jackxwill - pirates of the caribbean slash
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The Cutlass, by Hellborne
Pirates of the Caribbean – PG-13 Jack/Will Slash

Copyright: Characters, not mine, See the Mouse. Story, mine, but I make no money. He does, but not on this.

Typing convention. / is used for thoughts. * - * - * is used for scene changes and time going by.

Beta: The greatest, most humble, modest, and oh so magnificent BetaGoddess, Pendragginink! I can't say enough wonderful things about you!!!

Summary:

NOTE: Written for: kHo for the JackXWill Ficathon III. Her requests: "Angst:  Will and Liz have broken their engagement, and Will has become bitter and angry.  Jack tries to get him back to what he used to be: young, and optimistic, and full of love to give.  Whether or not they wind up together doesn't matter, but I want Jack
to be in love with Will.  Whichever it is, just make it true to character and I'll love it. Restriction on requests: No drunken sex... drunken kisses are fine, but no drunken sex.  & No wimpy/slutty Will.  Also, if I can just add a third?  No BDSM please, mild or hardcore.  Not my cup o' tea." Hey kHo! I hope you like it.

* - * - * - * - *

She left. No goodbye, no explanation. Will had tried to get her
father to tell him what happened, but somehow the governor always had
some pressing business to attend to. Well, fine then. Elizabeth was
in England by now. That was fine too. What had started out as hurt
and confusion was now what Will now used to go on with life. He drove
himself to near exhaustion every night, stopping only when he could
no longer see what he was doing through his weary eyes. Only then
could he sleep, and that dreamless void gave him no rest.

* - * - *

"Bloody sword!" Disgusted, Jack threw what was left of his cutlass to
the deck.

Anamaria laughed at his tantrum. "I told you it was ready to break.
Be glad ye were practicin' with me rather than have it snap in
battle."

Jack pouted. "I LIKED that sword. It was perfectly balanced for me."

"Then have your blacksmith make you a new one."

"He's not MY blacksmith, luv. He's Lizabeff's blacksmith."

Jack hated that as well, Anamaria knew, and she hated seeing how
crestfallen Jack looked. "Well, Jack, that doesn't stop you from
asking the boy to make you a new sword."

"True.  Change heading for Port Royal."

* - * - *

It was two o'clock in the morning, yet the hammering sound of
the "mad blacksmith of Port Royal" could be heard half way to the
docks. That's what they called him now, for it was obvious that
Elizabeth's departure had driven Will Turner mad.

Will didn't hear the door open; nor did he see the slim figure melt
along the wall, silent as the shadows and climb onto the stool behind
him. But after a few minutes, the blacksmith knew he was being
watched. He stopped hammering, switched the sword he was working on
from his left hand to his right, and whipped around, ready to cut the
intruder in half. His sword was easily parried by the pirate sitting
cross-legged on the stool wielding a mere dagger.

Jack unfolded his legs and stood up. "You're not concentrating on
your swordsmanship, lad." He smiled. "Now then, what is so wrong that
you're beating yourself at two in the morning? Have a fight with your
missus?"

Will put the sword back into the fire and shrugged. "There is no
missus, Jack. Elizabeth went back to England."

"What? She foreswore her oath of love to you after all you went
through to save her?"

"Without a word."

"And that's why you pound the night away?"

"I have orders to fill."

"Aye, but you need sleep, young William."

"I get enough."

Jack looked closely into Will's baggy, red eyes. "Aye, and I'm an
admiral in His Majesty's Royal Navy."

"Jack, what do you want? I don't have the time to dawdle."

"Dawdle? You wound me. I could have sworn you'd be pleased to see me.
Truth to tell, though, my sword broke. I need a new one and your name
came up. What's your best price for a well-balanced cutlass, Mr.
Turner?"

Will didn't hesitate. "Twenty-five pounds…for YOU."

"WHAT?! That's an absolute hold-up. Twenty-five pounds is a fortune
for a sword."

"I'm giving you a deal, Jack. My swords generally START at one
hundred pounds."

The words "and up" could be added to that, Jack realized, and quickly
accepted. "Oh. All right, then." He offered his hand. "Agreed. Twenty-
five pounds. Now…when can you have it finished?"

"You'll have it tomorrow night by midnight, as I'm sure you're in a
rush to get out of Port Royal."

