jackxwill - pirates of the caribbean slash

Title: Guardian Demons
Author: Yours Truly (siberian_blue18@yahoo.com)
Pairing: J/W
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Will, though he fights, cannot be rid of his ghosts from the past, and not even Jack can heal all his wounds.
Warnings: Dark fic. Character death, Angst, Non-con (Rape), and some blood. You’ve been warned.
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine, and they’re all lies.
Feedback: Needed with urgency.

Notes: Written for the Jack/Will Ficathon hosted at the Yahoo! Group JackXWill; written for Lacey, whose challenge included a dark, angsty fic, with non-con issues and a deep relationship between Jack and Will, that went beyond the physical. My hopes are that this little ficlet can meet her expectations.



William stared forlornly at the never-ending line of the Sea before him, lost in his wandering thoughts. It seemed endless, timeless, and soothing. The waves, like a siren call, appeased him and summoned him, made his chest ache in sorrow for his inability to know it whole, travel it and live in it, with it. Freedom Jack had called it, and the word was like ambrosia on Will’s mind. A soothing balm, a promise to ease the sorrow inside his heart.

Elizabeth didn’t love him. Amazing how that fact had torn his life to pieces. Years of work at the forge, the one ability he had ever been proud of, his craft, had suddenly seemed meaningless. Had become a chain that held him back as everything else moved forward, leaving him stranded. Elizabeth didn’t love him enough to hold her back, to hold her prisoner. Months of bliss, she had given him, to then move on, away from him. The same wanderlust he suffered from had invaded her bones, and she was now well in her way to Europe, back to London, or Paris, or some other city he’d probably never see again.

She was gone, and he was still here.

Jack. Jack and his freedom had left these shores long months ago, and nothing but echoes of stories about the infamous Black Pearl had reached Will’s ears since. The one man he tentatively called ‘friend’, was also long gone, and had long ago forgotten about him.

In Port Royal, it seemed, all he had left was his small corner in the forge, as a mere apprentice. As practically nothing in the eyes of the town people. They whispered behind his back now, called him ‘pirate’, called him lawless. How he wished at times, that it were true and he was leading a free life behind this pretence of honesty. But he wasn’t. He wasn’t a pirate, never had been, no matter how his soul sang with the thought of leaving this place towards the Sea. He was nothing but a blacksmith’s apprentice, left behind by everyone that ever mattered, because his was a trade of loneliness. If in doubt he only had to look at his old Master, Mister Brown, who snored his nights away in a haze of alcohol, in hopes of drowning the image of his long departed wife. She had left him too. Gone away with a merchant sailor.

William could feel this loneliness choking the breath out of him. But what else was he to do? Leave this place? And go where? The urge had been there, but the only future he could visualize was another forge, in another port, staring longingly at the sea from just another angle. A life in a ship was…tempting. But he knew nothing of it, and the words his mother had long ago given him were like a taint in his dreams…

“My little William,” She always told him in the edges of his memories. Her smiling face had been thin and drawn, marked by the passing of a man that had left her with child, loved her for short two years, before disappearing into the depths of the sea. “An honest man you’ll be, I can see it in your eyes. Honest lad, with a love for the land, won’t you, my child?”

The young man sighed, slumping his shoulders. The Sea’s call persisted in his heart, but his mind would not allow it. He knew his place was here, in dry land, well away from excitement and adventures. He knew he belonged where he was, left behind and forgotten. “His place” as the Commodore called it, was in fact a lesson that had always been well engraved into him.

Turning away from the view of the battlements, he turned and walked slowly back to his forge, room of dust and smoldering heat, where he spent his days.

The keen eyes that followed his every move went unnoticed.

****

Hands.

It was all Will really remembered. A scalding rain of touches that had caught him unaware in a mindless walk around the town became his most vivid memory. The darkness had blended well and hid the shapes of his attackers until it was far too late to stop them. William tried to call for help as soon as he felt himself being restrained, his sword taken from him with an ease that shocked him. He knew he struggled, he knew he yelled, but after that, hands seemed to swallow him whole. Blackness came with vile threats in his ear, and a blinding pain in the back of his head.

