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Bright morning rays filtered through gossamer curtains, greeting the Caribbean Sea with the hope and promise of a new day. A slight wisp of salty wind laced with the delicious scent of a hot, savory breakfast wafting up from the floorboards made her roll over drousily, stretching an arm over her tousled head, and breathe a contented sigh.

Any moment, there would be a gentle rapping at the door, and Father would walk in and ask indulgently, What, still abed at this hour…

A sudden pounding at the door jarred her from nostalgic memories and sweet dreams as a voice nothing like that of Weatherby Schwann shouted: "Oy, Poppit, you up yet?"

Elizabeth sat up startled, clutching the covers to her chest, her bare shoulders feeling the chill of the morning air, eyes wide in surprise.

"That ain't no way ta talk ta roylty. Ya gots ta be polite-like, see?"

"She ain't roylty!"

"She's the Pirate King, ain't she?"

"Ya stupid blighter it's a non-na'ive title!"

"Don'tcha mean no-mi-na-tiv'?"

There was a brief pause.

"Yeah!" Pintel's voice said cheerfully. "Nominativ'! That's the…it don't matter! She ain't roylty!" The not so whispered debate continued on the other side of the thin door, all thoughts of the original question momentarily abandoned. She rolled her dark eyes, brushed a tangle of long hair out of her face, straightened her nightclothes over her shoulders, threw back the covers and-

-And then it started.

This morning she barely managed to grab the chamber pot and lean over the edge of the small cot before retching convulsively into its porcelain depths. But the rising reek of nightsoil and sickness made her drop the pot and continue to heave spattering pools onto the polished wooden floor.

Finally, when she felt as though even the moisture of her blood had poured from her throat, and every rib had been crushed under the force ten pinching whale-bone corsets, with one last croak and a shuddering cough the fit was over.

Her dank hair hung loosely about her face, and she wiped spit from the ends with a moan of disgust. This was the thirtieth day now, and the former Governor's daughter asked herself again why she was lying in a rough, cotton shift across a meager bed, face down with the covers thrown back, in a cramped, dirty room above the Faithful Bride.

This is Jack Sparrow's doing! Her protesting voice rang sharply from her memory. Not this time, she groaned, combing her fingers through her hair again. This she could only fault to one man: Captain William Turner.

A very pleasurable experience indeed as she recalled…but definitely not worth this.

The pounding resumed on the door. "Popp-it!"

"'E means Yer 'Ighness!"

Rolling bloodshot eyes, hastily she re-arranged the covers, hiding her slightly swollen stomach. "Come in!" She called.

"Mornin', Yer Sickness." Pintel's broad features twisted into an evil grin as he bowed lowly in her doorway, one arm hidden behind his back.

"Heh, yer Sickness." Muttered Ragetti, smiling in his turn, disguising it quickly in a clumsy, reverent bow.

Elizabeth set her pale face, cocking an arched eyebrow at their antics, regaining her strength and composure. "Well, what is it?" She asked with waspish dignity. " And whatever it is, I'm warning you, it had better be good for waking me at this hour."

"Course it is, Poppit." Pintel said with a reproachful, wounded look. "We wouldn'ta woke ya if it wern't." From behind, he pulled a rough, wooden platter laden with food.

"It's breakfus, see?" Ragetti said proudly, grabbing the cover that kept the aroma of warm bran and fruit from wafting through the room. "We-"

"Out! Out! Get out!" Her Sickness cried to their retreating backs, scrabbling again for the chamber pot as they sniggered bemusedly from the hall.

"And fer how long, did ya say?" Ragetti asked, peering around the doorframe.

Pintel grinned mischievously."Oh, I'd say another seven months…give er take."

"Nover seven monfs." Ragetti repeated dreamily.

"Shh!" Pintel raised a rough finger to his lips. "Quiet!"

"Laugh all you want now," The Pirate King coughed from the bed, spitting out a long string of phlegm. "But just remember this: Barbossa may have left me in your charge, but in seven months I have the executive power to change your responsibilities from domestic servants…to midwives."

Their collective grins vanished instantly.

"Oh," Elizabeth said, cocking a brow and pursing her lips coyly. "I thought that might do it. Now bring me my tea."


 

"An' in seven months I've gots the po'er ta change ya from servants ta midwives. Now bring me my tea!" Pintel mimicked, storming about the Inn's small kitchen.

"Now that ain't respecful a'tall." Ragetti countered, clad in an apron and pouring hot water from the porcelain kettle. "T'ain't no way ta talk about roylty-"

"SHE AIN'T ROYLTY!"