Title: A Remembrance
Author: Lia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: An anniversary, remembered by Jack.
Written for: Willow
Request: Want: Established relationship with equality. An anniversary, remembered by Jack. Hurrah for Jack. Don't want: Random death. Extraordinary angst.
Those who are faithful know only the trivial side of love; it is the faithless who know love's tragedies.
-- Oscar Wilde
"Tell them I came, that no one answered,
That I kept my word," he said.
-- Walter de la Mare's "The Listeners"
"Don't go, lad," Jack stopped Will from rushing down to Tortuga with the rest of the crew. "Stay o' board the Pearl."
Will hesitated. After a voyage that was months long, he wanted to feel the solid land beneath him, and perhaps visit a smithy to get rid of the cricks in his blade. He supposed that he wasn't a true pirate until he didn't need to stand, look about him, and see something that wasn't blue and wet. Deep down, he knew that he was only a smith with pirate blood, a mere dabbler upon the seas.
"Stay wi' me," the captain urged. "'tis a momentuous occassion." And he turned to go below decks.
As he often did, Jack confused him. After being on board the Black Pearl with Jack for several years, Will thought he'd had the measure of the pirate. Yet it was moments like this that Will was only too aware that he didn't, that he'd never had the true measure of the man... the man he loved. The man for whom he stayed on board the Pearl, then as now.
Cautious, Will opened the hatch and went down, not knowing what to expect as he entered the captain's quarters. The light was dim, and he went instinctively to where he knew for certain the tinderbox was.
There were sparks, and another candle was lit. Sitting in his accustomed chair was the Captain himself. The table was set simply, for two, wihout the usual fripperies that a servingman would put on.
He smiled at the entrance of the smith. "That's interesting," his teeth glinted. "I thought ye ran off wi' the rest o' th' crew, Will."
"You knew I wouldn't," Will answered, and sat down opposite, on a wildly decadent chair designated for his use. It'd come on board the Pearl with him, and like him, it had never left. Seated so, he often felt like a prize, upon the velvet seat, cushioned from the harshness of life on a pirate's ship.
"Nay, I didn'," Jack shook his head, and poured Will a drink.
His nose told him it was brandy. Brandy and rum were the only forms of alcohol that Jack would imbibe, and even then brandy was drank rarely. Jack had said that today was 'momentuous'. What on earth was momentuous about today, of all days?
"A toast?" Will suggested.
"T' what?" Jack was amused, and smiled benevolently at his young lover's discomfort.
"To pirates?" he tried.
Sparrow's smile grew wider. "Aye, pirates," he agreed. "Take what ye can, luv," his eyes were no longer blithe and sparkling, but pensive. Serious.
"Give nothing back," Will clinked his glass with Jack's gently. "Jack, I-"
"Take. Eat. Drink," the pirate interrupted him, a warning in his voice that forbid him from saying anything further.
They ate in silence. A silence not quite pained, yet not quite comfortable. The chicken was tender, well seasoned; yet like everything they ate, there was the taste of salt, the tang of the sea.
Jack broke the stillness after what seemed like a long time, asking, "D'ye know why today's special?"
Will found that he could do nothing except shake his head. He knew that this was something he should know, almost a test. Yet what was it?
"'twas today, not so long ago, that ye saved me neck. For which I'm eternally grateful, an' that day was ingrained in me, for I 'eard that damned preacher proclaim my sins, so dull they were. But... I remember. I remember th' day. I'm not faithless, not so faithless as ye, Will-my-lad, to forget the day ye came o' board the Pearl after ye'd made love so prettily t' dear Elizabeth," his voice was almost mocking, yet not quite. "The day that ye became mine, an' we ran the Commodore ragged, an' we lived a' pirates, a' outlaws. But together. Together."
The pirate captain's swarthy face was set, in a mode that seemed as unfamiliar to himself as it was to Will. There were lines present that spoke of cares and worries, of life's gains and losses, of all he'd been through. Involuntarily, the younger man reached out a hand, to smooth with his rough touch those lines.
"Dinna fash yeself," Jack turned his face away, inviting and declining the contact. His voice was rough, hoarse, not dulcet enough to be called 'husky'. He cleared his throat. "I've a toast too," he raised his glass.
Instead of clinking his glass to Jack's, Will put down his glass and placed his fingers over the pirate's. "To what?" he echoed an earlier comment.
Pulling his own hand and glass away, Jack cocked his head. "T' life and love, o' course," he said softly, as though it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Don' you remember-"
"I remember," Will stopped his lover with a touch on his captain's lips. "Do you remember?"
The pirate nodded, and as one they moved from their individual seats to share the loveseat in the corner, wide enough for the two of them.
And both spoke softly to each other, a promise to their souls, "Where I was, there you were. Where you were, there I wanted to be."
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