Pairing/Characters: William, mention of Jack/Liz and Bootstrap
Word Count: 587
Summary: Will is haunted by nightmares that refuse to leave him alone.
Disclaimer: Disney owns it all in real life; I own it all in my dreams.
Spoilers: Post-DMC, as per usual.
Warnings: See below?
Notes: This isn't nearly as long as most of mine usually are, a ghost of fic you might say, and it's written in somewhat of a different style that I'm slightly wary of but tied to, so please let me know what you think!
Special Thanks: Pirates and pirate lovers everywhere!
Will Turner can’t sleep at night. Not from lack of want or need, not from anything he has done, but because ghosts haunt his dreams. Sometimes they play before his eyes even as he wakes; there is no escaping them. He has tried to stay awake, offering to take watch after watch on the ship, but as sure as the sun rises he eventually collapses, sleep overcoming him. He has begun to drink so that he won’t have to remember the dreams that haunt his slumber nor see or think clearly enough when he wakes to be plagued by anything but his head spinning and stomach pains. Still they come, ever faithful. They will not let Will Turner sleep. Not peacefully.
At first he dreamt of the kiss. The kiss he had witnessed between Jack and Elizabeth. He has watched helplessly as they kiss again and again in his dreams, unable to move or say anything. In his sleep Will has remembered times with them both, good and bad, significant and small, and neither night nor morning has helped him to decide which weigh on him more, plague him more, which win out. Does he still love them both? Will he ever not hurt? What will become of them all when they bring Jack back from the ends of the earth? He knows no answers, only haunting scene after haunting scene.
In time they’re different, the dreams. They make William long for more rum, reach out his hand to grab onto something, anything, a bottle, a gun, but nothing staves off the visions for long. He has accepted his fate; his hand drops limp and he lets the warm, amber liquid spill from the lips of the glass to the sand. The sand soaks it up eagerly. His eyes begin to weigh heavy on him, and the night takes him like a wave. One moment he is on dry land; the next he is sucked into the abyss.
He is on a ship, a different ship. There is music. Sad and slow and mournful yet somehow sweet. Soothing. The music knows him by name. He knows its secret, and so it plays for him as he falls to the ground and writhes like a snake aflame, the hand of one who loves licking at him with sweet, horrible pain. The music is still there, but the air is filled with the slap of the sea against the ship, the slap of the whip against his back, salt and blood mixing on his lips. Somewhere there is a drumming, far away and small but steady, and Will Turner hears it echo in his own chest. Lock it away, sings the song. Let no one near. It cannot hurt if nothing touches it. He thinks he understands. So much blood, so much lost over one little heart. But then he looks down at his hands, and they hold a key, a hand, a die that have decided where his heart lies. He has made a promise, and it resounds louder in his head and heart than any sad song sung by any other man.
Will wakes, drenched in sweat, heart pounding, hand grasping at air. He stares into the dark, trying to remember what he was reaching for. Not the bottle. The key, the hand, the heart. He has made a promise, and it will haunt him until he keeps it. He will not sleep until he can bring peace to the one ghost that still haunts his dreams.