Upon A Painted Ocean - 24

Author: Daisy Sparrow

Pairing: Jack/Will, Will/Elizabeth

Rating: PG-13 and rising

Summary: When a mysterious plague hits Port Royal, Will and Elizabeth go with Captain Jack Sparrow to find a cure. But when Will is captured by the man who unleashed the plague and infected with a strange new disease that feeds on love things start to get complicated. Slashiness!

Archive: fanfiction.net, PotC mailing list, and some other archives. OK for the others, as long as you ask me first.

Disclaimer: Pirates of the Caribbean and all its characters are not mine. I am making no money off this. Don't sue the college kid who are already broke. But Zeke is mine, so kindly keep your paws away.... unless you ask really nicely, begging also helps. ^_^ Credit for the title goes to Coleridge's poem and P.Speare who wrote the most wonderful Weiss Kreuz fic. Also special thanks to Darkdancer for the betaing and the summary.

Warning: Same as always, first fic ever and English not my first language. Last chapter now. YEAHHHH!!!! This story is over 60,000 words, I had no idea that I can write that much. I don't think I'll be touching my keyboard for a while, school work is beginning to pill up now. _

The last scene between Will and Elizabeth was really hard to write, especially the emotion involved. None of them are at fault, and I don't want to make neither of them into the villain. I had no idea what I was doing, it was this whole big mess. I apologize for any cheesiness.

Read and Review please ^_^

" " speech

// // thoughts

*** *** memory/flashback

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Jack warded off Norrington's threat with his typical insufferable grin, and steered the sword away from his face with a careless wave. The commodore sighed, dropped his sword arm and surveyed their surroundings with an impoverish air.

Neither him nor Norrington were in any better shape than the other after the attack of the maniac demon, and the same went for their respective crews. The current state of affairs was delicate to say the least. Many were wounded, and after the commodore's enthusiastic display of initiation, both sides had taken great amount of liberty with some pistol pointing and sword swinging at the other side.

They were, unfortunately, at a stalemate once again.

Jack, as always, had came to the rescue with some completely illogical, yet perfectly convincing arguments. Norrington reluctantly gave in after the first two minutes, possibly out of no other reason than to just shut the ranting pirate up. They had agreed to swap captives and let Gibbs and the others go. That was, given Jack stayed in the custody of the navy. And that, of course, meant Will would be tagged along as well.

A rather smart trade on Norrington's part, Jack judged amusingly. He really didn't expect Norrington to be tolerate to the level of letting a shipload of pirate walk off without some kind of token. This way, not only would the commodore kept his dignity intact and fulfill his duty, the man could also no doubt make the lass happy by returning her fiancé. Not that Jack had any intention to let Elizabeth keep Will for any significant duration of time.

They had also conceded not to fire upon one another until both ships were out of the perimeter of Isle de Aves. Anything after that would be fair game.

Everything afterward transcended smoothly.

By the time they returned to the Dauntless, with the Black Pearl floated a short distance away, the fire on top of the hill had spread to include almost half of the island. The clouds above the island were enchanted with various shades of red, the colorful semblance ironically mirrored the eastern sky.

His crew became animated upon the sight of the Black Pearl and hopped onboard as soon as their boats made contact. Gibbs took command immediately, chopped off the ropes bind the two ships with a big axe, then cheerfully chased off the guarding navy soldiers with said axe and a few creative curses.

Norrington had learned from past mistakes, and escorted Will and Jack down to the cells personally. Jack was flattered, at the same time he was also fully ready to seize any slips and manipulate the situation to his advantage.

Nonchalantly, the commodore unlocked the doors to some of Jack's crews, captured prior to the incident on the island. It was part of their agreement, and Norrington was a man of his words.

Jack found the cook curled up in a corner, sleeping or just plain out cold, and asked Will to gave the redhead a few good kicks to wake the boy up. Norrington's expression hardened at that and his brows creased slightly like someone just pinched him. Jack was somewhat puzzled by the sudden change of attitude in Norrington, but he wasn't a man to deny opportunity when it presented itself.

