Author: Keelie Hall
Word Count: Er, lots? I'm on a computer right now with no handy word count tool, and I'm a wee tired and lazy right now. It's about 4 pages, savvy?
Rating: PG for some violence and kissing
Genre: Pirate love, luv.
Summary: Will goes on a journey to find Jack and uncovers unexpected things.
Spoilers: This fic is post-DMC so please keep that in mind before reading if you haven’t yet seen it (and if you haven’t, well…get to it, mate!)
Warnings: And God said, let the turrow be made of love and hate...Mush and confusion await you, mates.
Disclaimer: Disney owns the lads; I just obsess over them.
Notes: I didn't have as much time to spare for this one as it needed, so if it reads a little disorganized or anything, please let me know and I'll try to improve it for the future. I thought about bagging this one, but I just couldn't! My ship may have a leak but it is unsinkable ;) Ah, I don't even think I'm making sense anymore...Where's the rum?!
Special Thanks: My beta for offering to beta for me, even though I didn't finish it early enough to have 'er look over it!
The place stunk of death and decay – rotten, sea things – and as Will looked around, what he saw before him only served to add to the sinking feeling settling in his stomach. Skeletons and corpses soon to be lay strewn about the slimy swamp Will struggled to hold purchase on; gold and other trinkets glittered on them still, sending startling light into the dark, damp room. Will had no idea where he could be. (Or how he even got here in the first place; he remembered nothing of how the fall began.) The walls around him were pink and fleshy, heaving and sweating, and he had the overwhelming feeling that someone was watching him.
“I know you’re there!” he called out, firmer and fiercer than he felt. “What is this place? I mean you no harm if you intend none toward me,” he said, lowering his sword slightly. “Come out and speak!”
Out of the shadows stepped something of a man, and for one moment Will’s breath and heart seemed to stop all at once. “Jack…” he choked out, unable to believe what he was seeing. The pirate advanced toward him, a sad smile on his face, his skin sallow and his eyes dull as rocks, no longer gleaming jet and obsidian as Will had always perceived them.
“Hey, mate,” Jack said softly. “Fancy meeting you here. Like me new captain's quarters?” The man laughed weakly.
“Where are we, Jack?” Will demanded. “How are you here? How did I get here? What’s…” he faltered, brow furrowed with concern, “…what’s happened to you?”
"Well, me lad," began Jack, taking a deep breath, "it's interesting that you should ask that. I put up quite the fight, but in the end, I wasn't about to let that blasted Kraken take the Pearl without me. What's a ship without its captain, eh? And really, what else did I have to lose?" Jack held up his hand, which, while more sickly looking than usual, did not bear the black mark of Davy Jones it had before. "Certainly beats doin' time with Bootstrap, don't it?" Jack smirked somewhat innocently.
Fighting the urge to lunge at the man at this, remembering all that his father had done for both of them, Will asked simply: "So you're not dead, then?"
"Oh, no, lad," Jack shook his head, "I most certainly am." The pirate tilted his head to the side, thinking, and twirled his mustache. "If, that is, by 'dead' you mean not alive, then yes, dead I am. 'aven't eaten a thing in days, and I'm not even feeling a wee bit ghosty, strangely. But, of course, one must allow that, well, here I am," he said, gesturing about the cavernous room. "Walking and talking and plundering and pillaging as much as to me liking," he grinned, plucking a sparkling necklace from a pile of bones, "and there's not a soul to stop me!" Here Jack's face fell a bit. "Which, of course, does take out half the fun of it, mate. And then there is the overwhelming lack of rum in this place..." He trailed off dejectedly. "How in the blazes you got here has escaped me," Jack shrugged, and he turned his attentions to the locket he had seized, running it through his fingers with a growing grin.
Now that the full scope and weight of the situation had finally sunk in, the first thing that Will did was run forward and embrace his old friend tightly, eyes nearly tearing. The second thing he did was draw his sword again, backing away just a step to place it securely against Jack’s throat.
“What’s this then, lad?” Jack smiled, dropping the necklace. He squinted his eyes at the boy with curiosity.
“Elizabeth told me what really happened on the Pearl,” Will declared. “And I saw enough of it myself to know that you didn’t only betray us all, but you crossed me twice over.” Will’s squared his jaw tightly and pressed his sword more firmly against Jack’s skin; a trickle of blood began to kiss the blade.
“You can’t kill a man that’s already dead,” laughed Jack. "Or whatever it is that I am."
Will regarded him sternly. “That’s never stopped you from fighting before,” he countered, picturing in his mind Jack and Barbossa at odds, skeletons and metal clashing in the moonlight. It was hard to believe that if Will was on anyone’s side now, it was Barbossa’s, but he shook these thoughts from his head and advanced on Jack further.
“Very well,” replied the pirate with a shrug. "I 'aven't figured out why I 'aven't gone all skeleton-y like these poor bastards," Jack looked around himself with an exaggerated grimace, "but I suppose it'd be a sport for us all to see what 'appens to you, Willie. Is it just Captain Jack that can straddle the lines of life and death, or am I in for some company?" With a devilish leer, Jack rolled out suddenly from under Will's sword, pulled one up from the mess of bones and trinkets and, as it turned out, weapons on the ground, and spun around to face his opponent. "There's life in these bones yet," he crowed. Something of a growl escaped Will's lips.
