Chapter: 9: Sanctuary
Summary: After seeing AWE, Alanna Livingston could only dream of being in the world of swash-buckling pirates. Little does she know her dream is about to become a reality...
Hello again....this chapter, I gotta say....one of the best ones yet. Why?? Guess you'll have to follow the cut...
A.N. OOO I'm so excited for this one!!! I started writing this with the intention of coming up with a kinda-sorta mirrored scene from POTC 3. It's similar, but I must say It's quite different as well. Hope you like it!!!
After what seemed like an eternity, the sun did eventually rise, revealing a truly bleak sight. The deck had debris cast everywhere. The dead were strewn across it, making the threat of disease that much more eminent. The crew saw to that and disposed of the bodies, ensuring the health of the crew for the remainder of the journey. While things were looking up on deck, the same thing could hardly be said within the cabin. The pale light filtered in through the windows, giving very little cheerfulness to the room. Will was still beside the bed, in the same position he had been since that night. He got absolutely no sleep, and his features showed it. His eyes remained glued to the figure next to him, watching intently for any movement. Her breathing was slow and deep, and her temperature had gone down a bit, but he wouldn’t be convinced until she opened her eyes. He was so out of it he didn’t even hear Myles come in. Myles moved softly and touched him lightly on the shoulder. Will turned but barely acknowledged him.
“How is she?” he asked.
Will turned back to Alanna and sighed. “The fever’s passing, I think,” he said. “As for the wound’m really not sure.”
“Well, it’s dawn,” Myles continued, gesturing toward the window. “I think you need to get some sleep.”
Will blinked but made no move to stand. He sighed again and stared at Myles, looking like a lost child.
“I don’t know what else to do,” he admitted. “I want to save her, Myles; more than anything else in this world. I feel so helpless.”
“Once we get into port,” Myles assured. “Everything will become clear. Alanna’ll get the help she needs, and hopefully we’ll be back on the open sea in no time.”
Will tried to smile, but it looked more like a grimace. “You’re right,” he said, and tried to stand. A wave of exhaustion swept over him and he staggered, and would’ve fallen if Myles hadn’t caught him. Myles took pity on him and helped him to his feet.
“William,” he said kindly. “The best thing you can do for Alanna is sleep. She wouldn’t want you to jeopardize your health as well. Take my advice. Get some rest. If not for your sake, then do it for hers.”
One look toward the bed reminded him of what was important in this situation. Alanna would tell him to get some sleep. Upon further thought, he figured maybe with sleep would come clarity of judgment.
“All right,” he said as Myles guided him to the window seat. He looked up at him, concern still etched on his face. “If anything changes” he trailed off.
“You’ll be the first to know,” Myles finished. “Get some sleep, son.”
With that, Myles took his position beside the bed, laying a fresh cloth on Alanna’s forehead. Will settled himself between the cushions and was asleep within moments, his face the image of exhaustion.
As the day progressed, the clouds began to give way, letting some sunshine onto the ocean, brightening the crew’s spirits. The storm was truly over, and they would be within reach of land by morning. Inside the cabin, Myles proceeded to open the doors to the balcony, allowing some of the clean, fresh air to filter through the otherwise suffocated room. Will continued to sleep, waking every so often in hopes things would change. Sadly, nothing more occurred. Alanna was as still as when he had sat vigilantly beside her. Against his will, he began to panic, and it would take quite a few encouraging words from Myles to keep him from going crazy. While taking a short nap, however, his prayers were answered. A voice he thought he would never hear again called out to him, rousing him from his slumber.
Will’s eyes shot open. Was he dreaming? Had he really heard her calling his name? He sat up, only to be overwhelmed with joy. Alanna was indeed awake, smiling at him from across the room. Without thinking, he bounded from the window seat and strode to her side. He struggled to keep his voice from cracking.
“You’re,” he gasped. “You’re awake!”
She smirked at him. “Of course I am,” she said, as if the idea were totally absurd. “I couldn’t let you sail the seas alone, now could I?”
Will smiled for the first time in what seemed like months. Bubbling with happiness, he bent down and kissed her. The same tingling feeling was once again present as he relished in this long-awaited reunion. Hope swelled within his heart like a balloon, carrying him from the depths and into the white, puffy clouds that now hovered overhead. Seeing as she needed air, he broke away, staring into her ocean blue eyes once more.
A light chuckle brought the couple back into the present.
“I told you she’d be alright,” Myles laughed. “Her fever broke while you were asleep. She’s not out of the woods yet, but it’s a good start.”
”Gods be praised,” he murmured under his breath. He leaned in for another kiss. “I should tell the men. They’ll be wanting to know the good news.”
Before he made his way outside, he kissed her twice out of sheer joy. Her laughter rang in his ears as he strolled into the sunlight. The crew was still busy repairing where they could, but stopped as soon as their captain emerged.
“She’s awake,” he said loudly, to which a round of grateful cheers resounded. “It’s a little early to tell, but there’s a good chance she’ll be alright. “
As the men continued to cheer, Will looked heavenward, his eyes full of thanks.
