Category: Someplace between an AU of the ending and a PWP
Summary: Just what is Will's place?
Notes: I saw the movie the Saturday after it opened. Wow. Promptly saw it again Sunday. Up to 4 times now. Best flick this side of The Two Towers (Hmm, now what do those two movies have in common?). However, I was mildly disappointed with the ending. Since the whole movie seemed to be building toward the idea that Will and Elisabeth were swashbucklers at heart, viewer-wise I wanted to see all three seek Jack's version of freedom. Slash-wise, I sincerely and absolutely dislike threesomes, so Elisabeth is going to get the 'we can always be friends' speech.
BTW, even four times is not enough for me to get dialog and action memorized to my satisfaction, so I sort of punted, but I do know that the reading of Jack's charges ended before Will spoke to Elizabeth. However, Will has a little more to say this time, so he approaches her earlier in this version.
Will Turner moved through the crowd until he could get a good look at the gallows. He almost smiled at the sight. Although his death sentence was being read to the crowd Captain Jack Sparrow looked positively bored.
Ah, it would be just like Jack to roll his eyes and suggest they hurry things along as he had better things to do. Well, no, not even Jack was that crazy. Or at least Will hoped not.
Satisfied by what he had seen, he turned his back on the condemned man and made his way to where Governor Swann and his party stood watching the proceedings. He greeted the man and Commodore Norrington. Will had never formed strong opinions about either of them. It wasn't the place of a mere apprentice blacksmith to do so, but the last few weeks had changed many things. Will no longer thought of himself as either 'mere' or an apprentice.
Now, he decided he approved of both men. For they both cared about Elizabeth and would see she was happy no matter what happened this day. His duty to her father and fiancé done, Will focused his attention on Elizabeth Swann. Beautiful, daring, brave Elizabeth. Norrington would be a good match for her. Certainly a lesser man couldn't handle her.
He smiled at her. Perhaps he should say nothing, but he had to say goodbye without actually saying it. "Elizabeth. I should have told you this long ago. You are dear to me." Jack probably would have left it at that, turning on his heel with a dramatic swirl, but Will would only look the fool. Truth was more his style and he'd come to understand much of it during their adventure with Jack. "You are the sister of my heart and I wish you all the happiness in the world."
Hope had sparked in her eyes at his first words, then died at his last. Damn him for a fool, he'd thought she'd found the same truth he had. Instead he had been unthinkingly cruel. He wished he could make it right, but suddenly the reading of the charges stopped and sentence was pronounced. He'd thought Jack would have had a much longer list of offenses. The man never ceased to surprise him in unfortunate ways.
"Take good care of her, Commodore," he said, then spun around and plunged into the crowd.
For one horrible second Will didn't think he'd make it in time, but he threw his sword with equal parts determination and desperation as the executioner pulled a lever and Jack began his short drop.
His sudden stop happened a good foot before the crown had intended. The sword had held his weight. Will threw himself up onto the platform all too aware either wood or metal could give way at any time.
Will lost track of time and place. There was only Jack to rescue, then Jack at his side as they battled together to reach the momentary safety of the fort's walls. For one brief moment Will dared believe they would make it, but Norrington had out guessed him and they were surrounded by bayonets.
Hope gone he settled on defiant words, the heat of Jack's body so close to him giving him courage to face their certain fates.
Norrington wasn't impressed. "You need to learn your place, Mr. Turner."
Perhaps, but for now, he knew precisely where he belonged. "My place is here. Between you and Jack."
They would have been lost, but for Elizabeth. "As is mine," she said, joining them within the deadly circle.
Obviously wise enough to know the rifles cradling all those bayonets could go off in a moment of carelessness, the Governor ordered the soldiers to lower their weapons.
As they obeyed Norrington stared at Elizabeth. "So this is where your heart truly lies?"
Elizabeth looked at Will and for one horrible moment he feared she would say yes. He did not want her to lose everything because of him. But she gave him a smile and saw while her understanding had not come in the same moment as his, she too had found it. "Not in the way you mean," she said, turning back to Norrington. "You have that part of me. But how can we find happiness when the blood of two men I owe so much has been spilled?"
Annoyingly alert as ever for his infamous 'opportune moment', Jack stepped into the conversation. He moved close to first Norrington, then to Swann. Will couldn't catch what he said, but Jack kept moving, getting the soldiers used to the idea he need not remain in one spot.
Jack abandoned the Governor then slipped behind Will and Elizabeth. "Elizabeth," he said, his arm going around Will's waist, pulling him backwards as Jack moved toward the wall. "It never would have worked between us, darling. I'm sorry."
Up two steps to stand on the ledge, with Will a step lower, freedom was in their grasps, but Elizabeth was no longer with them and the rifles were up and ready again. "Will?"
