bringmethatnpc: (The Flying Dutchman)
[personal profile] bringmethatnpc
It's dark, damp and distinctly unpleasant in the Dutchman’s brig. Captain and crew of the Empress are quickly locked inside with the slam of an iron door and a harsh laugh. Silent, the crew cluster together and watch their new captain, who seems to have her own agenda.

Date: 2007-09-23 08:14 pm (UTC)
try_corsets: (Backlight)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
Indeed, their captain has only one thing in mind. She hurries to the recently locked cell door, wraps her hands around the old iron and asks the first crewman she sees:

"Bootstrap?"

Date: 2007-09-23 08:39 pm (UTC)
try_corsets: (Backlight)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
That's not at all reassuring.

Elizabeth frowns and turns to another pirate. He's swabbing the deck, and she gives the spines on his face a wary look before repeating: "Bootstrap."

He looks up.

"Bill Turner?"

Date: 2007-09-23 08:52 pm (UTC)
byhisbootstraps: (doomed and damned)
From: [personal profile] byhisbootstraps
From the far side of the cell, a deep hoarse voice echoes the name.

"Bootstrap...?"

Date: 2007-09-23 10:25 pm (UTC)
try_corsets: (Disgusted)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
At first she's expecting more mockery, or perhaps, if she's lucky, someone to point her in the right direction, but there's an unexpected note of hope in the voice. Peeling her fingers off the bars, she turns and glances to the rear of the cell.

The light is dim, but she can almost make out...

No, it couldn't be.

Date: 2007-09-24 12:24 am (UTC)
byhisbootstraps: (you know my name)
From: [personal profile] byhisbootstraps
The walls of the cell are irregular, thickly grown over with barnacles and waterweed. But that particular irregularity in the wall is ... something else again.

It's the face of a man, seemingly embedded in the wall itself, slowly opening his eyes.

"You know my name...?"

Date: 2007-09-24 01:48 am (UTC)
try_corsets: (Disgusted)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
His name?

Elizabeth sucks in a breath. Will had told her what happens to the crewmen the longer they stay on the ship, and she's seen many pirates who look part fish, but it's another matter entirely to be confronted with what's become of the man she still hopes will be her father-in-law.

She takes another step forward, lips parted, and nods.

"Yes, I know your son," she manages at last.

Date: 2007-09-24 01:51 am (UTC)
byhisbootstraps: (lose who you were)
From: [personal profile] byhisbootstraps
The man's eyes cloud over, barnacled brow furrowing in puzzlement as he looks aside, frowning.

He can almost remember.

Date: 2007-09-24 01:56 am (UTC)
try_corsets: (Backlight)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
With a growing sense of horror, Elizabeth prompts, "Will Turner."

Date: 2007-09-24 02:00 am (UTC)
byhisbootstraps: (you know my name)
From: [personal profile] byhisbootstraps
He looks puzzled for another moment, and then abruptly his eyes widen and his mouth opens in a soundless indrawn breath.

"William."

Date: 2007-09-24 02:07 am (UTC)
try_corsets: (Disgusted)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
The light in Bootstrap's eyes when he remembers his son renders Elizabeth speechless.

She nods.

At least she'll have that to tell Will, if she finds him again.

Date: 2007-09-24 02:13 am (UTC)
byhisbootstraps: (exultant)
From: [personal profile] byhisbootstraps
Another long pause.

Then --

"Hah!" A delighted roaring laugh goes up, and waterweed and less identifiable folds ripple backward as Bootstrap starts to haul himself out of the wall and to his feet.

"Ha hah! He made it! He's alive!"

He comes toward Elizabeth as he speaks, beaming , raising a finger to point at her. "And now he sends you ... to tell me that he's coming to get me."

The smile on his face, even pulled down at one corner by encrusted growths as it is, grows incandescent. He turns away, laughing again, exultant.

"Ah hah hah! God's wounds! He's on his way!"

Date: 2007-09-24 02:25 am (UTC)
try_corsets: (Disgusted)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
Elizabeth's eyes widen as Bootstrap separates himself from the wall. His joy is palpable, and she feels something tighten in her chest. She doesn't want to dash his hopes, but looking at him, she's not sure what can be done.

She swallows and takes a fortifying breath before confirming, "Yes, Will is alive."

Bootstrap turns to her, his smile bright, and it's almost hard to continue.

"And he wants to help you," she adds, cautiously.

Date: 2007-09-24 02:36 am (UTC)
byhisbootstraps: (doomed and damned)
From: [personal profile] byhisbootstraps
The smile slowly drains from his face.

He looks down, then up again, and whispers: "He can't help me."

There's no surprise in his voice, only bleak acceptance.

"He won't come."

Date: 2007-09-24 02:43 am (UTC)
try_corsets: (A cunning plot is afoot)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
If there's one thing about which Elizabeth has always been certain, it's that Will Turner will come if he's promised to do so. She's bewildered to hear such doubts from Bootstrap.

"But you're his father," she says, and although she's always understood Will's determination to rescue Bootstrap, lately it means a bit more.

