Disclaimer: I don't own anything you recognize. Which is, in my humble opinion, a very depressing fact.
I just wanted to point something out before you start reading this short story. This story is mainly about Jack and Will and you can look at it from two different perspectives. One, were Jack and Will have become very good and close friends after their adventure with Barbossa and the second one, were Jack and Will have become lovers after that. I realized that you could see some slashy tones in it when I was re-reading this story, although I have never written proper slash before. Just look what fits you best and keep that in mind while reading :)
Thanx to Kaila for the beta read
The hot sand was burning under my bare feet when I was walking next to the coastline near Tortuga. I have seen more beautiful coastlines, but this one would do perfectly. It's not like I would actually fall over something like 'the beauty of the sea seen from Tortuga' after this night.
"Yes, lad." I had almost forgotten that I was not alone on this warm Caribbean night. Normally I love the attention people give me and, although I would not admit this easily, I actually hate it to be alone. Maybe it was because of the whole 'maroon' issue I had once had, I'm not sure. It's actually rather strange that I prefer people around me, since I don't generally trust them. But tonight I could have done without the young lad's presence. I would have actually given up my beloved Pearl to be alone tonight.
I turn around to face him. He walks a couple of steps behind me and he looks more un-pirate like than ever before. His clothing is too clean and his hair is by far not messy enough. The moonshines on his face and give it a really naïve look. Naïve like he was when I first met him, two years ago, the time when he practiced 3 hours a day to kill a pirate. Funny ol' world, isn't it? He was now almost living on the Pearl and had once even joined while we were pillaging and plundering. That day I saw in his eyes that he had actually enjoyed it. Pirate was definitely in his blood.
He stops and observes me probably in the same way as I am observing him. I know how I look at the moment. I've always paid some attention to my fearful pirate look and I have perfected it over the years. I really couldn't do without it anymore; every aspect from my outfit has got a special meaning, or - like with the trinkets - a special memory.
"Have you ever thought of death before?"
So much for a naïve young blacksmith! I am not entirely sure if I can handle such a conversation right on this moment, not without any rum. Enough rum makes me philosophical and than I could easily talk hours about issues like that. Without it… it was a lot more difficult.
"Aye, lad, Whadda ye think? I'm a pirate remember? I've tricked the devil many times b'fore."
This brings a smile on the lads face. Good. I don't like to see him sad, it makes me feel even worse. Bootstrap always had the same affect on me. Then I notice that my hand has moved to my chest, to the very place were two bullet holes make their appearance. Will has noticed it as well. Damn him!
"Were you almost dead then?"
I never liked talking about my past, not about the terrible parts of it and not about the happy and wonderful parts either. I live my life by the day, like every good pirate should. If you cannot do that, you can never become a pirate.
I trail off. I see how Will is curious about what has happened then, so many years ago. It's said about Captain Jack Sparrow that his past is foggy and that is true. Even for myself it's a mystery at times.
"Bullets hurt a lot, lad. Take care that one never hits ye. The blasted things even hurt when ye think ye have healed!"
I had not wanted to say this. For once, I actually wanted to tell him the truth. Truth about me, truth without sea turtles and other creatures where I have read about in the many books I have found in my life as pirate captain. But like always I took the coward's way out. But time will come. Time enough to tell young Will Turner about my past.
I sit down in the warm sand, my feet just touching the sea. A perfect spot. The sea near me and the beautiful sky with the moon and the stars above me. Like I said, perfect. The lad sits down next to me, shuffling a bit closer for the need of human contact. Carefully I lay my arm around him and pull him closer. He's too young to handle this on his own, too innocent.
I am happy that at least I was with him in the beginning, when he completely freaked out. Poor lad. He had expected so much; he still had dreams to chase and things to see. I was a lot more calmer, but I guess it has been something I've been living with the day I became a pirate.
"Tell me one of your adventures."