The taste of blood, then nothing.

****

Ironically enough, the first thing he heard when he came to, was the call of his mistress. The waves of the Sea hit the shore not too far, he could tell, for her soothing call now seemed like a yell that resounded in his head. His surroundings were humid and cold enough that he knew he found himself in a cave, for the memory of the last one he’d visited still chilled his bones. This was only a contribution to his nightmares. Cold stone touched his face, his whole body. He was restrained, and he could barely feel his arms behind him, tied tightly as they were. He heard voices around him, but couldn’t distinguish what they spoke about, only harsh laughter and mockery. There were hands again, traveling on his skin, burning hot and unwanted. He struggled as best as he could manage but his position wouldn’t allow much of a fight. There was more than one other person with him in here, and if it weren’t because the Sea seemed to drown out all other sounds around him, he probably would have been able to tell how many there were.

Though his mind was still sluggish from the blow to his head, he soon realized the absolute chill his body felt was due to his lack of clothing. Everything was dark around him, and it was thus he knew the night had not yet drawn itself to an end. How he wished it had.

He would have screamed, cursed, demanded answers, but his limbs were slow to respond to his command, and there was a filthy rag thrust inside his mouth. Exhaustion wanted to drag him under, but a sense of urgency kept him aware as he could feel lusty hands massaging the skin of his back.

<I>Why, why, why, why…</I> His mind chanted in a haze, and his weakened senses could discern no answer to the question. The touches soon became more than simple explorations. Suddenly they were invading, touching what nobody should touch without the consent of the other. He buckled and cursed behind the gag, but it only earned him harsh laughter in his ears. He winced when a hand suddenly grabbed him roughly, bending his body at an odd angle, and forcing him to rise to his knees by the pull on his hair. There were too many hands on him, and everything was still woozy and clouded over, as his mind spun in circles. Fear choked him with an icy claw on his throat.

He still held on to the feeble hope that this was some sort of twisted nightmare.

The hands moved on him, touched him, voices taunted him. The Sea almost seemed to be wailing in his ears. He was bent forward roughly and suddenly there was a wave of blinding pain that shocked his body into awareness.

And he knew this was all too real.

He yelled, tried to move away from the scalding hands remained on him, remained touching, raping him, taking. His head was pressed into harsh rock, and he felt it tearing at his skin, felt blood on the side of his face. A hand was suddenly in front of him, taking a hold of him and forcing an unwanted response, a forced pleasure that made William choke on his gag, on his fear, on his desperation. Then the man behind began to thrust. Such piercing agony he had never felt, as muscles struggled to adjust to the strain but were denied the chance. He buckled and screamed, but another man was near, and he received such a powerful kick that he was almost thrown sideways. He felt something snap inside, and he screamed out into the night at the stab on his side. Strong arms held him in place however, and the thrusts continued until William felt blood running down in skin in small and warm rivulets.

Grunts of exertion and laughter reached him, as William finally slumped down, eyes wide and staring off into the darkness around him. A hand still worked on him, blood still leaked from him, and tears of pain were forced from eyes that had wanted to remain stubbornly dry.

The night went on forever in a haze of pain and unfruitful struggles that led to a painful surrender. When the first light of morning came, the men were long gone, and Will was left behind, as he always was, a word branded into his mind by his attackers.

Pirate.

He was told this had been his punishment.

****

“Pirate?” Surprised eyes blinked at him, and a face that a second ago had seemed inebriated suddenly became intense and worried. “What are you talking about, lad?”

Will smiled at Jack wanly, turned away from those eyes before the other man could catch the bitter edge to it. “Yes, a pirate,” he muttered softly, taking a long sip of the rum, “I’d like to join your crew, Jack.”

