Title: A Past Life
this story? Send feedback to the author!
Author: kHo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Writing for: Pigeon. Request: "a fic that involves them both dressed as priests/monks/nuns/some
kind of clergy at some point, and have Jack discovering something (good or
bad) about Will's past." Coming in at just under 2,000 words.
Notes: Please excuse any inaccuracies as far as clothing goes, I'm uncertain
of what they wore back them, so I left it pretty non-descriptive. Also, I
assumed Will was from London, but if he wasn't, I apologize. Let me know
the correct locale and I shall change it.
Jack ducked into an alcove, tugging and pulling Will in with him. Grasping
Will's black-sleeved arm with grimy tar-caked fingers he pushed him behind
a stack of crates and crouched before him, pulling him down to his level.
"You're angry with me."
Will rolled his eyes, his attempt to stand thwarted by Jack's death grip
on his arm. "Observant of you to notice, Jack."
Jack frowned, his free hand reaching out and clasping lightly to the side
of Will's neck, turning his chin towards him. "What's it you're mad at me
Will snorts, looking Jack up and down quickly and then cocking an eyebrow.
"Nothing, Jack. No reason to be mad at you at all. You make quite the fetching
Nun, I must say."
Jack looked down at his black robe and reached up to remove the habit from
his head. "You're angry about this?"
Will jerked his hands out of Jack's grasp, reaching down and plucking at
his own clothing, that of a priest's. "Not only that, but for dragging me
into it as well!"
Jack frowned, watching as Will stood and angrily brushed the soot off of
the black tunic. "It was necessary, William," he said softly, standing and
pulling the hood back over to cover his dreaded locks. "We needed a disguise."
Will fixed him with an angry glare and looked at him with unbelieving eyes.
"We needed disguises, so you steal from the church?"
Jack raised a finger, stepping forward. "Not from the church, Will. I did
not steal from the church." Stepping forward again he laid a hand on Will's
forearm. "Will, honestly, I don't understa--"
Will threw Jack's hand off angrily and stalked past him back to the cobblestone
walkway. "From the clergy then, Jack," he said when Jack caught back up to
him. "You stole from a priest, Jack. A priest and a nun."
Jack rolled his eyes and laughed lightly. "Never took you for a man of the
The look Will gave him cut his laugh short. Their trek back to the Pearl
was one of tense silence.
Jack looked up from a stack of maps and felt his chest tighten as he saw
Will framed in the doorframe of his room. "Will," he said softly. "Have you
come to condemn me to the fiery pits of hell, or have you decided to be reasonable?"
Will sighed heavily and stepped into Jack's quarters, shutting the door behind
him. "How'd you do it?"
Jack turned to face him, putting the quill down and fixing Will with a raised
eyebrow. "Do what, love?"
Will leaned back against the wall, crossing his arms in front of him. "How
did you come by a Nun's robes and a Priest's as well?"
Jack sighed, standing and walking closer to Will. "It got us through the
town unscathed, did it not," he asked, raising a finger. "And before you
decide to become self-righteous again, I might add that I didn't see you
refusing the costume."
"I didn't have a choice, Jack," Will said, gritting his teeth together. "We
had to get out of there or be killed."
"Yes," Jack said, nodding as he came up even with him. "Which is why I thought
disguising ourselves as clergy--"
"How, Jack," Will asked again, his expression leaving no room for argument.
"How'd you come by the clothes?"
"I commandeered them, mate," Jack said with a wide smile, his eyes twinkling.
"Quite cleverly, I think."
Will jaw clenched before he continued. "Jack. Answer me."
Jack sighed, his shoulders sinking. "The Priest's I stole while he bathed."
Will shook his head. "And the Nun's?"
Jack chewed on his lip for a moment. "Will, why does it matter how I came
"Came across..." Will paused, collecting himself, willing his voice to stop
trembling from the anger he felt coursing through his veins. "Just answer
Jack sighed, stepping back and concentrating on the floor of the cabin. "I
came across the Sister Mary--"
Jack nodded, looking up at him. "She told me her name."
Will's look became even angrier. "And you still stole her clothes."
"It was necessary, Will," Jack yelled, his hands coming out before him in
a pleading gesture. "I felt it was the best and most expedient way to--"
"So did you hit her over head with your pistol or--"
Jack's jaw dropped in shock, his eyes widening. "Of course not Will. You
really think I'd hit a Nun atop her head?"
Will raised his eyebrows. "You think it unreasonable of me to think it possible?"
"Yes, Will," Jack said, shaking his head in shame at Will. "I've never given
you reason to think I'd bring harm to anyone undeserving." His eyes widened
slightly and he cocked his head to the side. "Have I?"
Will sighed. "No, Jack. You haven't."
"It's not so horrible as you think, Will," Jack said softly, stepping forward
and curling his fingers around Will's hand. "Sister Mary understood. Honestly.
She gave me no trouble at all." He attempted a smile, resting his free hand
on the side of Wills neck and meeting his eyes. "Did it with a smile even."