It's not even a question. I feel how Will shivers even during this warm Caribbean night and that is definitely not good. Nobody this young should bare heavy burdens like he is carrying right now. He had to get his mind off things.
"Did ye know I was once married?"
This certainly grabs his attention, like I hoped it would. He studies my face as if he wants to find out if I'm lying. I could have told him that it was no use: I was not the best liar in the Caribbean and this time I was not lying.
I grin. "Yes, lad I was. Although it was not one of those fancy weddings like yers with young miss Swann."
His face darkens and I flinch. I shouldn't have said that! Quickly I continue my story, dragging him along in it.
"I was a young lad at the time. Begin of me twenties. I was a pirate captain already at that time… Me and me crew went to Holland. Ever been there lad?"
Will shakes his head.
"Rotten place, really! It's one large mutt filled hole, filled with farms, animals and cities. Bad weather as well. Cold… rainy. Not my idea of 'aving a good time. Women are fine though. Not so skinny as the lasses here. But bossy… I don't think tha' I've ever met bossier women." I laugh out loud and notice how Will is grinning as well.
"At tha' time me and me crew of the Pearl had come to Holland for supplies. Good place for stuff like that, only have to keep yer eyes open fer those blasted hunters on the waters. They 'ave an awful lot of them!
Me crew was taking care fer the supplies and I decided to take a look around on me onesies. Didn't much like tha' city… too crowded fer me liking with civilized people so I went to take a look outside the city walls. Then me ears heard the sound of screaming… female screaming that is. And I wouldn't be captain Jack Sparrow if I wouldn't rush into action for a lady screaming fer help.
Into the muddy lands two chaps wer trying to… well lad. I guess yer proved yer not a eunuch or a complete innocent fool already. They tried to rape the poor lass. I got me cutlass and I killed one of the two men… the other escaped me, but I couldn't go after 'im. Had to look after the lass.
She was different from those other lasses I had seen so far. Not Dutch looking at all. Skinny, tanned skin as if she came right out of the Caribbean, black hair. She looked at me as if I wanted te rape her instead! But I managed to calm 'er down, mind you that was a hard task since at that time I didn't speak Dutch and she didn't speak any language I'd known. Gave er me jacket cause there wasn't much left of er dress. And me hat, gave her that one as well just to see the lass smiling at me. Remarkable smile it was, lad. Never seen anything like tha' after wards."
A moment I fall silent. I can clearly picture her now as if she was standing next to me… that Dutch little devil.
"Sorry lad… lost in thought fer a moment. Where was I?"
"You gave her your hat."
"That's right! Brought 'er back into that blasted town as well. Couldn't let her walk back all on her onesies in nothing more than me jacket, savvy? Said goodbye to the lass and decided it was time to get back to me ship. Hadn't gotten me hands on any rum… those blasted Dutch don't seem te drink that much.
So I walked back, trying to disappear into the crowd," Will raised an eyebrow at that comment, but I decided to ignore that for the moment.
"And suddenly I find meself surrounded by a large group of fine gentlemen, waving their swords at me face and the one man that had escaped from raping the lass. 'e was pointing at me and blabbering in that silly language of his and guess what, lad? He said I killed 'is mate! He only forgot te mention what he and his mate were doing at the time!"
I feel that even after all these years it still can make me angry.
"I wasn't really in a good position. I didn't speak the language and though I tried to explain about the lass they only looked odd at me and I didn't know 'er name at that time. Later a man who spoke English came to see me, but 'e didn't want to believe me either. So… I was going te be hanged the next day."
This time Will looks downright shocked at me and I can't help but grin. "Listen mate… hanging pirates is not exclusively the idea of bloody Norrington, savvy?
So the next day at the market place they planned te hang me. Quick lads, those Dutch. Had everything arranged in one night and I believe the entire city and those people around came to watch me. So I stood there and the man was reading out loud what I have done, though I couldn't understand a word about wha' was going on at the moment. For my sake he could have been telling silly jokes at that crowd I wouldn't 'ave 'eard the difference.
