jackxwill - pirates of the caribbean slash

Title: Remember
Author: Hilary Gurney (sockospice@hotmail.com)
Pairing: J/W
Rating: PG
Summary: Every beginning has an end.
Warnings: sap, misery and character death.
Disclaimer: Don’t own any of the characters mentioned herein and make no implications or profits from the use of these characters.
Archive: JackxWill ficathon archive only.
Written for: Hellborne. Requests: (1) Jack & Will have been together for many years now, (2) Jack is dying (how is up to the author). Restriction: Must be canon...no OOC or AU.

“It’s a matter of time now Will. When, not if.”

Will nodded and turned away. He’d known, really. As soon as he’d seen that look pass across Jack’s face, like a ghost passing through him, gathering up his soul in preparation for his journey to the other side. Experience as a pirate had given Will if not an understanding but a belief and awareness of things that couldn’t be explained, that those in Singapore had termed ‘supernatural’. He’d seen enough souls leave their mortal body to know when someone was close to death.

Jack was close. The doctor had done all he could. So had the quacks with their magic potions. So had every professed healer that Will had tried. The wound Jack had received was the one that would kill him.

It hadn’t seemed so serious at first, a sword in the side. Jack had survived worse. But this, it just didn’t heal. Instead, a poison had spread through Jack’s body, infecting his blood, slowly but surely taking his life. Jack had pretended that everything was alright, but Will had noticed him wincing in agony as they made love, had noticed his skin take a yellowish pallor. It was when Jack turned down the rum that Will knew for sure.

Everything wasn’t alright. Jack was dying, and although neither would admit it, both of them knew it. Will had sought the help of everyone he could, but it was no use.

Now he had to say goodbye. When Will had left Elisabeth to join Jack on the Pearl, that was hard. When Jack had forced him to admit his feelings, that was hard. When he killed as a pirate for the first time, that was hard.

This didn’t even compare.

Will stood at the helm, blinking away tears, trying to compose himself. These last few moments shouldn’t be ruined, they should be special.

Will returned to the cabin he’d shared with Jack for the last ten years. It actually felt like home now. There had never been anything he’d liked better than to walk in to see Jack laying in their bed. Usually, improper suggestions would be made and acted upon. But now when he walked in he’d see Jack laying in bed, his forehead drenched with sweat and face contorted in agony.

“Jack?” Will whispered his name and knelt by the side of the bed. “I’m here, love.”

Jack slowly reached for Will’s hand, laboriously pulling it up to his chest and holding it close. He licked his lips, making to speak. Will lifted a small glass of water to his lips, quenching his thirst.

“I don’t want to go.”

“I know.”

“They’re coming for me. I… I saw your father.”

Will’s face turned pale. “You did?”

“He… he said he’d look after me… when I get there.”

The younger man forced a smile. “That’s what we Turners are here for. To look after you.” He took a deep breath, Jack had paled again. He had that look that told Will his father had come to take Jack away.

“Who will look after me Jack?” He couldn’t help the words. He didn’t want to burden Jack, to taint his last memories of him, but the question remained. Jack had made him into a pirate, made him into his lover, protected and nurtured him. In those ten years Will had been a faithful lover, a fearless pirate, but he wasn’t a leader. He couldn’t lead these men without Jack’s calming and maddening influence.

“Look in that box when I’m gone.” Jack indicated the key that hung on a chain around his neck., and then an old leather bound case. Will knew that Jack kept some important documents and items in that box, but had never looked inside. “Everything in there is yours.”

Will nodded, biting his lip.

“You know what I said about the Pearl, don’t you?” Jack had, one drunken night, told Will that should he ever die, he wanted his body to be left on the Pearl and the fine ship destroyed. He’d claimed a soul mate’s affinity with the ship and said that she would transport him to the other side. Will had taken the talk as drunken rambling, but he realised that it was what Jack really wanted.

“I’ll do that for you Jack.” Will had noticed that Pearl had been unruly and restless since Jack had been hurt. It was like she knew. “What about the crew?”

“They can share the treasure in the hold. Enough for everyone there.” Jack’s breath was coming in shorter gasps now.

“And me?”

Jack clutched Will’s hand tighter. “In that box is… is everything you’ll need. Trust… trust me luv.”

“I do. I always have.” A tear rolled down Will’s cheek. How could he keep his emotions in check when the man he loved was lying in front of him in this state?