"Not so horrible, huh," Will asked, allowing Jack's fingers to cloy their
way up the side of his neck and into his hair. "The clergy, Jack, is dedicated
to helping the unfortunate. To providing people with a service, with a sense
of good. It's a noble and humble thing they do Jack. And for you to take
Jack snorted slightly, raising an eyebrow. "Will, if you think the church
is without its corruption, you're much more naive than I gave you credit
Will jerked away from Jack, walking past him to the door and glaring back
at him. "I'm not a fool, Jack," he called back to him. "I'm well aware of
the corruption and hypocrisy of those that purport themselves to be men of
the cloth. It still doesn't make what you did right."
After dinner was served and eaten, Will excused himself and disappeared for
the remainder of the night. Jack found him hours later, alone on deck after
most of the crew had already gone to sleep. He climbed up the mast to where
Will was perched and sat down beside him. "Takin' over night duty from Marty,
Will nodded, his face stoic and unreadable. "I am."
Jack watched him for a moment before turning his gaze to the sea as well.
"Because you're angry with me."
Will cast a sidelong glance at him and a smirk lifted the corners of his
mouth. "For some reason I find myself unable to sleep," he said quietly.
Jack sighed, dangling his feet in slow arcs underneath him. "Will, honestly.
I only did what I thought was needed."
Will sighed. "I know, Jack."
"If there had been any other way I would have..." Jack looked up, pursing
his lips and furrowing his brow in confusion. "You know?"
Will nodded. "The issues I have with this clouded my judgment temporarily,
but yes. I do know that you only do what you think is necessary."
Jack leaned over and bumped his shoulder lightly into Will's, smiling as
Will laughed. "S'not true actually," he said softly. "Plenty of what I do
is not necessary."
Will smiled, looking at him. "Yes. But when it comes to the truly important
things, Jack, you generally try to do the right thing."
Jack raised an eyebrow and affected an expression of hurt. "Only generally?"
Will rolled his eyes, turning his gaze back to the sea and taking a deep
breath through his nose. "I'm still not comfortable with you stealing Priest's
Jack nodded, looking at him through squinted eyes. "An' what about a Nun's?"
Will laughed. "Those as well."
Jack nodded again, holding out a hand. "Done, young Mister Turner. I do solemnly
swear to never steal from the clergy again." He paused as Will met his hand
and shook it, frowning a bit. "Unless need be."
"Never say never, Will," he said, holding up his hands.
Will laughed, shaking his head. "You never change, Jack," he said affectionately.
"Always carving the way for loopholes. Even in your own rules."
Jack shrugged, reaching out and winding a curl of Will's hair around his
Will looked at him, quirking an amused eyebrow. "Jack?"
His hand rested on the back of Will's neck, his fingers beating to a beat
that only Jack ever heard. "What's your experience with the Church," he asked
softly. "Something you said earlier's been gnawing at my brain, an' I was
just wonderin'... An' just now, you said you had issues to contend with."
He frowned, uncertain of how to proceed. "Just askin', love."
Will shrugged. "Just things that happened in a past life, Jack," he said,
shrugging again. "Nothing I'd really like to rehash."
Jack frowned. "A past life, eh? Thought you didn't believe in that sort of
Will laughed. "When I was younger, Jack. Things that happened when I was
a young boy in London."
"Oh," Jack said, nodding. "Alright then, love. You don't need to tell me."
"They just weren't very kind to my mother after she took ill is all," Will
said. "Said the condition she was in was brought on by an... unsavory lifestyle."
Jack's eyebrow rose briefly but he said nothing, only taking Will's hand
"She went to Church regularly, never missed a Mass. Very religious, she was,"
Will said with a small smile. "They were always kind to us, so long as we
were able to afford to give them a little of what she made from her work."
"Ah," Jack said, frowning. "And when she took ill..."
"When she took ill, we had no more income." He looked at Jack. "What they
accused her of wasn't true, Jack," he said, his eyes pleading with Jack to
believe him. "My mother was a good, decent woman. It wasn't true, but still
they judged her and I alike."
Jack frowned. "I'm sorry, Will."
He shrugged. "It was harder on her than it was on me."
Jack nodded, his fingers running through Will's hair. "Seems to me, mate,
that you'd be angry with the Church for that. Not defensive of them," he
Will shook his head. "In the months before her death, Father Malkahey came
around," he said, smiling. "Said he'd never believed the others. Felt they
were wrong. He was very kind to us." He looked at Jack and shrugged. "I guess
I just think if there's even one Father Malkahey in a thousand others..."
Jack nodded. "Yeah."
"He fed me when we had no food. Read the scriptures to my mother when she
couldn't." He paused, taking a deep breath. "Read me stories when I couldn't
sleep." He smiled, clearing his throat. "Arranged for me to be shipped to
North America and be taken care of by the Church his brother worked for."
Jack frowned. "That's where you were headed?"
Will nodded. "Until we were attacked."
Jack grimaced. "By pirates."
Will smiled. "Not pirates, Jack," he said. "Bad men, who happened to be pirates."
"Now you're learnin'," Jack said softly, leaning over and kissing him gently.
"Knew I'd teach you some day."