jackxwill - pirates of the caribbean slash

Title: Of Things Past
Author: Pigeon (pigeongirl99@yahoo.co.uk)
Pairing: J/W
Rating: 15
Summary: Losing yourself and finding yourself.
Disclaimer: own nothing, characters from Disney, words from the OED.
Written for: Pir8fancier
Challenge: Just no death or non-con. Actual plot bunny from Sparrowhawk, who suggested amnesia.



The patient was quiet.

He didn’t scream or rail, he wasn’t spitting or cursing or exposing himself as many of the inmates did.

He just sat quietly, knees pulled up to his chest, eyes fixed on the wall, and saying nothing.

Of course it had been different during his first week in the hospital. Then he had demanded to be let go, demanded to know why he was confined, why he was in chains, demanded to know who he was.

And he had fought, bloodying the orderlies who tried to restrain him, sometimes breaking their bones or leaving them unconscious.

But there were too many, and the chains stayed fixed around his limbs, and the bolts on the door were kept tightly fastened, and the fight had slowly left him.

~

The Lord looked at the patient; dirty brown hair, stained white smock, bruises black and purple scattered across high cheekbones, and the half-healed remains of a heavy gash at his temple. Smiling tightly at the orderly, he nodded, “Yes, that’s him, that’s my nephew. And now if you would see fit to release him.”

“Of course, my lord, of course.” The orderly brought out a heavy key and released the thick manacles wrapped around the patient’s wrists and ankles. “I’m sure he’ll tell you what good care we took of him, my lord. Nothing but the best for our patients. Pride ourselves on how we look after them we do, my lord.”

“Quite.”

The patient shook off the hand the orderly held out and stood slowly, testing legs restrained and unused for weeks. He let his eyes skim quickly over the Lord standing in the doorway, noting the layers of pale blue silk and satin, white powdered wig, and dark eyes. He looked away. He didn’t recognise him.

The orderly made an impatient noise, and the patient let himself and the Lord be lead through the dim narrow corridors, past wails and screams and calls for help, and out into the bright sunshine of the outside world.

He took a breath as the iron gate clanged behind him feeling the fresh breeze on his skin and light on his face. He gave his back a long slow stretch, biting back a gasp as the cramps caused by weeks chained and huddled screamed at him.

He brushed his hair back from his face and looked over at the Lord, the Lord who was grinning at him wide enough to show gold-plated teeth.

“What stupid thing did you do this time, Will?” Jack said, dropping his affected aristocratic accent and reverting back to his almost excessively common normal tones.

Will frowned, “I’m sorry, do I know you?”

~

“A bottle of your best rum, mate. And I’ll be checking to see if the seal’s still intact, savvy?” Jack smiled at the barkeep and slammed a couple coins down on the drink-slopped bar. The Bear’s Head wasn’t quite up to Jack’s usual standards, there were no brawls at present, all the clientele sat quiet, morosely sipping their drinks, and the only whore was a dour faced girl who looked ready to weep into her gin. But it was the nearest to the Bethlehem’s, and Jack could feel a violent thirst coming on.

“Right, lad,” he dropped down onto a bench opposite Will and pulled the cork from the rum, pouring a good measure into both their mugs. “First, get that inside ye,” he downed his own drink in one go, and gave himself a re-fill. “Go on drink up, Will, then you’re going to tell me exactly how it is that you don’t seem to know me.”

Will took a small sip, then raised his eyes to Jack’s. “Is that my name then? Will?”

Jack gave him a serious look, “Aye, Will. William Turner to be exact… or mostly, don’t know if you’ve a middle name or not. Could be William Wilberforce Turner, or William Cornelius Edmund Gertrude Turner, for that matter.”

Will frowned and took another sip of rum. “But you’re not a lord,” he ventured. “You lied to get me out of there. Are you my uncle?”

“I hope not, mate. Not unless I’ve acquired a sister all of a sudden who happened to have met your da, married him, begat you, and died all without me knowing of her existence.” Jack paused. “Rather disturbing thought actually.”

“So you’re not my uncle?”

