One Good Deed
By Alone Dreaming
Disclaimer: I do not own Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl nor any of the characters that belong to the aforementioned movie. This story was written merely for my own pleasure and the pleasure of others. I receive no money for it.
Author's Notes: I apologize here and now for any grammatical mistakes. Though I've read through this myself and corrected everything I could find, I have not a beta reader. It would be nice to find one, so if anyone is willing to look over the occasional story, I would be most obliged. I think I will mostly be writing one shots, and they may not all be in this category. If this sounds good to anyone, email me please at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Read and enjoy. I'd like to give special thanks to anyone who reviews. It's always nice to know you are loved.
Another note, I've uploaded this several times and have had difficulties with the formatting. Please bear with me. I'll figure it out eventually. Any strange notes or letterings that appear are completely the fault of my uploading skills..... Or the fact that I need a beta; as I said, I am doing my best to fix it.
"I'm sorry, Jack."
"They done what's right by them; can't expect more than that."
-Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Jack Sparrow rested his head against the wall of The Dauntless, trying to ignore what was around him. However, he found it rather hard. His entire body was tense, picking up the slightest sounds, and smells. He could feel everything, from the loose bonds around his wrists to the rough wood behind his head; he could almost feel the air itself, pushing in on him. His breath sighed out of him on its own accord, and he found himself opening his eyes. He could not relax, he could not sit still. He was going to die, and he had no way out.
The room he was in was not tiny enough to make him feel claustrophobic. It was large, compared to the holding cell that he had been stuck into on the way to theisland. Polished and smooth wooden decorations lined the upper walls and ceiling, giving the boat an elegance that his own prized ship, The Black Pearl, lacked. It was sparsely decorated; a cot and a small bedside table the only pieces of furniture. On the table an oil lamp flickered, its fuel nearly spent. Jack knew it would soon go out, and all that would be left would be the light from the tiny window in the wall.
The window itself gave him a clear view of the ocean that he would never freely roam upon again. This was going to be the last voyage of the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow. He would not be able to escape this ship. Jack was not a pessimist by nature but even he knew when optimism was simply foolishness. He could not fit through that window no matter how hard he tried; and beyond that point, if he got out, where would he go? He was a good swimmer, but not good enough to swim to the nearest island and if he escaped when he got to Port Royal, he would inevitably be caught and hung anyway.
Life seemed to simply be getting worse. Ever since he lost the Pearl the first time, nothing had gone right. He glanced down at his one arm and lightly traced the maze of scars on it. The life of a pirate, the life that he loved, had not been treating him well. All his scars showed that. He was doomed to die from the moment he hired on Barbossa as first mate.
The flame that had steadily been burning steadily lower in the lamp went out, leaving the room in a depressing sort of darkness. The window was not providing as much light as Jack would have hoped, and the air around him was becoming more suffocating by the second. His eyes searched for something to keep him anchored in sanity, away from his own mind which was slowly driving him mad. They finally settled on the other occupant of the room.
Will Turner, the son of a man who had once been one of Jack's closest friends, was pressed into a corner. He had his head rested upon his knees, his bound hands lying down near his feet. It was the first time Jack noted exactly how dirty and defeated Will actually looked. His hair was hanging in matted, sweaty clumps. His clothing which had been pristine when he and Jack had first met, was covered in dirt among other things, and torn in numerous places. Jack was sure, in the light, that he could see blood on the boy too. It truly was a depressing sight.
are other girls, mate," Jack commented, trying to sound comforting. "She just
wasn't meant for you, that's all." It was a fine thing to say. Will had said
himself that he would give anything for Elizabeth and now, she had left him for Norrington. Jack knew
that she had done it in order to save Will, but at the same time she had broken
A hoarse, strained voice answered the pirate. "Please, Jack, I cannot take you making fun of me right now. I have lost everything…..please, let me be."
Jack cringed a bit inwardly, and shook his head to himself. Pushing himself away from the wall, he crawled over to Will and resettled himself next to the young man. He had meant what he said out of friendship, not out of spite. Even though he and Will were cut from completely different cloths, he could not help but be fond of the blacksmith.
Knowing he had to try again, he stared at the small beam of light coming in from the little window. "I ain't making fun of you, Will, I'm serious. You can't just throw your life away because you lost one girl. Honestly, I'm not exactly in the best situation to make fun, am I? I'm clapped in irons as well."
