One of the first things I did was reach greedily for my fic binder, only to remember in dismay that the pickings are slim and none of them are explicitly W/E; the closest it comes is Shrouded Heart, which as Past Me said in the old fic recs post, is "distinctly triangle shaped." (It definitely is, but it gets the job done well enough, and it's a beautiful analysis of Elizabeth's feelings regardless)
I don't own the 2nd movie because all I remember is hating the ending, and apparently I let that feeling repress every single other memory of this movie. I honestly can't believe that I literally forgot the existence of the tender and extremely indulgent jail scene at the beginning, and even now I can't remember how Elizabeth gets out of there. I also managed to forget them reuniting on the beach. And the actual main plot of finding Bootstrap Bill, but mostly the part where I forgot about the whole lashing punishment, something about which my very inappropriate response has not changed.
I do remember all the things from the third movie, though. Well, most of them. I am still having inappropriate reactions to him hotly backing her against a wall, and appropriate reactions to that beautiful heart-punchy scene about her father, but I didn't take into account exactly how much it would feel like my heart was being jaggedly cut out and sealed in a chest when he has to leave her.
And then I actually watched the first movie yesterday, and I thought this post was going to be a review of all the things I loved about that movie, but it turns out that's too much work because even when I'm not shipping like a mad thing (and honestly when am I not), this movie is one of my favorite movies of all time and I love everything with very exactly the amount of love I have for The Mummy Returns. So for right now I'm just going to flail about how much I love the moment I forgot about, the one where he's dressing the cut on her hand*, because between the intimacy of her hand enclosed between his and "don't stop" I do not know what to do with myself.
*fun fact: I tripped over it on YouTube, but it was a French dub. My French is no longer good enough to actually translate by ear, but I am pretty pleased that I was able to understand enough to trigger my memory of what they were actually saying with 95% accuracy.
Also, damn this movie and how bad it makes me feel for Norrington. I definitely didn't like him when I first saw this movie, but now my heart has grown soft and sad at how well suited they could have been together in another life, and how he just never had a chance in this one. Good news is I'm pretty sure dollsome wrote some good versions of that, too -- here we are, "a far better fate." I just found this link in an old (private) post where I had saved links to review posts of AWE that I had saved to read for after I saw it. Obviously, it was supposed to be a link to her review, but I also obviously made a mistake, and it's better for it.
Bonus: I have never looked up the deleted scenes for this movie (when At World's End came out, YouTube was a baby newborn and my copy of the original movie was on VHS), so...time to have fun with that next.
BUT FIRST, I took a stab at the Will/Elizabeth category on AO3, a website whose hideous tag pollution and infuriating love of crossover is beginning to prove so trying that I'm seriously considering going back to searching exclusively on fanfiction.net, and while my patience quickly ran short, I was able to delight in plucking a few treasures (and I think there are more to go back for later).
1. You Belong To The Sea (and it calls you home): Elizabeth Swann had been a daughter, a pirate, a pirate king, a wife, and a mother. She had suffered, she had laughed, she had lived. She had married a wonderful man, and birthed a wonderful, shining boy - Will was her star, Henry her sun. Everything was perfect.
And then the sickness struck. And she began to hear the waves, taste the salt, see the blue.(per the author: "This is not happy. I love Elizabeth, I love Will, I love Henry - unfortunately for them, I also love angst." I went in knowing I was bound for character death, but that summary was so haunting I had to go for it, and it wrecked me. And now I want everyone else to experience it. It's the definition of "tragic beauty.")
BUT DON'T WORY THERE'S AN ANTIDOTE:
2. By and By: an awesomely more-optimistic take than I have ever dared to dream, and one that has apparently grown quite popular among fandom -- the idea that Elizabeth successfully refuses to be damned by the rules that say Will can't set foot on land, because they say nothing to prevent her going to find him.
3. Words in Glass: because the rules also fail to specify she can't communicate with him. What a great fandom.
4. Not sure if this one has a title, but it's a great snip of a missing scene for movie 5, set during Will's 10th anniversary visit and showing how Henry got it into his head to find the trident.
5. The Cruelty of Hope: Will hadn't considered that the first ten years might not be the worst to endure.
All right, I had to bop us back to sadness for a minute, but it's temporary. This is such a great explanation for "why Will was looking distinctly more crustacean-covered in Salazar's Revenge" than he was last seen.
...I'm pretty sure I entirely failed to come up with any solidly happy Will/Elizabeth content in there, but I'm equally sure it's on the AO3 and I just haven't pinned it down yet because I know that canon is not done nourishing me, and I shouldn't waste a supplemental source until I need it.
And now I am suddenly very curious to know if I tried to write myself any fic 10 years ago, because in 2007 my writing muse was fading, but definitely not yet dead. I feel like maybe...
"PIRATESCHATTER.DOC" YES THAT IS DEFINITELY SOMETHING. (edit: or not)
The sea doesn’t settle, and neither can Elizabeth Swann.
...apparently that is really all I have. I mean, that's a neat line and I like it, but I also cannot believe I didn't even write down ideas for fics. Come on, Past Me! Look at your life and/or choices.
(on the bright side, I have found a veritable treasure trove of half-finished scraps and fic ideas from the latter half of college which are proving great fun to look through. So many ideas I had, once.)