“That’d be a no, luv.”

“Right.” Will poured himself a top-up of rum and took another sip. “Do you know how I came to be in that place?”

“In Bedlam? No, sorry, luv, was hoping you’d be able to shed some light on that yerself. I know you were bloody hard to find. I’ve been searching for you for nearly a fortnight now, ever since I was s’posed to meet up with you and you never showed. What do you remember?”

“Not much. Waking up, not knowing who I was, not knowing who anyone else was,” Will shrugged. “I told them I didn’t remember anything and they locked me up in that place.”

“You don’t seem much phased, Will.” Jack made a wide gesture, his hand coming to rest on the boy’s arm. “Woulda thought you’d be a mite put out like.”

Will shook his head and glanced around the inn. It was just past noon, and more patrons were arriving, ordering ale and plates of broth. “Doesn’t seem much point. It doesn’t help any.” He pulled away from Jack’s hand and sat a little further back.

“It was rough in there, mate?”

Will shrugged again, finished the last of his rum, and pushed the hair from his face. “You haven’t told me your name, you know.”

Jack smiled. “It’s Captain Jack Sparrow, luv.”

~

The upstairs rooms of The Bear’s Head weren’t much, bare floorboards, a bed, and a washstand, but they were reasonably clean and reasonably cheap and Jack couldn’t find it in him to want to travel halfway across London just to get back to the other inn he was booked into.

Will hadn’t protested or questioned when Jack had ordered them, in quick succession, a room, two hot meals, a bath, and another bottle of rum. But he’d kept his eyes wide and alert, fixed on Jack, noting his movements and actions.

“You haven’t said how we know each other.” Will found a perch on the window seat.

“Well,” Jack spared a smile for the maid dragging in a heavy metal bathtub. “That’s something of a long story, mate. But what it all goes back to is that I were friends with ye da.”

“Were?”

Jack nodded, “He were a good man, died over ten year ago, Will.” He glanced over at the lad, seeing the same brown hair and brown eyes as his father, the same long, lean lines, same bones, and same wariness. “You look just like him.”

“I don’t remember him.”

“To tell the truth,” Jack began, keeping on eye on the steady stream of buckets brought through the door, full and steaming, to fill the tub. “You didn’t anyway. He weren’t about much when you was a nipper. Your Mum raised you, your da never forgot you mind, he sent money when he could.”

“Will that be all, sir?”

Jack turned to the maid hovering in the doorway. “Have you an errand boy?”

“Yes, sir, Ben, sir.”

“Well, send him up, lass.” He glanced back over at Will, silhouetted in the window. The lad was quiet and still, dressed in that white smock, bruises blossoming nicely, eyes…

Jack didn’t know what to call the boy’s eyes.

They weren’t angry or scared, they didn’t have any of that easy defiance he so associated with Will.

They were… shuttered? Cold?

Certainly they seemed to be the eyes of a stranger.

“You wanted me, sir?”

Jack blinked, twisting sharply to consider the young boy in the doorway. “Ben? Well, there’s a pretty pile of coins in it for you if you can make it over to The Hart on Primrose Street, mate, and pick up mine and the lad’s effects.” He put a couple of bits of silver in the boy’s hand and gave him slight further instruction before sending him on his way and shutting the door after him.

He made a show of giving Will a long look and declared, “Time for you to have a bath, mate, get that place’s stink off ye.”

Will’s eyes narrowed but he kept them fixed on Jack as he stood slowly. He frowned at Jack’s broad smile but pulled off his clothes and neatly stepped into the tub. “I’ll owe you money for all of this,” he said offhand.

“Nonsense,” Jack shook his head, and knelt down by Will’s side. “You don’t remember, luv, but things are easy like between us. Can’t say I’d give you me fortune, but something like this don’t make no bones.” The bathwater was fairly clear, a few sparse soapsuds floating on the surface, and Jack could see the deep, dark patterns splayed across the boy’s flesh, the damage around the ribs.

“You needn’t stare.”

“Sorry, luv, force of habit.” Jack gave him a wide grin. “Wash your back for ye?”

Will froze.

