Author's Note: I'm back!! Okay...a few things...
1) My E-mail:
My computer has been on the fritz and would not let me send e-mails. If you sent one to me I apologize for not being able to reply to it! Just know that now my e-mail is back up and running.
2) The Year in Which PotC Takes Place:
I have seen several answers in regard to my comment on this. Some people are saying that PotC takes place in the mid to late 1700s, while others say BEFORE the 1700s. Gore Verbinski said the movie took place sometime around the 1800s. But from what I'm seeing, each of these answers would mean that the movie has at least one historical error. This is an AU story, and I may unwittingly change a few historical points in the future. For instance, it was not until after I wrote this chapter that I found when it was the practice of stitches was invented. Thankfully, it fits in with the story.
3) The Characters on the Dauntless:
Let me just warn you all now. Jack, Elizabeth, Norrington, and all those other characters who are on the Dauntless do NOT make appearances in this chapter. But do not worry! The next one will focus plenty on them. After the original Chapter 7 erased, I couldn't remember how I had written the parts with Jack and Elizabeth and Norrington, and I figured I'd withheld this chapter long enough.
4) The Content of This Chapter:
Well, since this is FF.net, it's actually a fade-to-black sort of thing...the actual act is not written out in this version. But...this *is* FF.net, so I give a major warning.
**The rape part of this chapter is at Adulfanfiction.net, for those who care to read it.**
The beginning of this chapter is ENTIRELY FLASHBACKS OF WILL'S CHILDHOOD...he will not be thinking about them when he wakes, but he will in future chapters. This is where, in the original chapter, I had to edit out parts because I kept on making more and more flashbacks until I was basically starting to write out the entire movie from Will's point of view. (I did the scene where he goes to Norrington the morning after the attack and the one where he draws his sword on Jack on the Interceptor. I decided to save them in case I would want to use them in the future, but they too, ended up erasing...) Which sounds like a good idea that I may do in the future basing some ideas on his past with it...but I have other stories to finish first. Plus with Troy coming out in 2004...I might end up writing another story based on that, since the story of Troy is one of my all time favorites. And I'm digressing. I apologize.
School has already started for me, and with that comes plenty of work. I am currently in water polo, also, and that takes up several hours of my day, as does homework. I will work on this story as much as I can, but I cannot promise I will be updating every week. Actually, it's very unlikely I shall be updating every week. But I will continue to work on this story as much as I can, I guarantee you! I will *never* abandon it.
6) Just a Mini No Tears Rant:
Well, as you all know, the last chapter was erased, and I must say it was absolute HELL trying to rewrite it. I believe this version to be horrible compared to the original. Every scene I tried to rewrite, I do not believe any of them contain what I was proud of in the original. Especially the flashbacks. I was happy with the flashback scenes in the original, but my mind just simply could not recreate it! In my opinion, it couldn't have come at a worse chapter! But here we go! Read the chapter!
And special thanks to Kazren for aiding me on a few points of this chapter!! ::grins::
Any constructive criticism on ways to improve the chapter are greatly appreciated.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Indicates flashbacks. As soon as you see ********* we're back in the present.
Part 7: Flashbacks Before the Storm Breaks
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"What a fine young man your son is becoming!"
"That he is. I could not have hoped for a better child."
Will blushed from where he stood, nailing a few pieces of wood together. Behind him, his mother and one of the neighbor ladies named Emma were sitting on the soft grass of a hill just outside of Will's house, having a bit of lunch in the warm afternoon sun.
"He's a charmer, too." Emma added. "My daughter fancies him, you know."
"Yes. She speaks very highly of the boy."
Will moved his full concentration to the task before him. His mother would not allow him to handle a knife to shape the wood, so he had spent weeks searching for pieces that would be the best size and shape. His hunt had finally finished this morning.
"What is it you've got there, William?" Emma asked, leaning over to get a better look at what he held in his hands.
Moving his creation so both ladies could get a clear view of it, he raised his head proudly. "A sword."
"A sword?" Emma asked with a laugh. "Going to fight pirates, are you?"
Will's mother made a barely noticeable flinching motion as she laughed weakly along with her friend, but the boy was not surprised by it. His mother always became nervous when the topic of pirates came up.