“Tell me how they’ll remember me Will.” Jack closed his eyes. He was weary, so very weary. And confused. He could hear Will’s voice, then Bill’s, they were both so similar. Both so important.

“As Captain Jack Sparrow.” Will’s voice was breaking with tears now. “As the finest pirate to sail the seven seas. The man who made a fool of the Navy’s highest ranking officials. The man who killed the undead crew of the Pearl. The man who claimed the treasure of the Isla de Muerta. The man who stole my heart.”

A smile crossed Jack’s face. “The most important thing I ever stole,” he whispered. Slowly, with the last strength in his body, he brought Will’s hand to his lips and kissed it. Then he let go.

Will sat there for a few hours, knowing that Jack was gone, but unable to accept it yet. He recounted stories of their exploits through tear-broken words, bitterly laughing to himself. Every moment of his life with Jack had been an adventure, one that he’d repeat in a second. And now it was over.

“Jack.” Will stood up. He kissed his lover’s lips one last time, and gently removed the key from around his neck.

With shaking hands he opened the box, not really sure what to expect. There were a lot of papers, a velvet bag, and some official looking documents. Will looked inside the bag first. There he found the biggest diamond he’d ever seen. He didn’t know when Jack had plundered it, but he knew its trade would earn him enough money to live on for a good few years.

Then he looked through the letters. Some were in Jack’s semi-literate scrawl, some in what he recognised as his father’s writing. He’d seen these before. Then he saw a script he knew from a long time past.

Elisabeth. He opened the letter, apprehensive, wondering why Jack had never mentioned a letter from her before. It soon became clear. She implored Jack to look after Will, and should anything happen, to send him to Jack’s plantation in the Americas. She would take care of him there.

Looking through the documents Will found land deeds that indeed showed that Jack owned a plantation, a large and prosperous one by the look of it. Then there was a short contract-like document, signed by Jack and Elisabeth. It described how Elisabeth would look after the land, and should anything happen to Jack, Will would return to the woman who was his first love. Will had always known that Jack regretted Elisabeth being hurt by him stealing the young blacksmith away. He wasn’t really surprised that Jack had tried to make it up to her.

The contract was in Elisabeth’s writing, with a final few words in Jack’s script.

‘Look after Will, should I no longer be there to do so. Of all I have or ever will plunder, he is the most precious treasure.’

Will replaced all of the papers in the box, and returned to Jack’s side. He brushed the hair from his face tenderly, remembering how beautiful the man was, every line and contour of his face. That haunted look, that agony, it was gone now. The pirate was at peace, as much as anywhere could ever be peaceful with Jack around. It was only fitting that Jack should be laid to rest on the Pearl. She was very restless now, Will could feel, she knew that her master had gone.

Will knew he had duties to perform, and composed himself to face the crew. He must inform the men, comfort Pearl, and make the necessary arrangements.

Jack would be so much better at this.

He’d have the right words, the ability to make things seem right no matter how wrong they were.

Will felt like he was that innocent blacksmith he’d been long ago. Except he wasn’t. He was the pirate that Jack made him, that his father’s blood made him. And he’d honour that now. He’d fulfil Jack’s wishes, just like he’d always tried to fulfil his desires. He knew that his father would care for Jack. His father’s was the spirit taking Jack to the other side, to that place that would be slightly less peaceful now that Jack was there. Jack wasn’t alone.

That was important. Will had discovered that Jack had a fear of being alone. After Barbossa’s mutiny, and being stranded on that island, Jack had sought company wherever he could, just to avoid that loneliness and silence of being alone. Will had ensured that Jack was never alone in this world. His father would do the same in the next, Will was sure of it.

Will had given Jack the love and company he craved. In return, Jack had given Will the confidence and love he needed.

Will needed that confidence right now. He wondered if he’d feel Jack’s voice inside him like he’d felt his love.

“Go on darling. I’ll be watching, I’m right behind you.” Whether that was Jack’s voice or his mind playing tricks, Will wasn’t sure, but it was enough.

Will would get through this and do as Jack bid him.

And then he would do the one thing he’d always promised Jack that he would. Make sure that Jack’s memory would go down in history. Jack had always craved fame, and he’d earned it. He and his exploits wouldn’t be forgotten.

Least of all by the man who’d loved him throughout it all.

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