"Aye, that I am, but not in so much of a hurry that I'm willing to
forego good quality."

Will smiled smugly. "Oh, no need to forego quality; you shall have my
best quality cutlass by tomorrow night. However, if you don't want it
that quickly, you can come for it a week from Tuesday for all I care."

"Don't get smart-mouthed with me, boy."

"It's my shop. I'll be smart-mouthed with anyone I wish, or you can
leave without your sword."

Jack grinned. "William, love, you've turned into your father. He
didn't take guff from anyone either. Tomorrow night will be fine.
I'll just find me a comfortable corner and bed down."

Will stopped him. "Come back tomorrow night."

"But William! It's not like I can stay at an inn, you know. I'd be in
the gaol so fast and I couldn't collect my sword."

"There is a forest just north of town. You can hide there. Come back
tomorrow night."

Jack drooped, crestfallen. "You've definitely changed, William
Turner. If I'd have come to you before you lost your will to live,
you would have offered me your very own bed."

Will started, indignant. "I haven't lost my will to live."

"Aye, William, you have. Otherwise I wouldn't have found you working
in the wee hours of the morning. Look around you, lad. Do you call
this `living'? You used to work hard, aye, but you knew that work
wasn't all there is to life. You were happy. You looked on the bright
side. You were full of love."

"Those days are gone, Jack. Tell you what, though. As I won't be
using the bed tonight anyway, feel free to sleep there."

Jack bowed, and dryly added, "I thank you for your fine hospitality."
With an exaggerated flourish, he turned on his heel, walked into the
back room and lay down on the bed.

* - * - *

There was someone watching him; he could just feel it. Will turned
around, mid-swing, finding no one.

"Such anger you have, William."  Jack was sitting on one of the beams
above Will, watching him intently. "You need to get over her, lad.
She's killing you, love, without even bein' here."  He swung down
from his perch, landing in front of Will. "What you need right now is
a good, stiff drink and a good night's sleep." He put an arm around
the younger man's shoulders, heading him toward the door after
carefully relieving the blacksmith of the iron bar he was holding and
placing it on the forge.

Sighing at Jack's persistance, Will figured he may as well humor the
old pirate; he could use a drink anyway.

* - * - *

Jack trundled a "temporarily borrowed" wheelbarrow into the smithy
and unceremoniously dumped an inebriated Will onto the bed in the
back room. "Ye need takin' care of, love, and ol' Jack here is just
the one wot can do that for ye." He undressed the younger man and
tucked him into the bed, kissing him on the forehead, then settled
into the pile of hay he found for himself.

* - * - *

Will opened bleary eyes to a sweet smile and two kohl-rimmed eyes
looking down at him. "Jack, what are you doing?"

Jack sat back on the chair he'd placed beside the bed. "Watching you,
love. You look so peaceful when you're asleep; I couldn't help but
watch. But now that you're awake, you've got those odd little creases
between your eyebrows—perpetual anger doesn't become you, love." He
leaned over and kissed Will's forehead.

Will sat up too fast and held his head in pain. "Don't DO that!"

Jack reached for Will's head and started massaging JUST the right
places. "I'll take care of that headache, William. You have only to
relax."

Will wanted to protest, but gave up and lay back down on his bed. The
massage felt SO good. He closed his eyes and let Jack continue; he
dozed off, completely relaxed.

* - * - *

"En guard."

"Jack, I'm out of practice."

"Nonsense, William. You're the finest swordsman in the Caribbean."

Will raised his sword and waited. Jack started slowly, building up
speed until, finally, Will was unable to keep up with the wiry little
pirate. Jack knocked Will's sword away and bore in for the "kill,"
kissing his nose instead.

"Stop that RIGHT NOW!"

Jack shrugged, looking hurt. "I just can't help it, love. I happen to
love you, and this time...THIS time, I won the kiss fair and square.
Deny it!" He held his sword tip to Will's nose for emphasis.

Will looked at Jack, incredulous. "You can't love me, Jack. We're
both men. Now be a `good little pirate' and let me get back to sword-
making or your new sword won't be ready on time."

"Don't be insulting, William.  We fought side by side. We have saved
each other's lives, lad. Recognize the fact or not, accept it or no,
we're shield-companions. Partners, if you will. And shield-companions
who DON'T love each other are doomed."