Date: 2007-09-24 02:58 am (UTC)
byhisbootstraps: (dead serious)
From: [personal profile] byhisbootstraps
Bootstrap's hand comes up sharply, with a wet rustling noise, to point at her again; it comes within an inch of touching her face this time. "I know you," he says, almost harshly. "He spoke of you."

A pause, and his voice rises a little; it's despair, not anger. "He can't save me. He can't come because of you."

Date: 2007-09-24 03:07 am (UTC)
try_corsets: (Worried)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
That's the last thing she expected him to say, and it shows.

"...of me?" she repeats, confused and feeling slightly slow for not having a more sensible response.

Date: 2007-09-24 03:14 am (UTC)
byhisbootstraps: (you know my name)
From: [personal profile] byhisbootstraps
He leans in close again, and this smile isn't jubilant; it's achingly wistful.

"You're Elizabeth," he explains, in a near-whisper.

Date: 2007-09-24 03:26 am (UTC)
try_corsets: (Backlight)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
"Yes, I'm Elizabeth," she agrees, dark, serious eyes on his face.

There's something she's missing. Something important.

Date: 2007-09-24 03:30 am (UTC)
byhisbootstraps: (lose who you were)
From: [personal profile] byhisbootstraps
Again he looks away, frowning as though trying to remember something.

"If Jones be slain ... then he who slays him must take his place."

He straightens as he speaks, and looks her in the eye again.

"Captain. Forever."

Date: 2007-09-24 09:34 pm (UTC)
try_corsets: (Disgusted)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
His eyes are runny, very nearly overshadowed by the wreckage of his crustacean encrusted cheek, but Elizabeth can see the honesty and concern in them. Now, at least, Bootstrap is perfectly lucid.

And, as realization dawns, Elizabeth almost wishes he wasn't.

Forever.

This ship, this crew, this life: it's not a fate she would wish on anyone.

Date: 2007-09-25 03:46 am (UTC)
byhisbootstraps: (you know my name)
From: [personal profile] byhisbootstraps
Bootstrap steps closer, and now his whisper is earnest, pleading with her to understand.

"The Dutchman must always have a captain. And if he saves me ..."

The coral growths spreading from his shoulder rise and fall with his shrug.

"He loses you."

Date: 2007-09-25 04:08 pm (UTC)
try_corsets: (Sideways look)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
The tightness in her chest grows, and Elizabeth slowly becomes aware of her heart beating erratically.

What a horrible choice to have to make.

She looks down, temporarily unable to bear the sight of his face, his resignation, and whispers: "I see."

Date: 2007-09-25 11:20 pm (UTC)
byhisbootstraps: (part of the ship; part of the crew)
From: [personal profile] byhisbootstraps
A pause, and he shakes his head. "He won't pick me."

Perhaps the most horrible thing is that he's smiling, as though trying to reassure her. There's even a bleak little chuckle in his voice when he adds: "I wouldn't pick me."

He steps back away from her, and turns to sit back down in his place against the wall.

"Tell him not to come." The brief smile has faded, and he's somber again, as he leans back into the enfolding weed.

"Tell him to stay away. Tell him it's too late."

His eyes close.

"I'm already part of the ship. ...'f the crew."

Date: 2007-09-26 12:40 am (UTC)
try_corsets: (Disgusted)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
He really is part of the ship. Like a bullet seamlessly fitting back into the mold, he folds himself into his dreary berth and Elizabeth, aghast, feels like she's watching Bootstrap disappear.

A step forward, and she hesitantly rests a hand on his knee.

"Bootstrap..."

Date: 2007-09-26 02:53 am (UTC)
byhisbootstraps: (you know my name)
From: [personal profile] byhisbootstraps
His eyes fly open, with a tiny sharp indrawn breath.

"You know my name!"

That hazy smile is back.

"You know my name."

Date: 2007-09-26 03:17 am (UTC)
try_corsets: (Disgusted)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
Stricken, Elizabeth stays the urge to recoil even further than she had when his eyes flew open. Disbelief and sadness war with horror as she realizes that he's already forgotten everything they just said.

"...Yes," she repeats. "I know your son."

And her heart is hurting for him.

Date: 2007-09-26 03:30 am (UTC)
byhisbootstraps: (you know my name)
From: [personal profile] byhisbootstraps
Bootstrap frowns again, that same expression of trying to remember, then looks up happily.

"William!"

His eyes gleam through the haze.

"He's coming for me! Wait and see! You'll see."

And he's already settling back into the wall, as though the effort of waking up was too much this time.

In a near-whisper: "He promised."

Date: 2007-09-26 04:58 am (UTC)
try_corsets: (Regal)
From: [personal profile] try_corsets
There's nothing else Elizabeth can say as his eyes close, further obscuring him from view, and she hopes he finds some peace in this state. There's a rattle of iron behind her, as if one of the men decided to test their cage, but she doesn't turn around yet. There are tears in her eyes: for Bootstrap, for her father, for Will and for herself. They don't fall; the last thing she wants her new crew to think is that she's weak.

She stands straight and motionless until she's mastered her emotions. When she does face forward once more, turning her back on Will's father, her face is carefully expressionless.

And now they wait.

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