Pairing: Jack Sparrow/Elizabeth Swann
Blurb: Why do I ship Jack/Elizabeth?
Because they're devils and black sheep and really bad eggs.
Because they're peas in a pod, darling.
Because they both want to know what it tastes like.
Because when they do find out what it tastes like, it's one of the sexiest Kisses of Doom in history.
Because they actually trust each other. (He knows, he found it curious too.)
And because despite everything, despite her killing him, their brilliant chemistry remains intact and they will continue to have awesome adventures on the high seas post-AWE. Even if, with Elizabeth around, the rum is always gone. (This is canon. No, no, it totally is.)
(If anyone's curious in delving a bit deeper into the literary symbolism and subtextual clues that convince we Jack/Elizabeth shippers that we aren't completely freaking crazy, check out these four pieces of meta by the ever-lovely dollsome . They're well worth a read.)
And now onto the recs proper!
Fic Rec #1: An Act of Outright Stupidity
Why This Must Be Read: Set between CotBP and DMC, this fic has Jack making a clandestine visit to Elizabeth just before her marriage to Will. Short and sweet and ringing with all the missed chances between them.
"A kiss for the bride," he says, and when their eyes meet finally she goes very still and tense; he never stops moving, not for a moment, but neither forward towards her nor back away. She won't tell him what she's been wanting, and for the moment he won't give it to her.
Fic Rec #2: Shrouded Heart
Why This Must Be Read: Not only does dollsome produce awesome meta, she also produces brilliant fic with wonderfully realised characters. Another piece set between CotBP and DMC, this is all about the longings for freedom and adventure Jack has awoken in Elizabeth and her consequent inability to reconcile herself with her former way of living. Gorgeously written.
And then there are the memories that she still doesn’t precisely know how to understand. There is something to Jack Sparrow, she is quite sure, beyond the swaggering and the cockiness, the devout and unwavering selfishness: she suspects he is not quite as wretched as he pretends to be, and will go to great lengths to hide it. It’s strange, really, that he had chosen to show her his old wounds. She recalls the grotesque scar that has claimed the length of his left arm, the bullet holes in his chest, and wonders what had made him deem her privy to the secret that he, too, holds a capacity for weakness. “No truth at all,” he’d told her, like a man who knew something of sacrifice, and she’d felt like such a fool for having read endless chronicles of his exploits without once stopping to consider that glory could scar.
Fic Rec #3: The Swan's Wing
Why This Must Be Read: This was written just before AWE was released, so it ends up being AU for the movie and the final battle itself, but it's a very tense and raw exploration of Jack and Elizabeth's dynamic. The prose is simply lush, and, to be quite honest, I wish this would have been how the final battle of AWE went down.
And then he sees her, cutting her way through a knot of Beckett's men; they part before her in a sea of red, uniforms and gore, until she's standing before him. She's got what he hopes is someone else's blood smeared on her face and slick on her hands, and the rain streaks through the crimson on her cheeks like tears.
He reaches for her; she swings at him viciously, and he jumps away just in time. Her eyes are unseeing, empty but for that unholy light of battle-lust and rage. She's magnificent and terrifying, a fallen Valkyrie, a lioness at bay, desperate and deadly and breaking his heart.
Fic Rec #4: Crossing Paths
Why This Must Be Read: Jack and Elizabeth meet up again after Jack's adventure at the Fountain of Youth. This is a mellow, thoughtful, realistic little piece with dead-on voices that examines how a real reconcilation between the two might come about after all.
He stops, stills at the sight of her, one hand on the door, a bottle dangling in the other, and her stomach clenches with an emotion she cannot name, it’s too tangled, it’s broadsheets and firelight, shackles and flight, clinging to him as they soared, when the taste in her mouth was ash and bitter tears.
He breaks the stare before she does, disengaging. “My liege,” he says, sketching a bow, and tension runs the length of those words, but not mockery. “To what do we owe the honour of such an illustrious visit?”
“I met Gibbs,” she replies, less explanation than stated fact, but wit seems to fail her. Her lips have gone parch dry, and she wets them. “You lost the Pearl? Again?”
“Ah.” He grins, but the mirth is fleeting, it doesn’t light his eyes. “Misplaced, actually. But I got her back.”
Fic Rec #5: Outlaws and Inlaws
Why This Must Be Read: I love PotC fic with Teague - he's an intriguing and largely unexplored character in-canon, so this Jack/Elizabeth piece with a healthy dash of Teague hits the spot exactly. Set at Shipwreck Cove, this is another fic that has Jack coming back from the Fountain, laying the groundwork for a new start between Jack and Elizabeth; check out the rest of the Outlaws and Inlaws series in the author's tags for lots more.
