A/N: Hello again all! Sorry it took so long, but here it is! The sequel to 'The Flying Dutchman'! If you're new to this fic, go read that story first - it'll make much more sense that way. If you're a returning reader, welcome back! I hope to hear from you all soon - I've got some great ideas for this fic, so we'll se how it goes! Just so you know, I edited the first story, and one major plot change was made in chapter 8 regarding Jack's mother. Go back and read it if you like, otherwise, the corrected information will used in this fic, and shouldn't be too hard to follow.
Thanks again everyone! Remember to review!
It was broad daylight above the island of Jamaica, and in the height of summer the air was so thick with humidity that it was difficult to breathe. On the docks of Port Antonio, there was little sound save for the occasional exchange of words between sailors, speaking only when required. Even the local wildlife seemed subdued by the interminable heat; birds did not call out to one another quite as frequently, and the usually pervasive shrieking of monkey's seemed decidedly half-hearted.
A young boy with golden blond hair wandered slowly along the docks, staring forlornly at the ships. His eyes were wide and frightened, and he hugged himself as though cold. Many of the sailors eyed him curiously, but few seemed inclined to question him. It was none of their business.
The boy was sniffling softly when he stopped before a 58-gun galleon called the Protector. The crew paid him no attention, but the moment he approached one of the barrels of coconuts sitting along the dock, the ship's cape-merchant called out to him, "you there! What is your business here?"
Clasping his hands behind his back, the boy said, "please, Sir… I can't find my father."
"Your father, eh?" The cape-merchant asked. "What's his name, boy?"
"Swann," he told the man. "Jackson Swann."
"Swann? 'fraid I've never heard of him." The cape-merchant was a father himself, and he felt a twinge of pity. The child's clothes were torn and dirty, and he looked as though he hadn't had a decent meal or a good night's sleep in weeks. "Where did you last see him?"
Tears welled in the boy's eyes. "We came here by ship from London two weeks ago," he said. "Father said he was going to meet with some merchants about a job, but he never came back."
The cape-merchant crouched down in front of the boy. "What's your name, Lad?" He asked kindly.
"Well, young William – these docks can be very dangerous to those unfamiliar with them. I can't speak as to your father, but if you continue roaming around on your own, you're liable to get into trouble. I'm Sgt. Tively - why don't you come with me and talk to the Captain? Maybe he can come up with some ideas for you. Alright?"
William nodded, hiccupping softly. Giving instructions to the crew as he went, Mr. Tively led him onto the deck of the Protector and towards a man in a blue officer's coat and powdered wig. The Captain was an older man with a thick black mustache that curled up on the ends.
"Captain Adams," Mr. Tively said with a sharp salute.
The Captain's eyes gave the man a lazy appearance, but William noted that beneath his half-closed lids his eyes were sharp and observant. He acknowledged his sergeant's greeting with a respectful nod and then looked William over from head to toe. The lack of emotion in the Captain's face made the boy nervous.
Sgt. Tively was explaining William's situation to his Captain. "I thought you might be interested in speaking to him," the sergeant said.
Captain Adam's nodded thoughtfully. "Swann," he said in a deep rumbling voice. "I knew a man by that name once. Weatherby, I think."
William nodded. "He was my grandfather, Sir."
"Good man," the Captain said, and William saw a trace of warmth enter his eyes. "We served together some years ago. He had no children then, but time does wear on, doesn't it?" he chuckled softly. "Well, William, I'm not sure I can give you much help looking for your father if you haven't heard from him in all this time. We're setting sail for London in a few hours… what would you say to returning there with us? We could take you to your grandfather and he could take the necessary steps towards finding his son."
Smiling gratefully, William thanked the Captain. He didn't bother telling him that his grandfather had been dead more than ten years; in the end, it wouldn't matter.
Night on the sea brought a discernable drop in temperature after the wet heat of the day, and William felt as though a blanket had been lifted off of the world. Quietly, he looked up and down the length of the Protector's deck, making sure that he was unobserved by the night watch. There was no one in the crow's nest – William had slipped something into the man's rum at meal-time, and now he was fast asleep beneath one of the tables.Creeping slowly across the deck, William peered over the side between the longboats, searching the dark water below. A flash of light shone up at him, and William responded by lowering a stolen rope over the side, securing the end to a cannon. The rope grew taunt, and a gentle thump against the side of the ship announced the arrival of the pirates.
Captain Jack Sparrow was first aboard the vessel, and it was clear by the look of him that he was just as tired and underfed as William. Although dressed in his normal uniform, complete with bandana, beads and baubles, there were faint new lines around his kohl-darkened eyes that had not been there only a few weeks earlier. The glint of dangerous humor which usually lit his eyes was also missing, as though a part of him were sleeping in the tormented darkness within.
