Filia Maris

Chapter 2

It was from the deck of Captain Teague's Ship that Maris had watched the Brethren Court release her mother from her mortal bonds, and it was from the deck of the Troubadour that she had watched the Black Pearl—her Pearl, she thought bitterly—surge forward to meet the Flying Dutchman. She had felt the fury and anguish that fueled the Maelstrom deep within her bones, and watched with her heart in her throat as the Pearl and the Dutchman circled endlessly within the grip of the tempest. But she was powerless to do anything.

She probably could have been aboard the Pearl herself, had she been so inclined. But she was too cowardly to face that chapter of her past. So, instead of stepping forward and wheedling her own way onto the Pearl, she had stood back, hidden among the shadows as the Fourth Brethren Court met and decided to try and change their fate in the face of Lord Beckett's threat of annihilation. Obviously Tia Dalma had succeeded in reviving Captain Barbossa, as he stood before the Court, and he had fervently led the argument for freeing her mother; Calypso. The very thought had nearly caused Maris' blood to freeze in her veins. What little affection Tia had ever shown Maris was sure to disappear when Tia did. After all, what use did a heathen goddess have for her part-mortal daughter, especially one that took after her father… the man who had betrayed her.

But it wasn't crossing paths with Barbossa that made her heart pound with anxiety; that dubious honour belonged to one Jack Sparrow. She had been all over the Seven Seas, and had been a pirate, of sorts, for most of her life, but she had never met a man so infuriating yet charming as Captain Jack Sparrow. He drove her mad, yet somehow she had lost her heart to him.

They had met for the first time onboard his father, Captain Teague's, ship, but it was later that their tumultuous relationship developed. He had been young and cocky, and she had been younger, so to speak, and growing jaded as more years slipped past. He halted that for a time. They had had adventures together, searching for one legend or another, seeking treasure and adventure and freedom. Then he had lost the Pearl. She blamed him for losing her hard won ship, though as the years had passed, she came to admit that she had played an equal part as well. He had vowed to get it back for her, no matter what the cost. He knew what that ship meant to her, for it meant the same to him; it was their means to freedom. She had merely brushed him aside, too stricken with grief and rage to bear his presence. That had been so long ago, and she had said so many things she regretted…

Now, watching him from a distance, she wished, deep down, that she had forgiven him then. They had been children together, really, even though she had essentially been a woman grown. He had given her a childhood and an adolescence that she wasn't sure she had truly experienced. That she had blamed him so thoroughly still hurt, manifesting as a terrible ache deep in her chest as she had watched him swagger amid the Pirates gathered around the Brethren's Table.

But even though in her heart she knew she could forgive him (and honestly already had), she still couldn't bring herself to confront him. She still had too many issues of her own that she had to work out; like the true identity of her mother, for instance. No one currently alive knew for a fact that Tia Dalma was her birth mother, or even who Tia Dalma truly was, save Captain Barbossa, at least, until she had been freed. Not even Captain Teague, who had become almost a father to her during her time on his ship (regardless of the fact that she was technically older than he was) and a trusted friend since, knew of her parentage. Even though she grew to trust him implicitly, she never revealed her heritage to him, though in more recent years she began to suspect he knew something. Then again, she suspected he wasn't entirely mortal himself, sometimes.

So it was that she watched the seas churn and roil, pulling the two infamous ships deeper into its terrible embrace. The anxiety and fear she was fighting was a feeling shared by every pirate that lingered on the sidelines of the battle. It was not a feeling she bore well. As it stood, she was destined to loose something no matter the outcome of this battle.

It had been a shocking twist of fate that Lord Cutler Beckett's single-minded determination to rid the seas of pirates for his, and the East India Trading Company's, benefit had forced her to square off against Davy Jones himself. It had been a fearsome chase, and then a deadly fight, for no matter her skill on the sea, she had not been able to out run the Dutchman; the Green Swift was not the Pearl by any means. It was then that she had come face to face with the legendary captain. She had seen enough in her life that the sight of the Dutchman rising from below the waves hadn't stuck quite the same fear into her heart as it did most of her crew. There was little that truly surprised her anymore. It was more apprehension that she felt, rather than terror. Meeting Davy Jones in the flesh, however, had surprised her. It took two good shots to cripple her ship; one that shattered the rudder, the other felling her main mast, leaving them a sitting duck. From there the Dutchman had raked them, killing most of her crew before they were ultimately boarded. She had barely managed to avoid being killed herself, though she was by no means unscathed.