The Captain stared at him with a raised eyebrow, but William didn’t elaborate further on his wishes, and merely awaited the response. Though Jack was eerily intuitive, there were some things that Will knew he’d never guess, and the reason why he suddenly wanted to become an outlaw could probably fit well into that category. He called for the waiter and ordered another tankard of drink as Jack kept gaping at him as if he had grown a second head.

It was probably a good five minutes later when Jack finally decided that the boy was really not going to say anything further, unless he pried. “Let me see if I get this,” The older man begun with exaggerated bewilderment, “William Turner the second, the lad I met a year ago in a forge, who promised to gut me merely because of my…say, ‘profession’, now wants to be a lawless man himself? Aren’t you the same lad I left behind in the arms of his bonny lass?”

Will frowned down at his drink, tried to stop himself from flinching at the words ‘left behind’. They also seemed as if branded into his skin, it seemed. He merely nodded to Jack’s question, shrugging his shoulder carelessly. “I want that beloved ‘freedom’ of yours. You said it yourself once, that it was in my blood…”

“Aye, that I did,” The older man said carefully, still studying him. Will was careful to avoid meeting the gaze head on, else those eyes would read the faded light in his. “But I thought you had other things to bind you to the land. Not everything runs in the blood, mate…”

“Yes or no?” William finally snapped, interrupting the words as his hands clenched around his drink, his shoulders tensing. “I need to know, Jack, can I come with you?”

There was a long pause, in which the raucous surroundings of this bar in the middle of Tortuga served as the only sounds. Another bawl had begun not too far from them, and Will could see another whore eyeing Jack appreciatively. He shook his head in mock consternation, glad in the back of his mind that at least some things had not changed in his world.

“Aye,” The answer came at last, and William couldn’t stop the relieved smile that overtook his features unconsciously. Jack’s hand was suddenly heavy on his shoulder, and it took all his considerable determination not to flinch at the touch. “Welcome to the Pearl, Will.”

He nodded, still smiling, but didn’t look up again, though he felt Jack’s gaze studying him intently. He knew then, without a doubt, that his secret would not remain untouched for long after this moment.

“Come now!” The cheerful voice from beside him called out, drawing the attention of a few patrons and startling him out of his musings. “Got myself a new crew member! drinks all around!”

There was a cheer from the crowd, and Will slowly raised his head in bewilderment, an eyebrow raised. He found Jack grinning at him, and nodding towards the exit in a discreet fashion. “Let’s run outta here now, mate, before they actually charge us for that one.”

Will couldn’t help but laugh as he sneaked away with Jack, and stumbled along towards the Inn where the Pirate was staying. They didn’t speak again in the way there, walking side by side like old partners, though Will knew there was so much between them they didn’t know about, so many things unsaid and unknown. He knew himself stained now, branded more securely than the brand in Jack’s arm distinguished him, and though his stain was perhaps less noticeable, it didn’t make it any less permanent. Or less painful. One thing was certain though, and it was that he knew he’d just been accepted into the last place he had any chance to call a home.

He barely noticed that, as his thoughts strayed to darker paths, he was clinging to Jack’s side tightly as they walked along Tortuga well past midnight hour. He had a death grip on the smaller shoulder, and stayed well away from the dark patches or alleys, all in unconscious moves that controlled his body as his mind was far away. But Jack noticed it immediately and the worry he’d been concealing since he’d seen the lad in this seedy place only managed to increase tenfold.

The Captain held his silence, though, and concentrated on getting the boy away from the streets and onto the Inn, a place he wouldn’t be leaving unless it was with some answers.

****

He slept.

The darkness was engulfing but the pain was far worse, the shame almost overrode the screaming of the tide of his ears, the sound of his dreams shattering. Any bond he ever had to land was bleeding away from him. Hands that burned and branded, hands that took without asking became his world among the agony. Hands that decided his future invaded him, tainted him.

He felt the bitter taste of blood, the smell of sex. Worse of all was the sound on his screams.

****

He slept.