"There won't be when I'm done with you, Sparrow!" the boy shouted, swinging his blade wildly, meeting Jack's with a spark. Old habits die hard. The two men were well-matched: where Will had knowledge and practice, Jack had years of experience, and though the former blacksmith wielded his sword with depths of anger and passion, Jack had the advantage that, for him, this was a welcome amusement that he would, as he did with all things that struck his fancy, pour all of his energies into. These thoughts ran through both men's minds as they continued to parry and thrust, block and clash, sweat and grunt, and for one moment, Will began to consider the pointlessness of this battle, and it was a moment too long: Jack brought him to his knees immediately, his blade cutting from Will's chest to his waist, tearing the younger man's shirt open to reveal a thin line of blood right above his heart, trickling down like tears.
Jack smirked softly, and his sword remained at the boy's chest, holding him down. As Will gasped for breath, the pirate regarded him more seriously. "One would think that you would've seen by now just how simple life is not. So I kissed your bonny lass, but why wouldn't I? That's what this is really about, isn't it? It'd be the first time I turned away a pair of lips that searched out me own, lad. And she's a pretty thing, isn't she? Fiery, that one," Jack said with a grin. Will struggled against him angrily, but Jack only pushed him to the ground again with a nudge of his sword tip. "But I suppose you'd already be knowing that, eh? But you know, mate, a kiss sometimes...is just a kiss," he said softly, each word slow and lingering in the air as he knelt down closer to Will, blade still poised between them.
"Life is too short," Jack said with a dry chuckle, looking around him, spreading his free arm out expansively, "not to take what you can get. Seize what's to be seized. I take what I want while I can because you never know what might pass you by, never come again...what you might miss. I collect those moments like me rings," he said, wiggling them before the lad, his own eyes lost in them momentarily. "Each one has its own meaning, its own memory, some were hard-won and some were simply plucked along the way, but do you think Captain Jack Sparrow doesn't cherish every one? Treasure everything, lad...that you wake up in the morning, every drop of rum," here he licked his lips longingly, "the sweet salt air breathing on the back of your neck, every clash and every love..What more can we do?" asked Jack with a shrug.
"It's life, and it's short, and it's hard, and I treasure every bauble I can steal from it, and I don't regret any of it a bit, lad. Not a bloody bit." Jack smiled slowly. "Except...for maybe one thing," he said, dropping his sword and meeting Will with a kiss.
At first Will was stunned, still, but before he could question or think, he felt himself returning the kiss. Jack's lips tasted like the salt air and the sea, like the nervous passion of a sword fight, like the swell of his heart at the sight of Elizabeth...but nothing like her kiss. Jack's tongue searched Will's mouth desperately, even in death seizing what he could, claiming treasure yet. Of course, at this moment, Jack hardly seemed dead, Will marveled, opening his eyes to meet Jack's, once more filled with their familiar gleam, the khol around the lashes strangely mesmerizing. Will pulled away slowly, almost unwillingly.
"Why me, Jack?" the young man questioned in words and in gaze. "Why now?"
Jack shrugged, grinning his old mischievious grin, gold teeth glinting more brightly than any abandoned treasure in the room. "Never had the chance before, mate. But you're here now, and I'm like to be here for a while, and I've always said, there's nothing Captain Jack Sparrow won't try twice."
"Twice?" Will asked, brows raised.
"That's right," purred Jack, kissing him again. This one was more tender, and it lingered on Will's lips long after Jack took his turn to pull away from it reluctantly to speak.
"Ah," he sighed in satisfaction, regarding the boy with a warm, steady gaze. "A right fine bauble indeed," he murmured, cupping Will's chin in his hands.
"And is that what this is about, Jack? Another ring on your finger?" Will wasn't sure why his lips were still wanting and something in his stomach was twisting and his heart was beating furiously, but he looked at the pirate expectantly, eyes flashing darkly.
"Yes and no," said the pirate with a wink of a smile, slipping a ring from his finger. He pried open Will's hand and placed it within, folding it gently again. "This was me first one. Paid for it honest, too. Well, maybe didn't pay for," Jack trailed off, waving his hand dismissively, "but close enough." He smiled at the lad. "And I want you to have it so that you remember to come back for me, and when you do, you give it back and I'll show you just what this has meant to me...How a ring's meaning can change...How some things I claim," he whispered, stroking Will's face, "stay longer with me. Savvy?"
Will looked at him in confusion. "What do you mean, 'come back'?" What does any of this mean?" he demanded, his voice breaking, placing his hand over the larger one that still rested on his cheek tenderly.
"This is just a dream, lad," spoke Jack softly. "You can't stay here. Barbossa'll know how to find me, but I have something of a feeling I'm going to need you to do the saving for me." He laughed. "Just try not to do anything stupid. And be careful, luv."
The edges of Jack's face began to darken and blur, and Will's head was spinning and his body began to feel light again; he had the strange sensation of falling upward. "And Will?" came a voice into the slow, dreamy journey.
"Yes, Jack?" the boy managed.
"Say hello to your bonny lass for me," and the last thing Will's eyes settled upon before he found himself entirely in darkness were Jack's, grinning and glittering infuriatingly and irresistably.
When he woke, Will found that he was back at camp, some strange island the crew had stopped on to regroup and stock up on food, Barbossa claiming to know where they were going; he'd been keeping to himself mysteriously. Just yesterday Will's mine had been wrapped up in what the pirate might be planning, but now he shook his head bewilderedly, puzzled by new and more pressing things. What did all of that just mean? Had it all been a dream? But when he rose from his blankets, he found that there was a tear in his shirt right above his heart, which was still racing insistently. And on his finger was a precious promise that Will knew he would hold on to strongly as he and the rest of the party searched out Jack; he intended to see if it was true.
Will still wasn't sure why, but he hoped that it was true.