Title: Crimes of Passion
Author: Meletor the Muffin Muse (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: In which the properties of fire and water are explored
Disclaimer: Not mine, dont sue, and all that jazz
Warnings: major death!fic. seriously. not kidding.
Archive: JackXWill, and I doubt anyone else will want the thing.
Feedback: Please. I flounder without it.
A/N: Its only a week late; thats a record for me. This is for the J/W Ficathon 2, an answer to a challenge as follows: While on shore in an unfamiliar port, something unusual gets added to Jack's drink with unexpected results. Being so maddeningly late, it is unbetaed.
A/N2: This is just not good writing. Its sort of like when you sing, and you mess up several of the notes, and your tones rather dodgy, but you also manage to catch some of those moments when the room throbs, and everyone listening holds his breath, and it is just right. So you decide to keep the song around in your memory banks after all. When it was really a shoddily performed piece. Its like that. Only in text form. Ill be the first to admit it; some of this blatantly sucks. Theres no excuse for it, really. But for me to perfect this, if that were even possible, would take years. Because J/W just doesnt sit well with me, I find. Mostly because they tend to do things like this to eachother.
Will Turner was a creature of the fire. It shone out through his eyes, inescapably brown and inexplicably bright. It swirled about and around him with every graceless glide, every determined stroke of hammer or of blade. It curled, so very often, up into his face as a righteous flushed indignation. He was raised on smoke and flame. Fire was in his being. Fire became him.
Jack Sparrow was spirit of the sea. He swayed in a constant invisible rhythm, transcending any distance, matching the oceans ethereal dance. Always in motion, yet still unshakeable, he washed over and around his environment, one moment slow and lullaby-soft, the next whirling and impatient. The song of the sea was in his voice, a sirens song, spinning and fluid. He lived from the waves and saltspray. The sea knew him as one of her own. He became the sea.
But now the child of the sea seems unsure, arrhythmic. He trembles, just barely, as he reaches for the bottle of rum that Will has brought him. It is only a small tremor: no-one who was not searching for it would make any notice. He has to concentrate a little harder than usual to wrap his fingers around the neck of the bottle; they are sluggish and obstinate, and do not flutter so gracefully as they have been known to in all his other endeavors.
Will goes back to that day in the smithy, when he walked through the door to find a strange hat on his anvil and, seconds later, a strange blade on the back of his hand. His eyes followed the sword up to the hilt, the hand holding it, the owner, studying him through jet-dark eyes that covered, analyzed, and predicted each move, that burned into him with a cold, glinting malice. A fraction of a second later, a new flicker in the furnace, and the malice could just as well have been jest. There was no time to wonder, though, because the pirate for pirate he clearly was- was stepping Will back, swaying and swirling like an inebriated gypsy dancer. Will considered that for a moment. Why was a fugitive of the law sauntering across the room as if he owned it? And more importantly why was he beautiful? When they started to fight in earnest, Will became convinced that this man had more training in dance than in swordfighting; he whirled and leapt, and Will could have sworn that several
moments of his footwork were straight from a minuet. And yet, barring all that, he was without doubt the best swordsman against whom Will had ever raised a blade. His moves were quick, but infinitely graceful, and unerringly accurate, and his focus never strayed. Will Turner was a creature of the fire, and each inherently mocking counter this winding rogue made served to fan the flame. It infuriated him, that a lush like man could at the same time both hypnotize him with his elegance and impress him with unswerving swordsmanship.
Jack watches with half-detached intrigue as the bottle slips from his hand. His limbs are lethargic, unresponsive, and he can only watch as the shattered glass flies and falls in a shimmering storm over the tabletop. His hand responds too late to his brains screamed commands and slides over the shards, etching deep lines of crimson into his palm. He slowly lifts his hand from the tabletop and gazes at it as though it belonged to another person entirely. Both he and Will tilt their heads to the side, eyes fixed on the red as it wells up and slips along Jacks palm. The same images swim into their heads, and it is as though the two of them have returned to that cave, that night.
The moonlight slanted through in long bright gashes, glinting blue off the mounds of treasure and rendering the various sculptures and baubles, all once gold, a sickly unreal shade. The cave rang with the ubiquitous chorus of steel against steel, and, at intervals, steel against bone. Will and Elizabeth were fighting for their lives; Jack and Barbossa were fighting for Wills life. Suddenly there was an explosion, a hiss of sword against skin, two more rings, two pistols cocked, one shot. Will had seen Jack wild in a storm, maddened to a near-fatal extent with the promise of victory. He had seen Jack cunning, drawing Barbossa into trivial semantics as he negotiated. He had seen Jack angry, knocking Will from the deck and letting him dangle over the sea while giving him a livid lecture. But Will had never seen Jack as he saw him then, utterly still, eyes blacker than night and so cold it sent a chill through just to look at them. He had never seen Jack serious. He dropped the two
coins, Barbossa stumbled back, shocked, said he felt cold. Will looked to Jack, eyes carrying the question he could not bring to his lips. Now Jack smiled, smirked, as he was wont to do, and said quietly, "Theres a saying that revenge is best served cold."
