Title: Who Loves Him True
Author: SkyFire (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: Some of the longest days of Jack's life. Set after PotC.
Warnings: I wrote it. 'Nuff said. *smirk*
Author's Notes: This fic is a series of snippets in chronological order,
written for the J/W Ficathon. The fic had to include (1) Romance, and
(2) defiant!Will doing something uncharacteristic. For Devi. Hope you like
Disclaimer: No, I'm not making money, and No, they're not mine. BUT I might just have to borrow them for a while; take them out for a spin, some romance, angst, and a few laughs. Borrow. Really. With every intention of giving them back.... sooner or later...
Who Loves Him True
Jack stared, face a study in disbelief. "Ye cheated!" he exclaimed. "I
can't believe ye bloody cheated!"
Across the scarred table from him, Will smirked in reply, eyes twinkling
with mirth. Then he shrugged. "As you are so fond of pointing out," he said
simply, "pirate blood runs through my veins."
Jack grit his teeth. Trust the whelp to use his own words against him! "But
Will rolled his eyes. "Haven't we been over that already? Yes, I cheated."
He paused as Jack's expression became one of long-suffering... what,
exactly? "Don't give me that look, Jack. I was not the only one of us
"Of course I cheated," Jack acknowledged, his hands waving in careless
dismissal. "I'm a pirate. But *you* never cheat!"
The smirk was back in full force. "Are you sure? Just because you never
caught me at it doesn't mean I haven't." A small pause for that to sink in,
for shock to seep into Jack's expression. "None of which changes the fact
that I won. Which means that you lost. Which means that, as per our
agreement, the loser -that would be you- must do the courting. And I expect
to be well-courted."
But Will would have none of it. "We had an accord, Jack."
"But I wasn't supposed to lose!"
It was true. Of all possible outcomes, losing was the one that Jack hadn't
foreseen. He was supposed to win and Will, though undoubtedly slightly
put-off by Jack's gratuitous cheating, would have to honor their agreement
and indulge the pirate's well-buried craving for a little flowery romance.
He wasn't supposed to lose! How in blazes did a person go about *courting*
anyway? His conquests of late had almost always involved much inbibing of
strong drink, and possibly the exchange of a few coins. He could not see
Will being impressed by *that*. Especially with the disappointed frown and
soul-deep sigh the whelp always seemed to give him when he *did* indulge
himself in that manner.
"But you *did* lose, Jack," Will said as he turned away unsympathetically.
"And we agreed on a week's worth of courting. That's a full seven days.
//It is all Elizabeth's fault, really,// Jack mused later that day as he
stood his turn at the wheel. //Elizabeth and her suitor, that bastard
It was only *after* Will received her latest letter that he latched onto
the idea of courting, after all.
What else could it be, since he and Will had been lovers for nigh on two
months now, with not even a peep about such a thing?
And now look at them. Will suddenly back to acting the blushing virgin in
need of *courting*, of all things...! And acting it certainly was, since
Jack had most enthusiastically made absolutely certain that the beautiful
blacksmith-turned-pirate could no longer rightfully bear that descriptive
in any form whatsoever.
Not for the first time, he blessed the trip to India that had ended up with
him branded, for it had also ended up with him being in posession of the
most delightfully illustrated book, a book that he and Will were
steadily working their way through at night... Or at least, they *had* been.
None of which was helping.
//What does a... gentleman... *do* when courting...?!//
~~ Evening of Day 1 ~~
Will leaned back in his chair, the meal a pleasant weight in his stomach.
He had to give Jack credit; though the meal was the same shipboard fare as
always, it had been improved --aesthetically, at least-- by the soft linen
tablecloth and napkins, the fine china and silverware, the heavy
candlesticks. All of which was doubtless taken from amongst the plunder in
the hold, but it cut a fine picture anyway.
And the table was not the only thing that had impressd him.
Jack himself had scrubbed himself to within an inch of his life, removing
layers of dirt and grime, then dressed in his finest, cleanest clothes. Not
that they were up to say, Norrington's standards, but they were clean, the
patches sewn on tidily, small tears carefully mended with tiny stitches and
barely noticeable. His hair, clean, was freshly brushed and braided. He had
spoken only of pleasant things during the meal; avoiding the topics which
usually ran from his lips at any given moment, appropriate or not: whores,
drink, plundering, drink, the latest juicy ship-gossip... Not once did any
mention of bloodshed pass his lips, nor a single curse. He even offered the
food first to Will before taking his own portions.
All in all, Will judged the meal a success.
But it was over now, and it was time to go.
