Title: Diversionary Techniques
Author: kHo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: Angry is something Jack can deal with, this look of betrayal isnt.
Notes: This ficlet is wholly inspired by another ficlet, which can be found here, by veronica_rich. This is sort of a prequel, my exploration of an event that was mentioned in hers. She kindly gave me permission to write this, and I think her. It was very fun to explore someone elses idea! If you haven't read it, read it, either before or after having read mine... they should fit in together in either order... or anyway, I was aiming for them to.
Anger is something Jack knows how to handle. Yelling, things being thrown, even a coma inducing glare are preferable to this. He wishes for not the first time that Will weren't the way he was, that he was more inclined to being angry and throwing fits instead of this quiet withering look he was delivering. Angry is something Jack can deal with, this look of betrayal isn't.
"Would you rather I'd 'ave been caught, Will," he grinds out between clenched teeth. "It was the only way out."
Will nodded slowly, level eyes never leaving Jack's. "You believe that, don't you?"
"Stop... stop looking at me like that," Jack said, laughing and trying to lighten up the mood. "I wouldn't 'ave harmed her."
"You yanked her by her hair," Will spat at him, his voice low inside Jack's chambers. Always the sense of propriety. No matter how disgusted Will was with Jack at this moment, he'd never let the rest of the crew know he disagreed with their captain.
"I didn't yank, love," Jack said, lowering his voice as well, stepping slightly closer to Will. "Just... pulled... perhaps a little roughly, but not a yank... per se."
"She was all of seven, Jack," Will yelled as best he could without raising his voice. "Scared her half to death, is what you did."
"Least it was only half then, right," Jack asked, quirking an eyebrow up comically, hoping that his facial expressions would at least make Will smile despite himself.
Will's expression remained resolved, the stoney mask of anger only made worse by the betrayal in his hazel brown eyes. "Would you stoop any lower? Perhaps an infant next time... what ever it takes to save Captain Jack Sparrow's ass..."
"Oy," Jack said, stepping forward and pointing a finger in Will's chest. "You seem to 'ave conveniently forgotten something, young Turner."
Will rolled his eyes. "Yes, I'm aware... you're Captain Jack Sparrow."
"No," Jack said, his voice taking on a rarely used hard tone. "I'm a bloody Pirate, Will... you may know me as the man Jack Sparrow, with the funny way of walking and talking, but the fact remains... I am a *pirate*."
"And what was it you said when first we met, Jack," Will said, raising an eyebrow at him and leaning forward to get his point across. "A man can be a pirate and a good man as well."
Jack rolled his eyes, stepping back a few steps, his hands wrapping around the space in front of him as he pictured them wrapping around Will's neck. "I would not, would *not*, have harmed her!"
"You don't use seven year old girls as *leverage*, Jack! It's not something you *do*!"
"It's something *I* did," Jack yelled, a hand wiping agitatedly through his hair. "An' it worked, didn't it?!"
"At what cost," Will yelled back, stepping forward until his boots nearly touched Jack's, causing Jack's body to sway back slightly at the unexpected proximity. "She's likely never to forget you, this man who threatened to pitch her over the ledge if her family didn't let you go..."
"Threatened to, love," Jack said, smiling at him, once again trying to charm Will into forgiveness. "Wouldn't 'ave done it... surely you don't believe I would've done it?"
Will sighed, crossing his arms in front of him and licking his lips. "No, Jack... I don't believe you would've."
"Alright then," Jack said, patting him on the shoulder and walking around him, frowning at his back as he reached the treasures splayed out on top of his bag. "What did you want? It's a pretty booty, isn't it?"
Will glowered at him, the anger once again in place. "I'll have no part of it," he said, frowning at the golden doubloons and treasures.
Jack's eyes rolled to the back of his head as he pitched forward slightly onto the bed, turning on his back to stare up at Will. "Will... damnit boy. We... would... 'ave... been... dead. Dead, mate. Dead by morning. Dead as Barbossa. Hanged, gone, disappeared... dead."
