Author: kHo (email@example.com)
Pairing: Jack/Will, duh
Summary: Sometimes the most beautiful things are the most dangerous, even when they don't mean to be
Notes: Don't even bother to ask me where the hell I pulled up the metaphor in this one. I popped right out of my ass, and seemed to work like magic. Who knew? Also, not sure if jellyfish were called so back in the 17th century, but hey... artistic license!
"Sometimes the most beautiful things are the most dangerous."
Jack smiled, squatting in front of Will as he contemplated the mass of gook on the deck of the ship. "Said sometimes the most beautiful things are the most dangerous."
Will frowned, poking at the jellyfish with the tip of his blade. "Okay, but this isn't beautiful."
Jack frowned. "Depends on taste, Will. To you, it's ugly. To me, perhaps, it's beautiful."
His eyebrows scrunched together as he looked between jellyfish and Jack, frown lines around his mouth. "You think it's beautiful?"
Jack laughed, shrugging. "Maybe not in appearance, but yeah."
The odd expression somewhere between confusion and annoyance remained on Will's face as Jack rose. "That makes no sense, Jack."
"Captain Jack," he said, pointing a finger. "You give me no respect, boy."
Will's eyes rolled as he laughed. "Fine. That makes no sense Captain Sparrow."
Jack frowned, stepping around the white gelatinous mass and grabbing onto Will's arm as he reached him. "Prefer Jack I think, from you."
Will heaved a sigh, watching as Jack continued to stare at the jellyfish. "No matter what name you choose, it doesn't detract from the fact that you've made no--"
"It lives all by itself," Jack interrupted, giving no indication that he'd even heard Will talking again to begin with. "Down on the bottom of the ocean. S'got little to no brain so to speak of, but it's the most ingenious animal I've ever heard of."
Will frowned at him, looking down disdainfully at the ugly thing brought up by the fishing nets. "Again, incongruous at the least."
"Don't you see, Will," Jack said, stepping back and making grand sweeping gestures as he talked. "All by his lonesome, nothing to do but sit there on the bottom of the bloody ocean, waiting for things to come to him. Nothin' to tie him down, nothin' to worry 'bout, just sits there, happy as a clam."
"But it's not a clam, it's a jellyfish."
Jack's eyes rolled but he continued. "And then fish swim by, or humans, or what have you, an' his little tentacles reach out and latch onto you," he said, latching onto Will's arm at the right moment. "An' they sting you, an' paralyze you."
Will kicked at the thing with the tip of his boot, watching as it skid just slightly over the deck's surface but never moved. "Paralyze?"
"Well," Jack said, bending his head and cocking an eyebrow. "Not you, perhaps. But things. Things like fish, it'll paralyze. You it'll just sting like the blazes."
Will nodded, turning his attention back to Jack. "Why?"
"Why what," Jack asked with a frown, kicking it again lightly and watching it skid even further.
"Why does it paralyze fish?"
"To protect itself, Will," Jack said with a grin. "It's not a harmful thing, the jellyfish. It's just protecting itself. A fish swims too close, and zap, it paralyses it. So's it can't hurt it."
Will nodded, mulling over what Jack had told him. "And why, exactly, does this make it beautiful?"
"Simple moral code, love," Jack says with a shrug. "All he does is wait to eat, and eat he does. And anyone that tries to take that away from him, he paralyzes."
"Somehow I don't think jellyfish have a moral code, Jack," Will said with a fond smile, resting his hand on Jack's shoulder. "But I think I know what you mean."
"Sometimes I wish we could all be like them, Will," Jack said softly, flicking his eyes to gauge Will's reaction. "Like the jellyfish."
Will raised an eyebrow but quelled the laugh that threatened to burst out. "Why's that?"
"Because they don't have friends," he said quietly. "They don't need no one to do what they do. They just need themselves, and a pair of stingin' tentacles."
"Well that's no way to be," Will said, frowning at Jack's sudden introspectiveness. "Friends are good, Jack. It's what separates us from the animal kingdom. Friends, and love, and loyalty."
"Loyalty," Jack said with a smirk. "That's just it, Will. You depend on people, and they let you down. Betray you. If you've got no one to depend on, nor any option to, then you never get betrayed, now do you?"
Will frowned, squeezing Jack's shoulder and pulling the man closer to his side. "Well that's in the past Jack. Barbossa an' them are gone and dead."
"'Nother lot just around the corner, mate," Jack said, taking a deep breath and smiling a smile that was much more Jack's. "But that's tomorrow, aye?"
"Jack," Will said, smiling and putting his arm around Jack's shoulders. "You know I'd never betray you right?"
Jack's smile widened. "Nor I you, Will."
And that, really, is what scared Jack.
Because sometimes the most beautiful things are the most dangerous, even when they don't mean to be.
And sometimes it's not people that betray you, but your own self.
Like when you tell yourself not to fall in love with someone who's already in love with someone else.
People like Barbossa aren't hard to punish when they've betrayed you.
You find them, you kill them, and you loot all their booty to your heart's content.
It doesn't take away the sting of the betrayal, but it goes a long way to getting the pain to dull.
The problem is, whom do you punish when the thing betraying you is your own heart?
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