Author: Pigeon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Pairing: Jack/Will (plus mention of Jack/Bootstrap)
Summary: Discovering your past. Discovering your present. Not coping at all.
Series: Part one of the Asunder Trilogy (which vaguely follows on from the Afloat Trilogy- Between Wind and Water, Floodable Length, and Pierhead Jump. It isn't really necessary to have read these though.)
Disclaimer: Own nothing. Not a bloody thing. Not claiming to. Just borrowing for harmless fun. All credit to Disney and the makers of PotC.
And I'd forgotten the one who was sailing
on the water down beside where you don't go
And it's strange to tell
that the one who is shining
is someone I forgot I used to know
"The Clock Struck Fifteen Hours Ago" Ocean Colour Scene
Will looks at the man.
He hasn't the strength to deal with any more accurate labels.
Will looks at the man and feels the slightest tremble in his hands.
He shuts his eyes and focuses on the ache in his jaw and across his cheek.
Will looks at the man and leaves.
Jack has two schools of thought.
The first suggests he'd be more equipped to deal with this development if he'd have laid off the rum and remained sober.
He quickly dismissed this as nonsense.
The second demands he finds another bottle and fast.
Will looks down at himself.
He wears boots now, soft brown leather ones that hug his calf and rise to the knee. At his waist a pistol is strapped next to his sword.
He has yet to acquire any of the tattoos, scars, or brands the other pirates sport, but knows these will most likely come in time.
He sits on the edge of the bed he shares with Jack, and slowly begins to rid himself of all his apparel.
When he is naked he wonders, if he were able to find a mirror, could he look in it and see a blacksmith again.
Jack places William Turner, senior, in the brig.
For a moment he listens to the man's ravings, the low guttural noise and obscenities he shouts.
For a moment he shuts his eyes and learns his head against the worn wood of his Pearl.
For a moment he wonders what he'll say to the madman's son.
For a moment he wishes he could shoot Bootstrap dead.
On the night Will came aboard, a night when he and Jack tumbled into bed, and Jack's mouth swept along his clavicle, and he left bruises along Jack's hips, there were things that Will forgot to consider.
He didn't think what would happen come morning.
He didn't think of how the crew would talk.
He didn't think of how, despite the common acceptance of sodomy by the pirate crew, he would feel so deeply ashamed.
On the night that Will came aboard, Jack made sure he kept the boy gasping and shuddering in his bed.
He knew how hands, and teeth, and the glide of skin can make thought impossible.
He knew how to stretch out the lads pleasure, tease and torment, draw that body as tight as a bowstring, then let him give up his all.
He knew how Will for all his recklessness and foolhardiness and the pirate blood in his veins, would not adjust and adapt so easy.
He knew the boy would suffer by his thoughts.
He knew he could not lose him.
Jack stares at the naked boy stretched out on his bed.
Theres no denying the lad is beautiful, all the right mix of lean muscles and smooth skin, brown hair curling around his face, jagged bones, and dark eyes.
But tonight there is a thick purpling bruise spreading across Wills cheek and down to his jaw and Jack cannot find it in him to want to tup the boy.
All your stories, Jack, all your tall tales, did you ever grow to believe them by mistake?
Jack locks the cabin door behind him, listens to the bitterness in the boys voice, wishes for rum.
Did you ever get so lost in the lie, that the truth seemed more of a fiction than
Than what youd decided you wanted to believe? Will, everybody does that. Its normal, like. Jack slides into a chair. He pulls his hat from his head and swings his feet up onto the table.
Jack looks at the bruise again.
Give it a week or two and it will be gone.
Wills been hurt more tending his forge, scrubbing the deck, tussling with Jack in bed.
Jack knows its the worst hes ever had.
Jack has fellow feeling for many things and people.
Gibbs and Anamaria. The Swann girl. His nautical maps. That box of goodies he picked up in Singapore.
For Jack love comes rarer.
His beautiful Pearl and the lad.
But thats it. The full extent.
