Our Clashing Fears (Pirates of the Caribbean) | Teen Ink

Our Clashing Fears (Pirates of the Caribbean)

August 27, 2021
By PirateGeek18 BRONZE, Snohomish, Washington
PirateGeek18 BRONZE, Snohomish, Washington
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

His eyes traveled to the other side of the staircase to find Wallace and his missus stepping past him. The former looked at him hardly for a brief second. Jack took no thought to his disapproval of him, and staggered down the last step.

Looking off, he spotted the door to the room he had been told the maps were in and made his way closer to the door. Halfway through, he stopped at the sight further in.

“I beg you, please do not enter!”

Jack stared at Ashlyn, who was kneeling on the ground, back facing him. She hadn’t even turned to look at him, and chances were she had no idea who even stood in the room with her. With the occasion he turned back, it would be very easy to explain why he could not get the maps. But by the tightened level of tension he felt in the room, it would be the last thing that the lady would want. So he stood there, daring not to go any further until she saw fit.

Ashlyn wiped her arm across her face and peered over her shoulder, cringing at the sight of him. “What?” she said, barely above a whisper.

“I need to get some maps in here, love.” His mouth hung open for another moment as her stance heightened.

She waved him forward without another word and turned away, silent.

He stepped deeper into the room, observing all that laid in it. It seemed wholly intended for storing navigational supplies, although whoever had decorated it had apparently thought it fit enough to deserve some pretty curtains to frame the window. Along the right wall were several crates stacked on top of a table.

Ashlyn yelped, drawing his attention back to her. Sand and glass shattered across the ground, and the remains of an hourglass rolled into a corner. She sank to the ground, hastily gathering up the shards of glass with her bare hands.

“That ain’t a good idea, love.”

She slowed a bit, then stopped altogether. “Don’t worry about it.”

He moved to the side of the room and leaned over the crates, picking up the lid to one. He looked at another holding scrolls of paper. 

“You could cut your hands.”

She blinked, staring below. “Oh.” She set the glass down carefully.

“Ought to go get somebody to clean that mess up.”

“It’s fine.”

He hesitated on her a moment, watching her expression. She was colorless, blinking repeatedly. Ashlyn moved her hand to her lower face.

Jack shifted back to the crates promptly, taking out one of the papers. He moved a couple under his arm after repeating the action several times more, and decided that they would suffice for the commodore’s needs.

A single raw wail erupted from Ashlyn, and then muffled sounds followed by silence.

Jack had turned around, but stopped in his half-step forward.

“Sorry,” she whimpered.

“What’s the trouble?”

She turned toward him hesitantly--perhaps she felt it obligatory. She did not meet his eyes, yet he had no issue in just watching her.

Eventually, she lifted her head up and it took her a second to finally look at him. She sniffed, water lining her eyes.

But she didn’t speak as they stood there awkwardly, and her eyes constantly flit away from his before meeting them again while her expression went back and forth from stony to relented.

Anticipation welled in his chest. He rocked on the balls of his feet but didn’t entirely move toward her. She was on the edge of crumbling; he could feel it coming.

Ashlyn muttered under her breath and she pursed her lips as she settled her mind on something.

She turned her head so he could only see one side of her face in the dimmed light, and quietly said, “I need to tell someone.”

There was another beat before she continued. He raised his brows at her words.

“I can’t . . . talk to people. It’s been an issue since I was a girl. I’m awkward, and whatever comes out of my mouth is typically quite laughable.”

Jack definitely did not view her speech as laughable, but closed his mouth as he watched her confidence build incrementally.

“My parents wanted me well-married off years ago. Clearly, that hasn’t happened because I haven’t gotten so much as an advantageous proposal.

“I recognize the disapproval. Not only in the eyes of others, but in my own parents-”

Ashlyn clamped her jaw shut to stop any further break in her voice. Several thick tears rolled down her face. She shut her eyes and took a deep, shaky breath.

After several more breaths she turned toward him in feign confidence, but it instantly fell away as she forced her head up.

Jack’s brows furrowed and he debated stepping toward her.

“I’ve tried to gain their respect for years,” she hardly got out.

He smiled vibrantly at her. “Going off with a pirate and blacksmith wouldn’t prove anything to them.”

She nodded and swallowed. “I thought since I could defend myself and they knew I was going after my closest friend when I was the reason she was taken in the first place, it would be justifiable in their eyes. I was doing something wrong for the right reasons. The entire voyage I lived off of that, and in the end I told them what I had done. It didn’t settle as I thought it would.”

She sniffled, and her body bounced with soft and suppressed sobs.

“They’ve never disapproved of me so much in my life.”

Jack could see that she was trying not to get any more dramatic, but she was struggling greatly. She needed to cry, to break down.

She started to shake.

Prepared, he stepped forward as she finally burst.

“I just want to do the right thing, Jack,” she said with a trembling voice, falling into his arms as heavy sobs finally took hold of her body. “I just want to make them proud.”

Her weight was much more than he had expected and he lowered them down so that he sat on top of his feet. The maps under his arm tumbled to the ground and rolled off. Ashlyn shook with each cry into his shirt and took a shrill intake of breath before releasing her emotions again. He pulled her close.

Her confliction wounded her more than he had ever seen before, and he cringed as he reflected on his prior words to her. He had pushed himself too close to her heart.

Immediately, he felt uncomfortable. Though he continued holding her head to him as she cried, he scanned the room. His concern for her feelings lessened, and he did not want to hold her anymore.

Jack suppressed the groan from his throat as he looked down at her. A new wave of tears stained his shirt. He wasn’t sure if she wanted him to say something or not. He did not pity her, and anything he could say would make it sound otherwise.

He knew by now the commodore would be suspicious of him not being back, and any word of the lady in his arms would make situations worse for the both of them.

Minutes ticked on, and slowly Ashlyn’s sobs faded. Her energy was dwindling but her negative spirit was still radiant. His coat was still weakly clenched in her fists.

Despite this, her breathing slowly became steady and a troubled peace washed over her face. Her eyes were swollen, red. Then her expression contorted again and she squeezed her eyes shut.

He was done. He needed to leave her.

“You can’t be seen like this, lass.”

She shot up, back straight, and rubbed the tear stains on her face.

“I’m sorry,” she said, rawly. “You came here to do something.” She hesitated. “You can go.”

He got up, collecting the scattered maps on the floor and stalking toward the door. Before he opened it, he looked back over to her. She fumbled with her hair pins, back facing him once again. Then he left, shutting the door securely behind him.

He pondered for a moment at the events he expected ahead and turned back toward the door, digging in his pockets until his fingers found a small pin. He pulled it out and fit it inside the lock, turning it until he heard the gear shift. There was no click though; Ashlyn wouldn’t know.

Satisfied, he put the pin back in his pocket and turned away. He set a hand on the arm of a soldier at the base of the stairs and leaned in. “Consider your shift to the storage room, eh?”

The soldier shot him a puzzled glance, but he took no attention to it and raced up the stairwell.

The author's comments:

This piece of fiction is a one-shot of a fanfiction I hope to one day complete. Although from Captain Jack Sparrow's point of view, the OC, Ashlyn, struggles with the fear of failing, especially in the eyes of her family. This is something I constantly face and is what ultimately inspired Ashlyn's entire character.

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