“Thank you,” he whispered to the rain-washed stars. “I will be forever in your debt.”
With a smile on his face, he descended back into the cabin.
A few hours later, the sun began its Western decent, filling the cabin with golden light. Will sat upon the bed with Alanna, both of them leaning against the wall. Renewed beyond measure, he decided to share with her some of his favorite books he had gathered from his travels. Since she had mentioned she had a love for literature, it was a perfect idea. As the moon replaced the sun, they shared a simple dinner of soup together, talking late into the night. Finally, as Alanna fell asleep on his shoulder, Will sent up one more prayer of thanks before closing his eyes himself.
As promised, the green hills of San Juan began to slowly come into view as the sun rose to its golden heights. Sighing a collective sigh of relief, the men prepared to enter the bay. San Juan, being of Spanish origins, reflected that, with its beige walls and buildings and delicate structures. Finally, after much struggle, the crew of the Dutchman dropped anchor and laid the ramp across to the dock. The people around them looked on curiously, but paid little attention to them, for which they were grateful. They wanted nothing more than to be in and out with nothing so much as a second glance.
Within the cabin, Will had just fastened his sword belt to his waist while Alanna still slept. She was now in her white shift; the one she had worn upon arriving to the Caribbean. Will made a pass around the room, stopping at the map. They were safe, for now, but his instincts told him that the battle with Erebus was just beginning. After making his own repairs, he would be out again, looking for him. As much as Will hated to say it, he needed help. And not just any help. He traced his finger up and down the map until it stopped at Tortuga. If he were going to find the infamous Jack Sparrow, he would have to start there. But he would have to go alone. As terrible as leaving Alanna here was, it was his best chance. San Juan was a safe harbor, with caring, if unique, people who would keep her safe. With a sigh, he turned towards the bed. It would be hard to tell her, but it had to be done, especially if Erebus were to attack. He couldn’t bear it if something happened to her again. His mind made up, he knelt at the bed.
She stirred slowly and opened her eyes, slightly confused.
“What’s going on?” she asked.
“We’re here,” he replied softly. “We’ve made it to port. The ship was damaged by the storm and we have to make repairs. You don’t have to worry about anything. I’ll be carrying you the whole way. All you have to do is hold on to my neck.”
Too dazed and tired to argue, she slung her arms around his neck, feeling his hand slide under her legs and scoop her up.
“There,” he said soothingly. “ That’s it. You just sleep. I’ve got you. I’m not going to let go. “
Unsure of what was happening, she simply nodded and buried her head into his shoulder. Keeping a steady stride, he walked into the blinding light. Although he had not set foot on land in a solid two months, he kept his tread strong, assuring Alanna everything was fine. Arthur walked up to him, a coil of rope around his shoulder.
Will took no time in answering. “Make sure you have the ship ready to sail by sunset,” he told him. “I’ll give you the details then.”
His tone was quick and sharp, not leaving room for questions. Arthur nodded erectly and continued on his way. As for Will, he had his own agenda. Upon arriving, he had set his sights on the monastery at the top of the hill, for he was confident in their healing skills as well as their loyalty to him and his fellow pirates.
It was a short trek up to the building, taking no more than ten minutes. The bell in the steeple had just tolled noon as he reached the sandstone steps. The building had long since been abandoned by the Spanish monks, and was now inhabited by a wealthy family. He had come to them many a time when he was in San Juan, never denied shelter when it was needed. Its sandstone walls were pure white, acting as a beacon for the tiny city. It had plenty of rooms, many of which had balconies overlooking the sea. The courtyard where Will now stood was filled with exotic flowers, an elegant fountain bubbling a greeting as he walked through the gate. Beyond it was a short stairwell leading straight to the beach. It wasn’t long before the owner, Stefan Hawkins, known only to Will as Stefan, came into the light, a washcloth in his hands He was a tall and dark young man, with the beginnings of a goatee on his chin. His eyes were a gentle golden brown, his skin emanating a sun-kissed glow.
“William! It’s so go see- ohdo we have here?”
Will came forward, with Alanna still asleep in his arms. “I’m sorry to come here on such short notice,” he apologized. “But I need your help. My men and I were caught in a battle during the storm last night. Mywas wounded. May she seek refuge in your house?”
Stefan made no hesitation, but took note that the woman in Will’s arms was much more than a crewmember. Quickly he led him inside, choosing one of the more lavish rooms for his new guest. It was small, but accommodating. A simple canopy bed was settled against the right wall, a thin layer of white chiffon lace on all four sides. Across from it was a little table, complete with parchment, ink and a feather pen. On the wall adjacent to the bed was the balcony, the transparent curtains fluttering in the breeze. Gently, so as not to disturb her, Will placed Alanna on the bed before facing his friend.
“She’ll be safe here I trust?” he asked, for which Stefan nodded. “Good. I’ll be sailing for Tortuga at sunset. I’ve got a meeting with an oldacquaintance. I would be risking her safety if she came with me. You know that as well as I do.”
“Aye,” he agreed. “Tortuga’s no place for someone in her condition. You were right on bringing her here.”
