Title: Between the Lines
Author: Blue Buick R (email@example.com)
Summary: Everyone is themselves...really.
Note: Weird, weird stuff going on. This all came about as I wondered in Records Management class "What was Jack dreaming about before he woke up on the island to find Elizabeth burning all the rum?" The result is this strange piece of... something. Feedback always welcome, in fact more than welcome appreciated to the extreme, especially when it comes to a weird duck like this one.
The terrace seemed to be decorated for some highfaluting garden party if the decor was any indication. There were garlands of fresh spring flowers draped over the wooden archway he stood under, as well as cascading over several white laced tables, and food trays. Colourful paper lanterns hung about, waiting for the afternoon sun to dip below the horizon and signal their lighting to cast the surrounding greenery in a soft yellow glow of their own. Jack looked around completely dumbfounded for quite some time until a shout caught his attention.
"Ho, Jack!" a cheery voice greeted.
Jack whipped his head around toward the voice, seeing for the fist time the small group of people lounging under an apple tree heavy with blossoms.
"Come join us, Jack!" the figure who'd called out before continued once he'd seen Jack turn their way, an elegantly clad arm waved him over for further incentive.
Not knowing what else to do, and still quite confused, Jack lopped over in the direction of the group. The closer he got the more confused he became. The man who'd called out was none other than William Turner. Although *this* Will Turner was nothing like the one Jack was used to. This young man was clad in finery far beyond his means. He wore soft calf skin breeches, form fitting and welled oiled, as well as high polished boots hugging his calves, chinked tightly to the muscle with prominent boot straps. His torso was bedecked in a loose silk shirt, ruffled at the front and cuffs, glowing with an almost imperceptible blush of pink. His fingers were laden with large rings, studded with stark jewels, and as Jack came to a stop in front of him, looking down, he could see that his eyes were ringed as well, but not with black kohl as was the pirate's wont but glittering gold dust. As the young man tipped his head down in a greeting the dappled sunlight streaming through the branches above caught hints of gold dust in his dark hair as well, flashing Jack's eyes.
The pirate captain was further dazed by young Will's companions. Sitting nestled snugly beside him, one on each arm, were Ana Maria and Elizabeth Swann. Both wore enormous confections of gowns, all lace, and embroidery, and gaudy dyes; their hair pulled up in towering curled crowns. The scene was made even more bizarre with the addition of a brace of pistols each, the weapons strapped over their breasts with bandoleers, and the obviously Turner made blades gripped in their hands. But in the end it was the black moustaches drawn above their painted lips which threw him the most. They were thin and long, curling in a whorl at the ends. They both glowered up at him as if they were none to pleased to see him.
"Ummm," Jack noised, for once in his life completely lost for words. He gestured towards the two women with one palsied hand looking wide eyed at Will.
A large white smile graced Will's face. Ye gods, were the boy's teeth really that big the last time he'd seen him? Granted Will hadn't had the occasion to smile all that much in Jack's direction but the pirate was sure he'd have remembered such a weapon if the lad had it at his disposal.
"I like my women manly, Jack," the blacksmith finally informed him.
Before Jack could reply, and admittedly it would have been a good long while before he'd been able to formulate one to that particular statement, a twittering of song and movement above them in the apple tree drew all their attention. They looked up to see a tiny little bird, hopping from branch to branch; it's feathers were not the common browns expected, but deep red, and when the bird moved into the light the tincture looked almost wet...fluid.
A fist full of petals from fragrant blossoms were shaken loose by the bird and rained down on them, settling in Jack and the "ladies'" hair, as well as on Will's upturned face.
"Would you care for a drink?" Will asked, still staring up at the bird, a small secret smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
"What're ye havin'?" Jack questioned, deciding that he might as well go along with it all until he got some answers.
Will straightened and looked Jack straight in the eyes, smile growing. He tipped his head in some sort of wordless signal to his companions and the two women rose gracefully to their feet whisking off toward a table sitting in the shade nearby. Jack had to step back as they moved past him, nearly catching a sword point or two in some vulnerable places.
They returned presently, Ana Maria carrying two roughly hewed stone goblets in her hands, Elizabeth a velvet bag, settling down beside Will once more. The young man opened the bag held out for him and drew out two enormous black pearls. He held them up between two fingers, one in each hand, for Jack to see, then turned slightly and dropped them into the cups held ready to receive them. Taking both goblets from the woman at his side Will held one up to Jack.
Taking the proffered drink Jack looked down into the depths of the cup and saw the pearl quickly dissolving in a pool of clear pungent liquid which smelled suspiciously like vinegar. He wrinkled his nose and looked back up to Will.
"Sorry," the other man apologized, "we don't have any rum." And with that he raised his goblet in a salute to the pirate captain then tossed it back, downing its contents in one swallow.
Hesitating only briefly, for he was never one to be bested, Jack closed his eyes tightly and gulped down his own. He coughed and sputtered as it stung his throat and the back of his nose. He opened watery eyes and swallowed thickly. Definitely vinegar. Licking his lips he could taste a metal tang, an aftertaste somewhat familiar but which he could not place.
Bringing a hand up to his mouth he pulled his fingers back and saw red staining the tips. Blood. Angrily snapping his attention back to Will he saw the younger man watching him intently, his tongue snaking out to lick at his own lips, staining them not with blood but with more glittering gold powder.
"Would you like to go see the others?" he asked Jack, not seemingly concerned at all. "I'm sure they'd love to see you."
Jack considered saying no. Thinking it be best to stay where he was and not interact anymore than necessary with this mad house of an affair. Didn't adults tell children that if they were lost to stay put so as not to get anymore lost? Jack wouldn't know, he'd always kept going no matter what.
