Title: Adventure And Salty Old Pirates
Author: Spooon (email@example.com)
Pairing: Jack/Will implied
Summary: "Drink up me hearties, yo ho..." "Shut UP, Jack!"
Disclaimer: Who's the owner of the boys who shag for you and me? M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!
For: Liamere, as a make-up fic. Request was: Implicit, not explicit slash, up to NC-17. No death, no alt-universe story.
Author's Note: I am so sorry this took much longer than it was supposed to. RL hasn't interfered this much in years.
Author's Note 2: Is it implied enough for you?
Author's Note 3: One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong. Can you tell which thing is not like the others, by the time I finish my song?
"Jack? JACK!" The pounding on the door became a banging, and then it flew open. "Jack, come on! The tide's going, and we need to be off." Will made his way into the room, picking up bits of clothing he recognised as being Jack's.
A muffled grumbling sounded from the bed, and the mass shifted slightly but did not develop into a scruffy pirate, so Will went right up and shook the middlest lump. "Now, Jack. If we miss this tide, after the way you hounded the crew about it last night, there'll be trouble." An arm flailed out at him blindly, and Will dodged it with ease. When there was no further response, he took hold of the quilt and pulled.
Reluctantly giving in, Jack finally untangled himself from the mess on the bed and sat up, still grumbling, in time to catch his shirt as Will threw it at him. With his hands busy putting it on, he was unable to catch the vest which immediately followed, hitting him full in the face.
"Slow down a bit, fer Crissake, Will, I'm coming!" He caught his trousers and stood up to put them on. "And don't go throwing my boots about, either."
No longer flinging clothes, Will stood with his arms crossed, impatiently tapping his foot as Jack hunted down his remaining effects. "Only yesterday you were fair desperate to head back out to the open sea. Now hurry up so we can set sail."
"I'm still Captain, son, don't go presuming on me." Jack wagged a finger with one hand as he shrugged his coat on with the other. Then he blew a kiss back at the bed and traipsed out the door.
Will more courteously tipped his hat. "Good morning to you, ladies," he took his leave with a slight bow, and followed Jack down the hall.
* * *
"...inflame and ignite, drink up me hearties, yo ho... We burn up the city, we're really a fright," Jack sang to himself as he piloted the ship, the high winds carrying his voice farther than usual. "We're rascals, scroundrels, villains and knaves..."
"'E's singin' it again," Anamaria hissed as she dropped herself onto the deck from the quaking ratlines.
"I know he's singing it again, I can hear him too. Just try to think about something else." Will waved her off. "Like strangling him. You could think about that."
"Only don't actu'lly strangle 'im, mind," Gibbs joined in their whispered conversation. "'E's the only one knows where the island is." Then he added, as an afterthought, "Also 'e's a finer pilot than mos' other folks. Which we need right now." He nodded towards the gathering grey clouds. "Thar be squalls a'ead."
"Sure enough," Anamaria agreed, and climbed back up the ratline to attend to a tangled sheet before the wind picked up further and complicated the matter.
Will went off as well, climbing the stairs to the aft deck where Jack was still singing. "What do you think of this weather?" he asked, eyeing the low-flying clouds.
"Blow us off-course, no doubt," Jack replied cheerfully, tapping his fingers on the wheel to the rhythm of the next line of his song. "The glass is low, as are the clouds. Neptune's in a proper mood tonight, right enough."
"Yet you seem unconcerned." Will looked at him out of the corner of his eye, still mostly watching the darkening sky.
Jack slung an arm around Will's broad shoulders, and let go of the wheel to gesture vaguely with his other hand. "Winds have a mind o' their own, lad. Better to go along with them and find yer way back after than fight and get scuttled." He looked up. "Wind before rain; it'll be a short one. Just keep a weather eye open, mate, and hold on tight. With both hands, if you please."
Will shrugged off Jack's arm and stepped up to the wheel, which was starting to turn slowly without a person to guide it. "Follow the wind, then?"
"Aye, get to it. It be too late to alter course now." He kissed Will on the cheek and moved forward, bellowing orders.
Will manned the helm in relative peace as the wind slowly increased, and Jack strutted about the deck overseeing the activity as some of the sails were taken down, to reduce the risk of the strong winds snapping the masts. The off-watch crew were called, and all hands prepared to fight the sour weather.