Jack stood as he did, the familiar lascivious grin crossing his face,
turning to a look of confusion as Will turned not toward the cabin they had
shared for the last two months, but toward the door out. "Hey, now," he
called as Will walked away. "Where are ye going? Bed's this way."
But Will only shook his head. "No, Jack," he said softly in explanation.
"Two people don't share a bed when they're courting."
"Don't share a--" Jack looked horrified. "Not at *all*?"
"It's not enough that I have to *do* the courtin', but I have t' be
Will attempted to smother a smirk, with minimal success. "A week alone
won't kill you."
"The *entire* week?! Will, please..."
"Good night, Jack," Will said as he left to go to his temporary quarters
with the rest of the crew.
~~ Day 2 ~~
Jack was most decidedly *not* happy.
Standing in the treasure-hold, with plunder piled high all about him, 
was usually where he felt the most content, in a solely platonic sort of
way. He typically felt *more* content after a good romp in bed (or on-deck,
or in-alley, or... well, anywhere, really, as long as there was vigorous,
sweaty, sticky romping involved), but barring sex and drink, treasure was
next on his list of things that made him happy.
Which was entirely beside the point at that time, because he was *not* happy.
Not only was he bound to be bloody *celibate* for another *five* days, but
he had to figure out what the blazes he was supposed to do to court Will.
He had thought about it that morning as he piloted the Pearl, decided that
what Will needed was a present. After all, didn't women like to get
presents when they were courted? And *he* certainly appreciated the gift of
something nice and shiny every now and again, even if he had to...
borrow... it himself.
And so here he was, standing in the hold, staring around helplessly.
Just what did you *give* a swordsmith that already *had* everything he wanted?
But he didn't, did he?
Freshly inspired, Jack left the trasure hold, his mind already working on
how exactly he could bring his idea to fruition.
~~ Later that Evening ~~
Will, still pleasantly full from the meal they had just consumed (another
success, as far as he was concerned, but not enough to count as a day
well-courted; he couldn't have Jack trying to get by solely on fancy meals,
could he now?) followed Jack out of his cabin, then down to one of the
lesser-used, smaller holds. Stared blankly at the bare wood as Jack
gestured grandly at it, grinning proudly.
"Jack, that's an empty spot. There's nothing there."
"Not yet, but there will be," Jack said. "Pearl and I decided that ye
shouldn't have t' suffer fer bein' here--"
"I'm not suffering from anything, Jack--"
"--so next port, we'll buy some brick to line the floor, and the rest o'
the things ye'll need to set up yer own forge. It might not be as *big* as
ye're used to, but it should do."
Will blinked. Looked at the cleared area, then back to Jack. He felt a
splitting grin spreading across his face, but couldn't hold it back. "My
own forge?" he asked softly.
Jack nodded. "Aye," he said, grin widening at Will's expression. "Yer own
"Thank you, Jack!"
And Jack found himself rewarded with a huge, breath-stealing hug. He
grinned, slid a hand down the strong back while Will was distracted by
gratitude and hopefully wouldn't--
Will straightened upon feeling Jack's hand grabbing his rump. "I told you
yesterday, Jack: None of that while courting," he said, frowning slightly
around the grin that kept peeking through. Figuring he had best remove the
temptation from Jack's grasp, he turned and started away. "Good night,
Jack," he said as he left.
Jack's only reply was an indecipherable grumble and a series of dull thuds
as he banged his head against the bulkhead. Repeatedly.
~~ Day 3 ~~
Will looked inside the smallish wooden box he held; Jack's latest
courting-gift. Inside, lying on the soft velvet lining, were beads.
The beads were made of many different colors and materials, from frosty
sea-glass to painted wood to gold and silver. Also amongst the many
different beads were a few small trinkets. None so spectacular as those
hanging in Jack's own hair (the pirate probably knew that those would be a
bit much for him at that time), but pretty enough all the same.
But still, beads?
The pirate shrugged, a surprisingly embarrased gesture, even as an
unexpected tide of pink rose up his face. "I know ye don't wear any yet,"
he said faintly, keeping his eyes averted. "But I thought... if ye ever
wanted t' try..." He shrugged again. "Those were m' first beads an'
trinkets. They were given t'me by the first captain I served under." A
small pause. "If ye don't want t' wear 'em, it's all right--"
Will hesitated. He had always thought Jack's beads and trinkets a bit odd
on a man... but then, his lack of personal ornament of most *any* kind had
most of the pirates looking at *him* oddly when they thought he wasn't looking.
Really now, what would *one* strand hurt?
And it would mean so much to Jack, try to hide it though he did...
Reaching into the box, Will pulled out his first bead of choice, a wooden
bead painted nearly exactly the color of Jack's eyes.
