Authors: Veronica Rich and N. Ranken
Email: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary: Sometimes, it's a different kind of treasure you have to dig for.
Disclaimer: The characters that we didn't make up belong to Disney or J. Depp. We make no profit from this; there is no profit in suing us. We have no money. We merely play with other people's made-up characters for fun. It's no different than playing with Barbie and Ken -- or, Ken and G.I. Joe, in this case.
Will Turner sipped at his ale, eyes flicking out the window in the direction of Jacks indicating fingers. For the past few times theyd been in port, the pirate had been oddly solicitous, offering to pick up the tab on the lads meals and drinks, which Will had accepted -- no use trying to be rude to the one who controlled his home. Honestly, Will often felt he was taking advantage of the man, if one could be said to be taking advantage of a pirate. He was sure Jack didn't notice the occasional addition of a few gold coins to his change-box; it was the only way Will could keep his conscience clean about the whole thing.
On this particular afternoon, Jack Sparrows solicitousness was turned toward more extensive pursuits than simple food or ale. The young blacksmith allowed his eyes to appraise the woman in question, though he was subtle in his glance. Yes, she does appear to be very nice, but no, thanks, Will demurred, flicking his dark eyes back to Jacks. Its all right.
Whats wrong with er? the older man noised, surprised. His head turned from Will to the woman, then back again. Dark eyes, long legs shes perfec'.
Will raised an eyebrow and drained his mug before he set it down, tossing a couple of silver pieces on the table. Shes just not my type, Jack.
Will shook his head, hands coming up to form a vague gesture in front of him. Too round. He stood, straightening his vest with a few practiced tugs, coltishly long legs sliding out, then pivoting to help guide the chair into place again. You go on, though. I need to see about getting some more supplies for the forge before it gets too dark, and I dont think you want to be bored with all that blacksmith talk.
Will smiled, then rolled his head to work the cricks out of his neck. He caught the pirates eyes, looking up at him with a scrutinizing, squinted expression as Will headed for the door. He heard the noise of the roadway rush at his ears, bolder and brasher than the soft hubbub of the tavern, and stepped into the sunlight, shutting the door behind him with a thunk.
He had to squint at its brightness, but it brought a smile to his face anyway; Will loved being warm, loved the heat of the Caribbean, with the sun to dispel the cold that always settled into him when left to his own self-doubts. He looked down the street, not having moved from the window of the pub, dark eyes searching for the anvil and hammer sign that would mark the local smithy. Picking out the distinctive mark, his chin lifted in recognition and he headed in that direction, the breeze lifting his curls a bit for the sun to play kiss-chase through the highlighted locks.
Ever polite, Will smiled and greeted the people who passed him -- rather friendly lot, this port. The folk werent rich, but neither were they really poor. Will pondered this; there were a fair number of ships docked, and he recognized a few. This place seemed to be somewhat of a neutral ground, with nobody really misbehaving as was done in Tortuga.
His long legs carried him effortlessly, his resemblance to an equine quite uncanny at times as they ate up ground. More than one pair of eyes turned to regard him favorably, admiring the play of the dark russet fabric over his strong legs, of the forge-honed forearms bared by rolled-up sleeves, tanned from work on the sea, though the young smith was blithely oblivious to these looks. He walked with purpose, and unless something blatant came up to deter that purpose, he wasnt of a mind to be distracted.
He noted the open door and knocked before pushing it open well, a bit of pounding on it, really -- he knew how noisy the interior of a shop could be, and it was easy to lose oneself in work here. At the gruff invitation to enter, he stepped in, looking around, appraising the quality of the materials and equipment as he scanned for the resident smith. In this case, there were two bent over a metal mold, one steadying it while the other poured the metal to cast. He remained quiet and waited for them to finish their task; molten metal was a tricky substance to work with, as he well knew, and he would not be responsible for someone burning themselves or someone else. He watched as the smaller man -- no, a woman -- poured the red goo into the thick mold, taking exceeding care to pour true to the mouth, a look of intense concentration upon her face.
All right, Mary, thats enough, the older man gruffed in an odd accent, indicating the woman should tip up the container. Should make a decent nuff mold lets ope the dsign came out right.
The woman nodded, then turned to the forge to set the pot down, allowing it to keep the metal inside at a liquid state in the heat of the fire. What can I elp ye wit, young man? she asked, turning to look at him.
Will noticed that the older man followed her gaze as if just noticing him standing there. He stepped forward a bit. Ah, Im sorry to bother you, but I was wondering if you could tell me where I might pick up some supplies for a forge.