Something escaped Will, a sound that Jack couldn't quite identify. The young man lifted his head, revealing a miserable face to match his miserable heart. He looked over at Jack, his eyes only half focused. "I've lost her Jack. I've lost her, I've lost my honor, I've lost the life I managed to make for myself. I've lost everything. I'm alone in the mess I've created with no way to get out."
Jack shifted uneasily. He was not the philosophical type, nor was he the type that was good at comforting. He was a joker, a miser, a weasel, a devil, anything but a shoulder to lean on. In the years since he had been betrayed, he had hid his hatred and his pain behind a mask of humor. Long had it been since he had last allowed himself to feel any real emotion other than anger. The happiness and love that he used to feel were suppressed and nearly non existent.
Now though, he was at a loss. His revenge was completed, Barbossa was dead. The Pearl was not his, but then again, his crew did what was right by them. He had nothing left to really drive him. Getting the Pearl? Maybe, but not really; it wasn't his to get anymore. Open his heart? Maybe, just maybe. For his own sake just as much as Will's sake. It would be hard, terribly hard. Would it even be worth it? One glance at Will told him that, yes, in the long run, it would. After all, his heart had already cracked a bit. He cared for this young man, this uptight, idiot boy, more than he had cared for anyone in years.
Jack shook his head. "She loves you, mate. I know she does. When the Commodore picked us off that island, she told him the entire story. How you came to save her, how wonderful you were, how you risked life and limb in order to make sure she was safe. But, he refused to go after you. When he refused, you should have seen the look in her eye, lad; it was pure horror and then, such determination. She agreed to marry Norrington on the terms that Norrington would save you from Barbossa. She gave herself up to him so you would live through this."
Will's head dropped back to his knees. He did not speak for a while, until finally, in a dead tone, he whispered, "I would have rather have died back there."
Jack was concentrating more on a speck of dust that was floating in the tiny pool of light nearby. "Then ye don't really love her."
The words had an instantaneous response. Will jerked up and his eyes were filled with a familiar, defiant fire. A growl escaped his lips, and it seemed to be taking his every restraint not to lunge at Jack's throat.
"I love her more than you will ever know!" he cried, his voice making the quiet air shake. Or was it the anger coming off of him? "I told you once, I will tell you again. I love her enough that I would give my life for her!"
"Aye," Jack turned to Will, his eyes locking with the young man's. "But a part of love is being able to give the person up. Can you give her up, Will? Can you give her up and move on? Or is the love ye have a selfish kind?"
Will obviously had a response on his tongue, for his
mouth snapped shut at Jack's inquiry. He stared into Jack's eyes for a few
moments before turning to gaze at the wall. He allowed his head to slowly move
forward and rest against the wall. He couldn't speak, his tongue suddenly
turned to lead. His brain had suddenly slowed to a snail's pace. Jack's
question had hit the nail on the head.
Jack watched as Will turned away from him, and prayed that Jack was right. After all, at some point on this journey, he could fall asleep and if Will was really angry; well, the pirate did not want to consider the things the blacksmith could do. However, it was soon apparent that Will was not feeling anger towards Jack at all. His shoulders shook a bit and his voice was barely audible when he spoke. "Aye, I would give her up. I just-" he trailed off for a moment, a choked sob escaping him. "I just....don't know what to do.....I gave up everything for her."
"Understood mate," Jack said, sympathy lining his tone. "That's the way women are. They take all you have and give nothin' back."
In his mind, he wasn't precisely sure what to do next. Will had not responded to his last comment, and his shoulders were still heaving. Jack felt something move in him, something unexplainable. His hand slowly moved forward, and in a tentative manner, he let it rest on Will's shoulder. Will made no move to retract, so Jack left his hand there. The pirate didn't know how to comfort a person properly. In fact, if he had the choice, he would run away from this situation and have someone else help Will. But now, he was the best Will had, and all he could do was let the young man know he was there.
He wasn't sure how long he sat there but when Will finally started to move, Jack's arm was aching and he was sore from sitting in the same position for so long. Another hand clamped down on top of his, one covered in calluses. It squeezed for a brief second and then slowly removed Jack's hand from the shoulder. Then the hand retreated back to the balled up form of Will.
Jack stood up, and moved over to the bed. The sun was starting to rise, gracing the sky with a beautiful pattern of reds, oranges and yellows. It was like a painting, almost, and Jack tried to push from his mind that it was the last sunrise he would ever see from a boat unless The Dauntless ran into troubles. Now, he was left back at his original problem. His mind was starting to run in circles again without something to distract him.