"Sure mate," he said deciding he wasn't going to figure things out by playing it safe. "But do they have to come along?" he jerked his head towards the two women who continued to glare back. If their moustaches hadn't been drawn on he swore they'd be bristling.
"Well no," Will replied, holding out a hand for Jack to help him to his feet. "I'm sure they can catch up with us later when it's time for the dance. We wouldn't want to be without a partner now would we?"
"Course not," Jack agreed, tugging Will up to stand beside him.
"Alright then, lets go." And with that, keeping his hand clasped in Jack's, Will began to lead him across the garden.
It wasn't long before they came across a familiar face. Jack could make out Norrington standing there, looking surprisingly normal. He wore his full uniform, brass buttons gleaming, blues and whites crisp and rich. The slight breeze ruffled the feathers in his hat and the queue of his wig. As they drew up beside the man he turned to look at them briefly then returned his sharp gaze back over the small clearing in the garden.
"Turner, Sparrow," he acknowledged.
"Hello, Commodore!" Will chirped. "They not back yet?" he asked.
The Commodore sighed deeply. "No, unfortunately not. I think I threw it much too far."
Will patted the other man on shoulder consolingly. "I'm sure they'll find it and be back soon."
Norrington simply nodded his head in agreement, but perked up instantly when the far bushes rustled. All three men fixed their attention on the foliage and soon Barbossa's damn monkey and that baby faced naval man Jack and Will had bullied off the Dauntless came crashing through.
The monkey was slightly ahead of the man and as it skipped along at a frightening pace Jack could just make out the gold medallion clutched in his paw. The nearer they came to the three men the more Jack worried that they were not going to stop but barrel right into them.
"Doesn't look like they're going to stop," Will mused Jack's thoughts.
Norrington sighed again. "They always do this!"
As predicted the two figures didn't slow a wit, but at least they didn't run into them. Instead they flew past, monkey chattering away while Gillet huffed behind it, trying to snatch the medallion away from it, cursing all the while in what Jack thought was French.
Shaking his head, Norrington bent down and scooped up two nooses Jack hadn't noticed before laying at their feat.
"Frightfully sorry," he muttered before sprinting after the two retreating figures, nooses spinning over his head like lassos. Jack could hear him raging as he disappeared from sight, "I swear if they want me to throw the damn thing again they should bring it TO me instead of making me chase after them!"
Grinning indulgently, Will threw an arm over Jack's shoulder and steered him in another direction. "I don't think he'll ever get them trained," he chuckled.
By this time Jack was frightfully on edge about who or what they might come across next. He didn't have to wait long until his fears were confirmed. Breaking through a corps of trees and vines Will led him out onto a cobblestoned courtyard. In the centre of the clearing was a large, shallow pool with a gushing fountain in the middle. The fountain was a monstrous creation, all twisted metal and jagged lines spurting water like artery wounds.
"I made that," Will proclaimed proudly.
"It's...nice," Jack drawled.
Splashing around inside the pool was Elizabeth's father, the governor, riding around on the donkey Jack had ingratiated himself to at Will's forge, as well as Mr. Gibbs bumping along on the back of a large pig. They yelled back and forth at each other, giving directions and planning strategy as they rode around the fountain getting their pants soaked.
As they neared the edge of the pool Jack could see the shadows of two large sea turtles swimming around. He soon realized that the two mounted men were attempting to corral the animals.
"What are they doing?" he asked Will.
"Trying to catch us some sea turtles," Will replied. "I told them to wait for the Commodore, that he could rope them good with those nooses of his but they wouldn't listen."
Will shrugged. "I don't know; it was good advice if you ask me."
"No," Jack shook his head in frustration. "Why are they trying to catch the turtles?"
Will looked over at him startled. "How else do you expect us to get out of here?"
Jack put his face in his hands and groaned. Wrenching his head up quickly he cast a quick look around the grounds, peering in every corner and shaded part of lawn.
"What are you looking for?" Will asked.
"Barbossa," Jack snarled. "I'm just waiting for him to saunter out wearing the Pope's vestments with a castrati on his arm demanding a duet!"
Will snorted. "Don't be stupid, Jack; Barbossa isn't here!"
"And why the bloody hell not, every one else seems to be...in a manner of speaking?!"
Will looked on Jack like he was a complete simpleton. "He wasn't invited of course!"
"Of course," Jack dead paned. "What about the parrot?" he demanded. "He not invited either?"
"Oh he would have been," Will told him earnestly. "But he wouldn't have been able to come, with his duties and all."
"Why, captaining The Pearl!"
Jack's temples throbbed and he could feel the flush spread across his face. "I'M the captain of The Pearl!" he growled.
Will laughed merrily. "Oh, Jack, you can't be!"
"And why is that?" Jack spat back indignantly.
Will's face softened and he put both hands on Jack shoulders. "You'd only lose her," he told him sadly.
Jack could feel the heat leave his face, feel all the blood in his entire body pool at his toes. He felt light headed and he swayed slightly. The hands on his shoulder tightened, and he was pulled into the other man's embrace.
"Don't worry, Jack," Will breathed across his left ear, "you have me."
Jack swallowed and found the strength to hug the boy back. "I've lost you too; I'm afraid," he husked back.
The young man pulled back a bit to bring them face to face, a breath apart. He smiled sweetly at him, then leaned forward and pressed his gold smeared lips to Jack's own ruddy ones. He tasted sweet, nothing like the vinegar of earlier, tongue shyly darting out to swipe at the pirate's mouth, warm, defined tinge of gold wafting across Jack's palate as he filled his lungs with the other's breath.
"Wake up," the lips murmured, brushing his.
"What?" Jack mumbled back, leaning in for more.
And he did, snapping his eyes open to the odour of burning palms and alcohol and not the honeyed scents of green grass, fresh water, spring flowers and a warm, gold scattered body.
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