Title: Pirate's Luck
Author: Joanne (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: A non-Disney version of the ending because there's no way Norrington would have let Will have Elizabeth.
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be.
A/N: The ending of the movie has never really sat well with me-- far too Disney for my tastes --so i thought I'd change it.
"It's right here. Between you and Jack."
There was no mistaking the contented smile that appeared on Jack's face as he heard Will say those words. In those few seconds he sounded so much like his father that Jack had to consciously remind himself that it wasn't ol' Bootstrap who stood between him and the Redcoats. At the very least not this time. The smile was quickly replaced by a smug smirk as he met the Commodore's gaze overtop of said impetuous blacksmith's shoulder. The bravado was gone in an instant because what he saw there terrified him.
"Have it your way," Norrington said rather casually as he snatched his pistol from his belt and pulled back the hammer.
Jack reacted immediately, but it wasn't quick enough. Latching onto Will's hips, he was attempting to pull the younger man out of the way as the pistol went off. His actions were meant to pull the boy completely out of harm's way except that Jack wasn't quick enough. There was a pained cry from Will and then the blacksmith slumped against him, his feathered hat tumbling off his head to the ground.
Catching a glint out of the corner of his eye, Jack reached down to snatch up Will's stolen sword before it slipped from his weakening grasp. Will made a slight protest and Jack cooed lightly in his ear, letting the injured man know that it was a friend who was taking possession of the weapon.
"<i>That</i> was not a wise move, Commodore," Jack ground out, backing up towards the battlements and taking Will with him. It would hardly be sporting for him to leave the boy to the hangman after Will had gone through all the trouble to save his life.
"I'll have to disagree with you, Sparrow," Norrington smirked as he passed his gun off to the soldier standing next to him. "Governor, would you be so kind as to take Elizabeth away from this. There is no need for her to see what is to come."
The young Miss Swann quickly evaded her father's grasp, moving to stand next to Norrington. "I will do no such thing! How could you do this? Will is a good man!"
"Who has thrown his lot in with a pirate."
An argument broke out between the feisty young lady and the stiff naval officer, drawing attention away from the two men in the center of the ring of bayonets. Which was all well and good in Jack's opinion as he could feel Will moving against him, straightening himself up in an attempt to stand on his own.
"'old still, luv," Jack murmured in his ear. "Let 'em think yer worse off than ya are."
"Jack?" Will croaked, his breath ending in a pained wince.
"Hush up, lad," the pirate hissed.
Jack glanced over at the verbal battle that was still ensuing between the lovely Miss Swann and the dapper Commodore. The girl was getting so worked up that her face was turning quite a brilliant shade of red. As she opened her mouth to begin a new tirade, the girl started gasping and clutching at her chest as though her heart were about to burst from her lovely round breasts.
When she started to topple backwards, Jack took advantage of the distraction she provided and began to guide Will away from the upheaval that followed her fainting spell and towards the battlements. The attention of the naval officers had become lax in the chaos of the lass' collapse and didn't seem to notice as Jack and Will began to make their way through the crowd.
"S'cuse me. Pardon me," Jack said quietly, trying to be as unobtrusive as possible. He didn't want to have to fight unless it was absolutely necessary. Not when Will wasn't in a position to be defending himself.
Jack was most surprised to find himself and Will being shoved further away from the frantic governor and his daughter. The pirate didn't protest the turn of events, but instead did his best to ensure that Will's wounded shoulder was protected from any stray shoves. Even so he heard the blacksmith let out a pained gasp or two. From his vantage point he couldn't see much of the injury, but there was a fair amount of blood staining the left sleeve of the boy's shirt.
"You can swim, can't ye, lad?" Jack asked in an exaggerated whisper as he began tiptoeing them towards the edge of the battlements.
Will nodded his head weakly, his steps faltering. By this time Jack could see the bow of his beloved Pearl peeking into the harbour and sent a quick prayer to the ocean gods that he'd be able to get Will there. Anything else was unacceptable because there was no way he was leaving Bootstrap's boy behind. The lad was likely to be strung up by Commodore Norrington if he stayed in Port Royal and Jack couldn't allow that to happen. The chance of Bootstrap's ghost returning to haunt him for the rest of his days not withstanding.
"Stop, Sparrow!" Norrington shouted, dramatically pointing a finger in their direction. "Don't let him and Turner get away!"
