|Celandine's Chronicle (celandineb) wrote in cels_fic_haven,|
@ 2007-08-08 15:34:00
|Entry tags:||potc fic elizabeth/will|
PotC fics: Pamphlet AND Keys AND Christmas in London [Elizabeth/Will, general]
Author: Zwarte Parel, aka celandineb
Summary: Elizabeth likes to read about pirates.
Note: Written pre-DMC.
A clever apprentice could almost always find a half-an-hour free if he tried, even if he had the shrewdest master in Port Royal, which Will Turner did not. John Brown, blacksmith – bladesmith as he liked to call himself, but the title was scarcely deserved these days – might once have been sharp enough to keep a close eye on his business and his apprentice, but years of drinking more than he hammered had dulled both wits and eyesight. So when Will caught a glimpse of Elizabeth Swann through the shop window on a fine Tuesday afternoon, the day after a merchant ship from Southampton had come into port, he was soon out of the smithy and weaving among the market stalls.
As he had expected, she was at Matthias Caldicott's, sorting through a pile of newly-arrived books and pamphlets.
"Haven't you any about pirates?" she asked the man.
Caldicott snorted, then recalled his manners. "Pirates, she asks for. Aren't they enough trouble in the flesh without wanting to be reading about them, too? Yes, miss, I think so. I haven't opened the last crate yet." He heaved it onto his bench and began to pry off the tightly-nailed wooden slats of the lid.
Will hovered at Elizabeth's elbow, unwilling to interrupt her as she turned over the pages of a Puritan tract, her attention clearly on the gruesome woodblock illustrations of punished sinners rather than the text accompanying them.
"Are ye looking, or buying?" said Caldicott to Will.
Elizabeth looked up, ready to retort indignantly that she was buying, thank you, when she saw Will and realized it was to him that Caldicott had spoken. "Will! What are you doing here? It isn't suppertime yet, I would have thought you would be hard at work."
"I was on an errand," Will said, shading the truth, "and thought to see how you were."
She looked up at him, and he realized that he must have grown more than he had thought in the several months since they had last spoken.
"I am well, and you?" Her eyes were wide, darker than he remembered.
"Oh – well enough," he fumbled, having thought no further than greeting her.
Books thumped onto the counter and Elizabeth turned to look at them. "Help me choose, Will, if you have time?"
He might risk a beating from Master Brown if he delayed, but it was only a small risk. Even if Brown noticed his lengthy absence, he would be more likely to make Will work longer into the evening than usual than to do anything that would delay his daily visit to the Bell & Whistle. "What are you looking for, Miss Swann?"
Her brows drew together at the formal name, but she had more sense than to argue it in the public square. "Pirates, of course." She took half of the pamphlets and moved them toward him. "Look over these and tell me if you find anything."
Will had never understood her fascination with such rogues and scoundrels, but he supposed that reading about them would do no harm. Dutifully he went through the stack, finding several that he thought Elizabeth might wish to see.
"I've read that one already," she said, tossing the first aside. "This, perhaps. Now here – The True & Accurate Adventures of Capt. Jack Sparrow, Being an Account of his Daring Escape from Sea-Turtle Isle, Together with a Narrative of his Capture of Three Spanish Ships. That sounds exciting."
"Do you really think any of these stories are true?" asked Will curiously.
"They might be." Elizabeth's eyes slid away. "I suppose most of them are not."
"So why read about them, Miss Swann? Murderers, thieves; they're all but lewd fellows, fit only for hanging, as the Governor well knows, and Captain Norrington is most assiduous in hunting them down and ensuring that they get what they deserve." Will was unsure why he mentioned Norrington, except that he knew of the man's upright reputation, a contrast to the pirates and a man to admire.
"If you do not understand, Will Turner, I do not think I can explain it," she said, turning away. "How much for these two, Master Caldicott?" She handed over the pamphlet on Sparrow and another from her own stack, and the eightpence required, and was given back a neatly-wrapped parcel.
Will did not want to leave when Elizabeth seemed to be angry with him, even though every moment's delay now put him in greater jeopardy with Master Brown. So he offered to escort her home.
She looked him up and down, and he wished that he were not in his working clothes, stained linen shirt and coarse brown breeches, with his leather apron still on, but rather in his Sunday clothes. Then he would be fit to be seen with her.
"I think not, Will," she said, but softened the refusal with a smile. "Since, unlike my pirates, you are an honorable man, I am sure you are obliged to return to your duties now."
She walked a little way with him towards the smithy nonetheless, and when they were out of Caldicott's earshot, she said, "Master Brown does not require you to work on Sundays, does he?"
"No, Miss Swann, he honors the Lord's day." More because it was an excuse for him to not work himself, of course; Brown's notion of honoring Sunday included only the occasional appearance at church, but the invariable presence in his favorite tavern.
"Come and see me on the Sunday coming, then, and I will read to you from these stories of pirates," Elizabeth said. "And do not tell me that it is not fitting," she added when he opened his mouth to reply, "or that my father would disapprove. He will never know. There is a side-gate into our garden, and I will meet you there at 2 o'clock, after dinner."
He had not the strength of will to refuse. "I will be there."