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By Clarity Scifiroots
Standarddisclaimers apply. This AU plot rules parallel to the first movie but isn't quite the same. By a fan, for fans.
Rating: Ranges from Teen to Adult/Mature.
Summary: An AU tale that weaves a rather bleak past for one Will Turner. When the young blacksmith apprentice stows away on the Interceptor to get away from abuse, he didn't expect it to be taken over by pirates led by the notorious Jack Sparrow.
Warnings: Sexual harassment, abuse, and recovery from such
Re-edited: July 10, 2006
The fires of the forge rumbled their comforting song as Will worked the bellows, raising the temperature of the intense flames. Sweat trickled down his face, stinging his already watery eyes and irritating an open scrape on his cheek. It was before dawn and he was going through his daily routine – a schedule he had followed for a long seven years.
Behind the smithy lay the house where he slept, far be it for him to call that place home. It was his uncle's house, located in the New World establishment of Port Royale. He wiped sweat from his face with the aid of a dirty sleeve and stepped back to sit on a low stool beside the hearth. His fingers fumbled beneath his opened shirt to grasp onto the keepsake from his mother. He couldn't see it without taking it off, but he had memorized the tiny portrait of his mother in the gold locket. Words had been engraved opposite the portrait although they had long since faded – he'd rubbed it so many times since her death years past.
His hand fell away from the necklace and he looked down at his poor attire. Wearily he touched his sunken stomach and traced the lines of his visible ribs with his eyes. He'd not been allowed a decent meal for a very long time. He was required to work in the shop for all hours humanly possible to fill the orders his uncle received. He closed his eyes and clenched his jaw in anger. He received no praise or acknowledgement for his work.
The door leading back toward the house shook with someone's weight landing against it. Jumping up, Will scurried to the bellows again, heart pounding fiercely in his chest with fear. The still open scrape on his face felt as if it were bleeding anew and the bruise on his jaw suddenly ached. He wasn't ready for another attack, couldn't afford it if he was to finish his duties on time.
Finally the door opened and a drunken man made his way into the shop, eyes rolling in his head as he searched out the youth. "That be enough, whelp," the man snapped, "burn it 'otter and there'll be not'in' t' work wit'."
Will held back his anger but couldn't resist a curt retort. "If you worry about that, why don't you work yourself?" he demanded.
Within seconds his heart leapt to his throat as he was pushed back against the ledge near the furnace with a white-hot poker bare inches from his face. "Tis best t' get back t' yer work, laddie, a'fore I decide 't unnecessary t' let ye keep tha' pre'y face o' yers."
Slowly the poker retreated and was returned to the fire. The man stood up straight, his dark features ugly with the promise of pain. He lifted a dark eyebrow at the youth. "Wha'd ye decide, Will?" His fingers danced back to the warm handle of the poker.
Ashamed, Will scrambled to his feet and managed to whisper between gritted teeth, "I'm to go about my work, sir."
"Thar's a good lad." His uncle callously patted the his tangled hair before staggering off to a corner of the shop where a table and chair were set beside a cabinet of alcohol.
Will watched the man, his eyes filled with hatred, yet he was helpless to do anything. Law had bound him to the man until the youth turned twenty-one, still two years off. As he set about his work, he silently cursed the ship that had found him and "saved" him.
A pirate's raid had completely destroyed the ship Mrs. Turner and her young son sailed on. They had been traveling in search of the boy's father and Will had been so excited by the sea and the proceedings of the ship. He could still remember his mother's gentle laughter and her polite embarrassment as he harassed the crew in the way only children can – seeking to know all he could about the ship and how she was handled.
He could also remember drifting in and out of consciousness, body freezing from the waves of the sea, and then being lifted by strong arms – sailor's arms. When he had been able to open his eyes, even just slightly, he had seen a pretty young girl, younger than he, and she had looked at him with awe and worry.
It had been a British naval ship, carrying the new governor and his daughter to a settlement in the New World. Why Port Royale? he had wondered in the many years to follow. He had stayed at the governor's own home for a little less than a week as he recovered. His first day out to search out the city, under the guide of the governor, his daughter (Elizabeth), and two soldiers, a man had approached and put on a great performance of shock. To Will's knowledge, he'd never had an uncle in the New World. His mother's two brothers both lived in Europe, one inheriting the family business as a successful merchant and the other had married into a wealthy Austrian family.