"Yes." he confirmed. "I'm going to protect mother from them."
"Is that so?" Emma chuckled, turning to his mother. "A wonderful boy, to be sure."
"He is." Will's mother agreed.
"Quiet and shy. A bit clumsy at times, but a wonderful boy."
Will bristled in indignation at the words, but his mother had taught him to hold his tongue at times like this and he did so with near perfection now, pretending he did not even hear the words spoken as he began to put away the few tools he had used.
"My William's not clumsy." his mother protested softly, smiling warmly at him as he glanced over. Will beamed. "He merely has a habit of touching items of curiosity."
Emma snorted. "Indeed. Do you remember the day the poor dear ran home screaming because he was being chased by a goat..."
Will's cheeks reddened and he decided that was his cue to leave. Turning, he headed up to an old barn that stood on a hill by his house to practice with his new wooden sword, leaving the two women to their gossip.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Quickly, now, William!"
Confusion settled over the boy as he met his mother's urgent eyes when she grasped his hand. What had happened to make the fear so evident on his mother's face? What was going on?
"To the barn!" she cried. "We must go!"
She began pulling him through the back door of the house and broke into a quick jog, one hand holding up her dress so it wouldn't get tangled in her legs. Behind them, dusk was beginning to settle over, and in the distance he could hear a strange booming. Determinedly, Will kept the pace of his mother's legs, watching her long brown hair sway behind her as she hurried up the hill that led to the old barn.
As soon as they reached it his mother pulled him inside, taking him over to the farthest corner and kneeling down before him. She took both of his hands in her own, her brown eyes staring into his.
"Mother, you're getting your dress dirty." the boy pointed out with an arch of his left eyebrow, an action she always said he had inherited from his father.
A small smile lit his mother's lips, but quickly disappeared when the sound of yelling came from the distance. She whirled her head around, her breath quickening as she gazed at the entrance to the barn.
"You've invited visitors, mother?" Will asked as he followed her gaze.
Turning back to him, Will's mother squeezed his hands to gather his attention. "Will, darling, I need you to do something for me."
Will's eyes showed his confusion, but he nodded. He would do anything for his mother.
"We're going to play a game of hide and seek. I want you to hide in here."
"But you've always told me to not play games outside after dark." Will replied.
"I'm making an exception this time." she said in a hurry. "Stay here and hide in the dark. If anyone comes to look for you, do not come out."
"How long shall I hide, mother?" Will asked.
"For as long as you need." There was a loud crash from outside that made both his mother and him jump, but she continued without turning this time. "You must not come out before then, no matter what happens. William...do you have the medallion your father sent you?"
Will nodded. Of course he had it. He had almost never taken the necklace off ever since his mother had brought it over his head. The boy began to reach up to take the trinket out to show her, but his mother appeared to not want to waste any time and simply squeezed his hands tighter.
"Good. Keep it in your shirt so that the moonlight does not reflect off of it and reveal your hiding place."
"Are you going to hide too, mother?" Will asked, still confused about this game she was trying to get him to play. It seemed such a strange thing. He had never hidden in such a place after dark and had never played a game where he was not aware of who the other players were.
Something passed through his mother's voice when she again spoke, something he could not identify. "Yes, I shall. Now, do you remember what I told you to do?"
"You want me to stay here and hide for as long as I need. And before that do not come out for any reason."
His mother smiled, then there was a rustle as she moved herself closer to him. "I love you, William." she said as she wrapped her arms around him in a warm embrace.
"I love you too, mother." Will said, returning the hug even as he felt more confusion crowd his mind.
His mother drew back, then brought her forehead forward and pressed it against his own. It was a gesture that his mother had done with him for as long as he could remember. The intimate contact and feeling of warmth as their foreheads met gave both of them a feeling of comfort in the knowledge that their love towards each other was unconditional. But why did she decide to do it now?
Slowly, his mother withdrew, pressing a kiss upon his brow and then standing to creep to the entrance of the barn. He saw her gaze around when she reached the opening – most likely to see if the seekers were around – and then she carefully moved around the barn and out of his sight.