Jack watched him intently, each smooth patch of skin twisted into becoming a mask of pain and fright. The pirate didn’t wake him. The boy had been quiet on their return, had accepted that they were to sleep in the same room without a word, but Jack’s fears had increased when the lad kept himself well away from touch and sight, almost thrown into a corner. He hadn’t given him the answers.

But now, as he watched, the answers were becoming painfully clear.

William thrashed and moaned, and it wasn’t until the first tear fell that Jack couldn’t take it anymore and shook him awake. He didn’t ask, even while the lad clung to him through the rest of the night.

Jack couldn’t bring himself to ask.

****

Four months. Four whole months and the lad had yet to speak to him, to let it out.

Because Jack watched like a hawk rather than a sparrow, he noticed the changes. The slight, concealed flinch when touches came unexpected, the distance he kept from others, Jack himself included. The forced laughs at times, the many nights when he took lookout duty because he wouldn’t sleep. The way he avoided the crew quarters like the plague and often overworked himself without enough food.

Jack noticed until the weight loss and exhaustion became evident, and then it was time to act.

****

“What do you want?”

The sharp tone was not really what Will had been expecting, and he blinked, slightly caught off guard. He still took a hesitating step forward, moved into the cabin while he frowned at the back of his friend. Jack was staring off into the sea through the small window he had, bottle of rum in his hand, but there was an odd set to his shoulders. Nervousness took a strong hold of his heart, accelerating its rhythm in a flash.

“You called for me,” He answered slowly, still frowning. He lingered at the entrance, suddenly nervous to go into closed quarters with his friend when he was in such an…unpredictable mood. “Or at least, that’s what Gibbs said.”

It took a moment, but eventually Jack turned to face him, and his hardened eyes were hard to face. Will’s frown deepened before he could stop it, and he tried to smooth it out quickly without much success. Why was he so panicky? It was merely Jack. Memories tried to rise to the surface, but he pushed them back determinately, knowing they were out of place in here. With Jack. Very out of place.

“Aye, close the door,” Jack muttered, moving to his bunk and sitting down, gesturing for Will to come closer. It took a few tries, but eventually he forced his resisting limbs to move forward, sitting down next to Jack and eyeing him carefully, almost expecting some sort of joke from the man that suddenly seemed uncharacteristically somber. He stilled hands that wanted to shake and met those eyes, tilting his head to the side in silent askance. “’Tis time we had a little talk, lad.”

There was a nagging sense of worry inside of him, lit by those words. Will tried as best as he could not to show his apprehension. “What kind of talk?”

“I want to know what are you doing here.” The other man stated simply, boldly. Will was hardly taken aback, having expected it, but the question still arose anxiety from within. “At first I figured it was for the adventures you’d come, but you’ve had your fill and the rush of adrenaline doesn’t seem to affect you. Then I thought it was about the lass, but ‘tis been a while since you last mentioned her. Then I figured it…might be me…”

William nodded his head slightly, understanding the reasoning. It’s not like he had forgotten their stolen moments on their first journey together, and his heart was warmed by the knowledge the older man had not forgotten either. Will never forgot. But the touches, which he had thought so loving, were now tainted in his memory with the bitter stain of another’s forced touch, another’s unwanted mark on his flesh.

Should he say? Will hesitated, looked away to stare at his hands for long seconds. There was a lump in his throat, and the words seemed to choke him, restraining his confession. A thousand probable answers flashed through his minds, ways to explain what had happened, how he’d been marked as a pirate long before he ever became one. He could say his home had been ripped from him, but the thought left a bitter aftertaste, like such an evident admission of weakness. There was no place for his weakness aboard the Pearl.

“It was you.” He answered after a moment, offering a small smile that felt much more sincere than it should. The words tried to sound earnest, and succeeded to an extent, but the keen eyes of his friend told him he had failed to convince Jack of his words.