He glanced up and over his shoulder to look at Jack and had the horrible feeling he was going to say goodbye to him as well, that he was nothing more than a human shield between pirate and guns.
"Gentlemen, you will always remember this day-"
They were going to die and all he had to say was 'nice hat'? Will tried to spin around, but Jack tightened his hold. Both were thrown off balance, then they were falling.
Will had a moment to appreciate the brief satisfaction of ruining Jack's exit line before they hit the water. It didn't kill them. He hadn't expected otherwise, but the absence of bullets raining down on them provided a pleasant surprise.
Impact had parted them, but they surfaced within a few feet of one another almost in the same moment. Jack smiled. A broad smile full of pleasure and Will's cheeks warmed for the two seconds he thought it was aimed at him, but Jack's eyes were focused over Will's shoulder, not at his face.
He shifted around and saw the Black Pearl sailing into view. Ah, well, rescue did warrant such a smile.
Jack didn't say a word to him. Instead he swam. Not knowing what else to do, Will followed.
In the same state of confusion he caught a line thrown to him, then landed on the deck in time to watch Jack take possession of his beloved ship. Will had to admit he looked good behind the wheel. Then again Jack always looked good. What?
Before he could examine the thought, Jack began to bellow orders and Will scrambled to obey with the rest of the crew, but he swiftly discovered he was not needed. Anamaria and Gibbs must have been busy recruiting before they'd sailed to Jack's rescue. The ship seemed brimming with pirates, all who knew more about handling a ship than Will.
He tried to seem useful, but every time he began a task, other hands displaced him. Finally he settled on getting out of the way and took refuge in a an equally useless spot near the bow.
What had he done? Fear began to grow with each passing moment, clawing at his belly like something alive trying to fight its way free. Saving Jack had consumed him from the moment Norrington had clapped Jack in irons. Will had suffered a kinder fate than restraints and the brig. He had merely been locked in a cabin until the Dauntless returned to Port Royal. The Governor had pardoned him immediately and Will had not spent so much as a moment jailed. But he'd not been able to talk to either Jack or Elizabeth. His motives with regard to the first were suspect and the second was once again considered one of his betters.
He'd thought very little of the woman he'd sworn to die for. She was safe, engaged to Norrington and no longer his concern. Jack was decidedly not safe. Despite saving them all, he was swiftly sentenced to death. The only concession granted to him was to honor his request not to be hung alongside the crew who had mutinied against him. A reward of sorts, but a very poor one.
Will had expected nothing less and had already decided he must once again launch a rescue or die in the attempt. Given the odds, he had never seriously planned what he would do should he win their freedom. What had once seemed pointless now proclaimed him a fool.
God in heaven what had he done? A gracious gentleman, Norrington might have spared Will once Jack had fled. Will should have pulled away from Jack, stayed close enough to shield him from the guns, but not so close as to accompany him over the wall. Or at least swam for shore once they were in the water.
'Nice hat.' The words taunted Will. Jack's way of saying thank you without lowering himself to actually saying the words. Instinct, not intent, must have made the pirate tighten his grip on the only thing separating him from a shower of bullets. His presence aboard the Pearl had neither been sought nor wanted.
Could he return to Port Royal? Somehow barter passage home once the ship made port in Tortuga? Such was his fear, he gave the notion serious thought, then stopped abruptly. Fool! Norrington and the Governor might have shown him mercy if he hadn't fled with Jack -- no matter that neither he nor the pirate had intended he do so – but the same laws that had forced them to condemn a man he felt certain neither had wanted dead would insist Will suffer the fate of any pirate. A soft sound close to a sob caught in his throat.
It took very little imagination to picture his own decomposing body dangling from a noose in the mouth of the harbor. A warning to the very pirates who had no use for him. A man could choke to death on the irony.
He tried to calm himself with reason. He was an excellent swordsman. Surely he had some value? If he had no place on the Black Pearl, perhaps he could find refuge with another crew? No. He rejected the idea with a firm shake of his head. There were pirates and then there were pirates. He'd seen the worst of the lot in Barbossa's command. He preferred the less blood-thirsty version aboard this ship. So he would have to find work on land.
Tortuga might have need of a blacksmith. Few ports didn't. But he had no tools with which to ply his trade and his stomach screamed anew at what he might have to do to earn them. Suffering the ignominious fate of others assuming Brown had crafted his swords would seem like paradise to what might be demanded of him in any port that would welcome a wanted man.
His efforts to stop another one of those sob-like sounds made him shudder. He'd left behind the only person in the world who might care about his fate. Elizabeth had loved him as he had loved her. Past tense. A magnificent love built on stolen glances and brief kindnesses could not stand the harshness of reality. Barbossa had forced two strangers to set aside the great romance of unobtainable love and for all the many years Will had dreamed of kissing her, he had found himself unwilling to do so once the opportunity had presented itself aboard the Interceptor. Nor had he spoken of his lover for her in the pirate treasure cave although her lovely eyes had begged him to do so. Briefly he'd considered giving in, but for her sake he had kept his silence and let the fiction of their great love burst like a bubble.
