Author: Jedi Buttercup
Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds are not.
Summary: Will Turner has never heard of Balian of Ibelin, but he shares more with the Defender of Jerusalem than just a pretty face. 700 words.
Spoilers: Kingdom of Heaven (2005); Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
Notes: This concept has been nagging at me for a very long time, as part of a much larger tale playing on the similarities shared by so many of Orlando Bloom's characters.
Sometimes, Will Turner hears a voice in his dreams.
"Be brave and upright that God may love thee," it always begins, in stern tones.
It doesn't come often, rarely as much as once a week, and he paid it little mind for most of his young life: he had much more immediate concerns to worry about, such as burying his mother, surviving the wreckage of a merchant ship hit by pirates, or keeping the smithy running single-handedly when Master Brown was too drunk to fill orders. Still, over time it has seeped through into his character, aided by his willingness to obey, to leave its mark on his every action.
In his younger years he hadn't known anything of Bill Turner, much less the sound of his voice, and even now cannot imagine what the man might have been like before his enslavement by Davy Jones-- but the uncertainty has always quelled Will's doubts rather than feeding them. Whatever else his father may have been, Will holds onto the words that echo in his dreams as evidence that he was indeed a good man-- for who else would have ever given him such direction? Certainly not the oft-inebriated blacksmith, nor the proper Governor Swann, nor even the starched then-lieutenant aboard the ship that had rescued him from the bosom of the ocean.
Brave, Will had certainly grown to be that; upright, even to the smallest point of honor available to a man of his station; and God-fearing, to the very best of his knowledge. His notion of God may have grown a bit more flexible since meeting Jack Sparrow, but he's even more certain now that Someone or Something really is up there, guiding hand firmly affixed to the rudder of his life. (No other explanation for the course of recent events makes even the remotest particle of sense).
"Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death," his dream-oracle continues.
Jack has worn on him in this, of course, much as in everything else-- "Sea turtles, mate. A pair of them, strapped to my feet"-- but his essential nature still clings to him, refusing to tarnish. He has little skill with falsehood or flattery, and less for political maneuvering; any radiance that had fallen his way from Elizabeth's eyes after she ceased being Miss Swann to him had seemed a miracle. For why should she find him appealing, when men like James Norrington-- whose high birth was still obvious, even after a precipitous fall from the pedestal of his Naval rank-- always flocked around her?
Whether her heart has turned from him now, or whether what he saw between her and Jack aboard the Pearl meant something other than the obvious, Will does not yet know-- but what he does know, what she has taught him, is that no matter what stations society would box them into, in truth between two people there is only light. So far as they are a tradesman's apprentice and gentleman's daughter, they are unequal-- but she has never observed that distance between them, and he still loves her for that (among many other reasons).
"Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong," the directives conclude.
Of them all, that phrase is perhaps the hardest to uphold. For all Will's time in Port Royal, he'd had no trouble with the latter part, but very little opportunity for the former; there is not much call for safeguarding or derring-do in the life of a blacksmith. In all the time he has spent riding the waves he has had the very opposite problem, however; his experiences as a pirate have yet to lead him into any enterprise that would harm rather than benefit those less fortunate, but he is most certainly on the wrong side of the law. This troubles him sometimes, but he has as yet found no solution.
"That is your oath," is the last thing he hears before he wakes, alone, in his bunk.
"I keep the promises I make, Jack," Will murmurs later that morning, as the salt spray lashes his face in the wind of the ship's passage.
Nothing in this world-- or beyond-- will stop him from keeping them.