The woman gave him an appraising look, and Will could see though she was slight, she was not as young as he first assumed. Her hair was streaked with grey, and slight worry lines that creased her forehead and eyes. Already ave me an Enry, don need an apprentice. The older man gave a light smack to the womans shoulder, and she rolled her eyes, then proceeded to lift her hands and motion at him, apparently communicating in sign language.
No, its not like that, Will laughed. I already have a forge of my own. I am merely in need of some more coal, and a few other supplies. I was hoping you might tell me where you pick up your supplies.
She looked at him sidelong, hands dancing as she relayed Wills words. Settin up shop on the other side of town? she asked in a guarded manner, eyes narrowed as her body curved into a defensive pose.
No, mine is aboard a ship. Were docked for a bit, and I was hoping to re-supply.
Cant have a proper forge aboard a ship, lad.
Will shrugged, affecting an expression that made him seem younger than his twenty-one years. Works all right for me. The names Will Turner, he announced, reaching forward, hand extended to shake.
The woman stopped cold. *The* Will Turner? The one on tha *Black Pearl*? she asked, eyes widening, mind clicking with his mention of having a forge onboard a ship.
Only one I know of, now that my fathers gone. He did note, however, that the woman stepped forward to shake his hand before pulling back to convey this.
Mary Joannesen, an this is Enry, she offered by way of introduction. Will Turner, eh? Don suppose yeve got anythin on ye t prove it. Theres lotsa chaps bandyin that name aroun t try t get a discoun ere an there. Though, they say the real ones honest as th day is long.
Will nodded with a guilty smile as he reached a hand up to scratch at the back of his neck. So Im often told, he chuckled, thinking of Jack. Forever the bane of my captain. But, if its proof youre looking for, he began, pulling several of his blades out from various hiding places on his person, stepping closer to go over the craftsmanship with the woman. I use folding techniques picked up in the Orient. Theyre stronger and sharper than straight-cast metal. Take an edge better, too. He went on to detail the intricate chasing techniques, the semiprecious turquoise and coral laid into the hilts of the weapons, and recalled fondly the times in which they were made.
All right, lad, yeve proven yerself, Mary laughed, stepping back. Only a true craftsmand know s much about is blades.
Will smiled yet again, stepping back to sheath them in their concealed spots, neither bump nor poke to give their places away. I cant help but remember them all.
Aye, true craft kin be like children, remembered from lump t blade, an every inch yer own, een when y give em up.
Very true, he agreed.
So, y lookin for some supplies. Been awhile since th ship came in; bout due for another trip. Should be in tomorrow She trailed off, hands never ceasing, turning to look toward Henry, expression quizzical. She tipped her head as if listening when his hands came up to gesture, her eyes narrowing as she nodded. Aye, yere right. She turned back to Will. Keep forgettin the man likes to send word aead wheneer possible. The cat-boat should be ere tomorrow for is stop, an tha funny lil fella can get ye wha ye need.
Wills eyes narrowed as a flicker of hope burst to life. Cat-boat?
Mary nodded. Aye. Cannae pronounce the name, but it means water cat or somethin in is language.
Brown eyes widened as Will stepped forward. *Mizu no Koneko*? he asked quickly. The man who sails it, hes about yea tall, Will indicated a height about at his shoulder, and has a little boy?
Mary nodded. Aye, thats im. Eyes as green as grass. Never seen so bright, in fact. Same thing with th kid, though, es almos tall as his da. No that lil'.
The young smith smiled fondly. Well, he is his mothers son. Izumi said she was quite tall.
Know im then, do ye?
The smith nodded. I knew them awhile ago, before I came to work on the ship.
At so? Mary shrugged. Well, es always appy t see familiar faces, e always says. Come roun tmorra bout noontimes, an e should be ere.
The young man smiled, nodding. Thank you. I shall. He flicked his eyes from one to the other, head dipping in a polite excusal. Good day to you both. He turned smartly and headed out. He still had a fairly heavy purse form their last raid -- another where they were more out to put a stuffed-shirt in his place than to really *hurt* anyone -- and was of a mood to do some spending.
Sipping thoughtfully at his tankard of rum, Jack rolled around in his mind what Will had said. *Too round*? What had Elizabeth been, then? A childhood dalliance?