Jack grinned mirthlessly at William and placed an approving hand on the boy's shoulder for a moment. Then turning, he lent his arm to the next man to come aboard, the bosun, Marty. Marty's small stature was more than made up for by the fierceness of his spirit, and with no more than a bracing nod to his crewmates, he slipped into the dark to take up his position.
More men followed the bosun; Pintel, the gruff but jocular gunner and his one-eyes mate Ragetti headed aft with determined faces. A large Jamaican forward named Noah went with Quartermaster Riche toward the foredeck. No words were spoken among them, and indeed none were needed. Jack met William's eyes and nodded once. Together, the two headed towards the Captain's cabin.
Jack listened outside the door for a moment, a faint smile curving his lips that did not reach his eyes. Silently pulling his sword from its sheath, he stared at William, waiting for something.
William frowned, and mouthed, "I want to go with you."
Jack's eyes softened for the first time that night, but he compressed his lips firmly and pulled the boy away from the door and further into the shadows where he could whisper to him softly, "We talked about this, Mate. If you're to serve on this mission, you've got to do everything I tell you, savvy?"
Still frowning, William nodded. His shoulders slumped in disappointment.
Jack smiled. "You had an important duty to perform, and you did it, Mate. Now let's get to the rest of it."
Somewhat mollified, William nodded and silently left. Jack watched as the boy, agile as a monkey, climbed a mast towards the crow's nest and huddled safely inside. When he was sure William was safely hidden, Jack turned his gaze towards the portside staircase, beside which he knew Marty was secreted in the shadows. He heard a low snick of metal, and moonlight glanced off the blade of Marty's sword.
They were ready. Without further delay, Jack pulled one of the matching pistols from the sash at his waist and shot the lock off of the Captain's cabin door. In the echo from the gunshot, people all over the deck sprang to life. Marty sprang up the staircase to the poop deck, and soon had the helmsmen subdued with his hands in the air. Elsewhere, the other member's of Jack's crew began rounding up the men onboard the Protector, both above and below deck; the ship was nearly theirs.
The instant the door to the Captain's cabin fell open, Jack was through it, griping his sword tightly with a surprisingly steady hand. Captain Adams had leapt out of his bunk at the sound of the blast, and in the moment it took him to fumble in the dark for his weapons, Jack was on him, blade at his neck.
"Hello there, Mate. We'll be taking over your ship."
"We have no cargo – we just unloaded. There's nothing here that could possibly interest you," Captain Adams protested with admirable decorum for a man in his nightshirt.
"Be that as it may, Captain, we're commandeering this vessel." Gesturing with his sword for the man to precede him, Jack escorted the Captain mid-ship, to where the rest of the crew had been rounded up. Jack nodded to Pintel and Ragetti, who began readying the longboats for the Protector's crew.
From his position in the crow's nest, William could see everything going on below. He was supposed to be waiting for Jack's men to secure complete control over the ship before even sticking his head out of his hiding place, but he was too eager to see what was going on. He could see Captain Adams trying to negotiate with Jack, but the pirate simply ignored him; he very seldom paid much attention to anything but his own thoughts these days. He watched the men around him, eyes darting from person to person as they searched for any signs of danger, but Jack remained distracted, and it was this that caused the plan to fail.
High in the crow's nest, William noticed movement from out of the corner of his eye, and turned to see a man slinking across the deck from down in the hold – the man whom William had drugged earlier in the evening. He was awake again, and alerted to the situation his shipmates were in. Gun in hand, the man stepped from out of a bank of shadows just as William realized what was going on, and aimed straight for Jack's head.
"Jack!" William screamed, and without looking his direction, Jack responded, leaping to one side and rolling from the ground back onto his feet, facing the other direction.
Jack's would-be attacker was stunned, both by the disembodied warning and the quick response to it, and by the time he realized that Jack was now facing him, it was too late. A well-placed kick knocked the gun from his hand and threw it across the deck. The man screamed and clutched his broken wrist.
Jack had acted fast, but just as quickly the situation on-deck had dissolved into panic. In the confusion, the crew of the Protector dove and scattered. A pile of confiscated weapons lay nearby, and before Jack's men knew what was happening, they were forced to try and fight their way out of an uneven battle.
With the element of surprise on their side, the pirates had stood a fighting chance, but they were heavily outnumbered. They fought as best they could, but it was only a matter of minutes before everyone realized that the odds were against them. It would be all that they could do to get off of the Protector with their lives.