Will froze and for a second Jack thought he’d leap up, make a grab for a sword that wasn’t there, and demand he explain what he meant.

Jack thought it’d be worth it for the view alone.

“I…” The boy’s voice tailed off and he gave a small nod.

“Good lad.” Jack picked up the sponge and slowly set to swiping it across the boy’s back. He watched the water trail down skin, and tried to ignore how rigid Will sat, how he’d give the odd tremble, how dark the bruises were on that white skin.

“Soon have you feeling more like your old self.” Jack ran the sponge over the wide shoulder blades, set a pattern of swirling circles, dipped them lower, followed the sponge’s progress with his eyes, down that long spine…

Jack thought of asking why this was allowed.

Why Will didn’t act the prude, didn’t throw a tizzy and behave all the affronted virgin that he could when he wanted to.

Why he let a man he considered a stranger touch him.

Jack dipped the sponge in the water and focused back on the span of pure pale skin before him.

He let the sponge stroke down Will’s sides with light fluttering touches, right where he knew Will was the most ticklish, right where he remembered attacking the smooth skin as they wrestled on the bed in their cabin in the Pearl.

Will didn’t move.

Jack leant forward until his breath raced soft against damp flesh and he could see light shivers and gooseflesh.

Will still didn’t move.

Jack slowly moved the sponge lower, down where Will’s torso tapered to a narrow waist and narrow hips, down until Will suddenly turned and caught his wrist in a hard grip.

“That’s enough.”

Jack grinned at him, “Whatever you say, mate. But personally I was just starting to enjoy meself.”

Will narrowed his eyes, not releasing Jack’s wrist. “Don’t.”

“Don’t what, luv?”

Will shook his head and glanced down, “Just don’t.” He took a breath, “I don’t know you…” he trailed off as he brought Jack’s wrist closer, “You’re a pirate.”

Jack glanced down at the brand Will was tracing with an idle finger. “Yes, mate, I am.” He watched Will’s finger falter slightly, “Had that burnt into me fifteen years ago by the East India Trading Company.” He caught Will’s other hand. “Your da got the same.”

Will pulled free, and clambered out the tub, water sloshing over the sides and onto the floorboards. He grabbed at the bed sheet and wound it securely around his body, the rough cotton turning dark as it dampened against his skin. “My father was a pirate?”

“Yes, luv.”

“And me?” Will whispered.

“Yes, luv, you’re a pirate too.”

~

Will watched the pirate.

There was no real reason to believe him. The man had already confirmed himself as a liar, dressing up in all that finery and pretending to be a lord.

This could all be an elaborate trick.

This didn’t have to be real.

A thin trail of rum spilt from where Jack was pulling on a bottle, running down his chin and dropping onto the embroidered silks he still wore. Will frowned at the droplets, tracing their progression until they were absorbed by the fabrics and disappeared from view.

The things the man said… the things the man implied… there was nothing to say they were true.

There was nothing to say that Will really was a pirate, that Will really was…

He looked back at Jack.

He was handsome. The bones of his face were delicate but strong, well structured. And the man’s eyes were dark, and, yes, it was hard not to look into them, lose yourself in them. And his lips were full, and curved just the right amount that kissing them couldn’t help but spring to mind.

But this wasn’t evidence, this didn’t prove that he and this man were…

Will shook his head.

He had to be objective about this. Needed to block out all the thoughts he couldn’t deal with right now, just as he had during the long days during his confinement at Bedlam, when he tried to reason out who he was and why he was there.

Then he had looked to small clues- the roughness of his hands suggested he was working class, that he was a labourer of some sort.

The tone of his skin, darkened by the sun to a degree greater than that of any of the orderlies, meant that he didn’t live here, or at least he’d been in sunnier climes until recently.

And the tattoos.

He wasn’t sure what to make of the tattoos. The crossed swords at his ankle. The compass so low down on his belly by his hip.

In the quiet and isolation of his confinement he’d spent hours tracing the fine blue lines, following where they swept over his skin, trying to make sense of what they could mean.