Of course, in that case, any dalliance would have taken place in Wills brain. Jack wondered if hed grown up with a regular boys basic desires -- thinking, dreaming about girls, women who would be scantily-clad or completely naked and doing deliciously debauching things to his body. At that thought, Jack closed his eyes, a wave of lust rolling through him as he imagined being the one to debauch the younger Turner. *Oh, if only *
But hed as much as said he liked men, right? Or at least that he didnt much care for women anymore. Jack kept his eyes closed, imagining the unequaled pleasure of caressing that warm, taut skin, feeling those calloused, roughened hands sliding over his own dark flesh, sensitive bits touching other sensitive bits until they were both in a frenzy, hot, desperate to complete an act of both lust and fondness, love and fun-
Wan nother, love?
Jack cracked one eye. Give us a momen, darlin', he grinned, one side of his mouth quirking up, imagining the taste of Will on his tongue, sweeter and more intoxicating than the purest rum. Still daydreamin.
Spying a woman loaded down with boxes, he approached her and reached to tap her shoulder. Pardon me, but could you direct me to the marketplace? Politeness still got him much farther than hed ever observed a demand do, and it only made sense to ask someone who might know.
The woman turned a bit, looking sideways at him. It would be about four streets down that way, she noised, gesturing with her armload. Theres a large plaza. Its hard to miss. She returned his smile with a rather wistful one of her own, her azure eyes meeting his.
Will smiled once more with a small bow before heading off in the indicated direction. He had caught the scent of a bakery, and he wondered if they had any sticky buns.
Minutes later, the smith was standing against a tree, licking his fingers of the sticky caramel. He had an affection for the sweet buns -- not as great as his affection for rock candy, but nearly so. He strolled to the fountain in the middle of the square, bending over to rinse his hands. Feeling a sharp bump to his hip, his arm shot out to take hold of the youth who tried to keep going. The action brought him up and around to the young boy, who was making a struggle to get away, clutching one of Wills smaller coin purses in his tiny hand.
Stop, stop! the child cried, though Will did no more than hold his shoulder before kneeling in front of the child, who looked at him with frightened eyes.
Will pinned the child with his onyx gaze. Why did you steal it? he asked, face even, not accusing, but merely asking in a soft tone, encouraging a response.
Dull, pale eyes regarded the smith, flinching back as if he expected to be hit. M ungry, he mumbled, eyes casting down.
Will blinked -- every place had its share of underfed children. Hed been one once. He reached out, movements slow and deliberate, pulling the pouch from the childs unresisting hand. You cant just take things that dont belong to you, he noised, feeling the sting of the lie. If you get caught, youll be punished. That, at least, was closer to his truth.
Will parted the top of the pouch with one hand, slipping two fingers inside, drawing out a peso and a shilling that hed grabbed as part of a handful before leaving the Pearl. Take these to your mother; she should be able to buy you something to eat. His face hardened. Dont spend it anywhere else, or Ill know, he warned.
The childs eyes grew even wider, and flicked directly back up to Wills. How will you know?
The smith leaned in a bit, pitching his voice for the young mans ears. Im a pirate. He chuckled inwardly at the stifled squeak the child emitted. Pulling back a bit, he gave the boy a look. Go on back to your mother. It did not take long for the boy to find his fear, and Will watched him streak off, presumably back to said parent. Shaking his head, he stood, refastened the pouch, and moved back to the fountain to continue rinsing his hands.
Interesting trick, hummed a low voice. Im almost afraid to know what you said to him.
Will looked up to see a woman sitting on the edge of the fountain, regarding him with silvery eyes. Her skin was a deep mocha, and her night-black hair swirled around her in a curly cascade. I merely explained that God was watching, Will replied guardedly, intrigued by her odd eyes. Lord knows it always scared me half to death.
Her laugh was not that of a girl, and the depth to her tone suggested middle age, at least. That may be true, but you do not lie well.
Will nodded. So my captain often says.
She patted the stone beside her, inviting him to sit as she gazed at him with tipped head, eyes boring into him in a manner that reminded him oddly of Noche, the ships cat. No, thank you, he demurred, backing away.
At her accepting nod, he turned, heading for the labyrinth of stands. He meandered through the maze, stopping at a fruit stand to pick up some oranges and apples, negotiating the delivery of several crates of citrus to the ship. It had taken some convincing, as with the bathing, but the addition of the fruit had kept them all much healthier, healing faster after battle and keeping them all fitter for it.
As he perused the stands, a glint from the side caught his eye. He turned, looking toward it, and smiled. It was perfect.
Four hours later, Will was seated in another tavern, having a meal -- well, trying to, anyway.