And than suddenly… the lass. She was looking in utter terror at me, screaming something when she came my way. Kinda like ye did, lad, when ye saved me. Only she didn't need a sword for tha'. She screamed something and then most of the females in the crowd seemed to help 'er as well. Moments later she was standing next to me and I was freed from me bounds. A man came who shot me a dirty look and he said something to the lass and soon after tha' me and the lass were free and brought outside the city walls."
I shake my head. I still can't believe how quickly that all happened.
"I tell ye, lad. I was lost fer words. And mind ye, that doesn't happen to me very often."
"What had happened then?"
"It seemed te be some sort of Dutch thing. When a man was hanged a female could prevent that by marrying the thief. Than she and the thief were banned out of the city. Most of the time it was an old ugly spinster who offered te marry the prisoner and I heard from the lass that many prisoner hanged themselves when they saw who was there te save them. I was lucky. She was a fine lass. Totally different from every lass I met, though she has somet'ing from 'Lizebeth in 'er I guess."
"What happened after that?" Will seems truly fascinated by
this part of my past.
"Well me and the lass went back to me Pearl. Te crew 'ad heard the stories about some scallywag being captured, but they weren't sure it was me. They just figured I had fallen asleep in some sort of inn and would show up again after some while. She sailed along with us fer many years."
I trail off. I suddenly realize that this might turn out as a bad idea. A bad story to tell on this moment.
"What was her name, Jack?"
"Haven't I told ye that, lad? Her name was Neeltje, lad. Learned me quiet a few Dutch words afterwards. 'ave shown to come in handy along the way."
"Were is Neel'je now?" Will carefully tries out this Dutch name, not entire sure if he pronounced it right.
"She's dead." Even I am shocked with the bitter tone of my voice. I should have thought I was over it after all these years.
"They found out tha' I actually cared about 'er. Not good fer a pirate, mate, having friends and especially no' having a wife you love. They killed 'er to hurt me. And yes tha' worked. I think tha's the only time I actually lost me mind during a fight."
Will doesn't dare to ask, but I see the question in his eyes.
"Yes lad… killed them all. And not in a nice way."
I quickly stand up. Tonight every conversation seems to come back to one point: death. And I don't like that. I don't like thinking about death at all, not now, not ever. Death brings up bad memories.
"Come lad. It's bout time we are going to get ourselves back."
Will hesitates. I can understand why. I'm not actually looking forward to this either, but there doesn't seem to be another way. Not that I have experience on this matter. But who has?
"Come." I carefully take his hand into mine and drag him along with me to avoid him standing still again. Now we're moving we have to get going. Else I don't think we will move ever again.
"Do you… do you still remember what happened, Jack?"
I only hesitate for one second. I do remember, but I don't want to bother him with that. "No, lad. You?"
"No. Not really."
Good. I hoped he wouldn't. I don't want this memory to plague him forever and ever.
The area around us starts to change. The sand disappears to be replaced by the dirty houses and inns from Tortuga. I've always loved this place; from the very first time I came here. Funny that this place of all the places I have visited during my life has to become the stage of a nightmare. Drunkards, fighters and whores surround us, but don't seem to notice us at all.
That does not surprise me.
We both walk straight to the Faithful Bride. That was the place we left a couple of hours ago for some fresh air and a more private talk. I peek inside and see that not much has chanced. Gibbs, Anamaria, Mr. Cotton and some other members of my crew are still sitting around one of the tables. The only things that have chanced during our absence is they look obviously more drunk and Ana has got the grin on her face that tells me that she is busy winning the card games, being the best cheater of the lot.
"I'm sorry, Jack." Will looks truly hurt.
"If I hadn't forced you to come out with me to talk nothing would have happened…"
I shake my head. Damn stubborn Turner! Just like his dad.
