after.midnight // v.naked
Title: Together Again
Author: Tamara
Email: tamara@bitchenvy.com
Series: Sharing Will Turner
Rating: PG -- and beware the character deaths
Summary: 18 year old Isabelle Turner looks back and remembers what brought her to where she is today.
Disclaimer: Pirates of the Caribbean and its characters belong to Disney. Isabelle is all mine.
Distribution: If you've got the series, go ahead and take this one. If you want the series, mail me. Otherwise, it'll find its way to my page in due time.
A/N: Isabelle is a daddy's girl through and through. And her love for Will is so blatantly evident in this fic it's ridiculously. Apparently, in my universe, everyone loves Will. And I have no idea how things worked out that way.

============================


When I was ten years old, my father made me a promise. It was late at night and I was staring out my bedroom window, looking out at the sea. Then, to me, the sea was a special thing, capable of so many things. At times it was deadly, the waves rolling dangerously, crashing against the cliffs on which our house stood. My father had warned me one night, rain pouring down from the heavens and the boom of thunder echoing in the sky, that the sea could pull you under, take your breath away.

The sea was a deadly thing, but also beautiful. He told me stories, of the animals living in the waters of the ocean, and I was fascinated by the tales of the life that flourished beneath the blue waves. The sea held treasures both weird and wonderful, and I wanted to know all the secrets she had to tell.

I didn't think we'd ever go on that adventure, my father and I. Year after year went by and we stayed in Port Royal, the only time we'd ever come in contact with the sea the nightly walks we took down on the beach. Those were some of the best times of my life, walking along the wet sand, holding my father's hand as the water splashed at our feet. It was on that beach that my father promised, every year, that one day we would have our adventure. And even though years came and went, I knew my father would keep his promise.

But it wasn't until after tragedy struck, three years later, when Mama and Johnathan were taken from us, that my father and I fulfilled our longing for the sea.

The first time I met Captain Jack Sparrow was two months after my mother and brother had died. Papa spent every moment that he could with me, the two of us living in a big empty house, trying to forget what had been taken from us, living with the reminders of that which we had lost. He was at the forge, where he spent most of his daytime hours, filling orders for the Navy or making shoes for the horses of the town. It was his least favorite job, but it kept us living in comfort.

After having spent the day without him, I had this urge to just be near him, to watch him work, to feel his presence, to see with my own eyes that he was alive and real and that he wouldn't leave me too. I walked into the forge, closed the door silently behind me, and was startled out of my mind to find my father engaged in battle with a pirate.

Thinking only to defend my father, who, in retrospect, could protect himself more capably than I could ever hope to, I took up a nearby sword, held in confidently in my hands, though I was not nearly as good with a blade as I pretended to be, despite the lessons from my father, and crept over to the pirate. Pressing the tip of the sword against his back, I demanded angrily, "Drop your weapon."

I remember seeing my father smile, his eyes more alive than I had seen them since Mama and Johnathan had died.

"Well, Jack," he said, and I could only assume he was referring to the pirate I held at sword point, "I think you should do what she says."

The pirate heaved a sigh and lowered his weapon before turning to face me. And whatever happened immediately after was lost to me because, for the first time in my life, I fainted, stunned by the feeling of familiarity I got from a man I had never before set eyes on.

When I came to twenty minutes later, I was lying on the grass on our special spot on the cliffs and my father and the pirate were staring out at the sea, their backs to me. They were talking and I had learned years earlier that you learned more from listening to whispering adults than you could from books.

"I'm sorry about Elizabeth and the boy," the pirate said, his voice soft with regret and pain. He smiled then, but it was a sad one. "I always thought she'd be around forever."

Papa's lips tilted up in a sad smile of his own. "I miss her," he said softly, and the pain in his tone made me want to cry. "I miss them both. If it wasn't for Belle, I don't know what I'd do."