“Thank you, Stefan,” he said, sitting at the desk. “I’d like a pitcher of water to be brought up if that’s all right. I’m a little thirsty from the journey up here.”
Stefan smiled and bowed. “It would be my pleasure, William. It’s good to see you again.” With a wink, he turned and left, closing the door behind him.
The only sound that followed was the soft breeze blowing through the room. Will inhaled deeply and strolled to the balcony. In a few hours, he would be leaving, with only the trust of his old friend to go by. He turned again and watched as his love slept. Now was the time to deliberate on how to break the news to herhow to say goodbye.
The dreaded hour came all too quickly. The sun was beginning to set before Will even realized it. He tried to keep the news at bay throughout the day, cherishing his moments with Alanna as much as he could. But Alanna was no fool. Whenever she would ask where they were and what they were doing there, he deliberately kept the answer short. She was ill, yes, but not stupid. Eventually he began pacing, eyeing the setting sun with dread in his eyes. She said nothing, but waited patiently for the moment when he would speak about whatever he was hiding. Finally, she was rewarded.
“Alanna,” he began, and Alanna prepared herself for the worst. “I’ve brought you here for another reason.” He sat on the bed, taking her small hand within his own. “You know Erebus isn’t through with us. He’s probably gathering more men as we speak. If we’re going to face that kind of fire-power, we’re going to need some help.”
When Alanna said nothing, he pressed on. “I’ve decided to sail to Tortuga, to meet with Jack Sparrow. It’s a desperate shot, but I have no choice. I need his navigation as well as his skill to take care of Erebus.”
He sucked in a breath. Here came the hard part. “Considering what happened last time, I’ve decidedto go alone.”
Will expected her to lash out at him, to demand why she would have to stay there. As such, he was surprised when she didn’t protest. Instead, she bit her lip and looked down. Thinking he had offended her in some way, he started blurting out comforts.
“Six days, love. That’s all I’m asking. I will come for you, with or without Jack’s support.”
She lowered her head further, but for a different reason than he thought. She knew, deep down, that he was right. She wasn’t fit to go anywhere, let alone brave the grotesque and wild atmosphere that was Tortuga. To stay here was asking a lot, but she knew it had to be done. The hardest, part, however, was seeing him leave without her. She pushed the tears back and looked up at him. She swallowed, determined to keep her voice steady.
“I’m not angry with you,” she said slowly. “On the contrary. You have a task before you. I understand that. The only part that worries me is that I won’t know if something happens to you.”
He was shocked to say the least. He searched her face, but she spoke the truth. As hard as it was, they had no choice.
“Are you sure?” he asked. “Is this really worth it?”
She smiled sadly, taking his other hand. “How will we know if we don’t try? If our love is as strong as I think it is, I’m sure it’ll last a mere six days.”
Blown away by her honesty and bright outlook, he hugged her tightly, taking in her sweet fragrance.
“Bless you,” he whispered.
“We will make it,” she said with fervor. “If we trust this,” she said, holding up their clasped hands. “There is nothing we can’t conquer.”
In response, he gave her the dazzling smile she had come to love since the day they met. He kissed her ever so gently, the touch baring the softness of a dove. She took the gesture for what it was, savoring it for the series of lonely days to come. Upon breaking the kiss, he smiled again, an idea coming to mind.
“Come with me,” he whispered. “I’d like to enjoy our last sunset with you before I leave.”
Touched, she let him bring her to her feet, supporting most of her weight as he guided her to the balcony. To view was truly spectacular, with the U-shaped cove displayed before them, and beyond, the golden rays of the sun set the surrounding clouds aflame. Sitting in the bay was the Dutchman, the preparations for the journey to Tortuga nearing completion. The image of the ship brought the weight of the situation upon them. It was time to leave. Keeping his own tears at bay, he felt for his ring finger, taking his sapphire ring off of it and holding it out to her.
“This is my promise,” he told her. “If I don’t come back in six days, take this as a symbol of my eternal love, which will never die no matter where I go.”
With trembling fingers, she accepted it, placing on her own finger. It was large, but it fit well enough. Her eyes shinning, she gazed up into his chocolate ones
“I love you, William Turner,” she breathed. “Forever and always.”
“And I you, Alanna Livingston,” he replied. “Until the end of time.”
In one swift motion, their lips met in a passionate kiss, one that would last them until the saw each other again. She wrapped her arms around his neck, while his fingers were lost in her hair. Eventually they broke away, but not before he moved to whisper in her ear.
“Keep a weathered eye on the horizon,” he breathed, and with a last longing look, he turned on his heel and left.
She grasped the rail, unable to breathe. So this was how Elizabeth felt as she kissed her one true love goodbye. Her hand flew to her neck for comfort, only to find the locket gone. She looked around her, but it was nowhere to be found. Then, with a jolt of horror, she realized. She had lost it long ago, as she fought for her life during the storm. As all hope abandoned her, she snatched his ring from her finger and held it to her breast. As she watched the Dutchman sail away, with everything she now held dear aboard it, she cried helplessly, praying with every fiber of her being that the sea would bring him back to her safely. It would be the longest six days she would have to endure.
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