With the commodore's back turned and the man's attention otherwise engaged, Jack pounced.

~~~*~~~

He recognized her and her soft humming. The sun was high and the royal palace stood proudly in the sea of sand. He blinked, memorized by the familiar surrounding, yet had no idea how he got there.

He wasn't a complex and thoughtful person, thus was never intrigued by the mysteries of the universe. If he couldn't figure out something, said something usually ended up either getting blasted or ignored. He wasn't terribly bright neither, and had always liked his meanings spelled out.

In short, Zeke loathed the unknown.

So it was reasonable to say that he wasn't beside himself with joy to be standing here, and watching himself, or someone that resembled his true self, dozing lazily in the sun and having a nice conversation with the girl.

"What is this?"

"It's a sea shell."

A white seashell, curved like a half moon. He couldn't summon up the memory of its acquisition. Perhaps he had made it, smashed the white sands together until they formed into the desired shape.

"It's beautiful."

"Hmmm..."

".... What's the ocean like?"

"It's big... like the desert, but blue."

Blue, majestic and cold where the sunlight couldn't breach. Bottomless deep liked the quicksand. The sea and the desert really weren't that different.

"I want to see it."

"Wish for it."

"I can't. .... I can't leave here."

She was bound, by duty, by love, by oath. He had liked her a lot, before he crashed her soul and scattered the pieces into the ocean.

".... there are other chances."

"Are there?"

"Human reincarnates."

He had said the same thing to Ramirez once. The young pharaoh had listened patiently as he tried to explain how the whole system of recycling souls worked. Then he had winked impishly, and stated that the other would never see any of it, because the other's soul would belong to him. He had liked Ramirez a lot, too, before the pharaoh sealed him inside the ruby.

//Is this a dream?//

It was very bizarre because he wasn't aware that demons could dream. His kind could stow into others' dreams and cause vast amount of grief and pain. But dream for themselves? Zeke always assumed that one needed a soul for this sort of thing, something that he fortunately lacked. It was the one thing that he had in common with the fish girl.

It was also different from what he imaged dreaming would feel like. The wind did not ruffle his hair, the sun shone right through him and no shadow tailed his steps. Time swam around him, yet he remained static and dispassionate. He was dazed, but also aware of every passing second. He didn't think that he should be this detached, like an outside observer. Jack had always seemed to be 'living' in his dreams.

//If not a dream, then it must be a memory.//

But he couldn't recall ever having this conversation with her. She liked to sing. That much he knew, but everything else about her was all blurred beyond recollection. Sometimes a twinge of something would peak through the dense mist, more than often they were nothing but fragments of images, sounds, and feelings.

Zeke rubbed his eyes with irritation. They were both mysteries to him, even after all the years that he had watched the sibling grew. As incomprehensible as the first time they met, and for as long as he had been stranded in that desert kingdom, compelled to fulfill an unspoken contract.

The scenery suddenly shattered before him, the pieces morphed into ice, congregated around his feet, building and climbing toward him with alarming speed. He swallowed down the colorful expletive when a few sharp edges poked him on the legs. It was hard and cold. The sands underneath his feet were deteriorating into some sort of jelly like swamp.

He didn't like being cold, and hated being wet even more. He stamped his left foot hard against the remaining solid ground and uttered a single command.

"Burn."