Will nodded in his infuriatingly patiently way, his face neutral. "I know that."
Jack sat up quickly, his hands spread wide. "I did what I 'ad to, Will!"
"Not had to," Will said, shaking his head and smiling a smile that was anything but amused. "Chose to."
"Yes," Jack hissed, standing and walking quickly over to Will. "Chose to... chose to save you and I. Chose for us *not to die*!"
"It was a bad choice, Jack," Will said, undeterred by Jack's breath as it raced erratically over his face, the infuriated eyes not making him flinch in the slightest. "Just like you deciding that we go all by our twosies was a bad choice."
Jack grabbed his elbows, pulling him forward. "We work well together," he hissed at him, his eyes flashing. "You and me, like clockwork mate... But, maybe it was unwise to go just us alone. None of that matters now, love! None of it, 'cause we're fine now... and so is she."
"You have no remorse at all do you," Will yelled, his voice raising finally to above a hushed whisper. "No regret at all, for anything?"
"Can't afford to love," Jack said, leaning back, his face falling to one of neutrality. "No regrets, no apologies. I move on. I suggest you do the same, if this is truly the life for you."
"Well, maybe it's not," Will hissed, leaning forward, nearly spitting the words directly into Jack's soul. "Maybe I made a mistake coming with you that day."
"Maybe you did," Jack said, his voice betraying him as it came out sounding a little more sad than anything else. "Maybe you should leave," he continued, making a concerted effort to make his voice sound stronger, more detached.
"Maybe I should," Will said, the anger slipping from his face for a moment, replaced by a hurt look that always seemed to get to Jack.
Jack held himself still as Will turned and started towards the door, determined to let Will make his own choices, assured that whatever choice was made would be the right one in the end. As Will's hand closed on the handle though Jack found himself standing directly in front of him without ever knowing he'd left his post by the bed.
He opened his mouth to tell Will to not go, to tell him that his place was here on the Pearl, with him. His hand lifted to the back of Will's neck and he fully intended to speak from the heart, but instead found his lips upon Will's. He turned and trapped Will's body against the door, leaning into him and bruising Will's lips with his passion.
When realization dawned in Jack that Will was not only not responding to the kiss but was pushing him away he broke apart abruptly and took two quick steps back, his eyes flash bright and big. He held his hands up in apology. "Sorry, love," he stuttered out, trying to smile past the panic threatening to envelope him. "Don't know what came over me..."
"What the bloody hell..."
Jack laughed, putting his hands together and bowing slightly to Will, taking a deep breath. "Honestly, Will... don't know what came over me... didn't want you to leave." He laughed again, smiling up at Will with the carefree smile he'd managed to perfect over the years that hid most of the things he wanted to remain hidden. "Distraction really... diversionary technique."
Will's hand lifted to cover his mouth, unable to shake the feel of Jack's lips on his, his braided goatee burning a path across his chin from contact. "Consider myself distracted," he said, frowning even as he laughed slightly.
"Sorry Will... honestly..."
"Do it again, an' I'll cut your throat," Will said, frowning at his hand after wiping his mouth. "I bloody will, Jack..."
"Rightly so," Jack said, backing further up still. "Apologies abound, love."
Will frowned at him again, reaching behind him and turning the knob. "Don't do it again, Jack," he said. "Don't do what you did to that little girl this evening, and don't do... that... with me again. Do I make myself clear?"
"Crystal, love," Jack said, smiling and straightening, latching his arms behind his back. "Won't happen again... either one."
Jack's smile remained on his face until the second the door latched, giving way to stark terror as soon as he heard Will's footsteps traveling up the stairs leading to the deck. He cursed himself for his stupidity at letting his personal whims get the best of him. He'd been trying to keep him from leaving and instead had perhaps given him a cause greater than all else to leave.
Still, he found himself thinking that even with what he might have cost himself in the future, the memory of Will's lips beneath his might have been worth it.
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