by Voleuse

One day, Elizabeth returns to Port Royal, and he is still there.

She appears in the door of his smithy--his own, in his name, now. He has already placed the last sword to cool, and felt satisfied in a good day's work.

"Hello, Will." She is as beautiful as ever, and she wears breeches, snug and worn against her thighs. "I'm home."

He thinks he is daydreaming at first, because he's imagined those words, and this moment, many a time. In his mind, he often has a cutting remark or an eloquent phrase at hand, but the dying sun glints in her hair, and he knows that she is real. "Elizabeth?"

"Yes." She seems unsure, and he is glad. "I just arrived. I thought you might still be here."

"It's nice to see you." He turns to wipe his hands. "When does the Pearl sail off again?"

"Will." She steps forward, and he steps back. "It's gone. I'm staying."

"You've said that before. When Jack escaped. After our wedding." He cannot help but sound bitter. "Two days before you left."

"I know." She rubs a hand against her shoulder, and he follows it with longing. "I thought I needed the Pearl, before, and I did. But something was missing."

He shakes his head. He won't ask.

"So I came back." She walks toward him, a new roll in her gait. When she comes within reach, he automatically wraps his hands round her waist, and she drapes her arms around his neck in response. "For you."

"You canít," he stutters against her hair, "you canít just appear and expect me to--"

She silences him with a kiss, and the weeks, months, and years without her fall from him in a wave. She could always make him forget the world with her lips, and time has not changed that, at least.

When they begin to fumble with the obstacles of fastenings and fabric, he realizes that this, too, has not changed--their unending hunger for each other, which sometimes abates, but never disappears. He lifts her in his arms and they settle against a table, cleared of the dayís miscellany.

She nips at his neck and he strokes her skin, blindly. He slips by inches into her and revels in the familiar novelty of her body.

"God, Will." Her eyes slide shut and she groans. "It's been so long."

At that, he freezes. "You mean...you and Jack never--"

"Not without you!" Her eyes are wide open now, and she sounds indignant. "You're still my husband."

He has no reply but a gentle press of his mouth to hers, and her legs tighten around his waist. When their lips part, his face is wet with tears, and she tastes them, carefully.

"I love you, Will," she offers, whispering against his cheek. His hips twitch in response, and she laughs. "Now, can we--"

He thrusts into her anew, and she ends her question with a squeak. "Like that?"

She is shaking as she nods, and he believes her when she smiles. This joining feels like their first, truly forged anew. His skin is molten and he sees promises in her eyes, and he believes that she will keep them.

And when her moans grow too loud, he stifles them with his own.


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