Flame erupted beneath the earth like a waking volcano, overcame the ice until the world was immersed in the color of blood. Red everywhere, his most and least favorite color. It wasn't difficult, dream or not. He didn't understand why Jack always had trouble controlling it.

Things were gradually coming back to him. His head hurt and he swore lividly to have a little 'talk' with Ursella at the first possible opportunity.

"Zeke! Wake up!"

His eyes snapped open. Will was bending over him and a relieved smile soon graced that youthful face. He was sprawling rather inelegantly across the floor, which was swaying slightly beneath his aching back. Dimly, he realized that he must be on a ship.

He scanned his surrounding and immediately spotted Jack and.... was that commodore Norrington? And all those red coats crowded at the door, they didn't look too friendly. Just which ship was he on?

"Come on. We have to get out of here."

He tested his legs prudentially. Still working. Then swept his tongue across both columns of teeth. All there. Will offered him a hand, he accepted it wordlessly. Jack was grinning maniacally and pointing a pistol at the defenseless commodore, who looked.... pale, but definitely alive.

How was that possible, he groaned inwardly. Shouldn't the man be dead? No matter how shallow the cuts were, the commodore should still have bled dry by now?

Norrington was glaring at him, however, the effect was marred by the forlorn look within those icy blue orbs. He winked at him in greeting and smirked as Norrington's quelling infuriation sparked anew upon its receiving.

Zeke took the pistol and cutlass Will handed to him and that was when he noticed the bloodied sleeve. A familiar sense of magic was emanating from Will's injured wrist, the smell of blood mixed with the small tingling of his own magical signature.

"Where did you get the cut?" He asked Will and rolled up the torn fabric to revealed the small wound.

"Back on the island, it's not a big deal. Just a small--ZEKE!"

Will's blood tasted sweet and mingled with some kind of fruity flavor, like he had expected. He sucked hard on the wound as Will tried futilely to pull away. The hot liquid slide down his throat and he almost purred as the warmth slowly pooled around his stomach.

He could hear gasps and Jack's increasingly loud growls. With a long lick that finally sealed up the small gash, he pulled back and inspected the now flawless skin on Will's wrist.

Not bad, if he did say so himself. He was not very good at healing, or any kind of white magic in general. Never had much patience for it to begin with, seeing as how it usually hurt like bloody hell and went against the whole destructive nature of a demon.

"Ezekiel..." Jack didn't look very happy. In fact, the pirate looked positively outraged.

//Hmm... possessive, aren't we. Looked like I missed the grand finale. Great, just great.//

"It's all right." Will interrupted. "I am all right. Zeke just... healed me?"

A short silence and a quick look over by Jack later, the pirate was finally convinced that Zeke wasn't trying to take advantage of the blacksmith, and dropped whatever revenge he was plotting.

Zeke signed internally. Honesty, didn't he at least deserve a thanks. After all, he just broke about every code of conduct in the underworld, which was not good. It was bad actually, very bad. Despite the sheer amount of raw power he had, he held a pitifully low position within the clan, courtesy of all the failures that he had accumulated throughout the years. Although this meant that they couldn't demote him any more, and he supposed that had to account for something.

//Goodbye, what's left of my reputation. And hello, the deepest pit of hell for all eternity. I am so grounded.//

He sighed, this time, out loud. Will's grateful smile had somehow eased the frustration in him a little. He had grown quite fond of the blacksmith, and desired no less than the boy's continued existence. They were facts that he would never, not in a millennium years and not even under the humiliation of drowning, admit. Just the recognition of those facts was nerve-triggering to say the least. In order not to aggravate his depressing mood further, he decided to put off the excuses seeking for later and tilted his head toward Jack.