Nevertheless, his uncle had claimed to know the heritage of the boy's looks, looking much like his dear sister – whom he openly mourned for upon discovering her recent passing. At that point in time, William had been so overwhelmed, unsure what to think of the strange man. He had loved the time spent in the governor's house and enjoyed the company of Elizabeth. His young mind had picked up a sense of callousness in the man, but he did not know at that time how to analyze what he sensed. All too late he began to understand.
William brought the hammer down with a loud clang upon the metal he was fashioning into a sword, wielding his anger with the tools he used. He cursed the drunken man dozing in the corner and cursed his ability to quickly learn new skills; his uncle had been greedily drawn to this ability as he adapted swiftly to the trade. He cursed again the ship that had taken him to Port Royale, his personal hell, cursed the agreement that bound him to his uncle's house, and cursed his "pretty" looks that drew unwanted attention and threats from his uncle that chilled his soul.
With a final strike he yelled, "Damn it!"
He finished, panting slightly, due far more to the tension in his body rather than his work. Despite how he hated his situation, Will was in love with the work he did. There was something in fashioning such beautiful crafts that enchanted him the same way the sea and ships had so long ago. He only wished that his skill would be acknowledged – by anyone – and that he could work under his own name, with orders directed straight to him. When he delivered packages he had to bite his tongue when regards were sent back to his "master." The word was vile as poison and it had never passed his lips.
It was midday, judging by the slant of sun beams passing through cracks in the wooden walls of the shop, but he didn't have any reason to stop. There was no food waiting for him, and he had no money to purchase his own. His stomach had long since stopped vying for his attention; his body knew it was pointless. Resigned, he set aside the finished sword and began work on another.
A few hours had passed when he was startled from his work by the sound of a door shutting. He looked up, laying his tools aside. His cousin stood a few feet within the door, wearing a smirk that made William shudder inside.
"Your father's passed out over there," he said flatly, hand returning to rest on the hammer he had been using.
His cousin stopped him by coming forward and speaking, "Tha's no' who I seek and y' know i'." His dirty teeth showed beneath spread lips in a smile that was more like a snarl. William wrinkled his nose in disgust, but his cousin pressed. "C'mon, pre'y boy. I'm sure he's had y' workin' since a'fore dawn. Why no' release some o' tha' tension?" Will was unable to dodge as an unwanted hand snaked out to capture his wrist and another came to rest on his hip, inching slightly inwards.
"Get your hands off me," he whispered harshly. He hated his uncle, he hated his treatment, and he hated Jonathan most of all.
"No." The smirk was far too triumphant on Jon's face. Will reacted, raising his free hand, hammer still clutched, but his cousin was swifter and dealt a well placed blow to his stomach and released the hand he had formerly clutched.
Will dropped to the ground, gasping painfully as he clutched his empty stomach with both arms. Before he could recover, Jon dealt a swift kick to his side, causing him to roll over onto his back. Will struggled to sit up, but Jon was over him again, straddling his stomach, and his strong hands rearranged Will's arms to be pinned beneath his own back.
"Get off me!"
"Afraid y' migh' have a bi' of fun?" Jon laughed, slapping the face beneath him carelessly before proceeding to undo the ties of his breeches. William struggled, fear and embarrassed frustration kicking in as soon as he picked up on his cousin's intentions. Unfortunately, Jon merely moaned contently, tilting his head back with a blissful expression on his face.
"Oh, please continue, i's so much fun when y' resist." He leaned over, arms out to brace himself as he rubbed his partially-clothed groin on Will's sweat-slicked chest.
Appalled, the younger man turned his head aside to avoid breathing the foul exhale of the body above him and stilled his motions. Jon didn't seem to much care, still sliding along Will's torso, panting heavily like a rutting pig. Will held his breath and screwed his eyes shut, disgust overwhelming him and bile rising in the back of his throat.
Jon's slid sleekly from naval to nipple. The weight shifted and Will soon discovered why when thick fingers began to pinch the circular nubs of flesh on his chest. He was ashamed that they were half-perked in arousal that lay beneath the intensity of his hatred. In a sudden swell of self-loathing, he spat into Jon's face, glaring fiercely at the surprised look.
