibly. When they began walking, it was clear that Gibbs was more or less forcing her forward.
They stepped gracefully closer, Elizabeth squeezed Sarah's shoulder reassuringly, and Gibbs stood near Jack, very unobtrusively supporting the Captain; literally, he stood behind him and held him up. They were the only witnesses to this ceremony. Jack had said he did not want his crew rabblerousing at such a sacred ceremony. Elizabeth and Gibbs felt sure he was just afraid of looking vulnerable in front of his crew.
The preacher smiled benignly at Sarah and Jack and opened his book. He cleared his throat. "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to witness the union of Captain Jack Sparrow and Sarah Deverleigh. I understand the bride and groom have written their own vows?"
Jack finally seemed to have recovered some of his usual poise. This vows thing had been his idea. "Yes. Vows." He cleared his throat, reminding Elizabeth quite suddenly and poignantly of another, botched, proposal. She smiled as Jack took Sarah's hand. "Sarah Deverleigh, I promise that I will give you port in the storm, sail with you to the horizon and beyond, share me plunder with you equally, trust you with me secrets, and love you until we're too old to even chew anymore."
The old chaplain's eyebrows flew up at the word 'plunder.' Elizabeth chewed her lip and wished really really hard that the man of God would let it pass. Now it was Sarah's turn, and part of her vows had caused the very first disagreement between them. Jack claimed it went against the Code, and she answered back that she wasn't choosing the life of a pirate, but would live on land and only join him for voyages, not permanently. That was part of the negotiations before they found the Fountain.
She would not back down. "Jack Sparrow, my Captain, I promise to set sail wherever you point the tiller, provide you a safe haven on land, protect you from the authorities, never betray your secrets, and...never leave you behind."
There. She'd said it. The heavens didn't fall, the sea did not boil up and wash them away, Jack did not run screaming from her. Sarah had married a pirate and broken the Code that his father kept, all in a moment. And she felt good for having promised that particular thing. Very good.
The minister looked a tad scandalized. Mrs. Turner gave him her very best respectable matron smile. He nodded once, and spoke for a few minutes but the couple were not aware of much of it. They just looked at each other. You look beautiful, Jack mouthed at her. Sarah couldn't stop herself. She reached out and brushed a stray lock of his hair aside that was blown across his cheek.
"Now the bride and groom will seal their vows by exchanging rings."
Sarah turned to Elizabeth and handed her the bouquet of pink roses and white lilies. She held up her right hand and removed a diamond ring from her middle finger. It was the engagement ring she'd stolen from Robert. Holding it up, she said, "With this ring Jack, I bind you to my side." She slid it onto the pinky of his right hand.
Jack smiled tenderly and stroked that finger over her cheek. He lifted his left hand with one of his characteristic sweeping gestures. He carefully removed the gold and amethyst ring from his forefinger and held her right hand tenderly. "Sarah, with this ring," his hands began to shake, "I bind you to my side." He slid the ring onto her small hand.
The minister lifted his hands over their heads. Over the roaring in her ears all Sarah could hear was, "I now pronounce you, man and wife! You may kiss."
Then Jack's lips pressed against hers and his arms were around her holding her tight and the thunder of his heart was loud. "Mine!" he growled against her mouth.
Elizabeth had ordered a wedding cake for them, and it was delivered a short while after the ceremony. Jack was very eager to get his bride back to the Pearl and order his crew to shore leave so he could have her to himself. As a result, he did not taste his own wedding cake, and Sarah only had a few bites because Jack hovered and fluttered so impatiently. The only way he could be delayed was to send Gibbs back to the ship to do that for him. The faithful first mate did so after first beaming at the wedded couple and saying, "It's good to see ye so happy together. May it always be so!"
Finally, finally, they were alone together on the ship. The entire crew had gone off on shore leave. Jack and Sarah were free to indulge in a honeymoon and afterwards start settling the future of their child. Jack climbed out of the boat onto the deck and gently pulled Sarah up after him. The moon was at the half so he lit all the lamps to bathe her in the glow of light.
She stood on the deck in her wedding dress. Jack would not allow her to even remove her veil before he finished feasting his eyes on the sight of her. So she stood, eyes lowered, watching the toes of his boots come and go out of her vision as he circled her several times. He stopped in front of her and repeated what he'd said when he kissed her."Mine," so tenderly.
"I've seen me share of treasures in me life Sarah dear. But you are the most precious of all." She closed her eyes at the poetry and tenderness of his voice. To hear Jack Sparrow uttering such beautiful things..."I love you," he whispered in her ear, bringing his hands up to remove the golden combs from her hair.
"I love you too Jack. I know you love me, I thought it since you brought me to see Elizabeth. And I knew it beyond doubt when Captain Turner came aboard."
He tilted his head and smiled with half his mouth, glinting gold at her. "Why did that convince you?"
Sarah couldn't take being so close to him, so alone with him, anymore. She lifted her fingers to stroke his throat and watched his eyelids flutter as she answered. "Because he said, 'one who has, actually, captured Captain Jack Sparrow.' You didn't deny it."
Jack tilted his head back in invitation to kiss his neck. "No, I'll not deny that you've captured me. I trust that you'll not abuse the power that gives you. You could damage me...so badly."
Sarah suckled at his neck, and lightly scraped her teeth over the pulse that increased beneath her kisses. Jack breathed in deeply, and slipped his coat off, setting it by the wheel and resting his hat on top of it. They kissed, and kissed some more. Sarah loved his beautiful mouth, loved his mustache and the way it tickled her skin, loved to sneak her eyes open and see his face so close to her, his eyes closed in pleasure. He looked so sexy it took her breath away.
He undressed her reverently, taking each piece of clothing and inhaling the perfume she wore before laying it carefully aside and moving on to the next. Frequently he kissed her skin as he bared it. Then he bade her hold still while he undressed. Her eyes roved all over him with obvious hunger, which Jack noticed and delightedly slowed down. By the time they were both naked, each of them were aflame with desire.
Jack had a blanket and pillows piled upon the deck, very near the ships' wheel. He lay back on them and beckoned her. "Make love with me Sarah."
With Agua de Vida flowing in their bodies and vigour filling them, they made love in several places on the deck, tried out sex in a hammock, and finally ended up in the Captain's quarters, where they had first tasted each other. Jack did make her his prize tied tight on his bed, and he did use his mouth on her, and took her until she did cry his name in love and passion.
Did they live happily ever after? No one ever does. But they loved truly and deeply, and changed the sea, and the land. How? That's an adventure for another tale.