Well, perhaps some of his effects as well, the only things he ever bought legal, but that really is the limit.
On the whole.
Give or take a bottle of rum.
He never mentioned me to you, did he?
Jack doesnt need to ask what he Will means. No.
Or my mother.
Pirates dont have a natural habit of telling all and sundry of their loved ones. Can be used against them, luv.
And were you all and sundry?
Jack shifts in his chair. We was friends. You know this, mate. I knew him, we got along, we got pissed together, or rather I mostly did the drinking and the getting pissed, he were more of the sober type. Bit like you. Only older and more with the preaching about the evils of drink. Seen you in your cups and singing up a storm, he got maudlin when he could be persuaded, right unnatural that getting a sulk off of a nice mug of rum, should
Did you fuck him? Will pauses, eyes flicking over to Jack. Or him you?
Jack moves, rising from his chair, perches on the bed, the length of Wills body warm against his hip. He puts a hand on the lads shoulder. Yes.
Will doesnt love The Black Pearl.
He remembers being thrown into her brig. Remembers the taunts. Remembers waiting to die.
Will doesnt love any of the crew.
He gets along with them mostly. But he hears the sniggers and knows they call him The Captains Cabin Boy, The Captains Catamite, Jacks Whore.
Will does love Elizabeth.
Just not not the way he thinks he probably should.
He also loves his mother, the memory of her, the soft warm things he can dimly recall.
Hes no doubt about that.
But his father
He thinks he might hate his father.
Will gives Jack a half-smile. You were lovers. He doesnt wait for Jack to confirm or deny his statement. And he still didnt think to mention us.
It wasnt like you think.
No? Will takes Jacks hand, shifts it so it glides down his body, pauses as it reaches his lower abdomen. You did this, didnt you? And here? In this bed?
You dont sound surprised, mate.
Did you expect me to slap you? Im not Giselle, or Scarlet, or any of your other whores. And I told you I wasnt stupid. Will looks away from Jack. No, Im not surprised. I dont think Im even angry.
I think I wish you were, luv.
Will shuts his eyes as Jack traces the bruise on his face.
I think you probly should be.
In the six months Will has been aboard the Pearl, he has learnt many things.
Hes learnt the words to a good dozen sea shanties, to read the weather, all the knots a sailor should know and more.
Jacks also made sure he knows his letters reasonably well and can scratch out a sentenced or two on paper.
On top of this is the knowledge gained between stillborn cries and the thrust of hips.
Jack can remember quick sweaty couplings with Bootstrap in the bed he now shares with his son.
William senior was not on much for subtlety and Jack cant pretend to have wished for anything more at the time.
A brief fuck.
Almost perfunctory. A squeeze here, rub there, add a little more friction and there you have it, the inevitable result.
In bed, over the desk, up against a wall, on the hard splintering wood of Pearls deck, Will cant imagine there are many other places in which to learn what makes Jack gasp, what makes him gasp.
He has learnt for instance that Jack isnt adverse to a tiny hint of pain, the scratch of nails down his back, a scrape of teeth on over-sensitised flesh. And that Jacks eyes turn almost black when he trickles rum onto Wills skin, at the small of his back, onto his navel, in the deep wells at his collarbone, and then licks the thick sticky liquor away.
For his own part Will has learnt that it steals his breath and makes his head dizzy to look down and see Jacks mouth on him, to see him disappearing between Jacks lips, being swallowed by him.
Jack hasnt taught the boy everything he knows.
He hasnt once brought out his box of goodies from Singapore to play with.
He hasnt mentioned that trick Big Sara from The Seamans Inn used to do with her tongue, a pair of pliers, and a candle. Or what that lad hed found on a street corner in New Orleans could accomplish with a feather duster.
And hes damned if hes going to mention Henry, and the blood sliding down his belly, and the bruises that littered his skin.
Wills tried to imagine Elizabeth several times.
Tried to imagine a what if he knows he doesnt even want.
He cannot see her on her knees
The mere thought, mere suggestion, seems wrong, dirty, disgusting.