With nowhere to go but down, Jack quickly helped Will to straddle the stone barrier, tossing the sword aside at the last moment. "Hold tight, luv."
With one final nudge, Jack sent them tumbling from the top of the cliff to the bay below. He held Will's body tight against his own, intending to bear the brunt of the impact himself. The boy had already saved his life twice in a scant few minutes so it was the least he could do. Jack vehemently shoved aside the part of his brain that was insisting he wanted no harm whatsoever to come to Will. Not a bad thought in and of itself, but the reasons behind weren't the purest he could be having for his former mate's offspring.
The fall was a great deal shorter than Jack would have expected and his thoughts were cut off by the sharp stinging slap of the water connecting with his back. For a brief moment, after he and Will were plunged into the depths, Jack hoped that there were no sharks in the near vicinity that would be drawn by the blacksmith's blood. The pirate mentally chastised himself for the thought, knowing that he'd invoked the wrath of the sharks simply by thinking of them.
The boy was writhing about in his arms and Jack felt a swell of pity for him as he kicked them up to the surface. Salt water and open wounds had never mixed well to his knowledge.
A gurgling scream was the first thing Jack heard as his head popped above the water. Kicking to stay afloat, he maneuvered Will about in his arms to make sure the boy's head stayed dry. He unfastened the clasp of the cloak the young Mister Turner was wearing, shoving it aside so that it wouldn't hinder their escape. It would do no good to have him drown after the daring escape was nearly complete.
"Come now, Turner, I need ya to start kicking if we're gonna make it to th' Pearl," Jack sputtered in Will's ear as he began struggling them in the direction of the advancing ship. It was slow going as he was forced to keep one arm wrapped around Will's chest to keep him afloat, but far better than dragging a corpse.
There was a whirl around his legs a few moments later, letting him know that Will was putting in as much effort as he could manage. Jack was confident that his crew would bring the Pearl in as close as possible, but they still needed to make it a descent distance from the cliffs in order to be picked up safely.
"Jus' keep kickin', lad," Jack murmured in his ear. "The sooner we get back to th' Pearl, the sooner we can start celebrating our daring escape and wreaking havoc on th' Spanish Main."
"Norrington...." Will choked out, his head bumping awkwardly against Jack's chin.
Jack nodded his head, giving Will a quick squeeze as he turned his head to make sure they were moving in the proper direction. "No worries, lad. Good ol' Norrington will get 'is comeuppance once yer well and can take pleasure in th' act. Savvy?"
"Savvy," the blacksmith croaked.
The pair had only managed to scuttle a few yards out when Jack could feel Will begin to falter. Since he couldn't get a decent view of the boy's wound without jostling him unnecessarily, Jack couldn't tell just how badly he was hurt. However, he had seen countless other gunshot wounds and could make an educated guess at its severity without needing to take note of the pinkish water that followed in their wake. Things became more critical when, a few moments later, bullets began to whiz down close to their location.
"Damned Redcoats," Jack grunted as he continued to kick his way towards the Pearl. "They need t' learn to recognize when they've lost."
"Norrington'll never admit defeat," Will chuckled brokenly.
Apparently having noticed their inability to defend themselves, the crew aboard the Pearl let out a volley of cannon fire towards the fort above. Jack would have cheered at the action had it not meant that debris came tumbling down towards them. A cluster of bricks almost hit them after the first explosion. With no other choice but to trust their luck to whatever deity looked after pirates and blacksmiths that were soon to turn pirate, Jack continued to drag himself and Will towards his beloved ship.
A few bullets came close to hitting their mark, but none were so close that Jack actually felt even the slightest inkling of worry. Especially not when he had his Pearl defending him. The lady wouldn't let him be consigned to Davy Jones' locker now that he was once again her captain. Especially since he had done nothing as yet to earn her wrath.
Between his and the whelp's dogged swimming and the Pearl's speed, it wasn't a terribly long time before a rope slapped down in the water within Jack's reach.
"Hold onto me tight, lad," Jack instructed as he shifted Will about so that the boy was facing him. "This'll be a bit abrupt but then we'll be safe and dandy aboard the Pearl."
The grip that went around his waist was somewhat lax, but Jack shored it up by winding his arm tightly about Will's middle. Wound the rope around his arm a few times, made sure he had a good, solid hold and they were up. Out of the water with nary a sign of a shark.
"Get us out of here, Anamaria!" Jack shouted the instant he was deposited on the Pearl's deck. "It's long past time to put Port Royal to our rudders."