What now? He'd done the right thing by both Elizabeth and Jack. So what was left for Will Turner? He moved to the railing and looked down into the water as if it could give him his answers. None came. He stared and stared as the sea flowed around the ship. His life had been like the waters ahead. Calm and still. Then a ship named Jack Sparrow had plunged into the waters of his soul and ripped him apart. But a ship did not remain. It moved on, leaving the waters to sort themselves out alone.
The answer must be in the water. The ship had taken away the love that had consumed him for years, had pulled him from the smithy he'd made into his home. It had left nothing in its wake but waves of fear crashing through him without even a gentle breeze to calm him. What was the water's secret? How did it mend itself? How did it cope when the fantasy of one impossible love gave way to the reality of a love even more. …
Oh, God. His mind skittered away from too much truth and his body must have followed suit. For the second time he over balanced and fell. Suddenly the water surrounded him, closed in over him. Even though he'd made no decision to join it, he did not fight its embrace. Instead he let it draw him down away from Jack and pain. Perhaps it would even take him to his father.
Jack was drunk with the joy of his ship's wheel in his hands and the salt-laden breeze in his hair. Ah, glorious. He'd thought he would die this day, instead his Pearl had been returned to him. His mind reeled with the swift journey from fatal despair to the heights of a ecstasy. His ship. His glorious ship.
He had no destination in mind beyond a pursuit of the horizon and a need for freedom to cleanse away the stench of imprisonment, but a pirate was as likely to come across plunder with no set course as he was with one. He hummed the song Elizabeth had taught him and laughed out loud more than once. No one gave him a glance. Insanity had its advantages and Jack enjoyed all of them enough to avoid correcting any mistaken impressions about his state of mind. Assuming, of course, they were mistaken. He'd never bothered to decide the matter himself.
He had his revenge, his ship and he'd even escaped with the greatest treasure of all. Dear William. Darling William. Ah, it had been worth the feel of the rope around his neck to see his dashing young hero charging to the rescue. Well, almost. A pity the plunge to freedom had ruined such a fine hat, he thought with a smirk. But Jack would buy him another. And boots. Yes, he'd have to get the boy some boots. Of a certainty, Will had the calves and ankles to wear hose and fine shoes like some lord, but a pirate needed a stout pair of boots to cradle his feet. And a coat. Capes were all right for posh going-ons, but Jack found they got in the way of serious fighting.
Yes, boots, a coat and a new hat. Ah, his William would make a grand pirate. And he'd take the boy to his bed right quick. No mistakes with this Turner. He'd bind this one to him with far more than casual friendship. Bootstrap had been a good man for all his faults, but his son, his son was glorious. And he was Jack's.
He laughed again. Some might argue that a pirate captain was a poor exchange for a beautiful woman of quality, but Will had an endearing habit of doing incredibly stupid things. Incredibly, wonderfully stupid things.
Pushing aside enough of his giddy euphoria to focus on the horizon, Jack smirked. He would enjoy the day until the sun set. Dinner would follow and afterwards Jack would make Will his for all time.
He saw something tumble over the starboard side. Part of him wondered what in all the levels of hell that had been, while the rest of him ran forward, shouting orders and shedding his hat and coat.
Jack dove into the water, his body a knife slashing downwards after the form trying to disappear from his sight. No! his mind screamed. Another Turner would not fail him. Especially not this one.
His lungs protested the lack of air as he caught hold of a wrist trailing behind the sinking body. Gripping his prize with a hold almost tight enough to break it, he kicked upward. Gasping for air he broke the surface, then sank again momentarily as he heaved Will up into the air.
Jack popped back up, his heart pounding wildly. Will didn't squirm in his arms nor had he heard or felt the gratifying gasp for air that would have signaled the whelp still lived. Terrified of losing him and angry his marvelous mood had been spoiled, Jack hit Will between the shoulder blades as hard as he could without land or deck to give him purchase.
A cough followed the jerk of the blow. A ragged sound but sweet music to Jack's ears. He grabbed a line thrown to him, looped it around both of their waists, then hung on to both hemp and soggy boy as his crew hoisted them aboard for the second time this day. The need for it made Jack peevish and he glared at Will as he vomited water over the lovely deck of Jack's ship.
"Cap'in?" Gibbs asked glancing from the stricken boy to his dripping captain.
"Dry him off and put him in my cabin," Jack snapped. "Make certain he stays alive until I've decided whether or not to keel haul the fool."
Gibbs flinched. "Aye." He signaled to a couple of stout hands and they all scurried off to do his biding.