He’d been left no personal effects by which to judge more, and was left with the frustrating notion that all he knew about himself was that he was a low born young man who hadn’t been in London long.

It had been enough to drive him mad.

And wasn’t that ironic.

But Jack said he was a pirate, and on the face of it there was nothing to contradict it.

Except that he didn’t want to be.

~

“We was docked at Bristol,” Jack took a swig of rum and slid his eyes over to the boy. Will was still wrapped in his bed sheet, the entire length of it looped round and round his body. “We needed some repairs and were going to ‘ave to stay put awhiles. You’d got it into your head to visit London.”

“Am I from London?”

“No, I don’t think so, luv.” Jack ran his hand over his face. “You’re from the south coast I think.” He shook his head, “I can’t say I know much about your formative years ‘xactly. But you had a feeling you might have some relatives here abouts, long lost cousins of your aunt’s brother-in-law’s nephew kind of thing. You didn’t hold out a great deal of hope, but…” he shrugged.

Will fiddled with a loose thread on the bed sheet. “I don’t have any family do I?”

Jack took another long swig. “Not blood kin, no.”

Will looked away from Jack, over to the window. It was late afternoon but it was still bright and sunny out, and he could hear people outside, street-traders shouting for custom, drunken tavern patrons rolling away home.

“But that doesn’t mean…” Jack trailed off as a soft knock sounded at the door. “Come in,” he smiled as he saw the errand boy, Ben, standing there beneath a bundle of clothes, boots, and other effects. “Good lad,” he pushed a small purse of coins into the boy’s hand and sent him on his way, dumping their belongings on the centre of the bed. “Good to get all this back. Aha!” He snatched up his hat and put it on his head, turning to share a smile with Will.

Will looked at him blankly and Jack felt his smile drop. “Some of this stuff is yours, lad.”

“Oh?”

“Yes, er, these breeches, and you’ve a shirt here somewhere,” Jack tossed clothes over his shoulder, pawing through the pile. “Ah, and this jerkin, and here’s one boot.” He pulled a sword from the mess, “Here, luv, this is yours.”

Will took the sword, turning it over in his hands, letting his thumb test the sharpness. He stood and balanced it on his finger, “It’s beautiful,” he whispered. With a smooth motion he flipped the sword up in the air and caught it, the grip fitted his hand perfectly, curving to his palm.

“You made it.”

“What?” Will started, almost dropping the sword.

Jack smiled at him, “You made it, Will. You crafted it.”

“No,” Will shoved the sword at Jack, and grabbed the clothes marked as his, pulling them on sharply. “It’s beautiful. Perfect. I couldn’t have…”

“Why not?”

Will finished knotting the tie on his breeches, and looked back at the sword. It wasn’t overly elaborate, there was no gold set into the hilt, or precious stones. He couldn’t see any motif etched into the blade, no artistic renderings or lordly engravings. But the sun shone on the steel and he could feel his hand itch to take it up again.

He stepped back, away from the bed and Jack. “You’re lying. I did not make that sword.” He buttoned the jerkin up tight over his shirt, and scrabbled his hair back and fixed it there with a leather cord.

“Will,” Jack caught his arm, letting his fingers dig into the hard muscle. “You made that sword. You forged it, hammered it, shaped it.”

Will shook his head and shoved Jack away. “I didn’t. Couldn’t have. Take it back.”

“Listen to me, boy. You made that sword. I don’t know what you’ve got in your head, but I’m not lying to you,” Jack put his hat over his heart. “Why don’t you think you did?”

Will put a hand to his face and leant back against the wall. He gave a short laugh, “Don’t you see? If I did that,” he gestured to the sword, still lying on the bed, “If I was capable of that… And now…” he glanced up at Jack, catching his eyes for a second before looking away. “Well, I really have lost everything, haven’t I?”

“Will, luv…”

“I’ve lost myself.”

~

The silence had got too much for Jack. He shucked off his finery, leaving the delicate material in a pile on the floor. He could feel Will’s eyes on him as he pulled on his usual clothes and fastened the red scarf about his head.

“You really are a pirate, aren’t you?”