"Are we kidnapping him?"

He motioned toward Norrington, who cringed away a little at the hopeful gleam in his eyes. Nothing liked dousing in some wicked and illegal activities to deter one from the important issues at hand, and restore one's spirit.

"Aye. The good commodore here, will be our ticket off this boat."

"You won't get away with this!" Norrington countered with heat.

"Of course, I will. Ye just watch me, and kindly keep yer mouth shut, commodore. Now out of me way!" Jack sneered toward the guards at the door.

"They will not." Norrington's voice was weighted down by exhaustion, yet held an unquestionable authority, "shoot them!" At the guards' hesitation, the commodore repeated, louder. "Shoot them! That's an order!"

Will tensed beside him, mouth opened a little as if wanted to make some apropos comments to stop the seemingly inevitable mayhem. Zeke chewed his lips thoughtfully until the tension inside the room was on the verge of exploding, then spoke in a flat tone.

"I am staying."

Silence.

//......I really am the king of impulsive and brainless action today.//

Three pairs of eyes had widened at his declaration. Jack turned slightly to face him and raised an eyebrow. Will was looked at him in confusion while the commodore stared at him with a blank face.

"What? Zeke, what are you..." Will started.

"Trying to pull?" Jack finished.

//Oh, great. Just *what* did I miss. Screw this assignment. I gave up.//

"I wanted to ask the commodore something," Norrington's eyes narrowed suspiciously at that statement and he continued. "You two go ahead."

"But Zeke..." Will tried to argue and he quickly silenced the boy with a wave.

"You know what I am."

Whatever other objection that Will was issuing was lost amid Jack's soft snickering. Zeke cocked his head to the side and regarded his captain coolly. The pirate shrugged before took a hold of Will's arm and dragged the boy aside. He raised his pistol as soon as Jack lowered his, and pointed it straight at Norrington's face.

"Very well, Mr. Black." Jack droned, "I am leaving this in yer capable hands."

"Aye, captain." He smiled.

Jack smirked back.

He turned toward the commodore, walked up a few steps and jabbed the barrel of his pistol under Norrington's chin none too gently. He beamed angelically at the man, closed his eyes for one moment, allowed the change of pupils to settle in before opened them again. Norrington gasped, surprise fluttered across that serious face, and somehow managed to soften the stern lines.

"Commodore, tell your men to step aside."

"Wha... what the?!"

Norrington plastered himself against the cabin wall, but did not cower in fear as he would have liked to see. Was the split pupils not creepy enough? He wasn't losing his touch, was he? This day simply couldn't get any worse.

Fine. He leaned closer, direct into the commodore's personal space, and baring his fangs as he scowled. Norrington shivered, and hit the back of his head against the wall in an effort to put more distance between them.

"Tell your men to step aside. Or I promise you there will be *hell* to pay."

The surprises were slowly being overturned by awareness and something very keen to recognition. Norrington shook his head, eyes clouded over for one instant before refocused back toward him.

"....let them go." The commodore muttered after a few seconds.

Zeke blinked, slightly confused, which somewhat spoiled the diabolic image. He was almost ready to use some of the fancier tricks.

The guards scurried away and allowed the two to pass. Will lingered at the door, one hand went toward the other wrist and said softly.

"Zeke..... be careful."

"....sure.... and.... you....eh... do the same."

Will fixed him with a strange look, nodded and followed Jack outside.

He whispered quietly to himself when their forms disappeared out of the door, "....and pray that we don't meet again."