"Listen, William Turner," he knows he's in trouble now, cause I only call him like that on those occasions. "This was not yer bloody fault, savvy? When it's yer time to go, it's yer time to go. Nothing can chance tha'!"
He shakes his head, but I can clearly see the relief in his eyes. Bloody stubborn Turners!
"Let's get inside, lad."
"What do you want to do there, Jack?"
"I dunno… wait I guess? Wait until somebody breaks the news… It can't be that long either, even not in a blasted place like this one."
I grin at him. "And who knows, maybe we can get ourselves some free rum!"
I get myself inside and feel how Will follows me. As long as I act confident I don't think anything will go terrible wrong. We both sit down right behind Anamaria and with a sly grin I notice how she cheats like the best. Gibbs gives her a dirty look when he once again looses 5 shilling during the game.
"Bloody women! Bad luck I tell ye!" I hear him mutter and my grin grows even wider. Will is always fascinated by this way of playing. He himself has lost several shilling during the nights on the Pearl and we all had truly laughed at his unawareness of all what happened under the table and into the sleeves of several shirts.
"You all cheated!"
"Pirate, remember!" I grin at him. This was just like good old times. Then my face darkens. I hear shouting coming from outside. Shouting that doesn't sound good.
Bloody hell… it is annoying to always be right once in a while.
"They are dead!" A man bursts into the inn. "Sparrow and that son of Bootstrap! They are dead!"
"What!?" yell Ana and Gibbs simultaneously and forgotten is their card game. They both jump on their feet and I notice how Will shrinks under the sudden panic around us. Not knowing what else to do I put my arm around him giving as much support as I can manage at the moment.
With two long strides Ana stands in front of the man and a small dagger that seems to come out of nowhere is pointed at his throat.
"You were saying?" she says dangerously calm, a tone that tells me all I need to hear. Every men that was getting in her way right on this moment would gain a lot more than only a slap in his face.
The man is smart enough to realize this as well and he carefully takes a step back. "Sparrow and Turner… they are found behind this inn. Dead. And robbed."
Ana, Gibbs and the others have heard enough and ignore the man while they walk past him to see with their own eyes that I have long known already. We both decide to follow them.
"Aye, lad. That's still captain Jack Sparrow fer ye," I tell the man when I walk past him and for a moment I actually think he has heard me, cause his facial expression changes to one of utter fear and he gazes behind him to the right spot where I stood only seconds ago. I can't help but grin. As long as the people kept remembering that, the world was not entirely lost yet.
Outside there are large groups of people that move into the same direction, move towards the point where I know we are supposed to lie. I flinch. It was definitely not a pretty sight. It was actually rather ironic that me and the lad had to end in a way like that. We were attacked by a large group of 'bloody pirates' and we simply didn't stand a chance. So much for a legendary ending on sea!
"Jack? I don't think I want to go back."
"Me neither, lad."
"What do we do than?"
"I have no idea. Isn't there supposed to be a white light or something like tha'? A voice tha' guides ye ter heaven or hell? I thought it always worked tha' way."
For the moment I'm not ready yet to speak out my fear, the only fear I've felt since it all happened. I remember the many times defeated captains and even once a priest have screamed at me that the devil would get me for what I had done to them. Was that what was going to happen? Captain Jack Sparrow spending his days until eternity in the company of the devil himself?
"You have understood that perfectly well, Jack Sparrow."
We both turn around in shock. I mean, when you are dead you don't actually suspect people talking to you, right?
A cat runs away out of the shadows and we both see a shape of a human body watching us. Or something like that. It's kinda complicated to describe a somebody who doesn't really seem to have a body at all.
"Captain, if you please, sir." I've always managed to gather myself together rather quickly, even under the most odd circumstances.
"Of course, captain. Now if you two would be so kind to follow me."
There seems nothing better to do than that. I vaguely notice Anamaria running past us, crying with Gibbs after her who seems to be in not much better conditions either, but then there is only light.
- Fin -
Uhm… yeah. Please review?