He was in a nice, warm tavern with a lovely-smelling, hot meal in front of him, and was surrounded by his fellow man -- rather a lot of them, really. There were very few women in the place, and those who were there were quietly taking orders and serving drinks, bringing the occasional plate of food to the table. This, in itself, wasnt that distracting. There was a fairly decent crowd gathered around them, everyone enthralled by Jack The Bold as he recounted tales of piracy and plunder, cunning and conquest. They werent too distracting.
He had Jack sitting beside him, chattering amiably in that flowery, distracted manner he had, hands moving everywhere as he told his stories, eyes dancing as he spoke -- *THAT* was the distraction. It seemed that every time Will had a morsel of food halfway to his mouth, Jack would pop off with some embellishment to the tale that caused him to pause and glance over at the older man, wondering from where the pirate was getting his ideas.
An after just hearin me name, they were so scared, they offered up alf their swag just to get me t go way! the pirate finished with a flourish.
Will nearly choked on his supper -- this was getting to be a bit much. Excuse me! Will snapped, turning to confront the older man. That, Jack Sparrow, is the biggest pack of lies Ive heard since the twins professed innocence to peering down Anamarias blouse!
*Captain* Jack Sparrow t you, lad, was the dark reply.
Whore you to be challenging Jack? a thick voice piped up, earning a quick glare from the young man.
Ships blacksmith, Will huffed, then turned back to Jack. Im afraid I cant allow you to continue the butchery of the telling of this escapade, Jack.
The older mans eyes widened. And I suppose *you* can do better? Jack challenged, an odd light touching his eyes.
Could do a damn sight better than you are, Will noised without accusation, tipping his head as he spoke.
Fine then, wise-arse, explain t these fine genlemen what *really* happened. Jack made a wide arm-gesture, indicating the ten or so people gathered close.
Will snorted. Well, first of all, they didnt fold up like daisies just at the mention of your name. If you remember, wed just spotted the British ship when the call came up to you from Gibbs, and I swear there were pound signs dancing in your eyes.
Jack tossed the man a glare. No such things as true pounds, ye know -- bankers convenience.
Fine dozens of miniature shillings then, the smith huffed, narrowing his eyes at the interruption. To continue, Mr. Gibbs came up the stairs when you were having your pecuniary-worshipping moment-
Peck-what? asked one of the observers.
Pecuniary, Jack repeated. Means of money. Now, hush. He turned back to the smith with an expectant look. Please, do go on
Will raised an eyebrow at the gesture. Indeed. He interrupted you as you were lusting after shillings and spices, and you turned about and issued a rather crowing call to all hands -- right before you tripped over the rope and fell flat on your face.
Jacks eyes narrowed. You ave become quite th lil' liar, havent you? the pirate teased. Bein around pirates is startin to degrade your moral character. I did *not* fall on me face -- I merely worked wit me *Pearl* to stage a spontaneous spression of elation.
Wills expression became deadpan. You fell on your face, then stood back up. He knew full well that Jack had started to fall, then turned the move into a rather acrobatic tumble to come right back up to his feet, continuing his order-barking; however, it was much more fun to taunt the pirate. You began your grand gestures, ordered the guns to be rolled out, the hooks to be brought, along with the boarding-axes, and the sweeps -- did you know that all that flutter you wear distracts the twins? You know, just the other day, I heard Jonathan remarking how good your hips look under that sash He paused, shrugging, purposely leaving Jack confused before continuing.
Everyone streamed around the ship, shouts and curses, and Jack had finished his ego-stroking- I mean, calling for raid parties, and had come back up, and he was just standing there, eyes glinting, before spinning around to take hold of her wheel again.
An wha were you doin tha y could watch s damn close? quizzed a young, towheaded man draped over a darker-haired compatriot, both grinning up at Will.
I was holding onto the wheel while Jack was busy rolling all over himself, trying to decide what everyone should be doing, Will shot back with a smirk. So, he turned around and bumped into me, then snapped at me for making sure *Pearl* didnt turn on anything before her time. His eyes flicked over to the pirate, smirking. Made some comment about being too boring-
I said you were too bloody responsible for me own good, Jack corrected with a frown, stealing some of the meat from Wills plate.
Hey! You had your own supper; leave mine alone.
Youre not eatin it, mate.
Thats because Im trying to correct your tall tales. He flicked his fingers at Jacks hands, not quite resorting to slapping, until the pirate removed said digits from the vicinity of Wills plate.