“Told you I was, luv.” Jack searched through his pockets pulling out an assortment of odds and ends, half a candle, a flattened used bullet, three earrings, a darning needle, hip flask, compass, and a small pot of grease. He dug his finger into the black grease and slicked it in smooth strokes around his eyes. He turned to Will and raised an eyebrow.

“You look… I’m not sure,” Will shook his head. Jack’s thick matted black hair, complete with beads and jangles had been hidden before, underneath a powdered wig, but now rested on his shoulders. The thick dark smears circling his eyes emphasised the cant and hue. “Quite foreign.” He touched a smooth shard of bleached bone hanging to the side of Jack’s face, “Almost glamorous.”

“Why, thank you, dear William.” Jack gave a half-bow, half-curtsey.

“Yes, well…” Will took a quick step backwards. “You just look odd.”

“I’m Captain Jack Sparrow, luv.” With a flourish and a wink Jack took Will’s arm and escorted him through the door.

The bar was significantly more packed than earlier. The air smelt heavily of tobacco and ale, mixed in with sweat and grime and burnt off-cuts of meat. The floor was sticky with splashed drink and spit, and the patrons were loud, drunk, and rough.

“It’s like a home from home, luv,” Jack confided.

“It’s disgusting,” Will replied.

“Good to know you haven’t completely forgotten your outlook on life, Will.” Jack found them a small table out of the way and grabbed a couple tankards of rum. It wasn’t the finest tasting rum he’d ever had, that honour went to a little place in Cornwall, The Cuckold’s Revenge, but it was a sight better than most, and he took a long deep draught. Sweet and thick and burning. Jack shut his eyes and enjoyed heat as it flowed down his throat and settled in his belly.

“Looking for a good time, darlin’s?” The dour-faced whore gave them a half-hearted smile and flashed a bit of cleavage in their direction. “Best ride in town, cheap too.”

“Thanks, luv,” Jack gave her a quick grin, eyes half on the very slight blush on Will’s cheeks. “Tempting as the offer is, my friend and I shall ‘ave to regretfully decline your invitation, appealing but not tonight, cheers.”

“Fair enough,” the prostitute moved off, looking to try her luck elsewhere.

“You could…” Will cleared his throat lightly. “If you wanted to… Don’t stop because of me.”

Jack leant across the table catching Will’s wrist, holding it tight as Will tried to pull free without making too much of a scene. “She’s not who I want.”

Will looked away and Jack released his grip.

“You know, lad,” Jack spared a look for the rest of the tavern. The whore had managed to entice a boy a few years younger than Will, and was leading him out the door. The barkeeper was glaring at each of the customers in turn and spit-polishing the glasses. And all four of the gents playing cards in the corner were cheating atrociously. “I keep waiting for you to ask me all the questions you must have about yourself.”

Will took a slurp of his own rum shrugging an answer.

“Can’t help but think if it were me that had mislaid somewhat the memories of meself, I’d be somewhat eager to learn about me. Figuring that I had someone who knew me and I wasn’t on me onesies in which case I could only ask me and as I didn’t remember me, I wouldn’t be able to answer me, and me would learn nothing from I. Savvy?”

Will gaped, “You’re insane. Quite mad.”

“That as may be, lad, but you still haven’t answered the question.”

“Which was?”

“The question of why you don’t question.”

“Oh.” Will looked down at the scarred tabletop. “I was interested. Earlier, before, when I was in that place.” Names and dates and crude drawings had been carved in the wood. “That’s all I did all day, wonder who I was.” He traced one of the scratched figures idly, he was half sure that the position they were in was anatomically impossible. “I realised it didn’t matter.”

“And why is that then?”

“Because I either remember and get it all back,” Will looked back up at Jack. “Or I don’t.”

“In which case…?”

Will smiled, a very small sad smile. “In which case it doesn’t matter. That won’t be who I am anymore. I can’t be.”

~

They’d downed several tankards each, partaken of a rather tough roast chicken and stale soda bread, watched three minor brawls break out, heard one poor attempt at a singsong.

And Jack had explained how he came to find Will in Bedlam.