He frowned, looking away again in frustration. It wasn’t a complete lie, after all, and it was all he was willing to explain. The memory of Jack’s gentle hands had been a part of his decision, the knowledge he had one last safe haven in the world. But the drive, the need, the urgency, had come from the taste of his blood, the violent way in which his every tie to the land had been severed. Death, sorrow, pain, and heartache, was all he ever found on the shores, and no promise made to an idealistic mother could ever keep him from the call of his mistress, of the Sea, of the siren’s call that promised him protection and a place to belong. The only place where his stain, his blood and heritage, the word “pirate” that had been branded so deeply into him, would be overlooked.

But Will wasn’t ready for the reaction that his lack of response would raise out of Jack. A rum bottle suddenly went flying and crashed against the wall, spilling its remaining contents in a resounding crash that almost startled him out of his skin. He couldn’t avoid the jump his body performed, and wasn’t able to meet the enraged eyes of his friend. Hands suddenly grabbed his shoulders, shaking him roughly, making fear rise until he could taste it.

“Don’t lie,” A hissing voice told him as fingers dug into the flesh of his shoulders. “Don’t you fucking lie to me, Will, why are you here?”

It suddenly was so easy to slip back. A cave, the pain, the blood, his screams, the waves, the taste of the gag. Helplessness, fear, shame, anger. Such boiling anger. Undeserved punishment and branding for a crime he hadn’t committed. Pirate indeed. <b>Pirate</b> he had become now, long after faceless bastards had come and punished him for being one, he had become one, gave them a reason for their actions. When the bruises and the scars could be hid, when he could smile in a way that almost resembled his old self. When he could cover up most of the damage, then he came to Jack, hunting from one last safe place, which now, faced with the anger and aggravation in his friend’s countenance, seemed so distant.

“Because I can,” He finally hissed back, without thinking on what he said, without thinking at all. His mind shut out the endless play of painful images of weakness and pain. He rose to his full height, used the few inches he had over Jack to his advantage, glared down at him with all the hatred he locked inside a bland exterior, all the anger he’d never been allowed to let out.

Jack shoved him back violently, at the sudden sense of weightlessness brought back the instinct to fight. The same instinct that he felt that night, having been held back then by rope and too many assailants. Four men, against one bound one. Four men that took it upon themselves to teach him what pirates did out in the open seas. But they forgot that many times, it was a consensual business. It was something to be given, instead of ripped.

He barely realized he was fighting until his fist flew to connect with Jack’s face. The pirate was faster and dodged the blow, but by the time realization of his actions sunk in, Will’s body had released enough adrenaline to shut down his senses. He only knew that now, he could fight. And he did with such deep satisfaction that it became a whole new level of release. He could see those hands, but could fend off their touch, could shut up the taunts, could ease the screams of the tide so near by. The taste of his own blood, the gag in his mouth… it all faded.

Will rushed forward, tackling Jack’s body against the wall, replacing his friend’s face with those other’s hard eyes and mocking mouths, their triumphant grins fading as he threw his fist forward, crushed it against their stomach and knocked the breath out of their bodies. A hand gripped him, threw him back and into the ground, where a fist went to strike him in the face, but he rolled over, delighted in the feel of freedom of his body, the rush of power. He could fight. There was a <I>chance</I>. He didn’t notice he was smiling, even as bruises were forming on his own body or as hands gripped him as soon as he stood back up, hands that tried to hold him back with an iron grip. He went to hit again, but he was tackled harshly, and his body staggered backwards in a dizzying motion.

It was with great surprise that he realized his body landed on a soft mattress, instead of the cruel rock floor that had been a constant during his ordeal. The ground that had marked his skin in so many places, that had made him bleed, and have bruises for long, endless weeks. The past images shattered and receeded, when he suddenly noticed the man he fought was none other than Jack Sparrow, who was staring down at him concernedly as he regained his breath with difficulty, their eyes meeting and locking, almost asif speaking out loud.

When the kiss came, Will melted into it, cherished the warmth that was chasing away the chill of the cave, the bite of rope on his wrists. The aches around his body, so far removed from the agony of the time before, were a welcome change.