A considerable roar from the wind was their last warning before the storm struck, causing the *Black Pearl* to pitch violently. The sea hurled water at them like shot from a cannon, matching and surpassing the sudden deluge from above. Will found staying with the wind harder than usual, due to its rapid changing, but he managed somehow to both keep going as Jack had instructed and to calm the *Pearl* every time she shuddered angrily under his hands.
They were buffeted soundly, the storm even drowning out the sound of Jack's singing. Shrouds snapped, and planks groaned, and some of the sailors breathed an uncommon lot of salt water; but as Jack had predicted, the hissing rain eased and the winds gentled within a few hours and before any structural damage could occur.
"Clear the decks, lads!" Jack brought all attention from re-rigging the sails or tossing the salvageable debris into a heap in the ship's waist and the useless debris overboard, as he stood on the forecastle deck. "Effective soon's my *Pearl*'s tidied up, and barring further inclement weather, on-duty watch will consist of four men, or," he tipped his sodden hat, "three men and Anamaria, until all are rested or until we limp into a friendly port. Do I hear any disagreement?"
The cheering was half-hearted, in part due to half the men having been working for well over nine hours in driving rain and the other half having been working nearly as long thus nearly as tired, and also due to some of them wondering if cheering at that point would be considered an answer to the question of disagreement. But the general mood was brightened at the thought of more than four consecutive hours of sleep, and the ship was restored to her usual beauty with renewed vigour.
* * *
"It doesn't look like any port I know." Will looked again before handing the spyglass back to Gibbs. "Are you sure you've no idea where we are?"
"Would I be asking your advice if I knew?" Jack replied, squinting at the tiny dock and town off in the distance. "Does it look like an island, or could it be a cape off the continent?"
"I have positively no idea. What colours are all those little ships flying? Are there enough the same to identify it as their home port?"
Gibbs looked through the spyglass. "Yes, but I don't recognise them."
"We don't need to know who they are!" Jack avoided admitting defeat. "They're a port, they'll have supplies and taverns and we can ask *them* where they are."
Will snorted. "Remember you're the one who asked me if I knew who they were," he remarked over his shoulder as he headed back to work.
Jack waved a hand dismissively after him. "Yes, but I only asked you once, and then never again. We pillage, we plunder, we rifle and loot, drink up..."
Even Jack's boisterous singing and legendary self-satisfaction when something went his way couldn't prevent his hearing Anamaria cry out "Good God, 'e's singin' it *again*....."
* * *
Jack took up the oars, and Will settled across from him, trailing his fingers in the water. "Keep yer ruddy hands inboard, Will, and set closer to me. I rather suspect there be alligators around here, and you don't want one o' them grabbing yer hand."
Will obeyed, but reluctantly, and crossed his arms over his chest. "Blasted pocket-picking pirate," he grumbled.
Jack shrugged, still rowing. "Steady, now, steady. Properly warned ye be, says I. Proceed at your own risk."
* * *
"I don't even recognise the language."
"Nor do I. What sort of port doesn't speak a proper language?"
"The sort you stumble across by accident because *you* thought it'd be a good idea to follow the wind?"
"The wind hasn't steered me wrong yet, Will. Just hold on while I get my bearin's." Jack gazed thoughtfully up the dirt roads that led away from the dock.
Will crossed his arms, a common pose when he was trying to deal with Jack but Jack was unwilling to be dealt with. "There are only two roads, Jack. They likely both lead into town."
"Shush. It's a bit harder when I can't ask directions, innit?" He pondered a bit longer, then made his decision and headed down the road on the right. Sure enough, one of the first buildings they saw bustled with activity and smelled of seasoned meat and liquor. The sign above the door bore the same queer, incomprehensible writing as all the other signs on the street, but the picture was of two eels swimming past a broken anchor. Jack pushed the door open and gestured to Will. "After you."
The inn was as all other inns near docks are, dark and dank and smoky and full of sounds and smells of people and food. They didn't need language to convey their desire for a meal and a drink, nor did they have difficulty paying the serving-maid with English coins. Silver is silver, after all.
"We must still be in the Caribbean, though," said Will. "The storm wasn't long, and the climate is quite recognisable. The only difficulty will be finding where we are without the local language."
"We don't even need to know where we are." Jack traded some of the parsnips from his plate for some of the mushrooms from Will's, without asking. "We can use the compass to find Isle de Muerte, and we know how to get anywhere from there. This shall just be another adventure of some sort. Captain Jack Sparrow sailed off the edge of the world and then sailed right back up."