Hmph. So, we proceed to scare the living daylights out of that fat merchant vessel by running out the flag, as I am harshly ordered downstairs to begin outfitting the crew with additional weaponry. Everyone gets geared up to fight, and we all get back on deck to find Anamaria up, whacking Jack for all shes worth because he shot the flag up too soon. Shed been itching for a good fight for days, and she and Gibbs can only spar so much before he quits. Shes probably out right now beating up some poor sap just because he got in her way.
There was a round of chuckling, adding to the snickers and laughs coming from the smiths perspective of the raid, and he looked over to find that even Jack seemed very amused, though he was trying his hardest to scowl. The merchant vessel ran up the white flag as soon as the Calico was up, and we boarded without even a fight. We had to organize rotations to bring up the casks, spices, silk, and such -- they were on their way back from a run to India and were loaded. The captain was so scared just at the mention of a pirate ship that his knees were shaking. Had nothing to do with it being you, Jack; was just enough that you were a *pirate*.
Jack huffed. The boy had not yet learned how to spin a properly enrapturing tale, though he seemed good enough at finding the inherent humor in the situation, as evidenced by the laughter surrounding them. All right, all right, youve made your point, he grumbled with a sidelong glance. Finish up your meal fore I make ye pay me th money back for it.
In response, Will speared a chunk of potato and brought it to his lips, lifting his eyebrows as he did so. There was a general chuckle, and Jack noticed a couple in the audience nuzzling one another as Will fixed his attention on his plate. Jack was a bit stymied -- after all, there were several different types around here, and surely one of them should have caught Wills eye.
--get together, anyway? came a voice that interrupted the pirates musings.
Wha? Jack asked, blinking .
You two act like youve been together a long time, the voice clarified. How did you two shack up?
Will swallowed prematurely, one hand coming to his chest as he went. I wouldnt exactly call it shacking up, he protested, coughing.
Whatever, then, came the encouragement.
Jack glanced over at the smith. You think you can put th proper spin on this tale, or d ye wan me t tell it? Your stories seem a bit lacking, in th detail.
Only because I dont spin unnecessary embellishment when none is needed. And anyway, its not like its something I can forget. His brow dented as he challenged his captain, adorable truculence washing over his face.
The pirate merely leaned back and waved a hand at the audience, indicating Will should start. He watched the young smith explain the beauteous Miss Swann, moving on to the raid on Port Royal, the kidnapping of his ladylove, and the heady pursuit of her fair hand. Jack did notice a tendency to linger on the details of what had gone on between Will and himself, and on the ships, mostly about the *Pearl*. He found himself being sucked into the tale as Will animatedly recounted it, bringing his hands, eyes, and expressions into the telling. He didnt even notice the passage of time as those dark eyes glinted, often flicking over to meet Jacks own as if saving parts of the story especially for him.
It would be nice, Jack reflected, to have those eyes truly turned upon him, their slick surface shining with pleasure at the deft ministrations of dark hands -- that was, if he could actually get close enough to Will for that. The man was a bit standoffish, avoiding most forms of physical contact with people, keeping his distance when possible. When it was not possible, the young man was often coltish, eager to skitter out of the way to resume whatever he was working on.
--And then she came up and squinched up right close to me, shoving poor Jack back on those bayonets the Commodore was so hurt, that he backed off long enough to let him get out of there.
Aye, an did e take ye wif im?
A tight shake of the smiths head. No I stayed there for awhile, but I was bored I set out for Tortuga, and never looked back.
Tortuga? yet another voice challenged. Ive eard f a smith down in Tortuga called im th Golden Eunuch. Made all sort o shine, angin em off the rafers, but neer touched any th gals.
Will frowned. I am not a eunuch! he shot back, his verbal byplay skills having increased in his time aboard ship. Never have been, never will be. Just ask him, he grumped, gesturing at Jack.
All eyes turned lascivious glances at the pirate, as if expecting him to confirm the supposition with a particularly salacious story, but Jack just shrugged. Will, you don take your kit off for anything cept swimming an bathing, and then youre always lone. How th hell should I know?
A great guffawing shook the room as Will just sent a glare his way. Damn pirate, he noised, taking a sip of his wine.
As the crowd thinned out, Jack slid in close to the storyteller, looking over several young men who still eyeing Will appreciatively. Lad, ye didn work t out earlier how bout giving one o them a go? he asked. Hed brought Will to this tavern for the sole purpose of sussing out the lads intentions, since Will had made it obvious earlier that he wasnt interested in any of the female company available.
Will gave them a glance over and shook his head. Theyre not what I want, either, Jack.
The captain huffed into his moustache as the smith preceded him out the door. *You dont want women You dont want men Good Christ, boy, youre not still pining over Elizabeth, are you?*
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