“Who did this to you?” Came the heated question, but Will couldn’t bring himself to answer it. It didn’t matter. The faceless shapes of his attackers momentarily faded in Jack’s shadow. Instead he clutched Jack’s head closer, kissed his ear, his nose, his neck, his eyes, finally allowing his inner torment to be shown in his gaze as he looked directly at the pirate. An unsteady stream of emotions had his limbs shaking in the barely restrained violence that he’d kept caged ever since he’d first learned the meaning of hate on his own flesh.

“Make it go away,” he muttered urgently, relishing and basking in the familiar wave of love he could still read in that gaze, reminiscent of their first encounter, long ago below the decks of the Interceptor. Back then a girl had occupied his mind, had made his heart race, had made him feel guilty. Right now, in Jack he read everything he ever needed. Only in Jack, the only one he had left. “For once, it has to go away…”

The hands that touched him now felt familiar, and a little cool, roughened by years at sea and turned gentle for his benefit. He arched to their touch; mewled, cried out, and kissed everywhere he could reach. Moved, pushing the pirate down, and reversing their position, so he could stare down at Jack through lust-filled eyes. His mouth moved, kissing down a long length of throat, down the pirate’s chest and his stomach, loosening layer after layer of clothing with deft fingers that had gotten used to handling knots during their stay aboard the Black Pearl. Flesh was slowly being revealed, and scars could be seen, scars that made Jack become as human and tangible as Will could wish for.

Jack let him set the pace, laid back and allowed Will his freedom, until the rush of power started to become overwhelming for the lad.

Will lowered his mouth further, released the heated skin to the found in the pirate’s breeches. The shaft in his mouth now felt far different from the one that had been forced down his throat all those long, painful months ago. So much felt so much different.

Jack murmured encouragement, and Will smiled to himself, rushed his pace until the older man was writhing, trying to get Will off else he’d loose all control. But Will didn’t want to relent. He held on, hands gripping slim hips with such a grip, that he could almost feel the bruises forming beneath his fingertips. The memory of marks added, one by one, to his own skin, erased all other thought from his mind, and unexpectedly, this began to taste like revenge.

William froze at the thought, moved back in a flash of motion.

He met that liquid gaze and focused on it, fought hard to erase the ghosts that seemed to surround him, the demons that haunted his every waking moment. The cave faded, and the glowing lantern in the bedside table became an anchor for his mind as he relished the glow of the fire. It chased away the darkness of his thoughts, and the memories of pain. Jack didn’t rush him and he was grateful, moving up that warm, familiar body to kiss chapped lips that tasted of rum and spice. He grinned against them, nuzzled his head into Jack’s neck, enjoying the closeness.

The urgency faded in a cloud of emotion, and it was like a weight being lifted, or a blindfold being removed.

Jack’s hands moved up, traveled his skin beneath the clothes, and slowly they began to reveal the skin. Will couldn’t help but freeze, and his eyes slid shut as layer after layer of clothing was removed, and he was exposed to Jack’s caring gaze. The look was almost like a physical touch, and Will bit his lip, tried to move back without thinking, but gentle hands held him in place.

There were scars now, where there had once been smooth skin. Jack’s hands recognized each new one, gently traced them and made them all the more real in Will’s mind. It was almost as if Jack could remember his body by heart, for he skipped the small ones, product of years at the forge, instead tracing the cuts and scrapes that had healed over, making lines on him. The sketches a blade had drawn on him as he had become too violent for their taste back in the cave, the one stab they had delivered to make sure he told no one of the crime committed to his body.

But he’d lived, and still, hadn’t spoken.

Jack’s hands traced them, and seemed to know everything without words. Gentle lips, moved against his, kissing his eyelids, inviting them to open, and when he did, instead of pity he found sad understanding in the gaze that studied him. The disgust he’d been so afraid to see was absent, and the lead weight in his chest eased considerably.