The enthusiastic servitude lightened Jack's mood, but not by much. The damned whelp had tried to die on him. That was not part of the plan. Stupid fool could make do with a ruined hat. And he'd buy him second-hand boots, too.
Muttering dark threats instead of humming and laughing, Jack stayed on deck until long after the sun had set. Things were not going according to plan. Jack hated that. Oh, the lad was in his bed at the expected hour, but everything else had gone amiss.
Jack figured it was best to stay away from his cabin for as long as he felt the same intense need to hurt the boy as to make love to him. Or maybe until he at least had some notion of what had happened.
Had Will fallen or jumped? Jack had seen a clumsy tumble not at all in keeping with the easy grace his William normally moved with. A fall then, but how? Although he had a thing or two to learn, Will had taken to crewing the Interceptor like a natural born seaman. Coupled with the aforementioned grace, it seemed unlikely he had tripped and fallen. Jack shook his head and thanked all the plethora of deities he'd never bothered to believe in the boy had gone over the side and not the bow itself. Nothing would have saved him had the Pearl plowed into him first.
He patted the wheel between his hand. "Good lass," he told his lady of wood. "No ship of mine would be hurting what's also mine."
He fancied a creak of a wood was a happy chirp of agreement and tried to find a way to rid himself of lingering anger and fear.
He gave Will a glance, not liking the rasp in his voice, but expecting it all the same. A good sign actually. A lot of coughing brought up any lingering water in the lungs. He'd seen more than one man who didn't cough long and hard after a near fatal dunking die hours later almost as if they'd drowned a second time.
Will stood a few feet away from him. His limbs bare, wearing nothing but a pair of breeches and a blanket. A few nights past full, the moon gave ample light to see the misery on the boy's face. It gave Jack a warm sense of satisfaction. "Go back inside, Will," he said, allowing nothing approaching warmth to enter his voice.
The lower lip curled inward and Jack assumed Will was biting it. He didn't like the idea of even a small hurt touching the boy unless Jack was doing the hurting. Nor did it please him that Will hadn't done what he said. "Small point of etiquette, whelp, failure to follow a captain's orders can have unfortunate consequences. Savvy?"
"Oh, well, that's all right then. Guess I won't have Gibbs break out the lash. Now go inside."
"No, I mean I'm sorry about … falling."
He sighed. When would he learn? Turners were always a bloody pain in the ass. "Is that what you did? Fall?"
Will hesitated long enough to indicate he didn't have any more of a clue than Jack did. "Yes."
"There's no place for liars on my ship, boy," he snapped. Which was, of course, a lie, but he was in a foul mood. Besides making grand statements and not getting called on it was one of the joys of being the captain.
Will gave him an incredulous look, then anger sparked in his eyes and he drew himself up to his full height. Which might have been more impressive if Jack weren't in his boots and Will weren't bare foot. But they both were and the inch the boy had on him got lost in the mix. "Fine. Put me ashore when we reach Tortuga and I'll … I'll …" Will faltered and the lost look returned. "Do something."
The sight of his darling all crest fallen restored some of the mercy in Jack's soul. Otherwise he might have pointed out that all a beautiful boy like Will would end up doing alone in such a port would be making a living by spreading his legs. Course Will had eyes as well as looks and he'd been to Tortuga. He had to already have a good idea such would be his fate and it cooled Jack's anger that much more not to have Will hurl it in Jack's face. He sighed. A shame really. He'd been told he was quite an intimidating specimen when angered.
"You shouldn't be out in the night air after taking such a swim, luv," he said his voice all gentle and soothing. Disgusting really. He could see this Turner was going to be a far greater nuisance than the first. Maybe he should reconsider the casual friendship option. No, not possible. Too pretty by half this one was.
Will brightened a little. A poor reward for Jack's efforts, but he found he was absurdly pleased with himself. Yes, truly disgusting.
"Come with me," Will coaxed.
Jack might have suspected an inept attempt at seduction, but he saw nothing before him but a cold young man who didn't want to be alone. Since Will's last stint of aloneness had sent him over the side, Jack decided to give in, but firmly told himself he was not going to make a habit of it. Could lead to all sorts of unfortunately undignified situations. And above all things Captain Jack Sparrow was a man of great dignity. Given even he wasn't crazy enough to believe that, Jack snorted at himself, then threw an arm around Will's shoulders. "All right, lad, I'll come along, but only because I could use something to eat."
Will sat down at the captain's table and mourned the loss of the arm around his shoulders, but at least things had been set so Jack's place at the head of the table was just to Will's right.
The smell of food suddenly reminded him how little he'd had to eat in the last few days. Suddenly so ravenous nausea churned his belly, Will couldn't bring himself to move.
Certain he would be ill if he did and die on the spot if he didn't, Will shook his head.
