Disclaimer: they're not mine, but I wish they were.

Author's note: written for the potcfest on LJ. Prompt: Will and Bootstrap - what, besides pirating, is in Will's blood?

Salt in the Blood

When Will broke the news of the birth of his son to Bill Turner, his father broke into a wide smile.

"I knew it'd be a boy," he said. "Turners always have boys."

"You never told me," said Will.

Bootstrap shrugged. "Well, the circumstances ain't quite normal." They both looked round, at the damp grey wood of the Dutchman.

"Not quite," Will agreed. He leaned against the capstan. "So, what else do Turners always have?"

"Oh." Bootstrap thought. "We're good with our hands," he said. "My dad, he used to do carvings. Made me a ship, when I was a lad."

Will looked down at his own, calloused hands, the right with a thin white line crossing the palm. He flexed his fingers. "Good with our hands. Right."

"Turners are … we're scoundrels, but we're loyal," said Bootstrap. He met Will's eyes. "Seems for us, I'm the scoundrel and you're the loyal one." Picking at his fingernails, he shrugged. "We can't sing. Jack always told me to shut up if I joined in the shanties."

"Elizabeth says I sound like a strangled cat at church," Will agreed. They shared a rueful smile.

"But," added his father, "we can dance. They say your great-grandfather was right sprightly on his feet. 'Course, that helps the fighting."

"I can't dance," Will said.

Bootstrap shook his head. "Just that you've not been taught proper, not by the fancy folk like your Lizzy. But I've seen you move, lad, you'll be able to dance with her properly when this is all over."

Will picked up a bit of rope blowing across the deck and fiddled with it. "Did you and Ma dance, ever?"

"Oh aye!" Bootstrap's face lit up. "Danced at the fair. She had ribbons in her hair. I knew then I'd marry her."

Throwing the bit of rope over the side, Will looked up.

"So you could leave us?"

"I left you to earn some money," said Bootstrap, roughly. "And I left because of what's in our blood. The sea, boy. You may have been fighting it all your life, but Turners have always sailed. We were fishermen, and we smuggled off Cornwall, and some of us were merchants, and some were pirates. But always the sea." He waved a hand at the sails, drawing strongly above their heads. "That's what Turners are, Will. Your lad will be a fine sailor, one of these days. Better start getting used to it." The ship's bell chimed six, and Bootstrap looked around. "Now, Cap'n, I've got to go and see to the stores." He touched his brow, and stomped off.

Will turned to the horizon before him, and the breeze blew his hair around his face. The Flying Dutchman's bow wave was throwing spray into the air, the ship carving effortlessly through the water. And though Will was loathe to admit it to himself, he knew that in this at least his father was right.