William couldn't help it; standing up in the crow's nest he leaned over the side as far as he dared. His orders had been to flee the ship immediately at the first sign of trouble, but he couldn't. Not until he knew Jack would be safe.The two Captains were in the midst of the fighting, swords crossed. Captain Adams was obviously the more skilled swordsman, but as usual, Jack was fighting with a mixture of talent and trickery. Swords ringing loudly as they struck each other, Jack was carefully easing his way backwards, as though retreating. William realized that while the pirate was trying to draw the man away from the crow's nest so that William could escape, he was also approaching some of the rigging lines.
Wriggling awkwardly out of the basket, William swiftly climbed down the mast and ran towards the spot where he'd let the pirate crew aboard earlier. He was all ready to turn and clamber down to the small boat waiting below, when he heard a whirring noise behind him and turned to look.
It was something William had heard his mother tell him about many times before, but he'd never seen it done, and he couldn't help watching in awed fascination. Jack had drawn close enough to the rigging to utilize it in his escape. Grabbing hold of a thick length of rope attached to one of the large rolled sails above the deck, Jack used his blade to severe it below where he was holding on, and the white canvas began to unfurl, dropping to cover a large group of men who had been about to converge on and capture him. Jack was pulled high into the air by the unanchored rope, and William watched him land on the slim length of a yardarm with a telling lack of wobbling.
William stifled his urge to cheer as he remember that he still needed to escape, and turned to climb down the side of the ship. Just as he grabbed hold of the rope, a pair of strong arms grabbed him. William kicked and screamed for Jack as his captor pushed him against a wall, hard. He looked up into the face of Mr. Tively.
The sergeant's face was twisted with anger. "You ungrateful little wretch!" he growled. He shook William. The boy lost his balance, fell, and looked up in time to see the man raise a hand to strike him. William froze.
There was a loud thunk behind Tively, and both he and William turned to see Jack Sparrow landing behind the sergeant wearing a look of pure hatred. Without a word, Jack punched the other man in the face with a many-ringed fist, tearing flesh.
William stared, but there was no time to say anything. Running footsteps were headed their way, and in a moment he was in Jack's arms and the two were leaping over the railing into the protective darkness of the water. William felt Jack release him as soon as they were submerged, and he began swimming towards the surface.
Gasping for air when his head cleared the water, William looked frantically around for Jack. The man could not be seen, but a little way off, William saw the small boat the pirate's had arrived on being rowed back to their own ship with five men aboard. The other's had escaped, but where was Jack?
A hand clamped around William's ankle, and he had just enough time to take a breath before he was yanked back under. His eyes were open wide, but in the dark he could see nothing. William held completely still as he was dragged through the water back towards the ship.
Less than a minute later, William's ankle was released, and he swam back to the surface. Before he could even gasp for breath, a hand was clamped over his mouth, and suddenly Jack's face was in front of his, a warning look in his eyes. When he saw that William recognized him, he removed his hand so that the boy could breathe.
They were just beside the boat, so close that William pressed one hand against it to steady himself in the water. He whispered Jack's name but the pirate shook his head, held a finger to his lips and lifted his eyes upward to indicate his concern.
At that moment, bright lights were shone out over the water, and William understood. The crew of the Protector were lighting the whole ship to search the waters for them. They would have to wait until it was safe to make their escape. William watched the lights flicker on the rippling surface as he continued treading water.
He didn't realize his teeth were chattering until Jack suddenly frowned and pulled him closer. William hesitated, afraid to weight Jack down and drown him, but the pirate simply used his free arm to secure the boy's arms and legs around his neck and torso, supporting him without effort. Exhausted, William sighed and rested his head on Jack's shoulder, grateful.
William must have fallen asleep, for his mother was there before him, and she was dancing. It was a scene he'd been a part of many times; him sitting on the floor of the parlor practicing his violin as his mother danced, lifting her skirts up off the floor with both hands. The laughter in her face made her more beautiful than ever, and though he had only ever played the violin because he knew how much she loved its sound, he suddenly wanted to keep playing forever, so that she would never stop dancing for him. Then suddenly, she was falling. He wanted to reach out to her but William found he could not stop playing the violin, and the harder he tried to put down the instrument, the faster he played. He could do nothing but scream as his mother fell into a black sea….
He awoke when Jack shifted him slightly to rouse him, and the lights had gone out on the deck above. His mother was gone again - dead. William felt the tears rise up to choke his throat but as was becoming his habit, he swallowed them down.
Jack leaned his head towards William's ear and whispered, "Can you swim?"
William nodded, but he was worried. How far would they have to go? The night was moonless, and in the dark it was impossible to see any part of the Black Pearl. He didn't even know which direction they should start out in.