Jack sighed and ladled a thick stew into Will's bowl, then shoved a piece of bread into his hand. "Let's not go back to that not obeying thing. I said eat."
Sick almost to death of the dualities pulling at his mind and body, Will took the simplest course and obeyed the captain's orders. And if he got sick all over the same captain's boots, so much the better. It almost disappointed him when his stomach happily accepted the food. Even better the warmth chased away much of the rawness in his throat.
Almost as if he were reading Will's mind, Jack asked, "How are you feeling?"
"Fine." It wasn't a lie. Once the coughing fits had passed, he'd slept and chased away any lingering fatigue. "Except my wrist hurts."
"Serves you right," Jack snapped, then turned his attention back to his meal.
They ate in silence for a time. It near to drove Will mad, yet Jack seemed perfectly content.
Desperately his mind cast around for something to say and he blurted out, "Do I really look just like my father?"
Jack smiled. "Yes, in the way a child normally resembles a parent. Savvy?"
"So we couldn't pass as twins? Except for the age difference?"
A shake of the head this time. "You have the same eyes, nose and mouth, but Bootstrap was a big man. Stood a good half a head taller than you with shoulders half again as broad. So bigger and mildly handsome, not pretty like you."
Will glared at him. "I am not pretty."
Jack laughed. "Of course you are, mate. Prettiest thing I've seen in years."
He opened his mouth to protest something along the lines of men weren't pretty, but Jack winked and added, "Except, of course, when I look in me own mirror."
Laugh. Will's brain screamed at him to laugh, but an even louder voice said, yes, underneath all the pirate trappings, Jack was a very pretty man indeed. The mental struggle made a blush heat his face and he felt a fool. Strangely enough he remembered his thoughts as the water had taken him. "I killed my father."
Jack didn't pretend to misunderstand. "Possible, but not probable. Near as I have it figured, Bootstrap didn't part company with Barbossa for a good year after I was marooned." He smiled. "You Turners are a handful, but you have your uses and no captain likes getting rid of a good hand. Anyway, that puts him in the water for a right long time."
Will nodded and bit his lip again. Trapped at the bottom of the sea, the release of death denied to him as firmly as the others until his own son had lifted the curse and let the waters finally crush him.
Jack smacked his arm. "Hear now, don't go all broody on me. As I was saying, it's hard to imagine even an idiot not finding a way free in all that time, and your father was no idiot."
"So you think he's alive?"
Jack nodded. "No doubt in me mind actually."
"We could find him then?"
Another nod. "If that's what you want."
What he wanted? Will almost blurted that of course he wanted it. Yet, he'd stopped looking and made a life for himself in Port Royal. And there was Jack and what his father had done to him to consider. "He sided with Barbossa."
"There are three sides in any mutiny, boy." Jack ticked them off on his fingers. "The captain's, the mutineers' and then there are those who want to stay alive so they go with the winning side and never mind their true opinions on the matter."
Will didn't want to think of his father like that, but he'd never understood how Bootstrap being a good man went along with being part of Barbossa's crew. "And that's what my father did? Go with the winning side."
Jack shrugged. "He done what was right by him."
"You said he was a good man."
"A good man with a wife he loved and a son he'd never seen. We were friends, Will, but not the dying for one another sort." Jack paused and Will could see him considering how that sounded. "More like he chose to live for your mum, than die for me."
"Then he died anyway."
"Thought we covered that."
Will glared at him. "You know what I mean."
"Man does what he has to, luv. But what needs doing in one minute might not be the same thing the next. One decision left me to stand alone, but the second led you to me. I'll not cross swords with him for that."
A warmth akin to the blush Jack's insistence Will was pretty swept through him. "Why?"
"William was a friend who made, by my way of thinking at least, a regrettable choice."
"And me, Jack? What am I? Why did they put me in your cabin?"
Jack quirked an eyebrow at him, then picked up an apple and began to peel it with a dagger. "First I'll have a few answers from you. From the moment we first crossed swords until you saved me, all I ever heard was 'Elizabeth this' and 'Elizabeth that.' Yet now, when you should be enjoying your happily ever after with her and I should have the peace of the open sea before me, I find you on my ship." The peel fell away, then he began to section the fruit. "This confuses me. Confusion always makes me head ache."
Will groped around for something, anything to say and came up with a lame, "Sorry."
Jack rolled his eyes, then glared. "Why aren't you with her?"
It sounded almost like an accusation. As if he'd somehow disappointed Jack by not playing the romantic hero of some melodrama he had spinning in his head. He groped for an answer and once more came to the conclusion that truth served him the best. "It was the opportune moment. The one you thought I'd missed in the treasure cave."