Will couldn't tell how long he was there, sitting against the wall of the barn in a dark corner, listening to the sounds outside. A few times he had seen an owl cross into the rafters of the barn, but it would always leave again soon after. He saw nothing else.
Suddenly the commotion outside grew, and Will could make out laughter somewhere down by his house. Whoever was out there seemed to be having way more fun than he was in here. The laughs rose louder, and then he heard a scream. The sound made Will's eyes go wide as he moved to his feet. He would recognize his mother's voice anywhere, and it sounded like she was hurting. His first instinct was to run to her to help, but then he remembered his mother's words.
"You must not come out before then, no matter what happens."
William was a boy who always listened to mother, and he could count on one hand the number of times he'd actively disobeyed her in this lifetime. It wasn't like him to change on the dot, and two voices began warring in his head, one yelling at him and telling him to go out and help his mother, and the other his mother's voice, telling him to stay in the barn no matter what.
Tears began trickle from his eyes as he heard another scream. Something was happening outside. Something bad. But how could he ignore his mother's authority?
Letting out a despaired sob, he sank back down against the wall and pressed against it, drawing his knees up to his chest and burying his head in his arms. His shoulders shook as he cried, trying to block out the sounds of the screams outside.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
A great squawk jolted Will awake. He looked around wildly before realizing that it was only a rooster, then relaxed as he blearily blinked and looked around. As he took in his surroundings he became confused. Why was he in the barn? Memory rushed back to him in a flash. The sun setting... hurrying to the barn... darkness... the medallion... the screams... his mother! He had somehow fallen asleep during the night!
Will instantly surged to his feet, running to the entrance of the barn and nearly stumbling in his haste to get down the hill towards his house. The boy stopped dead in his tracks when he took in the horrible sight in the light of the dawn.
The house was completely charred. Windows were shattered, and all manner of furniture lay strewn about. An old tree stood burned of its leaves, standing like a black crucifix against the reddening sky. Several people were standing on the road before the house, but Will did not see his mother among them.
His heart pounding, the boy sprinted the rest of the way to the house, and hurried through the back door, which had been ripped off its hinges. Will's eyes widened as he gazed at walls which had been broken through, tables overturned, food and valuables missing. He searched for his mother through the mess, his heart brimming with hope each time he came to a new room, and then feeling that hope shattered when there was no sign of her. His own room was demolished as well, and it appeared that no one drawer had escaped scrutiny. Will called out to his mother a few times, thinking that maybe she was hiding, but was met with only silence. Moving back to the front of the house, he found that the small fireplace inside had been smashed in. Above it hung a painting, slashed to shreds that barely clung to the frame. It had been a portrait of his family, painted years ago, when he was much younger. Three people had been drawn onto the surface: himself, his mother, and his father. His father had been the one to pay for it's creation. It was the only reminder of his father he owned, save for the medallion which he now clutched to his breast.
After a long while of staring at the ruined painting, he finally left the house, knowing his mother was not inside and hoping to find her standing on the streets along with the crowd. Voices lifted to his ears as he moved among them, no one noticing the small boy who filtered through their midst. He eventually saw a group of people staring down at something. Emma was among them. His heart lifted; if anyone knew where his mother was, it would be her.
He began jogging forward, and gasped when his foot stepped on something unsteady and gave his ankle a painful twist. Looking down to see what had caused it, he found his wooden sword lying beneath his feet. He bent down and picked it up, then continued towards the circle of people. As he neared he caught snatches of conversation.
"What's to happen to young William?"
"No one's seen or heard from him since the attack. They either took him, or left his body somewhere where no one has yet found it."
"The poor dear."
Will was about to call out to tell them that he was right there and perfectly well, when he heard someone speak something that made his fears, previously calmed, escalate higher than before.
"It's such a shame. She deserved better than a husband who was never there for her."
Will may have been young, but he did not consider himself a fool, and he could tell what those words implied. His heart pumping hard, he began to worm his way through the bodies of the circle. He had to see what it was they were looking at.
"William!" Emma cried as she spotted him.
"Someone stop him! He must not see!"
But it was too late, Will had already breeched the adults and made the final squeeze to the center. The image that was before him seemed to stop his heart cold in his chest.