His cousin's expression flickered to anger, then to cruel amusement as the spittle slipped from his face and back onto Will's cheek. "Y' migh' wan' t' check yer aim, cos'."
Will turned his head away, face screwed up in an expression of revulsion as John picked up his pace again, moaning loudly as he left trails of pre-come across the younger man's chest. It wasn't long until the disgusting pig emptied himself across Will's prone body. The blacksmith did his best to still shuddering breaths of mortification and frustration.
Jon stood up after a moment of rest and refastened his breeches. He kicked the Will's ribs harshly and spat on him. "Back t' work, whelp!" he sneered before striding out of the shop.
For long moments, Will just lay there, eyes still shut, body shuddering. Vomit rose in his throat until he had to spit to get the taste from his mouth. As his facial muscles moved, he felt the sticky resistance of semen. He shuddered again and a burning sensation built beneath his temples.
"I have your delivery, sir," Will said to Governor Swann. He wore a decent set of clothes he was given to wear only when he went to deliver the masterfully crafted swords to the purchasers. He felt stuffy in the clothes, so unused to his skin being that fully covered, but he had been glad of it when he had caught sight of Jonathan that morning.
Governor Swann took the sword and studied it with an approving eye. He handed it back to Will to put it away in its case and said, "Pass along my appreciation to your master."
Will felt himself tense, and he just barely managed to keep the bitterness from his voice when he murmured, "A craftsman is always pleased to hear his work is satisfactory…"
He looked up from the sword's casing and watched as Elizabeth descended the stairs with a smile on her face. "It's been such a long time! Why don't you visit more often?"
Her father chuckled a bit from surprise, "My dear, I'm sure he's far too busy... It isn't quite proper for –"
"I trust this is the gift for the new Commodore?" the girl asked, ignoring her father as she ran her fingertips over the hilt of the sword.
A ghost of a smile crossed Will's lips. "Aye... she took some time to make, but she will serve him well."
Elizabeth was standing close because of her study of the sword and when she looked up, they were bare inches from one another. Will watched her, feeling a longing in his heart for her gentleness and compassion. Her eyebrows drew together and he was stunned to find her gloved fingers trailing the scab on his face and caressing the bruises – new and old – on his cheek.
Her father's almost strangled cry brought Will to his senses and he backed up a pace. Elizabeth appeared distressed, her lips parted and tilting downward in a frown. Her beautiful eyes were filled with worry, and her hand still remained in the air.
"My dear, we should really leave," the Governor stepped beside her, casting a disapproving frown at his daughter and then a warning gaze a Will.
The blacksmith bowed slightly. "I have other work to do as well." He forced his lips into another faint smile, still unnerved by the girl's boldness and obvious worry. "Another time, perhaps, Miss Swann."
"Elizabeth, call me Elizabeth, please," she begged him quietly, something deep and imploring lingering in her eyes.
"I'm afraid that wouldn't be right, Miss Swann," he told her with a hint of a real smile in his eyes. "Good day."
"Good day," the Governor returned as Will left. "Really, my dear, your behavior around that boy must improve."
"Papa, didn't you see the bruises on his face?" she worried as they made their way to the carriage waiting outside.
"Likely from his work, my dear."
Elizabeth frowned at him. "It doesn't seem that way to me. The placement fits if he had been attacked."
"How would you know such things?" Governor Swann asked with amusement in his voice. "Even if that is the case, it proves that his guardian doesn't keep a good enough eye on the boy, and he has fallen into the bad habit of pub brawling."
Elizabeth shook her head but did not respond, knowing that the conversation was going nowhere. The boy she once knew looked so gaunt – the clothes he wore hung loosely about him, and he had seemed haunted. He had been frozen when she touched him, as if he wasn't used to any physical contact like that – which guaranteed he didn't yet have a lady-love. It was hard to think that the present-day William Turner could look so much worse than when she had first seen him when sailors had pulled him, half-drowned, from the ocean.
She worried the inside of her bottom lip with her teeth. From the carriage's window, she watched the passing scenery as they approached the fort. Maybe after the ceremony was over she could slip away to visit her old friend; she'd not been to the blacksmith's shop for years.