Title: First Mate
Author: kHo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: Will barely has time to get his eyes open before he realizes he's no longer alone in bed. He turns his head quickly to see a mop of black dreaded hair and a flash of teeth glint at him.
Will barely has time to get his eyes open before he realizes he's no longer alone in bed. He turns his head quickly to see a mop of black dreaded hair and a flash of teeth glint at him. "Jack," he states, letting himself relax again into the pillow. "You were almost dead."
Jack laughs, lifting a leg and extracting his boot from his foot, dropping it heavily to the floor before reaching for the other. "Aye," he says, grinning at Will. "Wouldn't have had the chance to reach your sword, love. Trust me on that."
"Anyone ever tell you you're more bark than bite," Will said, his tone annoyed despite the laughter he felt building up inside his chest.
"Sure," Jack said, shoving his feet under Will's blanket and resting his hands on his belly. "But then, perhaps you just haven't seen my bite just yet. Best to be saved, I say."
Will lifts his head to peer outside the window, gauging that it was somewhere in the vicinity of 2 in the morning by the blackness of the harbor. "So what brings you back this way, Jack?"
"Can't a man visit his mate," Jack asked, looking Will over slowly.
Will smiled, shaking his head. "You've never been one for sentimentality, Jack."
Jack scoffed, rolling his eyes. "Knows me for a fortnight and thinks he knows me inner workings."
Will laughed at that, shifting into a sitting position. "When the fortnight includes attacking a rogue ship of dead pirates, aye, I do think I know your inner workings."
Jack shrugs, lacing his fingers together as he begins to hum to himself, the faint hauntings of 'yo ho' echoing quietly throughout Will's chamber. "How's your bonnie lass," Jack asks finally, looking over at him.
Will frowned. "In Paris, actually," he said quietly, reaching down to pluck at his tattered old comforter. "With her father."
"Ah," Jack said, nodding. "And ye, old swordsmith, weren't invited?"
"She'll be back at the end of the summer," Will said a bit defensively. "And we'll be married in September."
"Good," Jack said, nodding and peering at him. "You almost make me think you believe that."
Will turned to him quickly. "It's the truth."
"Aye," Jack said, nodding. "Right then."
"It is," Will said. "Elizabeth said she had no choice... that if she were to marry me, she had to appease her father just this once more."
Jack nodded. "And I have no doubts about Elizabeth's integrity, mate," he said softly, sitting up and propping himself next to Will on the wall. "It's your trust I doubt... or rather, your self-confidence."
"You never make any sense," Will said, laughing lightly.
"Never you mind," Jack said, winking at him and leaning over to pick at the laces of Will's shirt. "You wear this to sleep in," he asked, a dubious expression on his face.
"It's cold," Will said, looking down at his night shirt. "What of it?"
Jack shrugged. "It must be lonely here without Elizabeth's warm body next to yours."
Will frowned, the wheels in his brain turning Jack's words around in his head. "What exactly does that have to do with what I sleep in?"
Jack smiled at him. "My thinking never was exactly linear, was it, love?"
Will shook his head, laughing again. "It's not that bad," he said. "I just work longer... concentrate on my sword making."
"And Norrington," Jack asked, raising an eyebrow at him. "Has he left you alone?"
Will smiled softly. "Norrington's a good man," he said quietly. "Not the adversary I once thought he was."
"Just a man doing his job," Jack said, nodding. "Not fond of him myself, but glad you've found a mate in him."
"Let you and the Pearl get away, didn't he?"
Jack snorted, darting a look at him. "Let's one way to look at it."
"Ah," Will said, nodding. "That's right... no one catches the great Captain Jack Sparrow."
"No one has," he said, nodding. "And if they have, not for long."
"I haven't found a mate in him," Will said, looking at Jack. "Just... he's not my adversary either."
"Good boy," Jack said, nodding resolutely at him. "Keep it that way."
Will laughed. "Why?"
Jack shrugged, swinging his feet over the edge of the bed and standing. "If I were you, which I'm not... but if I were... I wouldn't trust him. Not completely, anyway."
"Do you trust anyone," Will asked with a laugh. "It seems to me as if you don't."
"I trust my first mate," Jack said, turning to face the window. "I trusted your father," he said, a bit quieter. "I trust you."
"Knows me for a fortnight, and already trusts me," Will said, smiling to himself and letting a little bit of pride wash over him before continuing. "You as well, Jack."
Jack turned to look at him, winking. "So are you happy here, love," Jack asked, leaning against the wall and twirling a golden coin over his knuckles. "Living the life of the trapped?"
Will frowned, resting one foot on the floor. "I'm not trapped."
Jack nodded, laughing. "Aye, ye are, mate," he said. "Waiting for Elizabeth to return... making sword by day, dreaming the dreams of the damned at night."
"I'm not damned," Will said, feeling annoyance creep up.
Jack shrugged. "Got the taste of the sea in ya, love," he said, shrugging. "Your blood is that of a pirate's, Will... whether you know it or not, you'll never be satisfied living the life of a swordsmith." He shrugged, turning back to look out of the window. "Even married to a lass like Elizabeth."
"Taunt me as you like, Jack," Will said calmly, his anger dissipating. "I'm satisfied where I am."
Jack turned to him, slowly making his way over to Will's place on the bed, bending over to look him directly in the eyes. "Come aboard the Pearl, Will," he said softly. "Come with me for the summer... we'll get you back in time for your precious Elizabeth's return."
Will laughed, standing and walking past Jack. "I've got responsibilities here, Jack..."
"Bugger responsibilities," Jack said, flailing an arm through the air. "The Pearl knows no such thing."
"No, Jack," Will said, shaking his head sadly at him. "My place is here."
"I need a first mate, love," Jack said quietly, meeting his eyes and sounding sincere for the first time Will could remember. "And you're the only one alive left that I still trust."
Will snorted. "What about Gibbs? You said you trusted him..."
"Aye," Jack said, nodding and crossing his arms. "I said alive, mate."
Will faltered in his indignation, stepping forward. "Gibb's is dead?"
"Aye," Jack said, nodding and fluttering across the room to the hearth, sticking the poker into the fire and playing with the embers. "Will you come, Will," he asked, not facing him. "Till I find me another first mate," he added.
Jack whirled to face him, smiling sadly. "I won't beg, love," he said, his eyes begging nonetheless. "It's now or never."
"I can't," Will said sadly, stepping forward slightly. "Jack..."
"Right," Jack said, dropping the poker to the floor and walking back over to Will's bed. Sitting down he began pulling his shoes back on. "Well good luck to ya, Turner," he said, looking at Will between shoes. "I'll just be on my way..."
"Jack," Will said, crossing the room to sit beside him. "I wish I could go..."
Jack shook his head, laughing. "Aye, if you wished you could, love, you would."
"I'm sorry," Will said softly, looking down.
Jack looked at him, reaching up and tugging lightly on Will's hair. "Jack'll be alright, mate," he said, smiling sadly. "The great Captain Jack Sparrow never falters."
Will nodded slowly, licking his lips. "Just the same, Jack... I am sorry."
Jack nodded, his hand grasping the back of Will's neck. He leaned forward and placed his lips lightly over Will's, lingering for only a moment before pulling back. "I'll be around again, love," he said, jumping up and smiling down at him. "I'll never give up on you, Turner... you're a pirate where it counts, one day you'll know that."
Will's hand lifted to his mouth as he watched Jack silently leave the room. He always managed to leave you confused in one way other another, with his words or his actions. It shouldn't have been surprising to Will that he could leave you confused with both.
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