His mother lay on the ground just a few feet away, her brown eyes unseeing even as they were directed at him. Her brown hair was set in disarray around her head, patches of the long locks looking to have been torn from her fair scalp. Her lips, once carrying such a rosy hue, were now colorless. The dress he had seen her in just the night before was in tatters around her, and every inch of her skin was decorated in bruises and cuts.
In shock, Will dropped his wooden sword and fell to his knees beside her lifeless body. The world around him disappeared as he moved his arms under her neck and head, lifting them close. The limpness of her body sent a shiver down his spine and he had to struggle not to drop it. .
"Mother..." he sobbed, hugging her close. This couldn't be happening. She couldn't be dead...she couldn't...
In one final act of denial, he brought his forehead to his mother's, as he had so many times before. But what he felt in return was not the comforting warmth he was used to. The skin was cold, horribly so. When he brought his hand up to touch her temple, he could not feel her strong pulse beating from beneath the skin. "Mother..." he said again, as if the word would be enough to draw her from the eternal sleep in which she lay.
Tears began to stream down his face. This was all his fault. Had it not been just a few months ago that he had promised to protect her? And now she was dead, because he had to have the conscience to follow the rules instead of rush out to save her. He had been cowardly, even.
A hand came to rest on his shoulder, bringing him back to see the people around him. A man who he recognized as Emma's husband stood over him, smiling sadly. "Come on, son." he said. "There's nothing you can do for her now."
"There's nothing you can do for her now."
The words echoed in his mind over and over again as he stared up at the man blankly, the denial fading as he was hit with the reality of it all. They were going to make him leave her.
"There's nothing you can do for her now."
He clung to her limp body even more tightly. "No."
"William, you must come." another voice came, this one more firm.
The boy shook his head as the tears continued to flow, ignoring them once more even as they continued to tell him he had to leave. Someone came and gripped his arms, prying his hands from his mother's form. "No!" he wailed as he fought to return to his mother. The people holding him did not hearken his words as they pulled him farther and farther away from the most important person in his life. "Please, no! Don't make me leave her! Please! NO! DON'T TAKE HER AWAY FROM ME!!"
"Such a shame." one of the men above him said, shaking his head as Will collapsed into helpless sobs. "Such a shame."
The first thing that insinuated itself into Will's muddled brain as he was pulled towards consciousness was that his shoulder hurt. A lot. His left temple also throbbed, but his notice of that pain was quite small compared to that of his arm. The blacksmith's body was nearly entirely covered in a cold sweat, and he shivered as he felt chilled air run over him. There were also voices around, harsh voices that made him want to cover his ears. When they grew even louder he attempted to do this, only to find that his arms would not move.
The hurt in his shoulder suddenly burst into blazing agony and he arched off of the cold surface of whatever he lay on. The blacksmith cried out, finding that his mouth would not move properly when the sound came out garbled.
"Hold him, lads!"
The familiar voice was enough to bring him into full wakefulness, and he opened his eyes to take in his situation. He quickly wished he hadn't.
The leering faces of several pirates hung over him, and their gripping hands were holding his arms and legs down on a wooden table. Even more came to press down upon his chest, which he then realized was bare. A thick cloth had also been tied into his mouth, muffling his cries. He bit down hard on it and strained against the pirates' hands as his shoulder once again erupted in fiery pain. They were torturing him, he was sure. It felt like someone was poking him repeatedly with a dagger, and as he turned to look he found this wasn't far from the truth.
Barbossa was leaning over his shoulder, which sported a rather nasty looking wound. The pirate captain held a thread and needle in his hand, his concentration focused on the blacksmith's arm which was damp with some sort of stinging fluid. Even as Will looked on the pirate pierced his skin on one side of the slash mark and began pressing the needle through. Gasping around the gag, the blacksmith stiffened as he awaited the end to the pain. Barbossa met his eyes and smiled as he pulled the needle all the way through, then shoved it back in more violently than necessary. Will could not hold back his cry as he pulled against the grips of the pirates around him. When it was over he went limp on the table, groaning in misery even as he continued to take in gulps of air.