Running his hand over his head, he came to a final decision. Luck had simply not been on his side the past decade or so.
"You are expecting me to eat this?" Jack questioned incredulously, staring at the meager meal that had been tossed into the room with him. It wasn't that bad, but it was rather small, especially considering he had to share it with Will. "A gentleman would give two meals when there are two prisoners in a cell."
The soldier that had given them the meal rolled his eyes at the pirate and left. Jack gritted his teeth and looked at the bit of food on the plate. There was a piece of dried meat, two slices of bread and two cups of something akin to water. It was clearly not water because water was not meant to have the odd, grayish color. Setting the food down on the bedside table, Jack slowly moved over to where Will was curled up. The young man had not stirred since he had settled into the position the night before, and he still appeared to be asleep. Jack was loathed to wake him but the pirate knew that Will needed to eat. The boy hadn't eaten anything for quite some time.
"Will?" Jack said, reaching forward to shake the young man if necessary. "Will, they brought us some food…."
As soon as Jack's hand came to rest on Will's arm, Will shot up, trying to smack his assailant away. Jack easily avoided the clumsily flailing limbs, and backed away, allowing Will to orient himself. The blacksmith stared around wildly for a few moments before finally settling down. He ran a hand thorough his hair, closing his eyes, trying to get a grip over reality. Blinking, he looked back up at Jack, still seeming as though he was not quite there.
"You finished trying to beat me?" Jack asked, with a joking sort of caution.
"I'm sorry," Will said, rubbing his eyes now. "I wasn't really awake and you startled me. I wasn't trying to-"
"Easy, mate," Jack interrupted, holding up a hand. "No need for apologies, I understand. I just wanted you to eat some, that's all." He went to get the tray. "It's not much, but they gave us something to eat." He came back with the assorted foods and sat down in front of Will.
Jack wasn't hungry as he tried to divide the dry meat into equal shares. His stomach was knotting and flipping in apprehension. He knew that every moment that passed brought them closer to Port Royal and his imminent death. Swallowing, he tore the meat unevenly and gave himself the smaller piece. At this rate, he wasn't going to keep any of it down anyway. It would be put to better use if he simply gave it all to Will. Focusing his attention back on the present, he looked up to find Will staring at the plate, his face grey.
"You alright?" Jack said, wondering if perhaps the young man was seasick. Will had never shown any signs before but now that they were locked away from the horizon, it was completely possible. Will swallowed hard and shook his head slowly.
"I'm not hungry, Jack, you eat it," he said in reply. His face was growing more off color by the second.
Jack frowned. This didn't seem like seasickness. A seasick person would look like hell, yes, but not quite this bad. He should know after all. Many a day did he spend seasick himself when he first got onto a ship. The first captain he sailed under said he'd never make it at the rate he was going. Yes, he knew seasickness like the back of his hand, and this was most definitely not it. Something was wrong.
"Are you…sick?" Jack questioned carefully, scooting back just a little bit. Wait, no, not sick. Sick didn't make as much sense as… "Are you hurt?" There, yes, that made more sense.
Will shook his head at both but his face told something else. Something was wrong, something he was unwilling to admit. Frowning at him, Jack slowly approached him again and sat down in front of him. "Ye need to eat something, mate. You are looking a little TOO off color....... how long has it been since you last ate?"
Jack didn't really listen to Will's half hearted answer. His brain was moving again. He couldn't remember when or if Will had been hurt. Wouldn't he have noticed? If Will had been wounded, then how did he act with such strength up to this point? Was he hurt in the cave? Other than for the cut on his hand, a trifle really, Jack hadn't seen any more wounds. Perhaps there were wounds that the man was carefully keeping hidden from the pirate? It was possible and knowing Will's stubborn as a jackass personality, Jack didn't doubt it. The question still was where? Where had the young man been injured? Jack had watched Will at every moment he could during the fight with Barbossa, and he had kept a careful eye on him when they had commandeered the ship.
Finally Jack realized what must've happened. He could have kicked himself for waiting so long, and being so thick headed. Will was in the interceptor when it had exploded. How could he have gotten out without receiving some sort of injury? Why hadn't Jack thought of it before? Too preoccupied with my own problems, Jack thought, almost feeling bad.