“I see you’ve been busy,” he says, with a cockeyed leer at her belly. He’s standing up, the bowl and spoon forgotten.
“You stink,” she says.
“You look ready to drop a calf,” Jack says.
“Your teeth are tobacco stained and look ready to fall out,” she says.
“Are those your breasts, or did you borrow someone else’s?” His eyes are laughing, and so close. Somehow they’re standing close enough to touch.
Fic Rec #6: Facades
Why This Must Be Read: A frankly glorious two-parter, this fic has Elizabeth going to England after AWE to claim her inheritance. One problem: she needs a husband who can actually come ashore to help her claim it. Jack steps forward to play the part; and, of course, sexiness ensues.
"Jack Sparrow," Elizabeth said without lowering the pistol.
"In the flesh," Jack said. "Although possibly not much longer unless you put that thing away."
"I wouldn't shoot you by accident," Elizabeth said, but she did put the pistol down.
"No, I expect you'd mean to do it." Jack looked little different than when she'd last seen him; she supposed she'd somehow expected him to look older, although it hadn't really been long enough to expect any visible change. "What are you doing here dressed like a vicious churchmouse?"
"Meeting someone," she said. "What are you doing outside of a den of ill repute?"
"Meeting a lady," Jack said, and then, almost at once, "I'm going to kill Teague."
Fic Rec #7: Beyond the Far Horizon
Why This Must Be Read: It's an epic thirteen-chaptered adventure, very fun and sexy and well-plotted. Elizabeth's been captured and put on trial in London; Will, unable to help her himself, sends Jack along to rescue her. Again: sexiness ensues. (I have a particular liking for fics which place the characters in England, I must say: I like seeing them so thoroughly out of their element, and it's very well-handled here.)
There she was, hunched in the furthest corner and separated from the men by another set of bars. Her hair was filthy, hanging like rat tails almost to the floor as she sat with her knees pulled up to her chest and her forehead resting upon them. Her coat and breeches hung from her like rags from bones and Jack’s hand tightened about the cold iron of her prison.
“Miss Swann,” he said, costing himself some effort to keep his voice from shaking. “Elizabeth.”
Her head lifted abruptly, as if roused from a dream, and she stared directly at him with clear, astonished eyes. “Ja— Reverend?”
“Reverend Jones, Miss Swann. A friend of your father’s.”
She smiled, a flash of Caribbean sun amid the gloom, and he was lost – entirely, completely lost. His walls could not hold against her, they never had.
Fic Rec #8: Dear Jack
Why This Must Be Read: This is funny and heartbreaking sad and sweet all at once, a lifetime in correspondence between Elizabeth and Jack... and a few other characters.
Most Highly Esteemed Elizabethan Majesty,
Your letter has found me well enough through our Kind Innkeeper, though it finds me unfortunately short of coin, as he was not quite kind enough to release the letter to my possession until I had fully settled my debt with the tavern, the which, as you can most certainly imagine, including consumption of liquors and destruction of property, was considerable. If we mean to correspond whenever I am in port, then I suppose I shall have to run up a debt elsewhere and only come to the Faithful Bride for the post.
I have not had occasion to deliver your missive to our mutual acquaintance William Turner, the Younger, though I did have occasion to read it. Don't fret, darling; I sealed it back up again quite nicely, and I offer my heartiest congratulations to you both and fondest wishes to the lad in utero for better condition of health than that which I have been subject to in your company. If it be a lass, I recommend a general warning be posted to the parishioners of your county and the public at large, to keep arms close at hand and any liquors stowed securely in the cellar.
Fic Rec #9: The Pearl River
Why This Must Be Read:
Set in a vaguely post-AWE universe, this is a lovely little piece with Jack and Elizabeth on a trip to China. The author has such a knack for these intimate, mellow-but-taut moments between the characters. The dynamic between them is wonderfully drawn, and the prose is simply achingly pretty.
Afterwards, lying against him on the bare floor, she dreams of nothing but great grey-winged cranes, breaking their embroidered lines to spread pinion feathers against the evening sky; unfettered, bright and free.
Fic Rec #10: Seabirds
Why This Must Be Read: To round things off, a simple and gorgeous little slice of life with Jack and Elizabeth together at sea. This is why they're so awesome together.
He pulls on his shirt roughly, fiddling with the laces as he pads over to the table. She's moved the maps around, the callipers pointing down the African coast to the Cape of Good Hope. Weatherby Swann had the good sense not to neglect his daughter's scientific education, and she's fast learning how to apply Newton to the vagaries of the weather and the stars, all the little calculations that keep them afloat and moving on, always. The wind can't ever stop.
caps from here and here.