How Will hadn’t been seen at the inn on Primrose Street, where they were meant to meet, for days.

How Jack had trailed up and down half of London listening out for just a scrap of information.

How, eventually, after two weeks of searching and asking questions, he’d heard a ghost of a rumour about a pretty lad in a scuffle and a wound to the head and how he’d been dragged off to Bethlehem’s Hospital.

And Jack had stole, borrowed, and commandeered enough fancy clothes and baubles to pass as the very cream of society and get the boy out with very few questions asked and just a small amount of money changing hands.

~

Will had listened quietly to Jack’s story and as it came to a slightly rambling end he’d bit back a ‘thank you’.

He’d then began on the few scraps he knew-

Waking up in pain, demanding of the person tending his wound to tell him what had happened, where he was, who he was.

Getting angry.

Yelling. Shouting. Scaring the people until they called for the authorities and he was dragged away.

~

Most of the patrons had passed out, heads on tables, snoring loudly, drool escaping from their mouths. Jack looked about him and smiled at the boy, “No stamina some people.” He finished his own tankard and rolled his shoulders, “Don’t worry you’ll be as right as rain when we get you home.”

“Home?” Will paused. “Your ship? You do have a ship don’t you?”

“She’s beautiful. Fastest, bestest, most beautifulest ship you’ll ever see. My Pearl.” He caught Will’s eye, “The Black Pearl.”

“And I live there?”

“Have done for nigh a year now, before that you was the blacksmith at Port Royal. Name mean anything to yer?”

Will shook his head and finished the last drop of rum in front of him.

“Never mind, eh?” Jack took another look about him, “Well, I think we’ve just about seen the best of this establishment, mate.”

Will stood, “And the worst.” He waited for Jack to settle their tab and headed back upstairs to their room.

Jack shut the door behind them, leaning back against it, “You are still who you were, and who you was is still who you are, mate.”

“No.” Will sat down on the edge of the bed. “Who I was knew how to make that sword, apparently. Who I was knew where he came from, I don’t even know how old I am or my parents’ names. I don’t even know whether to trust you.”

“It’s not about memories, luv, ‘s about blood.” Jack pushed away from the door, approaching Will. “Just ‘cause you don’t remember who you are doesn’t mean you’ve changed any. You’re a good man and a pirate, just like your da was.” He knelt down on the floor, touching Will’s knee softly, fingers sketching rough unknown patterns. “And just because you don’t know who I am doesn’t mean the reverse is true.”

“What do you mean?”

“I know you.” He leant in close, voice dropping down low. “I know you’ve a tattoo of crossed swords at your ankle, and a compass on that lovely little spot just by your hip, I know you’re ticklish, and you hate having your hair in your face but can’t bear to have it cut. I’ve seen you after nightmares, and I’ve had you wake me from nightmares. I’ve never seen anyone as clumsy as you ordinarily, or as graceful when you’ve a sword in your hand.”

Will opened his mouth to speak but Jack cut him off, taking his palm and tracing he scar there. “I know how you got this,” he held up his own hand, with the mirrored scar, “Just like I know where I got this.”

Jack reached up, touching Will’s face for a second, then rushed forward and kissed him.

It was as it always had been.

As it had been on The Interceptor when he’d got Will drunk and the night had begun and ended with soft kisses.

As it had been a month later when Will had plied him with drink, and they’d finally made it to a bed and set about discovering and mapping each other in their entirety.

As it had been ever since then- hot and fevered and near-desperate, all teeth and tongue and swollen lips.

Jack brushed his thumb down the long line of Will’s neck. “I know you. Trust me,” he muttered, dropping light kisses against the gash on Will’s temple.

Will’s hands were clutching at Jack’s clothes and hair, fingers seeking out the small threaded beads or the heavy scuffmarks on his coat. He tugged, dragging Jack closer, dragging him half over his lap.

He had no memory of this.

Couldn’t recall ever having scrabbled at someone like this, kissed them like this, wanted them like this.

But his hands reached out, pulling off layers of clothing, seeking out skin, burning when they found it.

