Title: True Match (part 2 of the Katana series)
Author: Blue Buick R (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Pairing: eventual J/W
Summary: Things have a knack for finding their way into the right hands...eventually.
Notes: This is the second fic in a series of three. Before reading this one I suggest you go read the first, All Other Loves. Thank you to my beta Antoinette. Feedback, yummy, yum, yum!
For a sword smith shop the sign was an odd one. There was no anvil or crossed blades on the carved and painted wood swinging above the door, but rather an elegant sprig of slightly blushing blossoms jutting from a smoothly snarled branch. He wouldnt have found the place at all if he hadnt asked for directions from a dockmaster whod describe the incongruous signage to him in detail.
Truthfully this entire trek was odd and incongruous to say the least. Itd all started with the usually pillage and plunder, a pregnant merchant vessel sailing unsafe waters when he and his Pearl had fallen on it like a hungry wolf. The swag had been bountiful, the crew cowardly, and the captain in possession of such a sword as Jack had never seen. Itd drawn him to it the moment hed set eyes on it, still safely snug in the scabbard at the sniveling captains waist. The man hadnt even had the courage to draw it when they were boarded, opting for a piss in his trousers instead. Hed claimed the sword as his due right off, keeping the rest of his mens meaty paws off it.
When hed finally returned to the Pearl, their booty safely below decks, he retired to his cabin with sword in hand. It was obviously of eastern origin, the subtle curve to the blade and the intricately carved ivory handle a sure give away. Nothing had prepared Jack for the blade itself as he slipped it almost noiselessly from its scabbard. There on both sides of the burnished steel was a great free bird, wings spread in exultation, wild spirit untamed. It took Jacks breath away and called to him like only the Pearl ever had.
He must have stared at it, caressed it, for hours before hed noticed the small characters carved at the base of the blade. Grabbing a magnifying glass he used on his maps he took a closer look at the writing. It was a signature in Japanese. Having picked up some of the alphabet over his travels (some of the best and most valuable treasure was oriental art) he managed to decipher what was the most probable name. Hed nearly dropped the glass and the precious sword in shock. His crew thought him madder than usual when hed dashed out of his cabin and ordered the Pearl back to where theyd left the merchant vessel. He had a captain to speak to, a captain who had no trouble remembering (with the proper persuasion) where hed acquired said sword, his esteem for the work so high it was burned in his memory.
Which brought him here, outside what was supposed to be a sword smiths shop with a silly floral sign perched above the door, magnificent sword tucked under one arm. Shaking his head Jack opened the door and stepped through the threshold.
It was not like any forge hed ever been in. The room was airy and cleaner than most peoples homes. Sunlight and a slight breeze streamed in through small windows placed high up on the walls, much of the floor was covered with mats woven from some sort of reed. A strange small rounded furnace sat in the corner, cold and dead at the moment. There was also a man. A short man, with long black hair hanging casual and loose about his round face, slanted black eyes staring at Jack from across the room. The little man appeared to have been feeding some red and yellow birds who hopped around and twittered manically in a bamboo cage set in the opposite corner as the furnace.
Hello, mate! Jack greeted the man, about to step further into the room.
Take off your boots please, he man halted him mid step, his booted foot hovering mid air.
Jack looked to the man, then down to his feet, wiggling his toes in his boots for his own benefit. I dont think youll be wantin me to do that, friend, he cautioned the man.
There is a bowl of water to your right, the man explained, turning back to his birds.
Jack huffed in exasperation, but did as he was bid, plunking himself down and pulling off his boots, then standing to slosh his bare feet around the provided tepid water. Finished he sauntered further into the room and closer to the little Japanese man in the corner.
I was hoping you could help me, he drawled, trying to catch the mans attention.
Hmmm? the man hummed disinterested, stroking a particularly agitated yellow bird through the bars of the cage.
Biting back his annoyance Jack ploughed forward. I was wondering if you could help me find the man who made this sword, he pulled his blade free with a swish, hoping to startle or frighten the man into answering him, or at least *looking* in his direction!
The man finally turned his head to look at him, dark eyes probing and serious, he looked closely at the sword clutched in Jacks hands. Then he turned toward a curtain near the back of the room, William! he called. Your perplexing bird has returned to the roost!
Moments later the curtain parted and one William Turner glided into the room. A William Turner who was, but was not, like the one Jack remembered leaving standing on the battlements of Port Royal. It was the same face, same eyes and lean body, but instead of the barely contained fury and impatience was a calm and serenity Jack hadnt witnessed in many men. His hair was pulled back tight into a knot at the back of his head, and his face was clean shaven. He wore loose stark white pants as well as a light robe, died a deep sapphire blue, and hanging open as if hed thrown it on in a hurry.
The most striking change was the large tattoo Jack could see peeking out from behind the robe. It was the same branch of pink flowers hed seen on the sign outside the shop. It curved up from around his rib cage, up his breastbone, coming to rest close to his collarbone. Jack surmised by the design, and its position where it disappeared behind the robe, that it curled around Wills side and onto his back where the base of the branch most likely began.
