bringmethatnpc: (Empress)
[personal profile] bringmethatnpc
Onboard the Empress, in the lush captain's cabin, Elizabeth Swann is not being treated like a prisoner.

Two Chinese women have helped her bathe and dress in beautiful silks and heavy robes in the rich, ever-changing colors of the sea. They've arranged her hair and pinned a pretty, elaborate headdress into place; it feels like a crown, and Elizabeth holds her head high under its weight. The women don't speak much as they work, for which Elizabeth is grateful, and they won't hold her eye.

Why is it, she thinks, that some men enjoy dressing me up when they take me captive? It's puzzling, but at least Sao Feng hadn't threatened to make her dine naked with the crew if she didn't comply.

As if summoned by her thoughts, she hears the pirate descending the brief staircase to the round entranceway. He speaks in rapid Chinese -- probably to Tai Huang -- and Elizabeth turns to watch him approach, her face carefully inscrutable. Everything depends on this conversation.

Date: 2007-09-24 03:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hai-dao.livejournal.com
[I know who you are and what you need.] There's some benefit to speaking multiple languages. First, this use of Mandarin is a test to make sure the beautiful Elizabeth Swann does not understand. [If you displease me, I will take you apart piece by piece and feed you to my men.]

There is no reaction from her, and his own women are too well-trained to give anything away. [You two: be gone.] With two claps of his hands, the women -- his women -- bow and silently depart.

In his hands is a leaf; he washes it carefully. Like the woman, this leaf is precious cargo. "By this time tomorrow, we will arrive at Shipwreck Cove, and you will be free, Calypso."

She looks a little befuddled, but his command of the English language is perfectly good. Minding her confusion so very little, he washes his own hands.

"Not a name you fancy, I imagine, out of the many that you have. But it is what we call you."

Date: 2007-09-24 11:08 pm (UTC)
try_corsets: (A cunning plot is afoot)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
A little befuddled, yes, but Elizabeth slowly begins to realize that he truly believes her to be Calypso.

It's an astonishing development. So that's why he took her captive. That's why he's had her dressed like a queen, and is treating her with far more care than a captured pirate --male or female -- would normally engender.

Tomorrow they'll reach Shipwreck Cove. If she's lucky, she'll be able to use this to her advantage until then.

"We being who?" she asks, keeping her back to a pillar as she watches Sao Feng. He glances her way, and she smiles uneasily.

Date: 2007-09-24 11:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hai-dao.livejournal.com
Her smile is lacking in the confidence department, but his is not. With great care, he looks down at the leaf in his hand. It's plantain: once wet, it's a powerful medicine. He studies it as if he's never seen one before, but it's a good aid to the stomach and a good salve for the soul. With a grin -- more a leer -- befitting the Pirate Lord of Singapore, he moves his gaze to the woman.

"You confirm it."

No more words seem necessary; the leaf goes into his mouth as if it were the tastiest treat, most beneficial. It's sweet and tough and chewy, but that is the nature sometimes of things that are good for you. Again, he studies her: she looks every bit the empress he suspects her to be.

Date: 2007-09-25 02:51 am (UTC)
try_corsets: (Sideways look)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
After journeying to the Locker and back, even a leaf looks tasty.

"Confirm what? You've told me nothing," Elizabeth counters.

A hint of a smile remains as she considers how Calypso, a sea goddess, would behave in this situation.

She'd be proud, Elizabeth thinks. Bold. Indomitable.

Date: 2007-09-25 03:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hai-dao.livejournal.com
She's very sly, this one, but that's fitting for one such as Calypso, woman of legend. As he watches, swallowing the plantain leaf, he moves nearer and circles her.

"The Brethren Court lie." He's never been happy with people telling him what to do and the court, while a good idea, likes to order him and the others around as much as possible. "The First Brethren Court - whose decision I would have opposed..."

The mere memory of it makes him furious; his hand meets the pillar behind her head with a resounding slap as he continues his circling.

"They bound you to human form, so the rule of the seas would belong to man and not..."

The look he gives her now is nothing less than expectant, perhaps a little bit full. After all, she is a lovely goddess of a woman. So different from his usual concubines.

Date: 2007-09-25 03:56 pm (UTC)
try_corsets: (A cunning plot is afoot)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
(bound her in her bones)

The slap causes Elizabeth some concern. Thankful that the pillar keeps her from shrinking back, she stays still, moving only her head to boldly hold his gaze as he circles.

"...to me," she supplies with growing certainty.

Sao Feng intrigues Elizabeth. He's fierce and proud, respected (or perhaps feared) by his crew, and despite her brave words to Will, she hopes she isn't pushing her luck by attempting to handle him.

Date: 2007-09-25 07:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hai-dao.livejournal.com
Perhaps sly was the wrong term: coy, he thinks, is better. And coyness is a curiously female behavior. With one hand still on the pillar, he leans toward her.

"But one such as you should never be anything less than what you are."

He can but imagine Calypso in all her former glory; she's legendary. What he wouldn't give to be the one to have her! He would be much more than Pirate Lord of the South China Seas.

Date: 2007-09-25 09:42 pm (UTC)
try_corsets: (You amuse the pirate)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
Elizabeth is oddly taken with this turn of phrase. It's something she'll have to remember, if she survives.

And she desperately wants to survive.

