Title: His Father's Son
Author: kHo (email@example.com)
Pairing: J/W implied, J/Bill implied
Summary: He's not the same, really. Not hardly at all, in fact. Perhaps some day he will be, but not nearly yet.
Notes: There's a tendency that I, and others, have to make Bootstrap "Will Redux." I'm tempted to do it myself, and as a matter of fact have. I think, though, that it's really unlikely that Bootstrap WOULD be exactly like Will, or vice versa. Will wasn't raised by his father, never really knew him, so there's no reason for them to be carbon copy. So... I explored that a little further. I should also mention that in my mind, Bootstrap is several years older than Jack.
They say Will's his father's son, and that's true enough. He's of his blood, that's for certain. He also has the same fire in him that ole Bootstrap had. He's got his eyes, too, though they don't quite see in the same way. Has his hair, all curly and brown and in his face more often then not. Has his thin frame, wrought with muscles you'd never suspect looking at him clothed an' all.
But he's not the same, really. Not hardly at all, in fact. Perhaps some day he will be, but not nearly yet. Young Will's got an innocence in him that I never witnessed in Bootstrap. He's got an open and honest face, and you believe every word out of his mouth. With good reason too, 'cause I've never been on the receiving end of a lie out of him. He's got a straightforwardness that I've come to admire despite its propensity to get him into trouble. People don't like things told the way they are.
That's not who Bootstrap was, though. Bootstrap had the innocent look down, and he affected it quite nicely, but it never quite fooled me. He had open eyes too, but there was a mind behind them that told things the eyes tried to hide. He talked in circles around you, making you think he was going to go left when he'd go right. Jack does it too, for many reasons, but Bootstrap was just clever that way. Jack perhaps honed his skills by watching the old dog.
The amusement that twinkled in his eyes was almost always present, and when it wasn't it was time to duck for cover. I really only witnessed that menacing look directed at me once, an' that was because of my prying. Learned to never pry with Bootstrap after that. Never asked him again about the child he left behind. Never asked if it was a girl or boy, or how old they was. Never wanted to see that look again.
Bootstrap had a capacity for danger that I don't think Will ever will. Quick as Will is with his sword, he's reticent to pull it out. Bootstrap, on the other hand, was oft times the first to draw. He'd taunt you with a glint in his eye that matched the glint on his sword, and cut you before you had the chance to cut him first. He never spilled innocent blood, though. I want that to be understood.
He had a way about him, the senior did, that made just about everyone like him. He ingratiated himself to everyone he met, whether or not he liked them. Always believed in keeping enemy closer than friend. He was, despite, or perhaps because of, all that, a good man. He was a bloody good pirate though, better than even Jack'll say. Because being a good pirate means knowin' how to get out of scrapes with nary a scratch, and Bootstrap had that down in spades.
He does share one thing with his son, and that's how they relate to Jack. Bootstrap had a low tolerance for frivolity, as does Will. When Jack gets going, he's a hard guy to pin down. He starts tellin' a story and the next thing you know you're five points away from where you started, and there's no clear line to an end. The same annoyance sparks in Will's eyes as did in Bootstraps, and Jack's just as bothered by it. He flails and tries to unruffle their feathers, and often times ruffles them more.
But there's an undeniable affection that both father and son had, and have, for our Jack Sparrow. It's usually shown only by a soft smile to Jack's turned back, or a hand to the shoulder as they walk side by side. Jack knows it's there, or else he'd not care what they thought of him.
Another thing they share, though neither of them will ever know, is the love Jack feels for them. Love in the forms of past, present, and most likely future. He pulls me aside and tells things that he doesn't tell others. Knows he can trust me. And the things he speaks of Will are the same things he spoke of Bootstrap. I'm unsure if he's realized that he loves them both in the same way, but I'm sure he'll discover it for himself eventually.
In the meantime, it's fun for me to sit on the sidelines and compare and contrast father and son. It's fun to try and figure out what changes Will will make in his character that will bring him further or closer to that which his father was.
It's also fun to see Will look at me with the same amused twinkle as his father and say "Gibbs, will you ever stop pondering over your ale and join us?"
His father's son or no, he's every bit as good of a man as his old man.
Except, maybe even better.
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