Jack! Will exclaimed, breaking out of his momentary shock at seeing the pirate standing in the workshop, a katana drawn on his master.
Jack? The little man in front of the pirate raised an eyebrow. This is your Jack Sparrow? he directed the inquiry at Will. More like a peacock I should think.
Hey there! Jack spluttered, shaking the sword between his hands at the other man.
Jack, Wills voice grabbed his attention again. What are you doing here?
Looking for you Will, Jack said as if it was obvious.
Well you see... he trailed off, frowning more to himself than to anyone. I... his eyes alighted on the blade still held in his hands and he perked up immediately. I came to bring you back your sword!
Will looked at the weapon in Jacks hands for a long time before answering. Where did you get that?
It was Jacks turn to raise an eyebrow. Ummm Will...pirate!
A slight smile graced Wills face and he tilted his head in concession.
I sold that sword a few months ago, Will explained. Id worked on it for a long time, slaved over it, and when it came to engraving I just couldnt figure out what to do. Master Shichirobei always taught me that the design that was natural to the blade would develop on its own so I just sat there for a whole day and night and let my hands go free. When it was done... he shrugged. I didnt feel right selling it to that sea captain, it felt all wrong, like they didnt belong together but I was persuaded otherwise. Will glanced at the Asian man beside Jack and smiled fondly.
A sword will find itself in the hands of its true match in the end, William, no matter the road. It is not for us to decide its course, Shi-shi-bee or whatever his name was lectured softly. Oh brother Jack was sick of the man already!
Will! Jack exclaimed What in the devil are you doing here anyway? Last I saw of you, you were gettin reading to get under young Miss Swanns skirt.
Wills eyes clouded for a moment but it passed quickly and he sighed. Not much of a story Jack...I...I simply found my Pearl. He grinned over Jack. Savvy?
Oh, aye. Jack nodded his head. But William, really, if you wanted some ink I could have done you a great design a mermaid or a ship something not so, so, *pink*!
That is my family emblem, Captain Peacock, and a symbol of my craft, Shi-boo-ga-moo addressed Jack firmly. You have come to return that sword have you? he added slyly.
I...no...I mean, Jack looked to Wills master, then to the sword, then to Will a little frantic. William? he finally whined plaintively.
Will laughed throatily. Its yours Jack, I just didnt realize it at the time.
Jack breathed out relieved. Thats mighty generous of you William, mighty generous indeed. Now if I could only take its maker along with me back to the Pearl everything would be commin up pink blossoms now wouldnt it?
Will flushed and cast his eyes to the floor, shaking his head. I like it here, Jack. Ive learnt so much from Master Shichirobei, my work is my life...I wouldnt find any in being a pirate, even if it was one who was a good man.
Jack was disappointed but couldnt think of anything to say to change young Turners mind.
You might not find honor no, Shichirobei smoothly spoke. But perhaps a happiness and freedom you have yet to attain.
Master no! I... Will looked so stricken that Jack was tempted to renege on his offer.
William, I have taught you all I can for the moment. You need to experience life and the world before further lessons can be imparted. You must *live*, not locked in a dark, suffocating forge in a small minded town, or trapped in a cycle of obsessive creation within these walls. Go and sample the sea, cry and be merry and when you wish to return I will be waiting for you.
Youre throwing me out? Will asked, and Jack could tell his throat was tight with emotion.
Never, I will not deny you the haven of this place, but I am encouraging you to go with your Captain Sparrow...if only for a time.
Will nodded his head, casting his eyes about the room a little lost. Jack walked over to him and put a comforting hand on his shoulder. You dont have to come with me mate if its not what you want.
Will sniffed and looked over Jacks shoulder to the man still standing behind him. Jack craned his head around to see what was what and saw Shichirobei holding out another sheathed katana toward Will. This one looked older than the one Jack held in his hands, the hilt worn a little smooth, the craftsmanship and style slightly more sophisticated and experienced.
Master I couldnt, Will gasped past Jacks ear.
It was for love of it that I had the pleasure and honor of your company William, it is only fitting that you take it with you. Remember, a blade will find its way into the hands of its true match...no matter how long the journey.
Jack could see the sad smile flit across Wills lips before the young man stepped back from the pirate. As he slid away from Jacks body he took the sword still clutched in the pirates hand and pried in from his grip.
Hold out your hand Jack, he instructed.
Curious and slightly puzzled Jack did as he was told and extended his hand. He was not prepared for Will to bring the blade up and tap his palm with the razor sharp edge. It broke the skin in a painless instant, blood flowing in a perfectly straight line cross his palm.
Oy! Whatd you go and do that fer, you maniac! Jack bellowed, snatching his hand back and clutching it to his chest.
Will simply smiled at him indulgently and shook his head.
continue to part 3: Under Pink Blossoms
Like this story? Send feedback to the author!