"How do you put these on?" he asked.
Jack's face brightened, and he reached out to pull a strand of hair loose
from the others. "I'll show ye," he said, grinning his golden grin. "And
then, maybe, we can--"
~~ Day 4 ~~
Will sat back in his chair at the table with his eyes closed, waiting in
anticipation. It seemed that he was getting used to the routine of Jack's
First, they worked until evening, same as always while aboard ship. Then
came dinner in Jack's cabin, then Jack would present him with whateer he
had thought up that day. The first day, it was the dinner itself. The
second, the promise of a forge. The third, the hair-baubles that lay now
against the side of his face, a weight he had yet to get accustomed to. And
Well, he was soon to find out; he could hear Jack returning, his footsteps
thumping softly on the wooden floor as he neared. Will's nose twitched.
What was that smell...? Dark and rich and earthy at the same time, and yet
a hint of... what? Whatever it was, it smelled wonderful, and totally
unlike anything he had ever smelled before.
What was it?
A soft, rattling 'clink' as something was set on the table before him.
"Open yer eyes, luv," Jack said softly, from right beside his ear.
Will opened his eyes turned toward where he had heard the clink, and found
himself looking at a delicately painted china cup filled with brown. He
looked to Jack. "What is it?" he asked, reaching out for the cup. He lifted
it to his face... Yes, this *was* what he had smelled.
"One of the things th' Spanish got *right*," Jack replied, grinning.
"Second best thing in the world, after rum. *Chocolate*, with cinnamon an'
Will's eyes widened. Having only been an apprentice blacksmith he had had
no money of his own, and his master had not been one to indulge him in
useless luxuries like the exotic beverage. Indeed, he had only heard the
vaguest rumor as to its existence.
And yet here it was now, before him.
"Chocolate?" he asked, just to be sure.
"Chocolate," the pirate confirmed. He watched as Will tentatively sipped
the treat, grinned as the whelp went absolutely cross-eyed in bliss,
melting back into his seat. Then he asked. "*Now* can we--"
"But it's *chocolate*, luv! No one can resist chocolate!"
Sip. Sigh of bliss.
"Chocolate, no," Will agreed. "*You*, on the other hand--"
~~ Day 5, Evening ~~
"I wrote a poem," Jack said, a slightly panicky edge to his voice as Will
made to leave. Again.
Will paused, sank back down in his seat at the table. Had the pirate just
said...? "You *what*?"
"Wrote a poem," Jack repeated. Then a faint blush colored the sun-gilded
skin of his face. "Well, I *tried* to, but I only ended up writin' yer name
over and over again. I couldn't think up anythin' else. Do ye have any idea
how hard it is t' find words that rhyme wi' 'Will'? I came up with 'bill'
and 'fill' and then the poem got rather dirty, an' I had t' start over..."
Will took the rich, thick paper Jack held out, paper that was mostly
covered with his name. Down on the left side, however, was a short scrap of
"The best man in the world be Will
To look at him, my heart be filled
With all my soul I hope he sees
One loves him true, and that be me."
As far as poetry and grammar went, it wasn't spectacular. But the words
were clearly from the heart.
Will smiled softly, one work-roughened finger tracing the flowing curves of
"You wrote this?" he asked, already knowing the answer.
Jack nodded hesitantly. "Ye like it?"
Will nodded. "Very much," he said. Making up his mind, he stood.
Jack stood as well. "Leavin' now, are ye?" he asked. Five days of the same
routine, and still he couldn't get used to it. It was just *wrong* for Will
to be bunking with the rest of the crew when there was a cozy and inviting
bed --not to mention a warm and (more than!) ready Captain-- right here.
But Will got upset when he kept asking, and so he had decided that he would
not ask again until the week was up.
"No," came the unexpected reply.
It took a moment for it to sink in. "No?" he repeated, unable to keep the
hopeful tone out of his voice.
"But there's two days left," Jack felt compelled to point out. After all,
the whelp had been so *insistant* every other day...
"I don't care," Will said, voice strong and clear.
//Best words I've heard all week,// Jack thought.
Then he stood as Will did and let himself be led back into his --their--
April 9, 2004
 Some version of the Kama Sutra, no doubt, knowing Jack... ;oP
 All right: so a ship, even a pirate ship, would *not* have loose
plunder lying about in its hold, since having it rolling about would
doubtless compromise the ship's stability. This is where poetic license
comes in, because having the visual of all that loose plunder lying around
is a lot more pleasing to the eye than, say, "Standing in the hold, amongst
the safely-closed and stowed away chests of plunder..." :o)
Like this story? Send feedback to the author!