"Pretty speech from a captor," she says, infusing the words with mild disdain. And yet her tone is low, almost intimate. "But words whispered through prison bars lose their charm."

Date: 2007-09-25 10:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hai-dao.livejournal.com
Ah, it's a dance they're doing: it's in her words, her voice. "Can I be blamed for my efforts?"

The circling halts; he draws just that much closer and lowers his voice to match hers. "All men are drawn to the sea, perilous though it may be."

And this is a perilous, perilous thing they're doing, indeed.

Or about to do.

There might even be a small glimmer of opportunity in his eyes.

Date: 2007-09-25 11:55 pm (UTC)
try_corsets: (Chin up)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
It's a dangerous game, to be sure, and when Sao Feng gets too close for comfort -- how, she wonders, did he get that scar? -- Elizabeth reflexively takes refuge in anger.

"And some men offer desire as justification for their crimes," she snaps.

Beckett's smug face swims through her mind, and it's that much easier to appear defiant.

Date: 2007-09-25 11:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hai-dao.livejournal.com
When she tilts her head back that way and speaks quickly, does she know how much more attractive it makes her?

He's a man used to having his way with women, but the stakes are higher with Calypso. Her skin is like the finest silk -- flawless -- and her lips the color of ripe lychee fruit.

Her anger suits her. It befits a goddess of the seas, and it almost humbles him. Almost, but not quite.

"I offer simply my desire."

Date: 2007-09-26 12:59 am (UTC)
try_corsets: (Regal)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
Eyes narrowing slightly, Elizabeth asks, "And in return?"

There's something knowing about her smile and the look in her eyes. She plays the mistress secure in her advantage, the goddess exacting her tithe. And Calypso, Elizabeth thinks, would not be content to give much in exchange for so little.

Date: 2007-09-26 01:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hai-dao.livejournal.com
This time, his eyes move down the length of her body, then back up. At the moment, he would do almost anything to have her, but it is a game and games must be played before they can be won.

"I would have your gifts, should you chose to give them."

And she should chose to give them. He will make it well worth her while.

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Date: 2007-09-27 07:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scourgeofpiracy.livejournal.com
Unfortunately for both Tai Huang and Elizabeth, there are two Navy men right outside, who quickly take them prisoner.

Norrington is not taking part in the battle, but then, an Admiral generally doesn't. It's all but won, anyway. He looks up quickly as the two emerge and are seized.

Date: 2007-09-27 07:13 pm (UTC)
try_corsets: (Glare)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
...perhaps she should have spent more time searching for a weapon.

Elizabeth doesn't struggle much, not with a sword at her neck.

Date: 2007-09-30 07:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scourgeofpiracy.livejournal.com
Norrington shakes off his initial startlement at that, hurrying forward.

"Elizabeth!"

Date: 2007-10-01 03:09 am (UTC)
try_corsets: (Regal)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
Elizabeth's eyes widen.

"James!"

Trusting Norrington's recognition will be enough to spare her a sliced neck, she shrugs off the sword and the man holding it, then starts down the stairs to the main deck. She doesn't look particularly happy at the reunion.

Date: 2007-10-01 06:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scourgeofpiracy.livejournal.com
Norrington doesn't exactly look happy either, but he does look relieved.

His arms go around her, quick and impulsive, and he ignores the stiffness of her reaction.

"Thank God you're alive. Your father will be overjoyed to know you're safe."

Date: 2007-10-01 03:16 pm (UTC)
try_corsets: (Regal)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
If possible, she stiffens further.

It's almost funny; during their brief engagement, he'd hardly touched her. But Elizabeth can't forget the promise he'd made, nor the sight of her father's lantern fading into the gloom of another world.

"My father's dead," she says, voice flat. Her eyes, however, blaze with emotion.

Date: 2007-10-01 04:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scourgeofpiracy.livejournal.com
He looks almost physically knocked back at that. If I can protect him, Elizabeth, I will. You have my word.

"No, it can't be true. He returned to England..."

Or so he's been telling himself, over and over, despite knowing how unlikely it is that Cutler Beckett would just let the governor go free at the height of his plans. He hasn't been able to face the alternative.

Date: 2007-10-01 06:16 pm (UTC)
try_corsets: (Norrington wants rum)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
He'll have to face it now, because Elizabeth is disinclined to make this easier for him. She's hurting. There's a wide, gaping hole in her life, and there's been no time to adjust to the idea of a world without her father in it. Or Will, for that matter, because she's not at all certain she'll see him again.

Pain, anger and accusation emanate from her in waves.

"Did Lord Beckett tell you that?"

Come on, James. You're too smart not to see through the lie.

Date: 2007-10-01 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scourgeofpiracy.livejournal.com
"No", he says quietly. "Your father was convinced of it. He always was quick to believe."

Date: 2007-10-01 08:06 pm (UTC)
try_corsets: (Glare)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
Her eyes close for a moment, but that's worse; she can so easily see her father's trusting smile.

"You promised, James," is her sharp response. "You promised. How could you think Beckett would allow him to return to England?"

The last is less angry than plaintive: a plea for understanding.

Date: 2007-10-01 08:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scourgeofpiracy.livejournal.com
"I never did think so", he says quietly. "But all I promised was to protect him if I could. If I'd known when Beckett was going to act..."

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