I have been reading a lot of E/C POTO fic lately, which is understandable, but last night for some reason I decided to read a bit of Jack/Elizabeth Pirates of the Caribbean fic, just for a change, and to remind myself why I enjoyed the pairing. (It didn't last long as the majority of stories on there are epic-length longstanding chapter stories which were too long to read in one sitting [at 10.00pm] and there isn't much Sparrabeth around in the wake of On Stranger Tides, alas.)
This morning on the way to work my brain decided - finally - to make the obvious connection between the character relationships in both POTO and PotC, with Elizabeth (Christine) torn between Jack (Erik) and Will (Raoul). Good lord, and in writing it down I realise the name-lengths and some of the diphthongs are almost identical! I can't believe I hadn't figured this out before. And yes, unfortunately this is going exactly where you think it will. :P
From that train of thought came the notion that I could write a Pirates AU story using the plot of POTO. Before I could tell my brain to shut up it had come up with a plausible, in-character story, and now if I don't write it down it will eat me alive.
Elizabeth, daughter of Governor Weatherby Swann, comes from a wealthy background but does not want to be a lady of leisure; in fact, being headstrong, she wants to learn how to defend herself with a sword. Conceding to her whim, her doting father decides to hire a swordsman to teach her (perhaps hoping she might give up at the first hurdle).
Cue Jack Sparrow, pirate, terror of the high seas, on the run from the King's Navy and arriving in Port Royal disguised as a soldier. He happens upon the advertisement posted by Governor Swann and decides to take up the offer, in the hope of finding shelter within the walls of the Governor's estate. Under an assumed name, he begins to teach Elizabeth in the art of the sword - with, of course, a pirate's underhanded tricks thrown in. She is a fast learner and Jack begins to feel the first sign of "stirrings" (heh) towards his young protégée.
Next, enter Will Turner, blacksmith, Elizabeth's childhood friend - through circumstance and social stature they have barely seen each other these past few years. He happens to watch her sparring practice against an invisible enemy and steps in to help as her opponent. Jack watches from a hidden vantage point, admiring his pupil and how far she's come; she wins the fight easily and agrees to meet with Will again. In her excited buzzing afterwards, adrenaline pumping from winning the fight, Jack decides to reveal his secret: he is not a soldier, but a pirate, and a captain at that. (I think in order to recreate the 'unmasking' section she might have to accidentally espy his "P" branding, maybe trying to hug him in gratitude and him pushing her away.)
The Black Pearl arrives at Port Royal, captained by mutineer Hector Barbossa. As the crew (Pintel, Ragetti and all) descend on the village and wreak havoc in their customary pillaging, they make headway towards the Governor's house; Elizabeth begs her father to let her defend the estate. Norrington (here taking the place of both Andre and Firmin) persuades him that her skill is indeed admirable, but Governor Swann will only let her defend her own room - which he locks the door to. Jack's loyalties are torn; he wants his ship back, but he can't reveal his true identity to anyone else and the Governor has been unknowingly good to him. A band of pirates arrive at the house; Pintel and Ragetti close in on Elizabeth and Jack makes a snap decision. By the time he reaches her, Will has already swept in heroically, and he and Elizabeth have fought their way out.
Will's method of rescue is to climb to the balcony. Jack is futilely trying the door, and overhears their conversation. (Basically, this is the "All I Ask of You" sequence.) He makes himself scarce as Will forces the door and he and Elizabeth start to fight their way out. I think I might actually let Jack drop a chandelier within the Governor's house as a result - perhaps during the raid as he decides where his loyalties lie - not so much out of jealousy but out of frustration that he feels jealous at all. :) (This could be a nod to the Claude Rains film except instead of hacking at it with a saw, he can shoot through the rope with a bullet - maybe even to save Elizabeth from some pursuing pirates by dropping it on their heads.)
"Act Two" commences, a month or so later, with a masked ball for Elizabeth's birthday (of course). Jack attends as himself - Captain Jack Sparrow - rather than the assumed identity of Elizabeth's swordmanship tutor. She's been avoiding him since learning of his true identity and is now secretly engaged to Will - a secret from everyone, until she finds the courage to tell her father. Obviously Jack also knows because he overheard the conversation. He tells her about Barbossa and the mutiny and asks for her help in retrieving the Pearl; she refuses, warning him that the Navy are planning an attack on the Pearl in retaliation for the raid on Port Royal and his energy would be better focussed on deciding whose side he wants to fight for.
A few days later, the attack commences, Elizabeth joining the Interceptor and Commadore Norrington. She searches the ship for Jack but cannot find him; it transpires he's stowed away in the hold (getting a free trip back to the Pearl in the process). At the height of battle Jack grabs Elizabeth and escapes to the Pearl, leaving her in the care of his first mate, Joshamee Gibbs (here taking the place of Nadir / the Persian, of course) whilst he battles against the King's Navy and to regain control of his ship. Elizabeth manages to escape from Gibbs just in time for the Navy guards to swarm the Pearl and overpower Barbossa, the "captain". Never one to miss an opportunity, Jack uses that to his advantage, rallying his crew against the Navy.
[insert appropriate battle scene here]
At some point after this, the majority of Navy officers defeated and trying to instigate a ceasefire, Jack and Elizabeth are back in Port Royal. He's still a pursued man and has to make haste, but he wants her to leave with him and join his life of piracy. Will has followed in an attempt to 'rescue' Elizabeth, realising now who Jack really is. Cue swordfight wherein Jack (obviously) bests Will within minutes and has him at swordpoint. Elizabeth intervenes, fearing for Will's life, and agrees to go with Jack. In the next second, however, they hear the approach of Navy guards, and the only escape route is over the cliff (the same place as Jack escaped in the first movie, or where Elizabeth fell into the sea from the cliff wall). Jack jumps - leaving Elizabeth behind - and vanishes into the black night-time ocean; several hours later Elizabeth stares out to the horizon and the dwindling form of the Black Pearl as it disappears into the sunrise...
Actually, most of that just now came out of my brain in the process of writing it down; this morning I only got as far as the character 'allocations'. It actually makes a terrifying amount of sense. This is not the best idea I could have had, as I've only written one Pirates fic to date and am not even sure I could write characters other than Jack and Elizabeth, even if their part in this play is only small. Barbossa, for example, is actually frelling impossible, despite his big cliché pirate voice. ;)
So, let's see how long this one remains in the realm of "not being written, thank you" before I cave under the pressure. :P