"Shield-companions? And where did you concoct such a story, Jack?
Tell that story to the troops at the fort and they'll run you
through."

"Aye, they would." Jack agreed, nodding. "From their ignorance. In
ancient Greece, they required shield-companions in their armies.
Made `em practice together all the time so they could almost read
each others' minds.

They fought together, ate together, slept together, and had manly sex
together. It brought them so close it was said that if ye killed one
shield-companion, `t would cause the other to die of loneliness and
despair, after slayin' his partner's killers, o' course. And, lad,
there were no better fighters in all of history."

Will listened through the whole thing, watching Jack weave his hands
hypnotically to help tell his story. "But what of the soldiers'
ladies at home?"

"Oh aye, they had wives and the like; had to propagate the race, eh?"
Jack winked. "But, just as the men had their shield partners to keep
them company, so too did the women have lady sex with each other to
keep the cold away."

Will frowned, dubious.

"What? You haven't heard o' the Isle of Lesbos, Whelp? Tell you what.
Come with me on the Pearl and I'll show you everything I've learned
of the world and more."

Will rolled his eyes, and got back to work.

* - * - *

Jack dozed in the burro's straw, unperturbed by the constant
pounding, but waking abruptly when it stopped. Opening his eyes, he
found two chocolate brown orbs close to his own black pools. On
impulse, he bent his head up and kissed the blacksmith's nose again.
This time, however, there was no reaction. Jack considered this an
improvement.

"Jack?"

"Yes, William?"

"I've missed you, you old pirate." Leaning in, he kissed Jack's nose.

Jack grinned. "And I you, William. Does this mean you'll be coming
with me to the Pearl?"

"I can't do that, Jack. Whatever my blood says, in the end, I'm a
blacksmith. I'm a creature of fire, not of water. Whereas land makes
you look awkward and the roll of the sea is your natural gait, I
stumble my way across a deck, as you should well remember. I wish I
could go with you, Jack. I really do, but I can't. I'm—sorry." Will
stood up straight and held out a cutlass for Jack's inspection.

The hilt was black, ebony no less, with black pearls inlaid in the
outline of a sparrow. As Jack took hold of it, he felt it settle in,
fitting as though crafted specifically to his hand, for the grip was
perfect. The blade, also, was perfect, near as Jack could tell;
flawless, save for Will's mark near the hilt, which, to Jack, made it
more than perfect and most special indeed.

A tear formed in Jack's eye. "I'd better go, then. Thank you,
William. It's beautiful, and it will remind me of you, always."

"I really am sorry, Jack. I thought hard on what you said. I'm
flattered that you love me." He hesitated, then continued,
confessing, "I don't think I could ever love another man in that way.
But I do love you as my brother."

Jack gave Will a melancholy smile. "At least you're not killing
yourself anymore. You seem much calmer than when I first arrived. I
just want you to know, William, if you, for any reason, ever change
your mind, you'll always have a place on the Pearl."

Will smiled. "I appreciate that, Jack, and if anything changes, I'll
take you up on it."

"I'd better shove off then. The Pearl will be coming for me at
midnight, and it's nigh on nine o'clock now. It's a bit'n a'piece to
the secluded inlet. Be happy, William. May you always be the fine
young man I remember." With that, Jack turned and headed for the
door, then stopped to examine his new sword again; he turned to Will
as a thought occurred to him. "You didn't just now make this sword,
did you?"

Will grinned. "I've waited for you to come for it for over a month."

"Whelp." Jack's quick, pleased smile glittered in the light from the
forge. He saluted Will with the sword, and left, his trinket-
festooned hair fanning out as he turned, still shaking his head. Will
watched him blend into the darkness, and then—he was gone.

* - * - *

Jack sat, his feet dangling, drumming them against the short cliff
leading to the beach where the Pearl would pick him up. She had just
dropped anchor and he could see the shadowy longboat being rowed
ashore. He stood up, stretched out the kinks, intending to meet it
down on the beach; he nearly jumped when he felt a hand on his
shoulder.

Sudden. Strong. And very welcome.

"I was wrong, Jack. I do love you."

A tear formed in the pirate's eye at that but he was smiling as they
walked down to the longboat, arm in arm, together, forever.

* - * - *

End


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