"Now, now, William," Barbossa admonished, "this is for your own good. Come now, what would yer father think if he knew his son couldn't take a bit of pain?"
Will stared at Barbossa incredulously. A bit of pain?! From the agony spreading in his arm he could tell they had given him little or nothing to stem his distress. Not that they would have probably wanted to, since they clearly enjoyed seeing him tormented. Grinding his teeth on the cloth in his mouth and shutting his eyes tightly, he tried to focus and get the level of pain under control. But the attempt proved useless and once more he was thrashing weakly on the table as the needle was again pushed through his skin.
It seemed like an eternity to Will, but it was only a few minutes later that he realized that Barbossa had stopped. Opening his eyes, which had begun to water, he watched the pirate captain bring a cloth to his wound and carefully rub off the blood that had welled up. Even though his touch was gentler so as to not tear the stitches, Will could not help but hiss at the contact. Barbossa's blue eyes trailed up to his and the pirate captain smiled.
The blacksmith watched as Barbossa reached over and brought a cup over his shoulder, preparing to pour some liquid on it. The sharp odor of the drink reached him through his pain and clouded thoughts, and he braced himself. This is going to hurt.
The liquid splashed over his wound, cool, and even a bit soothing. Then it flared in agony and a wildfire of hurt spread through the wound. Will shrieked, twisting, trying anything that would stop the pain. The pirates kept him firmly restrained, their cruel laughter reaching him through his bout of agony. Eventually the pain subsided somewhat, leaving him exhausted and trembling as more sweat broke out on his body. His breathing came in hitched gasps laced with whimpers as the room began to spin around him, dizziness taking over. Barbossa began running something over his sewn up wound to dry it.
"All done, son." Barbossa said, reaching over to stroke the blacksmith's forehead. Will gave a choked sob and flinched away from the touch, tears leaking from the corners of his eyes. "You've been gone for a while, now. I must say, the crew's quite pleased."
Will's brow furrowed as his mind struggled to process what was said. Pleased with what? Surely they can't have broken the curse... The blacksmith wracked his brain to try and recall the events that had happened before he had blacked out. He was rewarded with a small flash of the caves from his memory, but anything more than that he could not find.
"They've all had their fill of food and drink." Barbossa continued as he began tying a cloth over the now dry and clean stitches. He looked at Will and smiled, his blue eyes sparkling. "Yes, boy," he said as if reading Will's mind, "the curse has been lifted. There's just one more thing we'll be needin' to be completely satisfied. But I'm sorry to say that we cannot wait for it any longer."
Will's eyes widened in alarm as he realized Barbossa's meaning. Looking pleadingly up at the pirate captain, he began to shake his head in negation.
Barbossa's answering smile cut through his heart like a spear. "I'm afraid that it's not for ye to be decidin'." He looked up at the other pirates. "Get him on the bed."
The hands holding him were suddenly pulling him from the table and setting him on his feet. Will fought against them as they began dragging him over to a bed, but he was too weak and soon felt dizziness overtake him, making his legs buckle. He slumped against them, and in response they lifted him from the floor and carried him the rest of the short way to the mattress. They threw him onto the bed, and he lay still for but a moment before managing to somewhat collect himself. The blacksmith eyed his captors desperately, then frantically tried to get off the bed to bolt away. He was caught by the arms before he could get far and was flung back on the bed.
Hands were pinning him down before he could rise, from at least six pirates, but Will could not count more as their leering faces closed in on his frightened one. His arms were wrenched upwards and his legs were held about two feet above the bed as thick rope began to slide over his wrists and ankles. Adrenaline pumped furiously through his veins as he struggled, but blood loss had made him weak and he froze as he felt sharp pain lance through his recently sewn shoulder. He was going to have to be careful to not tear the sutures.
Will was bound spread eagle with his legs angling upwards and off of the bed. His chest heaved as he drew in great breaths of air, then moaned as his vision swam once more, complimenting the ache in his head which had decided to return. He was dimly aware of Barbossa approaching, and Will's eyes became luminous as the older man came into his sight.