I watched, eyes wide and curiosity peaked, as the pirate wrapped his arm around my father and pulled him close. My father rested his head on the pirate's shoulder and heaved a weary sigh. "I miss you too, Jack," he continued and there was something in his words that I had never heard before. "Every moment of every day."

There was silence then as my father and his friend sat there holding each other. "Life on the Pearl just wasn't the same without you, luv," the pirate said finally. "I wasn't the same without you."

It took me years to figure out just what was between my father and Jack, years to put together the history between them and come to the obvious conclusion. For a long time Jack was my father's best friend, a pirate, yes, but one my father loved, the only other person, besides me, in the world he cared for more than himself. And I grew to love him too. Because Jack gave me many things, his wisdom, his caring and love. He taught me things no little girl should ever know, taught me how to fight and survive, to lie, cheat, and steal. He taught me to sail the Black Pearl, to defend what was mine. He taught me to love the ocean, to respect it, to fear it, to embrace it.

Jack Sparrow gave me so many important things and I show him my thanks in small ways every single day. He gave me my father back, and that is something for which I can never repay him. Jack's love for my father was evident in everything he said and did, the way he took me under his wing and showered me with more affection than anyone could possibly give. Jack told me once that he loved me because I was Will's and anything my father cared for was worth it.

I liked to think my father's love for Jack was evident in me. I had never been much my mother's child, she had Johnathan for that. Not that I didn't love her, I did, and now that she's gone, I miss her more than words can say. But my father had always been the most important person in my life. I'd always believed that I was the part of my father that longed for more than life in Port Royal, the part of him that yearned for the sea and the adventure it brought. It was only after I met Jack that I realized that maybe I was the part of my father that missed the captain and yearned to be at his side.

It was only after spending time with them together, watching them interact, that I came to the conclusion that I wasn't so much Elizabeth and Will's child as I was Will and Jack's child. I knew logically it was impossible, I'd learned as much from Jack. You've never had a lesson on the intimate relations between women and men (or men and men or, strangely enough, sheep and men) until you've had it from Captain Jack Sparrow. And while I knew it wasn't biologically possible, the evidence was there in the way I acted, in the things I loved, and even in the hue of my eyes and the color of my hair.

And I came to that conclusion before I even stumbled onto the fact that Jack and my father were more than friends, more than just lovers.

Discovering that secret hadn't been nearly as surprising as it should have been. My father and Jack had been standing together on deck, the moonlight shining on them, giving them this unearthly glow. I sat on the steps leading to the captain's cabin, watching them intently. Jack and my father were, to my eyes, the most interesting things in the world and watching them, together or apart, fascinated me in ways I still to this day cannot describe. Just when I was about to make my presence known, to become part of the scene they'd created, Jack leaned forward and brushed his lips against my father's.

I like to think of that as the night me, Jack, and my father became a real family.

The Black Pearl is my home now. I haven't been back to Port Royal in years. But the memory of it lives in me and I don't think I could ever forget my time there.

Though the pain of their loss has dwindled to a dull ache in the back of my mind, I miss my mother and Johnathan. I miss chasing my brother around the garden, holding him close when he climbed into bed with me during a storm. I miss the way he called me "Izzy" because Isabelle was just too much for him to say, and I miss the way he looked up to me as if I was his hero. I hate the fact that I never got to see him grow up, to teach him how to use a sword, to share with him my love of the sea. I hate that he never got to meet Jack, that he never got a chance to experience that which I hold so dear to my heart.

I miss my mother and the way she woke me up every morning with a kiss and a smile, for indulging my love of my father, for understanding that I loved him more but never loving me any less. I miss the sound of her singing me to sleep at night, the love in her tone when she scolded me. I miss the way she let me be who I was and for not trying to make me into a proper little girl. I miss the smell of her skin, the softness of her hair against my cheek, the warmth of her arms around me.

I like to think that she and Johnathan are up in heaven, watching over us, protecting us from harm. I like to think they're happy that Papa and I found Jack and we're all together again.

I know that I am.