Jack kisses the boys bruise. He wouldnt have known who you were, luv, he murmurs and sees again events of the evening-
He and Will in an alley, long deep kisses, hands sliding around waists, clutching at hips, and then a blur rushing at them, a blur with fists that struck at Will over and over as it screamed obscenities
The blur focusing into a man with tangled hair and clothes so ropey and distressed they barely keep him covered, a man who looks remarkably like Will
Yeah, mate, he is.
My fathers mad.
The word father doesnt mean a lot to Jack.
In his distant, and nearly forgotten, youth he had men offer to be like a father to him and then smile at him with less than fatherly intent.
Hes an idea who his mother was- large woman, bad teeth, a quick mind when she wasnt addled by drink and opium.
But for his da it could have been any of two-dozen regulars, and another thirty one-offs.
Pete with bruised knuckles and broken nose.
Samuel the tavern owner, decent fellow but not too bright.
That toff with the heavy gold rings thatd split your skin open and leave you bloody.
Others that have merged and become indistinct.
The word father means a lot to Will.
As a child his father was someone to look up to. Some bold fantastic soul who braved the high seas and separation from his family just to earn a crust.
A good man.
A righteous man.
It didnt matter so very much that he couldnt ever remember having met the man. And if they didnt have enough to eat, and had no fuel for the fire, and the rent was due again, well it wasnt his fault, he sent them what he could, some of it must have just gone astray
But now, to Will, his father is a man who was never there and didnt give a damn.
Will sits up and brushes the hair back from his face. He focuses on Jack. It doesnt matter about you and him. And it doesnt matter that hes mad. And it doesnt matter that he isnt dead. Isnt rotting at the bottom of the ocean.
No, Will insists, reaching out to lay a heavy hand on Jacks thigh. It doesnt matter and I dont want to think about it. He starts to move his hand. Slowly. Up and down. So light it can hardly be felt, and then with pressure, manipulating the muscle.
Will, darlin, youve had a bit of a shock, you see, and
I know what Ive had, Jack. Will drops back onto the bed, pauses, flips over on to his stomach, lets his legs part. And I know what I want.
Since Will has been aboard there have been dangerous moments, and romantic moments, and moments so mixed up with humour and exasperation that they didnt know what to term them.
Jacks had moments when he thanked God and all good, and not so good, spirits for the young lithe body in his bed. A body that can distract him from the mother of all hangovers. Amazing what a tongue and a determined mind can accomplish for the lessening of pain.
And Wills had moments of blushing brightly as Jack sat opposite him across the room and directed his movements. Low voice whispering dirty things. Telling him how to touch himself, eliciting responses from yards away.
Theyve had moments of anger, hurt, annoyance.
But theyve never known regret.
And swiving, for all its delightful debaucheries, has never seemed wrong or perverse.
Will, Jack tries one more time, but the boy makes a sound of impatience, and its never been in Jack to deny him.
A rub and a kiss to shoulders. Fingers tracing the length of the spine. Hands smoothing up and down strong muscled thighs.
But Will doesnt want to wait.
And Will doesnt want to be treated gentle, as if he might break, as if he were upset.
And Will wants Jack inside him, and all the pain that still sometimes comes with that.
And Will doesnt want to have to think anymore.
Beneath them, down in the dark and stink of the brig, William Turner, senior, yells and throws himself at the bars.
As Jack presses himself into the over-tight, over-hot clench of Will he swears beneath his breath.
As Will takes in the over-large, over-insistent length of Jack he feels a sob rise in his throat and hides his head in the pillow.
And Bootstrap Bill, pulls at his hair, and chants, God be merciful. God be merciful. God be merciful.
Will is tense beneath Jack, muscles strained to the point of shuddering, breaths laboured, sweat beading down the long length of his spine.
Jacks voice pants softly in his ear, and even as he starts to forget, to lose himself, to hit that high place where nothing can touch him, he feels the sudden need to apologise.
His body hurts.
He suspects there is blood.