Jack, however, didn't seem as worried. "Stay close to me; if you need help, let me know and we'll stop for a bit. They shouldn't be too far."
As quietly as they could manage it, Jack and William pushed away from the ship and headed away from both the Protector, and the distant strip of land from which they had set sail only hours before.
For a time, the only sound William heard was his and Jack's labored breathing as they paddled deeper and deeper into the night. Though he tried to keep it under control, William was aware that he'd never been more scared in his life. With no end to the blackness ahead of them, it felt as though they would go on swimming forever, or until they dropped off the edge of the world – at least then, they'd be closer to finding his mother.
It was something the boy couldn't help but dwell on, no matter how many times he reminded himself not to. Even as more and more days piled themselves between him and that horrible event, William still felt no less pain at the memory of his mother's death.
He knew it had been a noble thing she'd done; noble and yet terribly wrong. William did not know exactly what had happened, and though he suspected Jack knew a lot more than he was telling, the pirate was too deep in his own private misery to relive the experience.
William's father had been drawn into service as Captain of the infamous Flying Dutchman more than ten years ago. For the first ten years of William's life, his mother had raised him on the exciting stories of their adventures as pirates on the high seas, but his favorite story had been the one regarding his father's sacrifice.
Determined to save his own father from an eternity of servitude on the accursed vessel, Will Turner had done everything possible to secure the heart of Davy Jones, who was Captain of the Dutchman at the time. Together with his mother and Jack, they had succeeded, and it had even been arranged that Captain Sparrow would stab the heart so that Will would be free to marry William's mother, Elizabeth, but something had gone horribly wrong. Jones had stabbed William's father, and in order to save his life, Jack had given up his shot at immortality by making Will stab the heart instead. It was an act that made him Captain after Jones' death.
So after one last day on land, Will Turner had set off for ten years service, ferrying the souls of those who'd died at sea to the afterlife, and leaving his pregnant wife to wait for him till the day his service was at an end and he could return to her.
It was a day he and his mother had looked forward to their whole lives, but only two days before Captain Turner was due home, Jack Sparrow had arrived, and everything changed overnight. Both William and Elizabeth found in Jack the companionship they'd hungered for over ten long years, and it was with a heavy heart that William's mother sent Jack away before her husband returned. She had made a promise to him, and she intended to keep it.
Jack's departure had broken William's heart, and the pain was compounded by the reunion with his father. After ten years separation from everything that mattered in his life, Will Turner had been a different man. He hadn't even known about his son, and the Captain had not been pleased with William's enthusiasm for pirates.
They had tried, and everything may have eventually worked itself out. Indeed, after running away to join Jack's crew and being tricked into returning by that same pirate, William had thought that at last, things were going to be all right. But it was then that things had gone wrong again, and all William had left were his suspicions. While Jack's silence on the subject seemed to prove that the man had been involved, never the less, William and Jack were bound in a way that could never be broken.
William had been in an inn when it all started, at a party to celebrate his father's return. He'd seen Jack go outside, and his mother had followed at William's own urging. His first hint that there was trouble came when people suddenly crowded at the door of the inn, looking outside, and it was then that William realized that his father had vanished as well.
Pushing his way to the door, William saw Jack standing in the middle of the street, calling William's mother's name. He had been running; William could see sweat dripping down his face, and he was breathing hard. But it was the fear in his eyes that made William frightened too, and he looked around for his father.
No one was paying attention to him, and he heard someone nearby whisper that Captain Turner had taken off running down the street, with Elizabeth running after him. No one knew why, but William immediately thought of Jack. No one suspected him, as they though he was Elizabeth's brother, but William knew that both his mother and the pirate harbored affection for each other. He took off unnoticed in the direction Jack had gone.
He hadn't been able to find him, but soon William had reached the docks, and he was just in time to see the Flying Dutchman pulling away. He ran after the ship, calling out to his father. The man had turned at William's voice, but his expression was empty as he stared back at his son, lifting a hand in farewell.
William stared as the ship pulled further and further away and the sky began to darken above him. Lightening tore at the sky, and as he turned to look, William suddenly saw his mother standing on the wall of the fort, arms spread wide. He began to run, but even as he was halfway up the cliff, he saw her pitch forward and fall towards the rocks. A spray of water hid her impact, but William knew she was gone.
Everything after that was a blur. He'd found Jack at the fort, and they'd run to the beach as the earth shook and fires erupted around them. Port Royal had fallen that day with his mother, both swallowed body and soul by the sea. William had found himself orphaned; alone in the world, save for a pirate named Jack Sparrow.