Will waited expectantly, but understanding didn't blossom on Jack's face. This made Will wonder if he would recognize it if it happened, then decided he might and he might not, but he wasn't seeing it now. "I didn't miss it," he explained, suddenly feeling less like he was talking to a pirate than a slow child. "I didn't want it."
"You didn't want it."
Will shook his head.
"You drag me, my new ship and crew all over the Caribbean to save her and you decided you didn't want it."
"I didn't drag you anywhere," Will snapped.
"Don't evade the issue. You love her."
"No, I don't."
Jack shook his head with an exaggerated movement that made him look like a dog trying to shake off a soaking. "Then what in hell were the last few weeks about?" His voice was low, deliberate and for all its quietness, it gave the impression of a shout.
"Something between adoration and worship."
The head cocked to the right this time, eyes considered him, then the head moved to the left for another look as if the change of angle would provide enlightenment when words had not. "You've lost me, mate."
Will sighed. It all seemed fairly obvious to him. "She's very beautiful."
Silence. Will gave him a 'well?' look.
"Oh, yes, very pretty. Fairest in all the land, etc."
Jack's eyebrows rose. "I shall have to take your word for that. Good in a fight she is, I'll grant you that."
Will was starting to get the headache Jack had complained of. Why did the man have to make everything so hard? He almost laughed. Why not ask why the sky was blue? His eyes narrowed slightly. Yes, Jack did like to make things difficult. Suddenly Will got the idea Jack knew full well why Will had followed him to the Pearl instead of swimming to shore. But he could be wrong, so with a sigh, he said, "I was a blacksmith's apprentice. She's the governor's daughter."
Another long pause. Will made a 'put it all together you sodding idiot' motion with his hand.
"Oh, I see. Look don't touch, that how it was?"
"As long as the looking was from a distance and I never forgot my place." Years of having to call the girl he'd thought he loved 'Miss Swann' gave his words a bitter bite.
Jack considered this. "So what your sayin' is that the package was right pretty and she was nice enough, but when you finally got to know her, she was lacking?"
"Yes." Wait a minute. "No."
A 'you're absolutely out of your mind, mate' look crossed Jack's face.
The sheer nerve of Jack Sparrow insinuating that anyone could possibly be crazy enough for him to notice, made Will's eyes narrow further into a flat out glare.
Which was apparently what Jack wanted as he chuckled at his little joke, then gave Will a wide-eyed 'I'm all aglow with anticipation' flutter of the eyes.
Will really hated him, but being decidedly not-crazy, he opted not to say it. He was in no bloody mood to walk the plank tonight. "She's wonderful," he snapped, his glare daring Jack to disagree.
Jack dropped the apple he'd been mutilating and held up his hands in surrender. "Whatever you say, mate."
A sigh that had the edge of a snort to it answered this blatant bit of appeasement, but Will decided to let it go. Otherwise he'd never get out of here without earning a date to swim with the fishes. "She was brave and wonderful. Someone I will love forever, but I had absolutely no desire to kiss her."
A big smile lit up Jack's face. "So she forgot her place as the damsel in distress and you lost all interest in her."
That wasn't quite it, but it was close enough to what he was trying to say that he couldn't think of an immediate response, so he settled on shaking his head.
Jack's eyebrow lifted to suggest he was waiting for a better answer.
Frustrated by his lack of any such thing, Will got to his feet and began to pace back and forth in front of the table while Jack watched him with patience and something Will couldn't identify.
"I love her, but I didn't want to kiss her." And not for a lack of trying. Twice, once before the illusion they were safe aboard the Interceptor had been shattered and in the cave. Both times he had known she wanted him to kiss her, yet he had not. "She is like a sister to me." Dear, beloved, but not desired.
Jack stood up, then slowly made his way over to Will. "In other words, when you got all up close and personal, you found all that lovely heat she inspired cooled when you thought you'd actually have to do something about it?"
He was close now. His body heat a subtle threat that made Will move backwards until he hit the cabin wall. "I-"
"Denial is a lovely thing, mate," Jack said, not stopping until less than an inch separated their chests. "Set your sites on a grand lady you can never have and pine away in all that lovely unrequited love. Stuff of romances and all that. But of course, it also gives you an excuse to not date shall we say more eligible girls."
"You knew all along what went wrong."
Jack chuckled, "That I did, mate. But I'd have been remiss if I hadn't made certain you knew." He moved even closer. "Now, I've another question."
Will did not like the turn this conversation was taking or how close Jack was after demonstrating his skill with a blade. He reminded himself he was taller than Jack, broader in the shoulder and had the hard-earned strength of a blacksmith, then did absolutely nothing to push Jack away or shut him up.
"You're a gorgeous thing, yourself, young William. Stands to reason you had an offer or two. Ever partake?"
He shook his head, not trusting himself to speak with Jack's lips so near his own. "It wouldn't have been right. Elizabeth-"
Another roll of those eyes. "Was out of bounds. And, like I said, a man has needs."