~~~*~~~

Elizabeth was waiting for them just outside of the door. Feral locks were painted pure gold by the first ray of dawn, and flying wildly in the temperamental wind. She stood rigid and still like a stature, but the pose only accented the fragility in that willowy frame.

Jack paused in front of her. Her stance faltered slightly, but refused to acknowledge his presence as she kept her gaze fixed on the floor. Jack's shoulders tensed, the pirate glanced back at him, then walked away without a word.

Once the pirate was a good distance away, Elizabeth moved, inserted herself before Will and obscured his view of the pirate captain. His quickened pace came to an abrupt stop and he hesitated as she raised her head.

He forced out a smile, and regretted it as soon as her lips trembled. With a deep breath, he rounded up all his courage and resolution and began slowly.

"Elizabeth, I...."

He was interrupted by a delicate hand, pressed gently against his lips. Elizabeth's eyes were bright, almost translucent like glasses, yet unreadable at the same time. He tried to inhale pass the large knot in his throat and felt his eyes pricked slightly.

"Will?"

A question, small and hopeful. His heart ached at the abiding sadness on her face. To delay the inevitable now would be an unnecessary cruelty.

"Elizabeth, you are like... a sister to me.... and will always be my best friend." He stammered against the warmth of her finger tips.

Her lips were pressed into a thin line, and her expression withdrawn. He could felt the frigid tension strained through her body, collated against the scorching pill of guilt and remorse clustered in his chest.

Almost of their own volition, his hands dashed out and grasped hers. They had been through so much together, from triumphing over the threat of Barbossa to surviving the milder yet no less menacing years of adolescent. After all these time, he was still astonished to just touch her and to fit her slender hands so perfectly into his palms.

"I love you."

It was the unshakable truth, and as clear as the cerulean skies. He would always love her, admire her from afar, and worship her like an idol. Even though she was no longer unattainable to him, she had been above him and out of his reach for so long that his heart could not treat her as anything else. He loved her, her strength, her sincerity and the most of all, the idea of being with her.

Elizabeth had everything that he had ever wished for. A loving father who adored her, popularity within the community, and the seemingly perfect life. While Will always had to struggle for everything he had, be it recognition, affection or just plain acknowledgment. Did he ever really wanted to be with her? Or had his brain simply decided that if he couldn't have her life, then being close to her and salvage some of her glory would have to be enough.

She was a dream, an escape from the ever ending worries of life, an anchor to ground him against the longing for the sea. But now, now he did not wanted to live in the dream of his own making anymore, the fantasy world no longer appealed to him, not when he had something so real, so passionate, so burning with life. Not when he had Jack.

"But...but I am.... in love with Jack."

He watched the world fell apart in her eyes, and that fiery spirit flickered hopelessly against the agonizing storm before started to extinguish. His grips tightened on her wrist.

"No, Elizabeth! Don't.... don't let me do this to you."

"You are leaving me." She answered, like she hadn't heard his protest.

"I... I am sorry. I couldn't never ask for your forgiveness. But I... I..."

He couldn't go on, the air was caught in his throat. It would have been easier if she had cried, yelled or just slapped him. Anything, but this vacant look in her eyes.

"You are leaving me." She repeated, shoulders heaved with the effort of scarcely held control.

"Elizabeth...."

He wanted to weep in shame, even though the logical part of his mind kept on telling him that there was no shame in fighting for what one wanted. Excuses! He shouted back furiously. All excuses, and look what he had done.

But he couldn't go back now. He didn't want to go back. Nothing would have ever been the same. He had a taste of the purest ambrosia that is love, and he wanted more. Wasn't it human nature to be selfish and greedy? He was starving and he would latch onto Jack's heart, and never, ever let go.

"I am sorry, Elizabeth."

With unsteady fingers, he unclasped the chain around his neck. The ruby ring rolled onto his palm with a small nudge. He turned her left hand palms up and dropped the ring gently.

"I am so sorry.... but I must follow my heart."

She sniffed once, but the tears did not fell. She enclosed her palm around the ring and stared right into his eyes.

"Will, I love you."

It wasn't a last desperate pleading, there was newly mustered dignity in her voice. It was a simple statement of fact. A fact that pounded sharp nails of guilty into his heart. But it was sincere and true, just like his affection for her was. And he couldn't deny the small comfort in knowing that she bear no ill feeling toward him. Even though he had wanted her to hate him. Hatred was no less than what he deserved; it would be an outlet for her turmoil.

"I... I couldn't love you the way you wanted. You deserve so much more, Elizabeth. So much better than I could ever offer." He paused, then continued in a firmer manner. "You will always have a special place in my heart."

"A special place? But it will never be large enough to keep you by my side." She said resignedly.

"It... wouldn't have been fair. Not to you, not to me...and...."

"And not to Jack...."

"I... I know you will be all right. Port Royal is safe now that Cane is dead, and I am sure the navy will return there shortly. You will be all right. You have always been strong."

"Strong? Will I ever be strong enough?"