Jack gathered up Will's barely conscious form in his arms and rushed him towards the captain's quarters, calling for Gibbs to follow after him. He didn't bother to see if the other man was following after him as he rushed Will towards his cabin. The blood flow needed to be stopped before the boy lost too much. >From the new position he was holding the young blacksmith, Jack could readily see just how serious the wound was. At such close range, the bullet had done considerable damage to Will's shoulder. He could only hope that the bone hadn't been splintered or else things would be even more difficult for the boy.
"Cotton. Door," Jack barked to the man who happened to be standing near. "Run along down below an' get some fresh water and wha'ev'r else we have in the way o' medical supplies."
The mute nodded his head and scurried away to do as he was ordered.
A few hurried steps later and Jack was setting Will down on the bed that he hadn't slept in for nearly ten years. There was a whimper from the injured blacksmith when he released the boy so Jack laid a quick hand to his forehead. Surprisingly enough that calmed the lad instantly and a few moments later Will's eyes fluttered open.
"It'd be better if you fade away for a bit, lad," Jack murmured. "I've 'ad a few bullets dug out of me in my time an' can claim quite 'onestly tha' it's not a pleasant thing."
Will stared up at him, his brows furrowed slightly. He said nothing, but held Jack's gaze as long as possible, blinking owlishly in an attempt to stave of oblivion. Valiant as the battle was, it was a fruitless one for unconsciousness soon claimed the boy. With young Will dead to the world, Jack set about removing him from his vest and various leather straps that made up his belt scabbard. Each of those he set aside carefully, not wanting to misplace the boy's effects.
"What happened to the lad?" Gibbs asked, handing Jack a knife so that the pirate captain could cut away the portion of Will's shirt covering the wound.
Jack's features hardened when he finally saw the exact extent of the boy's injury and ground out, "Th' good Commodore was most unsporting."
Anything else he would have said was lost as Cotton rushed into the room, arms laden with rolls of linen, a basin of water, bottle of rum and a few rags. Jack was most relieved to discover that his greatest fear was unwarranted. The pistol, it would seem, had been fired at such close range that the bullet had passed completely through the boy's shoulder and would therefore not need to be fished out by unskilled hands. However, the little bits of linen that had been forced in by bullet as it passed through Will's shirt would.
"Is there anything in particular you be needing me for at the moment, Captain?"
"You, my good man, are goin' to be the one to hold our dear blacksmith down whilst I dig about for anythin' that doesn't belong in 'is shoulder," Jack informed the older man as he rid Will completely of his tunic. "I don't much fancy bein' on the receivin' end uva blacksmith's fist."
True to his prediction, Will awoke screaming when Jack began to scrub a rum dampened cloth over the wound. The wiry lad struggled greatly, possessing more strength than his slender frame gave credit to. Jack was somewhat surprised by the ferocity of the lad's reaction given that he'd already spent a great deal of time in the ocean which was undoubtedly far more painful than a wee bit of rum dabbed on the end of a rag. Except of course when said rum-tipped rag was pushing a scrap of Will's shirt that had been torn loose by the bullet around in the wound.
"Oops. Sorry, lad. Best I get rid of that now afore it gets wedged in any deeper," Jack said to Will who was still floundering about weakly against Gibb's hold.
"Burns...." Will gasped out, turning his wild eyes in Jack's direction.
The pirate captain flashed him a tight grin as he deftly snagged the scrap of cloth between his fingernails. "Tha's a good thing, lad. Means everything will heal up nice and proper like. 'Cept for the scar, but there's no avoiding that. Now I need you to sit up some so that I can wrap your shoulder."
With Gibbs' help, the blacksmith sat up, his body wavering slightly so that he more or less fell into Jack with a pained grunt. Jack worked swiftly, wanting to stem the flow of blood before Will was left with none in him. The pirate's fingers danced across the younger man's chest as he wound the bandage around torso, trying to be as gentle as he could as he tightly bound the shoulder.
"Am I a pirate now?" Will mumbled as Jack was finishing with the bandage. The lad peered up at him through half-lidded eyes and it was a marvel to him that those bleary eyes were able to focus on a single thing.
Jack pondered the question as he helped the younger Turner lay down once again. "Well, I daresay that decision is entirely yours, dear William."
~It was a loud rumbling noise that greeted his return to consciousness. Then came a thump and a muffled curse grumbled in an all too familiar accent. Will slowly blinked his eyes open, catch sight of a fluttery movement to his left in the dim room.