Jack grinned. "I think we're back to those three hours of sword practice you were so fond of."
Will forgot how close Jack was and scowled. "I explained that."
Jack nodded. "So you did. But I think we've established you have a tendency to, shall we say, misread a situation?"
"I do not."
"What am I going to do?"
"You're going to kiss me." The words flowed out without a single moment's hesitation, and if he were wrong now would be an excellent time for the Royal Navy to attack.
"So I am. Which would be the answer to your question about why you are in my cabin, wouldn't it?"
Will ignored the second part. "You are?"
"Oh." Will thought a moment. "Then I was right?"
The eyes rolled again. Will was getting very tired of that. "Yes, it had to happen some time. You were right. I am going to kiss you. Now, answer my question."
"What-? Oh, hang it all." Jack shoved up against him and gave Will a savage kiss.
When Jack stepped back, Will gasped for air through bruised lips.
Jack smiled. "Now, let's try this again, sweet William. Why are you here?"
An ache he'd never felt outside of his bed pulsed against the seam of his trousers and he was sick of games. "I want you to kiss me."
"Hmm, close," Jack conceded. "But not quite the answer I was going for. Although you are an inspiring sight."
Given where Jack was looking, Will couldn't prevent a blush, but he scowled as well. "I don't know the rest of the sodding answer!"
"Ah, now that's more like it."
"What?" Will considered what he'd said, then his eyes widened. "You want to-"
"Frequently," Jack assured him. "And with great enthusiasm." He did his prancing step over to the bed, then flopped down on it. He rose up on his elbows, then racked Will with a smoldering look. "It works better if you join me."
Will laughed, but it was more of a weak squeak.
Jack patted the bed.
Will took a step forward.
"Lose the clothes along the way, luv."
Will dropped the blanket as he took two more steps.
Jack gave him a questioning look.
Will glared back.
"Ah, my shirt for yours is it?"
"I’m not going to be the only one … disarmed." He couldn't quite shake the feeling this might be some sort of bizarre joke and as soon as he was naked the whole crew would burst into the room to have a good laugh at his expense.
"Right you are. Forgot it works best that way, too."
Like hell he had. Will let it pass, but he held his ground, standing with his hands on his hips until Jack had shed everything except his trousers.
"I seem to have taken the lead in this venture," Jack observed, unfastening his trousers. "Not that I don't appreciate the courtesy, but I would enjoy some inspiring scenery."
Will matched him button for button, push for push, until both of them were naked and inspiring.
"Now there's a bushel of apples for a starving man," Jack said with an admiring grin. He patted the bed again. "Let's have a taste."
Will wasn't certain he liked the metaphor, but he joined Jack on the bed. A long, deep kiss rewarded his cleverness and left him gasping again. Didn't the man have to breathe?
Jack laughed. "Practice, my lad."
"Swimming under water, but it's the same principle. Now, if you'll be so kind as to shut up, I'd like to get to doing what pirates do best."
"Plundering." Jack's tongue glided up the length of Will's neck. "Pillaging." He bit the nearest earlobe hard enough to make Will yelp. "And otherwise ransacking our chosen prey."
Another kiss captured his mouth while hands caressed his body. His head spun from lack of air or from Jack's skill. He was beyond knowing which as hands, lips and tongue explored him. His body long-denied such bliss, he came with a shout when Jack stuck his tongue in Will's navel.
He would have apologized the moment he had breath to do so, but Jack robbed him of speech when he lapped up the spilled seed, then went on with his explorations.
Will had begun to harden again when Jack pushed him over to rest on his stomach. Rough sheets instead of air danced along his swelling cock and Will squirmed to increase the sensation. A sharp blow across his ass made him cry out in protest.
"I'll not be having you come again without me, whelp," Jack hissed, his hands pulling Will's hips up and away from the temptation of the cloth..
Will's weight settled on his knees and he trembled as Jack's promise of sodomy flashed through his mind. "Jack, I've never-"
A kiss pressed against the nape of his neck. "No need to belabor the obvious," came the dubious reassurance. "Don't move."
Jack's weight left the bed for a moment and Will turned his head to watch him pick up a small pouch similar to the one Gibbs used for rum. Was he going to have a drink now? The sheer absurdity kept him still for the few moments Jack needed to remove the stopper, then poured some of the contents onto his fingers. "Jack?"
A grin answered him as Jack returned to the bed. "Nothing sweeter than sinking into a pretty ass like yours, but a man needs some help to prepare the way. Savvy?"
No, not really, but he got the idea as a slick finger pushed into him. A very odd, but pleasurable sensation, Will decided. Two fingers, then three wiggled around inside him, increasing his pleasure unto madness. He had one moment's clarity as they left him and he groaned a protest.
Jack chuckled, then began to push something wider and harder into Will.