"I know you will. Don't lose yourself, Elizabeth....and forget me." He turned to leave.

"Will." She called and gripped his arm, "...I love you. So...so..." The sob was threatening to break through her carefully constructed mask, "so....be...be happy."

The corner of her mouth convulsed, a mirthless, ironic twitch of lips masquerading as a smile. He couldn't watch and he couldn't avert his gaze neither. He brought her clenched fists closer to him, and pressed one last kiss onto her whiten knuckles.

"Goodbye, Elizabeth."

~~~*~~~

Norrington's irritation could not be concealed by his mask of carefully controlled calmness. He stared glumly at the Black Pearl, which was sailing further and further away.

"Gillette. Why are we not pursuing?"

Lieutenant Gillette stuttered out nervously, "The ship won't turn, sir."

"Won't turn?" His eyes narrowed.

"Y, yes. Everything seemed to be functional, but...."

His patience was hanging by a thread. "I don't care what, just fix it."

"Y, yes, sir." Gillette swallowed and all but bolted.

"Better take it as a sign, commodore. You aren't meant to go after them."

He turned toward the boy beside him. The redhead glanced at him, then returned to watch the departing pirate ship with a faraway expression.

He took a deep breath, "What did you do?"

A slight title of head and those fine eyebrows creased together. "What made you think I did anything?"

The boy appeared genuinely puzzled. He remained skeptical. He didn't know why, but an alarm was ringing in the back of his head, warned him not to trust that veneer of innocent. That and the fact that the boy was a pirate, thus naturally untrustworthy, he reminded himself as a side note.

"Did you not?"

Lips pressed into a thin line, he strode closer. The soldiers, who stood guarding the boy, edged back a little. He halted a few inches in front of the lank form, and loomed over, using his height advantage as a mean of intimidation.

In his best commodore voice, he repeated. "Did you not?"

That warranted him a slight chuckle. The crystal sound cased the tumultuous whirlpool inside him to spin faster. His head hurt. His wounds hurt. In fact, almost every joints inside his body was throbbing painfully. Almost as a defense mechanism, his temper flared.

"Whatever witch craft you are practicing... that made your eyes... and now the Dauntless..."

For some reason, he couldn't say it. In reality, he didn't understand what happened earlier. Was it real or was it only an illusion conjured up by his weary mind. It must had been the lack of sleep, he reasoned.

"I am a demon."

"......"

Another chuckle.

"Didn't expect you to believe it anyway. But I really didn't do that. It was either a really bad turn of karma or the fish girl, in which case I am rooting for her."

The boy laughed softly and he froze.

The morning sun painted an almost surreally beautiful background. The wind picked up the matted, messy locks as the golden rays highlighted them into the colors of dawn. The picture was so hauntingly familiar, and speared through his heart with morbid clarity. His hands itched and he had the strongest urge to smile back.

He bit down on his bottom lip in a haste and averted his gaze. His thoughts were being assaulted by an onslaught of niggling qualms. He couldn't reach any conclusions about what could be accomplished by this interrogation, since it seemed to be going nowhere.

It was more of a matter of pride, he admitted silently. He had given the order to release Sparrow and Turner, all because of this... pirate. Compensation for his wounded ego and vanity was no longer the problem. A failure was a failure, and he had failed most spectacularly. With his jaws clenched tightly, he took a hold of the boy's collar and pulled the other closer until he felt the hardness of the iron shackles against his chest.

"Do not toy with me, *pirate*. I will have you hanged for all your crimes."

"Promises."

"Indeed, and as soon as we returned to shore, I will fulfill it."

The threats fell on deaf ears and that irritatingly bored expression stayed on. The boy's continuous and stoic detachment was the last straw. He felt all the anger and frustration drained out of him, and most of his energy fled with them. He was just so tired.

"Does your situation amuse you, pirate?" His tone was slightly shunning.

"...no. I don't like to be locked up."

He paused at the honesty in that statement, then asked bluntly. "Why did you stay then?"

"I wanted to ask you something."

"Then ask."

"Why are you still alive?"

Of all the possibilities, he did not expect that one. Then he remembered the wounds. The boy was watching his every moves, with a calculated and earnest glitter.

"....was I not suppose to?" He ventured cautiously.

"No."

"I see. Why?"

"That's what I am asking you. The cuts stopped bleeding, didn't they?"

"Yes."

"How is that possible?" The self-directed question was uttered quietly, almost inaudible. The boy looked troubled, shoulders slacked and chin tucked low.

"....I don't know."

Was he feeling sorry for the pirate? Unthinkable! He needed sleep, a large bottle of whisky and a dip in the cold sea, not necessary in that order.

"....I guess that I'll just have to stay around then. I am going to get to the bottom of this."

Something unidentifiable stirred within him. He studied the other, who in turn studied him back.

"You said it as if you actually have a choice in the matter."

A mischievous grin lighted up the boy's entire profile and the dull grayness inside those catlike eyes seemed to be sparkled with life. He couldn't take his eyes away.

"I do have a choice. There will always be a choice, commodore."

The air shifted and he could almost hear that song again, entrancing and presaging simultaneously, as the wind gently nursed each note with its own lullaby.