And he knows Jack will blame himself.
Jack gives a swift twist of the hips, and Will cries out, his entire frame convulsing.
The Pearl creaks and sways, groaning low beneath the feet of the crew.
The moon appears from behind a cloud, casting sharp silver beams.
And for a moment she looks as much a ghost ship as she ever did crewed by cursed men.
Jack feels his release rip through him. It tears and burns and makes his insides feel wretched, blighted by spasms.
He drops down onto Wills back, breaths coming hard and fast.
He can feel tremors and shakes and quivers running trough Wills body.
Will, mate, say something, luv?
Jack breathes a sigh of relief. Like whats going through that head of yours, mayhaps. He rolls off Will, and strokes the boys back lightly. Like youre done doing something stupid. Like youre ready to talk to me.
Will doesnt move, but Jack can feel his deep inhale.
Do you know what my mother died of?
Consumption, you said.
Thats what I thought, what I believed, what I wanted to believe. Will slowly shifts onto his side, winces slightly as muscles protest and soreness makes itself known, and looks up at Jack.
And it werent so? Jack considers grabbing a bottle of rum. He wants the hot numbing taste, the thick intoxication that fills his mouth and sets a fire in his belly.
No, she died of the pox. She died a poxed whore.
Jack remembers his first whore. Abigail, a nice girl, bit scrawny, and not exactly enthusiastic, but cheap and fine for his first go.
Jack remembers his second whore. Wilfred, a nice boy, Abigails brother.
Will has never visited a whore.
He has no friends or acquaintances who sell their body to earn a crust.
He cannot imagine the feel of another, the touch of another upon his skin when there is no lust or desire or love.
Will chooses not to think about his first time with Jack in a dirty Tortugan inn, when he gave the use of his body for a bit of trust and a chance of betrayal.
She was a good moral woman, sang her evening prayers, read nothing but the Bible, and she let men she sold herself, Will grips Jacks elbow, lets his fingers pinch the bone hard. Shed shut me out the room when they came, but I could hear them, all that grunting and moaning.
Dont, Jack. Will shuts his eyes for a moment.
Hes lost count of the number of times he and Jack have fallen to this bed, coupled in quick, sweaty actions, or, taken it slow, teased and driven each other mad with light vague strokes and whispers of touches.
Hes lost count of the number of times Jack has made sparks fly behind his eyes, made him actually yell out, and lose any semblance of control.
Hes lost count of the number of times Jack has made him laugh with a wicked comment murmured in his ear when they were still struggling with clothing.
And how many times hes watched Jacks face as hes overcome, and been left breathless by the beauty of it.
Will takes a breath and opens his eyes. And she did this, was reduced to this, because of me. Because she had a son, and couldnt afford to keep him fed, and her husband never sent her any money.
Will shifts closer, tucks his head in the crook of Jacks neck, places a soft kiss and tastes salt. I hate him.
I know you do, mate. I know you do.
Jack dreams of the store hidden beneath the floor of his cabin, of all the treasures he keeps there, doubloons and jewel encrusted hopelessly impractical daggers, medallions and coronets. In his minds eye he sees the glint of gold and silver and flesh.
He sees Will curled amongst the precious metals, naked and beautiful.
Skin reflecting the gold that surrounds him.
Will dreams of standing outside the door to the dark, one room garret he shared with his mother. He opens the door and sees his father atop his mothers lifeless body. He watches her flesh melt away until she is skeletal and resembles the cursed pirate crew.
Jack is standing next to him, and whispers, Pirate is in your blood, boy. As is whorin.
Will nods, and replies, It seems so.
The cabin is still dark. Dawn is a few hours off, and the few candles in the room have long since guttered and died.
Jack sweeps his arms above his head and stretches.
The night has been hot and the sheets stick damply to him, he peels them from his body and glances down at the untidy patch of blood in the centre of the bed.
He and Will have given each other bruises before.
Theyve tussled and caused small hurts.