Will smiled, sincerely after so long, and surrendered his body to the needs that sang in his veins, the heat that covered them both in a haze. He traced kissed and careful licks down scars of which he didn’t know the stories to, down skin that still remained unmarked in places. It tasted of possibilities and a future. Jack moved to kiss him, maneuvering his body so he hovered above skilled fingers, moistened by the balm that rested easily in the bedside table, the same one Will remembered from all those months ago. He grinned, closing his eyes when he felt the fingers searching entrance to his body, warm and secure to the point that even without sight, his body knew the difference between the violence of so long ago, and the solace being offered.

Jack carefully prepared him, moving and rolling them around, so that Will found his back pressed to soft sheets and a comfortable bunk that accommodated his weight as his legs were spread. He didn’t look away when he felt Jack moving inside him for the first time in so long. He leaned up, enjoyed a kiss, murmuring endearments into an open mouth, unable to contain his smile. Jack grinned back, kissed him heatedly, though Will could still see a cloud over that gaze, could read that mind.

Jack wanted revenge.

But William felt at peace, felt the memories receding in waves of pleasure, if only for a moment, and as he learned the taste of love once more, even vengeance became unimportant. For a while…it was meaningless. And he didn’t think he could find a better way to feel human, to come back into his body and <b>win</b> in such a enjoyable fashion. He won. They’d come and they’d taken, but they didn’t destroy him, didn’t take his world away from him. Because he still had Jack. Because he’d always had Jack. And the knowledge warmed him, made his redouble his efforts to make his lover forget all other feelings than those of completion and warmth.

Hours later, lying tangled in a knot of sated limbs and even breathing, Will closed his eyes contently, warmhearted and pleased. And though that night, the dreams came back to haunt him once more, warm lips awoke him to a reality of completion that far outweighed the hopelessness of his past.

****

Sometimes, he dreamt.

He dreamt that he had jumped off the battlements, back then, in the beginning of things. Dreamt he flew down an endless cliff, saw Jack so near and the Sea approaching him. He saw his freedom ahead, and felt the salty wind in his face, the call of his real home. Knew he was leaving Elizabeth behind, leaving his torment behind. Knew, though in his dream it hadn’t happened, that he was leaving a future of anguish behind in a simple jump to answer the call he had felt, as Jack had jumped before him.

Then, he always opened his eyes and saw that beneath him and fast approaching, were the rocks beneath the cliffs.

****

Sometimes, he watched.

Jack watched everything and took great care in noticing the details, though few that knew him, even those that knew him well, were aware of just much Jack could pick up out of even the simplest of things. He watched Will every day, noticed that though the lad gave everything of himself, there was always a side left behind and guarded, the shadows of his mind that never left him, no matter how happy William was. Even at night, Jack watched, and saw him battle demons that wouldn’t recede.

It was at those times, that a bright flame of burning, churning hate arose, and the sweet taste of revenge called at him. Even his Pearl sang with it, as he turned the ship’s course, and traveled back to the source of all their pain. He hid Will below decks as much as he was able, giving him shores that would keep him busy and unaware of the decision the Captain had made.

Thus, the course was set to Port Royal.

****

To be honest, it was hardly something his mind realized as a logical deduction. But one day, Will woke up on their bunk in the Captain’s cabin, alone and feeling chilled.

Afraid.

For the first time in long weeks, he heard the cry of a gull near by, and he froze, realizing that the edge of fright in his blood came from a simple source. Port Royal. He could tell, simply by the way his mind went back to buried recollections that lately only arose in his nightmares, when his nose picked up on the smell he’d come to assimilate with this town.

His heart squeezed itself into painful knots as he sprinted from the cabin, blindly searching for Jack in an exhaustive search that was unproductive. By the time Anamaria saw him, he had worked himself into a panic that threatened to take a hold of him, and though she tried to say it gently, she still couldn’t hide the truth.

Jack had rowed to shore.