It was then that she first saw Jones. The intent had been to take a few prisoners and to eradicate the rest. After a brief fight, she had been lined up along with her surviving crew to be questioned. He surveyed them himself, his tentacled beard lazily curling and coiling. Then he came to her. Her crew had named her Captain, which she rightly was, so she had been held slightly apart from the rest, between two of Jones' fish-faced knaves. As he turned his blue eyes to her, she met his gaze without hesitation, and it shocked him. Seeing his own eyes staring out of his prisoner's face had to be a shock. It just had to be. It certainly was for her. He froze in front of her, his tentacled beard twitching anxiously. After a brief moment of confusion, he regained his composure, though there was still a tremour in his voice when he spoke.

"You're the one named as Captain?" Maris had only nodded, not trusting her own voice. Jones stared at her, thinking deeply. He took a lumbering step forward, then another, waving off his two men, who let go of her arms. Jones then hauled her to her feet, their faces only inches apart as he examined her features.

"You're hers?"

"Aye." She knew exactly whom he meant and why he had asked. It hadn't taken too long after the revelations about her mother to piece together who her father was, especially now that she had seen him in the flesh. Her mother had made no secret of the fact that Maris' father had betrayed her before Maris was born, and there were old, nearly forgotten stories and legends circulating that named Davy Jones as the one who had revealed the secret to entrapping Calypso. However, she had never known for certain until that day, when she met him face to face.

Those were the only words he had ever spoken to her. Abruptly, he had jerked back, turning to his shark-headed crewmember.

"We're done here," he snapped out, gesturing sharply to his remaining crew. He leveled a cutting glare at the shark-man when he started to question what Jones meant, but when Jones melted away into the woodwork of her ruined ship, his meaning was made abundantly clear. With all manner of snarls and growls and grunts, Jones' crew took their leave as well, descending into the water or melting away themselves to return to the ghastly ship that lingered off the Swift's port bow.

She had never seen him again after that, not in person. It was an odd feeling. She hadn't known what to expect if she ever actually met him, but the reality still seemed lacking, almost. His eyes haunted her. The pain in them still, even after cutting out his heart to spare himself of feeling, when he realized who she must be was almost too much to bear. And within that pain, she discerned a very real truth; he still loved her mother. The mention of her, and realizing just who she was, brought out a softness in those eyes that seemed at odds with his appearance and reputation. But the betrayal in them! The pain warred with betrayal, nearly drowning out the wonder that had surfaced in those sea-blue depths. It had shaken her so that she trembled like a leaf once the Dutchman had disappeared beneath the waves.

Even now, watching the Dutchman in pursuit of her ship through that Maelstrom, she couldn't help the feeling of dread growing in the pit of her stomach. Only one ship could emerge from this, and though she desperately wanted the Pearl to be that ship, a part of her wanted the Dutchman to survive as well, for though she had encountered him only once, Jones' blood ran through her veins, and he had spared her and her remaining crew for that reason.

After all, once it had fallen under Beckett's shadow, the Dutchman left no one alive when it was set upon its target; save Maris' ship.

So it was that when the Pearl emerged from the maelstrom and the Dutchman foundered, Maris was the only one who felt like weeping. It was a mixture of relief and grief alike. Her ship, and hopefully aboard it, Jack, had survived. But the Dutchman was gone.

And then it wasn't. Her heart leapt back into her throat as the Dutchman broke the surface of the water, the spray released into the air cascading back into the sea in brilliant showers of white. But there was something different about her, and deep in her heart, Maris knew why.

He was gone; perhaps even reunited with her mother, who had finally been released back to the sea that embodied her nature. So even as the Pearl and the Dutchman teamed up to annihilate the Endeavour and with it Beckett, ending the Lord's reign of tyranny, Maris found that she could not cheer with the rest of her Pirate brethren.

She could only look up to the clearing sky, breathing deep of the salty air as tears began to stream down her face.

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