Tugging the food back towards himself, just to make sure that if Will decided to wretch that it wouldn't be on their food, he looked over the young man with a serious eye. Disguising his voice with curiosity, he carefully popped a question. Hopefully this would get him answers and hopefully, the Commodore would be kind enough to lend them a doctor if it was necessary.
Jack took his small piece of dried meat, still not feeling hungry, but trying to be a bit more nonchalant. "So," he said. "How did you manage to get out of The Interceptor when it exploded?" He glanced at Will whose face had gained back a bit more of its color.
Will did not seem ready to answer at first but eventually he replied, "I swam down out a hole in the ship. It was breaking apart; I managed to get out into the sea just as it exploded."
"In'eres'ing," Jack mumbled through a mouthful of food. "So you escaped with out an injury? You are a lucky man William Turner."
Will shifted uncomfortably, wrapping his arms around his midsection. Jack noted that Will was avoiding looking at the food Jack was putting into his mouth at all costs. He muttered something that Jack could not quite distinguish and stared out their small window.
Jack quirked an eyebrow, "'m sorry, but I do believe I missed that. Care to repeat?"
Will's voice was strong and steady, more like the Will Jack knew from the beginning of their adventure. "I'm not a simpleton Jack-"
Jack grinned and said with a bit of sarcasm. "You've already made that clear to me."
Will paused and glared at the pirate. When he finally decided to continue, he chose his words carefully. "I am well enough. There's nothing to worry about. I'm just not hungry. I'll be fine in a day or two if I'm not lynched." Jack winced at the last part and ran a hand over his throat. Lynched….. "Injuries happen in my job. I'm used to them."
Don't think about what's going to happen when you get there, Sparrow. You won't be lynched; you'll find a way out. You always did before. One of his hands trailed subconsciously to his chest, his fingers prodding the scars that had made a home on his chest. Even in the very face of death he had escaped, though not always on top. If he had to steal one of Elizabeth's dresses and pretend to be a woman in order to escape, he would do it. Far more embarrassing things had occurred in his life. Trying to keep his mind off the subject of loosing his life, he continued his conversation with Will.
"I didn't realize a blacksmith's job was so terribly dangerous," he said a smirk coming over his face. "Clumsy are you?"
Will nearly snarled with frustration which gave Jack some hope. The young man almost seemed to himself except for the grimace that seemed permanently etched into his face. Within the animalistic sound that Will produced, Jack was able to distinguish, "I am not clumsy, pirate."
"I would hope not," Jack taunted. "After all, there are many things one can lose while blacksmithing." He waggled his eyebrows at Will. "You sure you aren't a eunuch?"
Another feral noise escaped the young metalworker, and he seemed ready to launch himself on Jack. However, the bit of sanity left in him reminded him that Jack was only teasing him, or so it seemed. Instead, he sat and fidgeted, eyes locked on the ocean outside. He was the one who finally decided to break the silence that fell upon them for several minutes. Not moving at all, eyes nor limbs, he murmured something Jack did not expect.
"You are not yourself."
Jack blinked in surprise but quickly covered it up. "I don't know what you mean."
"Oh no, don't cover," the blacksmith whispered. "I can tell. This isn't the usual you. It seems too........ fake. Your entire personality seems very forced as though you are trying to take your mind off something. What is it? Are you nervous about something?"
Jack's eyes closed and he leaned against the cabin wall again. A bitter laugh escaped him and he rubbed his hand over his face. How was it that the only person he thought would never see through his masquerade had just done so? It seemed that the person he thought wouldn't give a damn, the person he was sure wouldn't look deeper, was now doing both. Oh, Jack was sure Will was giving him a strange look and wondering if he had cracked. It was really funny, because the pirate was finding he really didn't care.
"Nervous?" Jack cried. "Oh no, never; why would I be the least bit nervous? Nothing's wrong; nothing at all. My life is great. My crew has commandeered my ship for the umpteenth time, I've been captured by the royal navy with little to no chance of escape, and I'm here with a man who is injured and heartbroken. Not to mention when we get to Port Royal, I'm going to be lynched. But don't you worry, Will, I'm just fine."
The sympathy in Will's eyes was immeasurable. He stretched himself out and ran a hand through his sweat and mucked covered hair, his gaze drifting to the roof above him. "I'm sorry Jack, I really am. I am not trying to be selfish, I just-" he trailed off. "I just don't know where my life is going anymore."