Hes put long scratches down the boys back, bruised his hips, left marks around his wrists where hes pinned him down. Hes done all this, and had each done to him in turn, but hes never made the boy bleed before.
Not ripped that delicate skin, torn him with too much haste and too little consideration.
Jack takes a breath, looks around, notes that Will is not here, and begins to dress.
Jack didnt give Will his first taste of rum.
That came at the ripe age of eleven from Mister Wilson, their landlord. He turned up one afternoon and found Will playing with his toy boat, his mother nowhere to be seen.
He sat on the step beside Will, held out his small pewter flask and asked the boy if he wanted to try a mans drink.
Will had smiled, said yes, and choked on the first mouthful.
Jack doesnt remember a time before he knew the taste of alcohol.
But the first time he ever got drunk he wont ever forget that.
Absinthe and ale and rum and brandy. He imbibed of everything he could lay his hands on. Therese, the woman he was fairly sure was his mother had dropped dead servicing a customer, her heart giving out in her bloated body. Hed looked at her waxy face and realised the only family hed ever know was gone and decided it was time to drink himself stupid.
Will had taken a second sip and then a third.
Hed had a notion, as the last of the rum from the flask dribbled into his mouth, that he should be ashamed, but Mister Wilson had laughed and called him a bonny lad and asked him to sit on his knee.
His mother had arrived then, and disappeared into the garret with Mister Wilson.
Mister Wilson had winked at him as he went.
Jack had been hung over the next day.
He cant remember if there was a funeral. If Therese received a proper Christian burial.
He can recall it was a bright, sunny day, and the light was like daggers in his eyes.
He can recall throwing up time and again, until it was nothing but dry heaves that wrenched his insides.
But hes no recollection of where his mother ended up or of any last goodbye.
Jack takes a long swig of rum before entering the brig.
Already he can hear Wills low voice, and the occasional nonsensical ejaculation from Bootstrap. He pushes open the door and sees Will standing tense before the locked cell.
Do you remember her? the boy demands. Nell Turner, your wife?
Bootstrap doesnt answer, just mutters and hums and laughs at his reflection standing outside of the cage.
The lad steps forward, one hand gripping a steel bar with knuckle-white intensity. Can you hear me? Your wife, in England, Nell, do you remember her?
'Cause her hair was green as seaweed, Her skin was blue and pale, I loved that girl with all my heart, I only liked the upper part, I did not like the tail. Jack sees the grin on Bootstraps face and remembers the one time he saw him daft on opium, a bullet in his shoulder and singing up a storm.
Shes dead. Wills voice has lost its anger and Jack feels compelled to take another long slurp of rum. Almost ten years ago. In Bristol. She died and you never came back.
Will, Jack moves nearer but the boy waves him off.
Your wife is dead.
Will, mate, he doesnt understand ye. Dont do this to yourself.
Will ignores him, continuing to stare at his father. You sent me the medallion. Do you remember that? The Aztec gold?
Bootstrap looks up sharply.
I thought it was a gift. I thought you sent me a present.
Gold Bootstraps voice is almost calm, almost sane. Golden death, living death.
You sent it to punish them, it had nothing to do with me at all. Will throws a short glance over his shoulder at Jack, then looks back at his da. It was your guilt I wore around my neck.
Jack feels a cold prickle dance up his arms and shiver down his back, and then Bootstrap begins to sing, Go down you blood red roses, go down, and bile rises in his throat.
Jack has given up many things.
He has never returned to the Isle de Muerte, never claimed the deep piles of treasure there.
He has never raided that nice little cache the rumrunners left on that now rather singed deserted island.
But when all is said and done he has all he wants and needs.
And he has no intention of giving up any of it.
Will has given up his entire life.
Or so he thought.
He wonders now if what once was ever really existed at all.
If perhaps it was all a fantasy.
Bootstrap blinks slowly and looks over to Jack, Killed you, he whispers. He looks back to his son, Murderer.
Will nods and steps with neat economical movements over to Jack. He smiles, Ill be back, and leaves.
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