MY FATHER'S EYES

By Rose de Sharon

SUMMARY: Settled between the whipping scene and the Turners' meeting with Wywern, also my explanation of how Will got treatments for his wounds.

Disclaimer: These characters belong to Mickey Mouse, not me. I'm just borrowing them for some fun!

AUTHOR'S NOTES:

- English isn't my native language and I don't have a beta-reader, all mistakes are mine.

- Some details come from the "Pirates of the Caribbean visual guide", published by Dorling Kindersley Ltd., others from Wikipedia the free on-line encyclopedia.

Feedback: Flames will be kept as fuel. Ye be warned!

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"You've had it easy, boy! Ha ha ha!" yelled the bo'sun's horrible voice.

Will was trying to recollect himself after his fall from the stairs leading to the middle deck. His back was on fire, his legs and arms hurt, his soul was outraged by the injustice of the chastisement but above everything else, his heart was breaking.

His father had whipped him. His father! The savage anguish was enough to crush his throat and choke him. After all these years of solitude in England and then Port-Royal, Will had completely given up hope to see his father again. When he had met Jack Sparrow, Will had learnt about his father's real activities in the Caribbean and how "Bootstrap" Bill had met his doom, tied to a cannon and thrown overboard after sending one of the Aztec cursed gold coins to his son. Retaliation against Barbossa's mutiny had condemned Bootstrap to spend an eternity at the bottom of the ocean, crushed by the weight of the water but unable to die.

And now, by a terrible twist of fate, Will had barely the time to learn his father was alive but a member of a monstrous crew of cursed sailors, just before being whipped by him!

Will shivered; his torn shirt was soaked and sticking to his lacerated back. Cold rainwater mixed with blood spurting from his wounds, giving him a very small amount of relief from the pain. Using one of the cannons as a crutch, he managed to get back on his feet, knowing any sign of weakness would bring him more undeserved punishment from Davy Jones.

"Will!"

That voice… it was his father's. Will pushed away the cursed seaman out of pride. That was the last person he wanted to see right now!

"I don't need your help!" yelled Will, his voice betraying his sorrow and rage. He gripped the mainmast's cordages to regain his breath, while gritting his teeth against the hurt he was feeling from his back. And yet, that was nothing compared to the pain in his heart!

But Bootstrap Bill wouldn't be demurred by Will's refusal of his help. He grabbed his son's vest he had retrieved from the upper deck and flung it nearby Will.

"The bo'sun prides himself in cleaving flesh from the bones… at every swing!" Bootstrap Bill tried to explain.

"So am I to understand what you did was an act of compassion?" Will busted out in disbelief.

"Yes…" answered Bill softly.

Will's first impulse was to accuse his father of lying, to be cruel like the other members of Jones' crew. But his honest nature reined his anger, telling him to look twice at Bootstrap Bill. The youngest Turner couldn't help but feeling pity when he saw his father's physical state: ragged clothing, long dark hair turning into seaweed, corral spurting from his shoulders, barnacles-incrusted face and hands, a starfish half-covering his right eye…

Bootstrap Bill looked like a ghost out of Dante's inferno.

And yet, his father's eyes were the open windows of a sorrowful soul. Bootstrap Bill had an awkward body attitude, shuffling from feet to feet like he didn't think he deserved to be reunited with the son he had abandoned a long time ago. Still, the blue gaze was fixed on Will and the young man could read a lifetime of melancholy, shame and regret.

Out of the blue, Jack's past words sprung in Will's mind: "Your father was a good man… and a good pirate."

His father had tried to protect him despite of the terrible circumstances. When the two crewmen had forcefully held him against the foremast's ratlines, William had been amazed that an unknown sailor stood up against the bo'sun, spontaneously volunteering to be punished in his place. Only Davy Jones' arrival prevented Bill to act on his altruistic move. But out of fear of the Flying Dutchman's captain, the elder Turner had confessed his blood ties with Will and all Hell broke loose.

Jones had forced Bootstrap to perform the whipping!

It was Jones the monster, not his father. Bootstrap Bill… was a good man.

Will stared at his father, emotions roaring in his mind like a hurricane: anger, hope, love, and pity… making him unable to think straight. Then a tidal wave of pain swept over him and he couldn't stop a soft groan coming from his lips. His wounds were screaming for treatment and Will knew he couldn't ignore them any longer. On top of everything, he was getting dizzy from the shock and being soaked to the skin didn't help.

A crustacean-covered hand rested lightly on his shoulder, carefully avoiding touching the whip's bloody marks crisscrossing his back.

"Please, Will" pleaded Bootstrap Bill. "Come with me."

Will closed his eyes and then nodded slowly, getting unable to talk. The events were catching up on him and he was in a bad need for a rest. He felt his father's arms encircling his upper body, supporting him as they began walking towards the stairs heading for the below deck, distancing themselves from the rain, the pain and Davy Jones. Will leaned on his father, thankful for that helping hand; a small light in the darkness he had been plunged into after Jack had tricked him to go aboard the Flying Dutchman.