Jack's face was dark. "I know where mine's going; away. And, oh, by the way, so will yours if you hide your injuries and they are serious."
"They aren't serious, though!" Will protested.
"You don't know that," Jack pointed out. "What would Elizabeth want you to do?"
Whatever else Will was going to say seemed a bit superfluous. He let out a great heaving sigh, and then a soft, pained moan. Whether it was from emotional pain or actual physical pain, Jack would never know. He watched as Will carefully lifted his shirt up until it was showing most of his chest and stomach.
Jack grimaced. Sure, he was squeamish when it came to permanent things, for example, Cotton's mutilated tongue stump, but usually he was pretty good with other things such as blood and bruises. He was starting rethink this though as he took in exactly what was wrong with his younger friend. Will's stomach area was a deep blue-black color that made the pirate flinch. It almost looked as though Will had been hit by a piece of the ship there. Of course, that was not all. His chest was also varying shades of blue, purple, black and green.
How the hell did he manage to even stay up right? Jack thought at first and then, Damn, I'd be surprised if he hasn't made the end of himself.
Will squirmed under Jack's stare and let his shirt drop down. "It's not quite as bad as it looks. It just needs some rest. If I'm not put in jail, the first thing I'll do in Port Royal is go see a doctor, I swear to it Jack."
"I'm sure you'll do that," Jack responded in a tired tone. He simply couldn't fight the depressing thoughts in his mind anymore. Everything was simply too much. He hated feeling this way, feeling so lost, alone and depressed. He hated feeling, well, scared.
His mind started to wander again. His stomach was twisting and turning as it thought of all the possibilities of what would happen. Scared was not even the word for this. He was terrified. It was so strange for him. Never once had he been scared when he faced death with Barbossa. It was probably because he always had a way out then, or maybe it was because he was among his own kind; or maybe it was because when he was with pirates, he knew the rules and how to break them. Here, he was with the folk who followed the rules; the rules he did not know or understand; the rules that were going to be the death of him. His hand was holding his stomach, trying to still it. He had a slight surprise when he felt something hard there, under his shirt. It took him a moment to remember what it was.
Turning his attention to Will, who was busy with the
port hole again, he removed the hard things from his shirt. "Here, I won't be
needing them. Buy yourself something." He moved towards the young man, just
close enough to place the gold coins in his hand.
Will jumped and blinked at the gold. He shook his head. "No, Jack, it's yours. Not to mention, I don't even know what's going to happen to me when we reach Port Royal. I may be in jail for the rest of my life or.........." He let the idea hang for a moment, "worse."
Jack snorted trying to cover up a mirthless laugh. "Ye shouldn't worry lad. You'll be fine. The governor will probably grant you clemency."
"I doubt it," Will murmured, "What I did was wrong,
and I deserve punishment for it."
"Ah," Jack said holding up a hand. "But your motives are good. You'll be forgiven. Everything you did was to save his daughter. He'll see that."
Will gave him a serious look. "But you also saved her, Jack, it wasn't just me. For some reason you still think you are doomed to the noose."
"One good deed is not enough to redeem a man from a life of crime, Will," Jack replied, sighing. "However, in your case, since I have not quite spoiled you yet, the governor will let that one good deed save you. Take it and be happy."
A click interrupted their conversation. The lock to
their room creaked as a key was inserted and turned. Both of them stared at the
door, and then looked at each other with apprehension. Jack smiled a bit and
"Buy yourself a hat," he whispered. "A really big one with feathers."
Will managed something akin to a happy look. "It's not nice to mock the dead Jack."
"What? I don't know what you mean...." Jack said, feigning innocence. The door was opening. "Remember, big hat."
"But Jack, what about-"
No more words were traded between them as the door opened completely. Several soldiers were there along with Norrington and Governor Swan. Norrington did not speak a word but Jack knew what it all meant. Slowly he stood up and offered his wrists to the nearest man, in order to be guided out. He did not see the haunted, thoughtful look in Will's eyes nor did he see the determined, grave emotion on the governor's face. He simply allowed himself to lead away, a rather provoking smile on his face. Yes, his life would probably end soon. Aye, he had no way out. But, he decided, if he had to go, he was going to go with a bang.
"So, my dear Commodore," he began. "Have you ever heard the song 'Yo, Ho, Ho, and a Bottle of Rum'?"
The EndHe He H