~~~*~~~

He pecked Will gently on the cheek. The boy sighed and nuzzle his face into the crook between Jack's neck and shoulder. He felt the tremor wrecked through the slender form in his arms, melancholy over the separation and guilty driven.

Guilt would carve its marks on Will's face and heart, but he would be there to smooth away the lines and ease the crease of conscious. It was, after all, a question of perception. Whether it be belief or doubt, all were manifested dependent on emotional and moral viewpoints at the time which are inherent to a person.

He insured silently that they would overcome the post traumas together. Love was what bounded them and what would heal them both; it was much deeper than friendship and stronger than any conventional marriage vow.

One could even say that it was predestined. Even if it was the case, Jack wouldn't mind being stringed along by the designs of some higher power. No, not one bit. In fact, he might just enshrine whatever entity was responsible for his good fortune. If he ever figure out which one; there were so many to choose from after all.

He would never voluntarily give up the boy. 'Take all you can and give nothing back' was the motto of a pirate. He had just scored the greatest piracy in his life and came away with his most prized treasure, Will's heart.

Even though he couldn't promised forever; he had not yet reach that level of egotism or self-delusion. Life was whatever one makes of it, whether it be nothing or a daring adventure. And so was love, Jack believed that. But nothing lasted forever. All he could do was hold on to what they have, savor every seconds, here and now.

Will's breathing hitched and he muttered comforting words against the pale cheek. His lips delved lower until they arrived at the corner of Will's mouth. One brush, barely there. Another, harder this time, lingered momentary and dragged slowly across the warm texture. Will's tongue darted out shyly to welcome him. He accepted the unspoken invitation, worried gently at that liquid fire with his teeth, pulled it inside his own mouth and sucked hard.

Will's heartache would pass, he would make sure of that. He would nurture that fragile heart in the palms of his hands, or he could always just kiss Will senseless to make him forget everything else. Yes, an excellent idea, definitely something to look forward to.

He smirked and proceed to do just that.

~finis~

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I can probably guess what you are thinking right now. "This is the end?!!!" Before you decide to throw any heavy objects at me, listen to my explanation.

I figured that since Jack and Will's relationship was the main focus of the story, and since they are now happily kissing into the sun rise, this would be a good place to end it. As for what happens to Elizabeth, Norrington, Zeke, Tisha, etc, worry not, I am planning a sequel, with a lot and a lot of J/W smut as well. It would take a while though.

Well anyway, I wanted to thank all of my readers out there, regardless of whether you have reviewed or not. I thank you all, couldn't have done this without your support and encouragement.

Thank you. ^_^