His eyes widened at the sensation, then closed. So good. So very good. He knew little else, lost in the pleasure of Jack taking him with long, gentle strokes for all his talk of pillaging.
Pillaging. Plundering. Ransacking. 'Not all treasure is silver and gold.' Jack's words in the cave leapt into his mind and suddenly pleasure wasn't enough. "Jack!"
The pirate paused. "Have I hurt you, luv?"
Will's stomach did a happy flip-flop. "No, but can we do this face-to-face?"
"Aye, hang on a moment." Jack went very still for a moment, then with a teeth gritting groan, he pulled out of Will.
Jack's hands helped Will turn onto his back, then lifted his legs up over Jack's shoulders. "Happy now?"
Will yanked Jack down far enough to kiss him. Hard. "Deliriously," he said when their lips parted. "Now get back to it."
Jack rolled his eyes, then his cock pierced Will a second time. For all his theatrics, his face told Will the tale. Jack Sparrow loved him. It was Will's last thought before pleasure and joy took him so high, he could do nothing but plunge into darkness.
Jack woke as dawn invaded his cabin. Woke and found himself alone. Normally this wouldn't concern him despite having fallen asleep with company close to hand, but he remembered Will's swim the day before and quitted the bed with some speed.
Snatching up his trousers he told himself his crew wouldn't miss something the size of Will going over the side. Unless the boy had lost his confusion about whether or not he'd fallen or jumped and had decided to keep things quieter this time. Damn himself for a fool. He'd taken the boy too soon, without sweet words to ease the way from looking to women for pleasure to finding it with a man. More than one man had done something incredibly stupid in the aftermath of such knowledge.
He spotted Will the instant he stepped out on deck. The boy stood watching the sun rise all of a foot away from where he'd perched the day before. Jack didn't like the sight of it, but calmed at seeing one of the lads Gibbs had recruited quietly working within grabbing distance of the boy. Then Jack frowned. Such confusion wasn't good for anyone. He almost went to Will with a mind to whispering those owed sweet assurances in his hopelessly insecure ear, but remembered he was the captain of this godforsaken ship. Even more importantly he was Captain Jack Sparrow and he never did anything quietly if a fuss would prove more interesting.
Well, then time to set things right in his own imitable style. He planted his feet firmly on the deck and crossed his arms over his chest. "Mr. Turner," he bellowed, drawing all eyes to him, including Will's. "Is it your intention to take another untimely swim?"
"No, sir," Will answered and gave Jack a smile big enough to make him dizzy with relief. Neither insecure nor horrified come morning's light then, and for once Jack found himself more than happy to be wrong.
"Then kindly get your shapely ass over here and bid me good morning properly."
Even in the pink-tinged light of dawn, Will's blush was obvious, but he drew himself up proudly and marched over to Jack, then pulled him into a deep kiss that proved once and for all what a fast learner he was.
Jack actually staggered when Will broke the kiss. "Well done, Mr. Turner," he had to admit, and the crew laughed, the tension evaporating like water on a deck baked by the Caribbean sun. His voice lowered for Will's ears alone. "Now come back inside before I take you over the nearest barrel."
Will's blush deepened, but he gave Jack no argument. A refreshing change, that. "Mr. Gibbs!"
"Have breakfast brought to my cabin."
Gibbs grinned. "In thirty minutes, sir?"
He watched Will move through the doorway and out of sight. "Better make it an hour."
"Oh, and Gibbs, you'll make a fine first mate for Anamaria when the time comes," he said seeing this as the opportune moment to let his friend know he had picked up on how well the two worked together despite all of the man's muttering about women and bad luck.
Gibbs had the grace to look sheepish. "Thank you, sir, and it would be my pleasure to see that young William is ready to take my place."
Jack nodded. It wouldn't do at all for anyone less than his first mate to have him wrapped around his little finger. "Thank you." For more than just that and he knew Gibbs would take his meaning.
The smile confirmed it. "Best see to your lad, Jack," he said, a friend for the moment instead of a crewman. "He strikes me as the impatient sort."
He grinned. "Excellent advice," he said, clapping him on the back. "And don't forget about that breakfast."
Jack went into his cabin, then stopped to admire the view. Will had stripped back down and had managed to sprawl on the bed in a manner approaching seductive. It almost scared Jack to think what the boy would be capable of with some experience to guide him. "Ah, Will, you truly are a treasure."
A soft smile played over Will's lips. "And what does a pirate do with treasure?"
Jack grinned, kicked off his trousers, then pounced onto the bed. He gave Will a bruising kiss, then a gentler one. "We take all we can, and give nothing back."
Will smiled and his eyes fairly glowed. "I love you."
"Of course you do, my treasure." He gave him another kiss, then smirked. "I'm Captain Jack Sparrow."