"Jack?" he called, turning his head towards what he assumed to be the pirate captain.
"Will. Lad, you've awakened," Jack cheered, darting forward so that he was in the blacksmith's line of sight. "Was beginning to wonder if I shoulda left you for shark bait."
The younger man frowned, glaring up at the swaying figure above him. He felt no malice towards Jack whatsoever, but felt very out of sorts and didn't much care for that. When he tried to sit up a sharp pain shot through his entire body, originating in his left shoulder. As soon as Jack saw him moving, the pirate darted forward to stop him.
"I wouldn't be doing that, lad. Liable to start up bleeding again," the scallywag protested, pushing Will back down into the pillows with a solid hand in the center of his chest.
"I'm fine, Jack," the boy scowled, struggling against the other man's hold. He dug his elbows into the bedding and went to shove his upper body forward.
All too late he realized the folly of his actions as he felt a blinding pain in his shoulder as the wound was torn open. Gasping and crying out, Will slumped back down to the bed, curling his body up tight as he could without placing any sort of pressure on his shoulder. Jack was all a flutter, trying to sit him up and pry away the bandages around his shoulder at the same time.
"Damn stupid blacksmith," Jack chastised when the bandages came away bloodied. He then turned over his shoulder and shouted for Gibbs while he pressed the soiled linen against the wound to stopper any blood that continued to flow.
Will's tenuous hold on consciousness began to waver, his eyelids wavering despite his best efforts to keep them open and see what was going on around him. It was difficult for him to concentrate, though. There were noticeable chunks that passed without him being aware. At one moment Jack was at his side and in the blink of an eye he would be on the other side of the cabin. Will started when Gibbs was suddenly standing over him, his features lined with concern.
A new searing pain in his shoulder brought the darkness back again.
~The sun was barely peeking above the horizon when Jack sensed another body up on the deck with him. Sure enough, a few moments later, the top of Will's head appeared as the boy ascended the stairs to the quarter deck. There was an odd expression on the blacksmith's face.
"Welcome back to the world, young mister Turner," Jack greeted, a huge grin plastered on his face.
Will was silent as the climbed the rest of the stairs, his gaze holding Jack's all the while. As he reached the upper portion of the deck, it became obvious that the boy was still wearing nothing but his breeches. In truth, Jack would have been surprised if he'd managed to put on anything else.
"You wouldn't happen to know why my arm is strapped to my side, would you, Jack?" Will asked as he looked down at his left side.
"Ahh yes," Jack murmured, his eyebrows arching up momentarily as he tilted his head away from from the approaching boy. "Well you see, William, Gibbs had a wonderful idea of 'ow to make sure you didn't rip yer shoulder open again. 'e thought it would be best if we strapped your arm t' yer side so that you can't do something foolish like tryin' to lift yourself up with it again. It jus' so happened that I agreed with him."
"Take it off, Jack," the young blacksmith demanded, crossing over so that he was standing next to the pirate captain.
Jack pretended to consider it for a moment, pursing his lips dramatically. "No, I don't think I'll be doing that. I sacrificed a good portion of me rum to clean up that nasty looking hole in your shoulder. Twice, I might add, and I don't much fancy it happening a third time."
"I feel like a fool," Will grumbled, his right hand tugging at the edges of the large strip of linen wrapped around his middle.
"Well I must say that you look quite ravishing. Very much the dashing hero."
"I'd be most obliged if you removed the strap," the blacksmith pleaded with a tense, but still casual air. "I'm useless on a ship with only one arm."
Jack's hand came up, jabbing in Will's direction momentarily to emphasize his point. "Ahh, but you'll be of even less use if you permanently lose the use of said arm. At least this way you're useless while you're useless."
The boy's mouth had been open as though he would say something, but he snapped it shut soon after. His mouth floundered open and close for several moments before he gave up with a shake of his head. "You are utterly mad, Jack. You do know this, right?"
"Cheer up, young mister Turner," Jack said, patting the younger man on the back. "Few days only and you'll have the use of your arm back."
The tension slithered out of the blacksmith then, the savage look in his eyes fading. Instead he looked almost defeated as he nodded his head and that was something the pirate would not have. Jack intended to use all of his extensive talents to rile the boy up and bring that fire back into his eyes. At the very least it would keep him amused while they fled Norrington who would undoubtedly be chasing after them within the hour.
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