Though Will had never confessed who his aggressors had been, Jack hadn’t needed a guide in this complicated mess. He seemed to know everything without asking Will directly, and though he always calmed the lad’s demons with a gentle hand, William never stopped seeing the fire of revenge burning in those eyes. Now, dread made him grab a boat even as he heard people calling back to the Pearl, and row with renewed vigor towards a beach that he despised, and had wished to never see again.

Damned be Jack, and his need for retribution. Damned be Will himself for not realizing this was bound to happen. Damned be fate if he came too late now, chasing a man driven by hate. Damned his soul if he was to loose his only hope for recovery, the only one that mattered.

****

To be honest, Jack barely knew what transpired.

As soon as he arrived on the hated shore, a veil of anger drove his hand, drove his steps, and overtook him. He moved without thinking, with only the desperate need to set things right, to balance out the chances. The loss of innocence, the loss of hope, was a crime so dire it demanded retribution, and there was no other hand to administer it. Nobody else who knew what happened, or understood the events as they had been.

A pure animalistic savagism, that tainted an innocent in the process, an envy that drove the so-called ‘decent men’ of society to mark a young man whose only crime had been to feel too deeply.

He stood at a distance, took aim, and fired the gun he held, unnoticed by anyone until it was far too late to stop the shot. The screams around him as a white pristine shirt stained with deep burgundy red, went unnoticed by the man who held the gun, as he turned and walked away before he could be recognized. He heard running steps behind him, knew he had little time until the inevitable happened, and he’d have to pay for the blood he’d just drawn. The memory of Will’s nightmares, the paleness of his features, the thinness in a frame that had one been pure muscles.

The scars that marred the skin.

Jack remembered Will as he left him this morning, sleeping peacefully against soft sheets, limbs stretched and a small smile playing at the corner of his lips, skin bathed by the sun as his legs tangled further into the bedding. Jack could almost feel him in his arms, and it didn’t really matter if he was caught now, if he was executed, because he’d done all he could to hold his Will together, to give him everything, and still those shadows wouldn’t leave his sad thoughts. The ghosts of the past were like tangible eyes, watching them at every turn, even in their most intimate moments.

But Will still ate too little, overworked himself no matter what his orders were. He unconsciously drove his body towards death, and it was a hard reality to face for one who loved him with all he had. Jack sighed, felt the steps moving closer to him, reaching him. He heard a shout, calling for him to stop, but his body, apparently, wasn’t as resigned as his mind to give up and meet death, for he ran, and the hope of seeing Will just one more time made him rush faster.

He heard the distinct sound of a gun being cocked and knew it’d be over one way or the other…

****

A shot.

Running steps, warm body against another. Desperation, determination, love and a greater call to protect and to hold on beat in every action that took place. It all felt as if in slow motion as Will felt the ground rushing to meet him, recognized the burn and agony in his chest for what it was. He looked down to find his shirt soaked in thick blood, a gaping hole through the fabric.

Distantly he heard Jack’s voice, heard another shot. He looked dazedly to the right, met the eyes that he loved. Through pale lips that felt thick and uncooperative, he mouthed the words, but didn’t know if they were answered, because a sense of peace overwhelmed him, and oblivion took away his shadows and ghosts, along with the pain and blood that covered it all.

****

A shot.

But instead of pain, a warm body collided into his, throwing him sideways. Denial arose like a tidal wave in him, horror striking as soon as he recognized Will, the very moment in which they both hit the floor in a violent crash. He scrambled up, rushing to his unmoving body, and couldn’t control his shout of despair as he recognized the bloody wound for what it was.

A death wound.

Those unseeing eyes seemed to search for his and he held his hand as Will struggled to mutter some words. As it was, Jack didn’t know what he said, for then another shot sounded, and a wave of pain crushed down the despair and transformed it into hope.

Oblivion rushed forth, blackness engulfing his vision and erasing the sight of Will’s lax features, his glassy and open eyes. Revenge still tasted sweet upon his tongue as his breath stilled, and then…there was peace.


- The End -


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