Jack has hardly the strength to hold his head up. The trinketed plaits fall against the tabletop with a series of scraping chimes, whispering again each time he tries in vain to raise his head and look level. Every time, he lifts it just so far, and every time, he drops it back down with a sigh, and every time, the beads jingle out their abrasive laughter. Finally, Jack simply collapses onto the table, bereft of any energy to continue this futile obstinacy. A pair of strong arms closes around him, lifts him from the table, from the chair. Wills arms are strong from the smithy, warm from the fire, but by no means are they soft. He carries Jack; like a child, Will carries him -for Jacks own limbs will not support him- up the stairs and into an open room. He lays Jack on the bed and just looks at him. Not at him, really, through him. It is that look of vacant intensity that worries Jack. He has always known Will to have the most honest, the most beautiful eyes, but now they are
shrouded somehow. It is as though Will has seen something, known something, that he never should have had to.
Jack closes his eyes, as much from weakness as to escape from that horrifyingly painful look Will has, and he returns to the first time he truly noticed those eyes, and their almost supernatural quality. He was doing his piratical best to pick his way out of Fort Charles gaol, when quick harsh footsteps down the stairs reminded him that he was supposed to be cockily sprawled out on the floor. He had expected some stiff-coated officer or another, until he heard the "You, Sparrow," at the cell door. Will marched straight in, full of unabashed indignation and unquestioned contempt. It shone right through his eyes, wide and honest even when narrowed scornfully. It shone as bright as the obvious adoration he held for that Miss Swann, the flash of childlike sorrow and glow of loving pride at the mention of his father, the impassioned, blatant disgust when Jack even lightly hinted that he might go pirate. Will Turner was a creature of fire, and those eyes were windows, sure enough, to a
soul rich with golden flame.
Flame fire warmth that is exactly what escapes Jack now, as he lays trembling, weak, his mind sharp as ever, but his body completely indisposed, and very cold. A sudden ferocious chill wracks his body, and those arms return, holding him steady until it passes, then nestling a blanket over him. Though they still hold that unnamable wound that strikes Jacks very heart, Wills eyes are softer, now, as he tends to his captain. The new softness comes from empathy at seeing the shivering Jack Sparrow; Will knows what it is to be bone-cold and still uncared for, and however much Jack and his drunken antics have put him through, Will would never subject Jack to that experience. He remembers how lonely it can be, cold, wretched, downcast, and completely unconsidered.
Most vividly, he remembers the night he spent in the Pearls hold, under the watch of two members of Barbossas crew. Locked alone in a cell, half-drowned, more than half-freezing, with nothing but snickers and leers from the guards. He asked them about his father, his voice thick with an impending cold. After they had related the gruesome tale, peppered with harsh laughter and off-the-cuff crude humor, and laughed about it for an uncomfortably long period of time, Will piped up and asked if there were something warm and dry on the ship he could wrap himself in, reminding them that he would be little good to them dead. The stockier one laughed a jarring, sickly laugh and rumbled out, "Dont ye know revenge is best served cold, boy?"
Will is brought back to the present by a brutal jolt from the bed. Jack throws off his blankets, moves in sharp, involuntary jerks. The convulsions have hold of him now. It is as though his immeasurable, uncontainable spirit is straining to break free, to reach out, and every so often throws itself, with all its intangible strength, against its temporal confines. It is impatient to fly free of Jacks weakened body, with its faint pulse and shallow breath. Or perhaps, being Jacks spirit, it simply wants to give one final spectacular show. Whatever the motives, it finally settles again, back into Jacks bones, and he falls into unconsciousness.
Will couldnt have remembered where hed gotten the bottle if someone were to ask him, and would have been even less capable of explaining why he had it. Ten grams of it. But he knew what he would do with it. Ever since he had taken to the sea with Jack (he convinced himself it was out of a feeling of obligation to Jack for saving his life), Will had been little more than the butt of countless jokes. Even now, in some port, somewhere; Will hardly recalled; there he was, talking in that overanimated, just-the-other-side-of-insane, pantomime-with-words way of his, punctuating his speech with not-quite-furtive-enough significant jerks of his head in Wills direction, and every few moments throwing his head back and roaring with laughter. Will wondered what the punchline was this time as he tipped the contents of the vial down the neck of a bottle of rum. Was he a whelp in this one? Or leverage? Or was he a stick? He smiled sardonically, then dropped the look from his face as he brought
Jack his drink. He could feel the anger burning under his skin, and he was certain the flush would have been noticeable, but for the graciously low lighting. A drop of condensation stole over the back of his hand as he slid Jack his rum; this tavern was one of the few that kept at least some bottles below ground, in a cellar that, thanks to the variable climate at this latitude, remained dramatically colder than the tavern itself. Will had been sure to ask that the rum be cold.
Will watches as Jack breathes his last. Not that the last breath itself is anything noteworthy in its execution; he more accurately watches as Jack does not breathe at all, and only then registers that he has watched his captains last breath. His eyes fix on the droplets that still cling to Jacks mouth and moustache. A tenth of a gram to kill a man theres enough. Will leans down and brushes his lips against Jacks still, already cold ones, and he whispers, in a voice so quiet and so hoarse with tears that he can barely hear it himself, "Didnt you see that I loved you?"
He presses their lips together; the hemlock burns, brands his lips to the chill, lifeless ones beneath him.
Revenge is best served cold.
But Will Turner was a creature of the fire.
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