The pirate captain stood over him, his eyes drinking in the vision of the blacksmith spread and tied. Will could see the hunger in the gaze and shuddered in revulsion, his heart beating rapidly within his breast. A hand reached down and undid the cloth around his head, freeing his tender mouth.
"D-Do not do this." Will said as soon as he was able.
Barbossa raised his eyebrows. "Now why would I have made the deal to involve you bein' me consort if for no other reason than this? There'd be no point to it, lad."
"You cannot take me against my will," the blacksmith insisted slowly, though with a despairing heart realized he would get no mercy from Barbossa.
The pirate captain smiled. "Oh, I think you'll be discoverin' that I can very well do anythin' I be wantin' with or without your consent." He turned to the other pirates. "Remove his pants."
Will's hands clenched into fists above his bonds as a knife was run through his trousers, and then they were torn from him completely. Hoots and lewd comments of appreciation filled his ears as he laid fully bare before his captors. Will had never felt so vulnerable or exposed in his life, and he pulled at the ropes around his wrists in a futile effort to bring his hands down to cover himself.
Barbossa began running a hand down Will's chest, the fingers leaving a trail of goosebumps in their wake. Shuddering again, Will turned his head and buried it in his arm. The pirate captain suddenly reached out and grabbed his hair, pulling his face about and making the blacksmith cry out from the sharp pain.
When he looked upon Barbossa's face he found that the smile had been replaced by a snarl, the captain's eyes narrowed into slits as he put the full force of his gaze onto the helpless blacksmith. "Ye will watch." he growled. "And ye will watch every bit. Close your eyes, and I'll be bringin' a knife into it." Barbossa turned to another pirate behind him. "Grapple, c'mere and hold his head."
Grapple gleefully carried out his captain's bidding, reaching out and holding Will's head immobile and facing forward. Fear coursing through him, Will realized for the first time the true danger of this situation, and what he'd agreed to. Barbossa was about to strip him of something he could never gain back, and the pirate was going to enjoy subjecting Will to being forced to these acts of impurity repeatedly. The thought made Will want more than ever to close his eyes or turn his head away, but with the pirate's hold on his head and Barbossa's threat he could do neither.
Will's eyes glanced over the other pirates around him, and with a sickening feeling he realized that they were to witness his defilement. Barbossa's hand was running down his stomach, now, steadily sliding lower and lower towards his nether regions.
When the pirate's hand was but an inch from its intended target Will gasped out, "I did n-not agree to this."
The words had the desired effect. Barbossa's hand paused as the pirate himself looked up at Will, who cringed to see the fury in the gaze. "What?"
"I did not agree to this." Will repeated more strongly, his eyes indicating the pirates around the bed. As he continued he had to pause to gasp in air that never seemed to sate his body. "Them being here...was not a part of our bargain." Barbossa had to grant him at least this much.
Barbossa glanced around at his men. "Oh, them." He turned back to Will. "Sorry, lad. All part o' bein' the cabin boy."
Will's brow furrowed at the words and his heart sank, knowing that there was nothing he could do but prepare himself for the hours to come.
Outside of the captain's cabin, the rest of Barbossa's crew that had been unfortunate enough to be left out of the proceedings were all feeling greatly pleased. Some had, in their greed to fill themselves, ended up making themselves sick from eating and drinking so much. Said pirates had been berated furiously by Bo'sun, who, much to his displeasure, had been ordered by Barbossa to stay out and watch the rest of the crew. The first mate was almost wildly seething as he walked about, shouting orders and insults at the other men.
Several of the pirates suddenly jumped in surprise as a loud scream tore through the air, its origin coming from the captain's cabin. After the initial reaction, the pirates of the Black Pearl began laughing and murmuring amongst themselves about how they wished they could be inside to witness the events.
Pintel winced in false sympathy as another, weaker scream rose. Leaning over to Ragetti, he snickered. "Told you there was reason to fret."
Next Chapter: Elizabeth, Jack, and Norrington hop back into the picture as they reach Tortuga. As certain problems are solved, even more arise, and Jack runs into someone from his past who he'd really rather forget.
I seem to have run out of time for replying to reviews. I'm sorry – I promise to reply to them next chapter! Unless of course something else comes up... ::shakes head::