"This story should have a dragon in it." Will brandished his fork threateningly as Jack contemplated a piece of beef sticking conspicuously out of Will's plate of stew, until the older pirate turned back to his own meal. "We haven't had a dragon adventure in a while."
"Aye, two dragons," Jack agreed, stroking his beard as he thought. "Bit the anchor clean in half, they did."
"What were the dragons doing that they needed to bite the anchor?"
"Sending us over the edge, o' course, lad." Jack made an attempt on Will's potato, but was thwarted by a nimble defensive maneuver from the fork so he contented himself with stealing the boy's drink.
"You mean you didn't sail recklessly off the edge, of your own volition?" Will scoffed, trying to think of a good beverage-theft revenge. "Why do you even bother having adventures, then?"
"It isn't so much that I bother, as that I don't bother not to. Savvy?" He finished Will's drink. "An' if I'm so useless, then why are *you* still here?"
"Because I'm the only person in the world who can stand to be in your presence for long periods and not get paid for it, and I'm too good to leave you sad and lonely." With each of Jack's hands holding a cup, it was a simple matter for Will to reach down the middle and help himself to more of Jack's supper, earning himself a mild glare that he ignored with ease.
"They speak in tongues under the world," Jack suddenly returned to inventing the story. "They don't know how to write legibly, and they serve parsnips without salt."
Will pondered that addition. "I don't think that story will impress."
"It'll be better once it's told a few times, wait and see." He pushed the rest of his plate towards Will and stood up. "Here, take it; I be willing to share. Now wish me luck as I attempt to hire a room for the night."
"Good luck." Will saluted with his fork and a bit of unidentified vegetable. He watched as Jack picked his way through the crowded room and attempted rather unsuccessfully to indicate their need with gestures.
Some conversations are simply too delicate to have without words. Jack had long known the principle, but on occasion decided it didn't apply to whatever conversation he was about to embark upon. The stinging handprint on his cheek informed him quite reliably that asking a serving-maid for a bed is one of those questions that needs to be asked clearly.
He dropped heavily back into his seat and glared at Will, who was chuckling into the remains of Jack's supper. "I did *not* deserve that." His statement was emphasized by his poking the table between them on the word "not", and his deep eyes challenged Will to say something he could take offense at.
Will shook his head and took a breath to calm his laughter. "Perhaps you could try asking someone more receptive? That redhead over there looks friendly enough..." he nodded towards the winsome wench in question.
Jack turned to look. "Ah, she be a lively lassie indeed. I bet she'd know how to hire a room...."
"She saw you get slapped, though, didn't she? Never mind it; we can sleep on the ship. We usually do anyway."
"Aye, 's nice to have a place they can't throw you out of for being boisterous." Jack forgot his indignation and stood. "You finished my supper, then?"
"One moment..." He mopped up a bit of gravy with the last of the bread and stood up, following Jack out the door as he popped it in his mouth.
The streets were remarkably busy for this very late at night. Almost as busy as the streets of Tortuga, though by no means did they resemble each other in the nature of the activities in progress.
That is, until someone just down the street bellowed something, and the unmistakeable sounds of fighting filled the damp night air.
"Do you suppose we should check on that?" Will asked his companion as the sounds increased, suggesting more people were joining in.
"We might as well, it's between us and the ship anyway."
Sure enough, their crew appeared to be the main instigators of the fight. "What do you suppose is the cause for this one?" Will asked.
Jack brought a finger to his pursed lips as he contemplated the crowd. No Navy, at least not in any uniform he knew (and he knew quite a lot of them). Eventually, he shrugged and said, "Let's ask Anamaria and find out."
The two waded through the swarm until they reached the spot where Anamaria and Cotton were fighting in tandem, swapping opponents, and generally looking as though they were having the time of their lives. "Anamaria! What's the fighting about?"
She didn't even look at Jack as she answered his question. "'Ang on, I'm busy he'e! I'll answeh when yeh fighting! Get to it!"
Jack looked back over his shoulder. "Shall we then, Will?"
Will said "Yes," already burying his fist in some hapless red-and-brown-suited man with sandy blond hair's gut. "What did they do, if I may now ask?"
"Insulted me fa' bein' da'k, insulted Cotton fa' bein' old, an' insulted da ship fa' bein' da'k an' old. Dey we' askin' fa' it."