They rolled to the centre of the bed, a tangle of limbs and half removed shirts and trousers.

Will tasted the rough salt of Jack’s skin, his tongue tracing the web of scars he found littering Jack’s torso. He smiled at the sharp gasps he heard, and at the hands that clutched and kneaded his shoulders. His head felt dizzy with the heat and the friction and the rhythm.

Pulling the last scrap of cloth from Will’s body, Jack paused, disentangling himself for a moment. He skimmed feather touches across the blue lines of the compass on Will’s stomach, “I missed you.”

Will tugged Jack in for another bruising kiss and they were all angles, and sweat, and breaths coming harsh and fast, and searing heat.

~

Night-time and Jack studies the mottled bruises on Will’s flesh.

He ignores the ones he has put there tonight and instead charts the curl and depth of the ones from earlier, from when Will was chained and alone.

He feels his hands start to clench into fists and takes a long breath and forces his body to relax and not disturb the figure next to him.

~

Early morning, just before dawn, and the birds have begun their chorus.

Will tries to drift back to sleep, Jack is half draped over him, and he is caught up in a sense of weight and heat and the scent of sex.

~

“Have we anything to stay here for?” Will prodded at his breakfast, a thin grey porridge.

“No, we’ll catch the post back to Bristol and the Pearl if you like, mate.”

He looked up at Jack and gave a tentative smile.

Jack smiled back, “Then we’ll head home today.” He gave a slight wink, “Had enough of sleeping on land. Need to get back to the ocean and set sail.”

Will nodded, “Good.”

~

When Will sees the Pearl he tells Jack she’s beautiful.

Jack agrees, but feels his heart sink as it is clear Will doesn’t know her from any other boat.

Jack tells the crew of the mishap and says not to bother the boy, that it’ll all work out in time.

~

“Back to the Caribbean, Captain?”

Jack nodded his head absently at Gibbs and carried on squinting at his compass. He turned the wheel a fraction, and looked up, eyes searching for Will.

The lad was beside Anamaria, doing what he was told and smiling at the rocking of the deck beneath his feet. He glanced over to the helm and caught Jack’s look.

Jack sent him a grin and a raised eyebrow, then fixed back on the horizon.

~

“Jack! Jack, wake up!” Will shook his shoulder sharply.

“Eh? What? Mutiny?”

“Jack,” Will grabbed his hand, half crushing it. “You said you used the hair from your back!”

“‘Ang about, I thought I was the mad one here.”

“To escape the island, you said you used hair from your back as rope!”

Jack sat up quickly. “You remembered that? What else do you remember?”

“I’m not sure, I…” Will frowned. “Was there something about skeletons?”

Jack laughed.

“Does this mean…” Will looked away for a moment, then focused back on Jack. “Will I…?”

Jack pulling him in for a quick kiss and settled back down on the bed, “I should think so, luv. Should all come back to you now.”

Will laughed and kissed Jack again.

~

“Should make Tortuga by nightfall.” Jack collapsed in his chair, swinging his boots up onto the table. “Anymore come back to you today, mate?”

“Yes,” Will scraped a hand through his hair. “I found one of Mum’s cousin’s in London.”

“Oh?”

“He was pleased to see me, said he’d thought me dead.”

Jack started feeling in his pockets for his hip flask. He took a quick swig before tossing it to Will, who smiled, grateful.

“Then he found out what I was. Started insulting my father as well as pirates in general. Said… He said lots of things, none very complementary.”

“I’m sorry, luv.”

Will shook his head and sipped at the rum. “I argued back. Defended what I was, who I was. Then it turned into a scrap, and I must have got hit on the head.” Will shrugged then gave a sudden laugh.

“Mate?” Jack stood and quickly shifted over to Will’s side.

“Don’t you see?” He pressed his forehead against Jack’s, breathing in the sea-worn smell of him. “I lost who I was because I fought for who I was, because I believed in who I was.”

Jack smiled, “And who are you, luv?”

“A good man and a pirate, like my father was, like you are.”

Jack laughed and pulled him in for a kiss.


The End

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