Neither of them seemed truly at ease in the company of anyone but each other, and so it was that William had become a part of Jack's crew as they tried to formulate a plan to rescue Elizabeth from the jaws of death. There was no question as to where she was now – the Locker.
William knew only what he'd learned from his mother about the Locker, and the fact that Jack had survived it gave him hope. His only fear was that she had not gone there at all, but that she was somewhere else entirely. However, Jack had refused to entertain this idea, so set was he on finding Elizabeth and rescuing her, and William did not raise the subject again. He too, wanted his mother returned to him.
They swam for a long time before Jack suddenly stopped and bobbed in place for a moment before pointing into the distance. "There," he said with a hint of satisfaction coloring his voice. "I knew I'd find me ship."
William saw nothing, but then a small light blinked at them, and he realized it was the flashing of a lantern. Gibbs was signaling for them. Eagerly now, Jack and William swam with renewed energy, and it was not long before Jack knocked on the hull of the Black Pearl for someone to lower a rope.
William climbed first, arms aching. He'd had tons of practice over the years at climbing ropes, thanks to his trips with his mother to visit the sailors in port – both pirate and merchant. It was there habit to bring spare food and other items that might be of use at sea, and for Elizabeth to tend to an array of injuries incurred beyond the care of a ship's surgeon. She'd become quite skilled in this area, and William had thus made friends who were happy to teach him the skills that he hoped would someday help him become a great pirate.
On deck, Gibbs was waiting with dry clothing, and immediately set about helping William change. William was not surprised that the ship had waited for them. Although the pirate code would have given them every right to abandon their Captain – or anyone else – for falling behind, he knew that not a one of them would ever have left without first finding out what had happened to him. For whatever reason, William had become the son of everyone on board the Pearl, and they would not have rested until he was accounted for.
As William slumped to the deck in exhaustion letting Gibbs fuss over him, Jack clambered on board. The Captain accepted a blanket from Marty, who reported that everyone had made it back safely. Asking the bosun to fetch him some rum, Jack sat down beside William, leaning his head back against a mast for support.
Gibbs took a seat on the nearest barrel and stared at the Captain, who was looking off into space. "This is the third ship we've tried to capture, and failed," he said. Jack didn't respond. "Captain… I think the crew would have mutinied by now, if it weren't for the sake of young William, and the fact that they know it's due to Ms. Elizabeth that - "
Jack did react to this, and his glare silenced the First mate. Then Jack sighed and drew a weary hand across his face. "That I can't even capture a bloody ship from the Royal Navy," he finished the sentence with a harsh laugh. His face was dark. "Sodding awful pirate, I am," he said.
Gibbs ignored this. "Jack, why does it have to be a Royal Navy ship? There must be something else we can use. Why, when we rescue you from the Locker, 'twas in a junk!"
Jack winced at the mention of the Locker, but said nothing about it. "It's already been two weeks since she…" He paused. "She's been there two weeks. I was there much longer, and unless we find a ship that's nigh as fast as the Pearl…" he couldn't finish the thought, but said, "I can only imagine Elizabeth's kind of hell - how long before it's no longer her that we're rescuing?"
Gibbs stared down at the deck, avoiding both Jack and William's eyes. "There's got to be another way, Jack. If you won't use the Pearl," Jack's eyes narrowed - they knew any ship they used would be destroyed, and everyone had agreed against using their own ship in the rescue – "and if we can't get another one near as fast," Gibbs continued quickly, "then what can we do?"
Something very dark must have entered Jack brain, because he paled for a moment, staring glassy-eyed at nothing. Then, "Go off to bed, Gibbs. We'll talk more about it in the morning."
Getting nothing more from his Captain, Gibbs finally said his goodbyes, leaving Jack and William alone on deck. The wheel had been tied off, and the night watch was nowhere to be seen. Neither one said anything to the other for a while, content to just sit with their thoughts in comfortable silence.
"Uncle Jack?" William asked finally. "Even if we do find another ship, how are we going to get back from the Locker after it's destroyed?"
Jack thought, and then stood up and reached out a hand to pull William up as well. "I'm not sure, mate," he admitted. "But I think I may have an idea." William's heart jumped, but he noticed that Jack's face looked grim. "I'll sleep on it… drink some rum. In the morning we'll decide what to do next."
William nodded, and he and Jack began walking towards their separate beds. Then William stopped, and not turning to look at him, he told Jack, "I think it was my fault. I told her to go talk to you, and I knew that…" his voice broke.
Jack turned to the small, forlorn figure of Elizabeth's child, and said, "No, Mate… it was mine."