Will's sword flashed brightly in the waning evening light, frightening a few of their opponents into running off in the middle of the fight, as he contemplated his crewmate's statement. "I understand how you knew you were being mocked, but how could you even tell what it was that they said?"
"I's obvious when i's happ'nin', Will, trus' me."
Will thought that Jack seemed to be enjoying himself thoroughly, humming his song to himself as he fought. It was a good thing they were running out of opponents, though, because it looked as though Jack was running out of obviously rude hand gestures. Finally, the last one went down, and all was still.
Cotton's parrot alighted on his shoulder, chirping "Red sky at night." His feet made little bloody prints on Cotton's already blood-stained shirt, and more of the stuff was splattered on his feathers.
"Aye, that was a fine victory," Jack agreed. "Now, back to the ship. We're beggars and blighters and ne'er-do-well cads..." He climbed into the rowboat, not looking back over his shoulder to see whether the others did; he knew that Will would follow and he didn't care about Anamaria and Cotton for the time being.
Though he did hear, behind him on the docks, a voice moving back towards the town muttering "'E's singin' it bloody AGAIN...."
* * *
A banjo played softly off in the distance, accompanied by crickets, bullfrogs, and various waterfowl, the windows of Jack's cabin open to let the night sounds in.
"You know, Jack," Will leaned his head back against the windowsill behind him. "Anamaria isn't the only one who's getting tired of that song."
"What song?" Jack, who was sitting with a rum bottle in his hand, staring out one of the windows at some fireflies, looked to the side, to where the banjo player was sitting on a small, flat-bottomed boat. "Oh Susanna?"
"No, that one Elizabeth taught you. You sing it constantly."
"Why, what's wrong with it?"
Will sighed and shook his head with a tiny smile. "Sometimes you just don't listen. Nothing's wrong with it, except that fact that you sing it constantly!"
Jack moved from his chair to the bench where Will was sitting. "Shift yer cargo, dearie," he said, and Will moved over so Jack could sit next to him.
Will took the bottle and changed the subject, leaning in against Jack. "Do you think we're wise to sail from the Isle de Muerte? Who knows when that evil curse will strike the beholders of that bewitched treasure?"
"I've no fear of evil curses, Will. We've seen the cursed treasure, and I'm fair certain there's no curse on knowing where it be hidden. We've always survived to pass that way, again and again."
"Nor should we forget that there be plundering pirates lurking in every cove, waiting to board," Will insisted. "Someone might follow us there and take the cursed gold, and then we'd be in a right mess."
"I'd kill 'em, first," Jack promised, not particularly convincingly but Will let the matter drop anyway.
The two sat together, drinking the rum and watching as the moon climbed high over a dead oak tree, until they heard shouts ringing out, carrying easily over the still water.
As one, they turned and looked out the window behind them. "They're causing trouble again," Will murmured.
The crew was indeed again fighting the locals, only this time they were also plundering, and shooting their pistols completely at random, and there was one poor fellow in a well. In short order, a building was on fire, then another one, and another one.
"All the uncursed treasure we've got at the Isle de Muerte, and they still can't resist sacking a town whenever the opportunity arises," Jack shook his head in mock sadness, watching Kursar attempt to climb into a rowboat with his arms full of swag. "Does me heart proud, I say."
"Should we go back and rescue the redhead? You wanted her, didn't you?" Will rested his head on Jack's shoulder.
"No, we'd better stay with the ship. Some of those townspeople have a look of revenge in their eye."
Will made as if to get up, saying "I suppose we'd better get ready to set sail, then," but Jack's arm around his shoulders stopped him.
"The crew'll do that once they come back aboard. For now let's just sit here," Jack cocked a pistol, "and repel boarders coming after our ill-gotten gold."
Will took the last swig from the bottle, and cocked his own pistol. They watched as their crew piled more and more swag into the boats and rowed towards them, occasionally leaning threateningly out the window and shooting whenever somebody they didn't recognise tried to take back what no longer belonged to them.
A loud booming caused Jack to look up towards the main deck, despite the ceiling in the way. "I don't recall giving an order to fire the cannons."
"That's the last of them." Will watched Duncan's boat be hauled aboard. "The whole crew's here. We'd best be setting off before they come after us."
"Agreed," Jack replied, and stood. "Let's go see what sort of shine our crew has managed to extort, pilfer, filch and sack."
Like this story? Send feedback to the author!