Feeling much better than the previous day, including his head both physically and mentally, Jack walked onto deck. He made note right away that the ship was different and not just in sail color. This ship was more used and weather beaten, yet taken care of much better than the Pearl was. The men were also much different. They were older, all much older than the young captain and they looked tired and filthy. Everyone looked like that. He wondered when they last bathed, not that it mattered but he was simply curious.

Thinking on the matter of bathing, he discreetly gave himself a small whiff and touched his hair. He didn't smell horribly, but his hair felt odd. He didn't know why he was the only one with hair like his to begin with anyway. On a quest to find that answer, he marched forward searching for Will. The best place would be to first walk toward the laughter that was coming from the bow. Yep, where was laughter, Will was surely right there.

Will, Alexander, and someone unfamiliar to Jack sat close to each other in the sun laughing. The unfamiliar person was just as bronze as the rest of them and his hair was in a small ponytail behind his head, barely keeping the light reddish brown hair back and out of the way. His eyes were both a hazel and a green. Even sitting down he looked a bit taller than Alexander and Will, but perhaps not since he was the only one on his knees. Something was different about him from everyone else. He looked different. His face was more round, but he was far from a healthy amount of fat on him. He was the most muscular of them all. His style of clothing was more simple than the rest since he only wore trousers, a cream tunic, and a simple tweed coat. Will and Alexander dressed more ornately and with more expensive cloths. Approaching, Jack raised both eyebrows as he saw the left ear of this person. His left ear was nearly completely covered with silver hoops and his right ear also bore three silver hoops.

"Jack!" Will cried happily, motioning him to come forward. "Feeling better?"

"My head still hurts," said Jack.

"I'll take care of that when we reach London in about two weeks," said Alexander.

"I think I can wait that long," Jack told him. He settled himself in front of all of them, assuming it was acceptable for him to do so. Unsure however, he poked Will on the shoulder and used his hands to gesture. "Can I sit here with you?" he whispered in Will's ear.

Will nodded his head. "Of course you can. I was just catching up with someone I knew a long time ago." He motioned to the man sitting to his right. "Jack, this is Christian O'Niall. He is my uncle's first mate and very best friend."

"Long time since I've seen you," said Christian.

"You know me too," Jack said sadly and disappointedly. His head lowered onto his chest.

"Not really Jack. I know about you and I ran into you once or twice, but I came into Alex's life when his ship did and you were gone by then. I only know you by reputation and hearings of you on the sea," replied Christian.

"Then you don't know me?" wondered Jack.

Christian shook his head. "Not so much."

"Why do you look different from everyone else and why is your ear made of earrings?" Jack asked.

At that, Christian and Alexander laughed again. Will shook his head and rolled his eyes at them.

"Well, for one Jack, I'm Irish," said Christian. I spent the beginning of my life in Ireland then when I was five we moved to England. After my parents died when I was twelve, the woman who my mother worked for took me in as her 'nephew'. She isn't my real aunt, but I've always called her Aunt Evangeline or Aunty Evie I called her when I was younger. After I met Alex, we became friends and I became a sailor and the two of us have been inseparable since.

"As for my ear being covered in piercings, it's just been my thing since I was younger. Legend has it silver hoops bring good fortune to a man. All the piercings came from when I was a teenager and everyone who knows me knows I have them so it's never awkward for anyone."

"Chris, I think you're known for that ear in London," noted Alexander.

"Probably," admitted Christian.

Jack reached up to his own left ear. "I have three piercings?" He reached to his right ear. "I have six piercings." He turned to Will and tugged on his ear. "You only have one." Alexander's ear was tugged next. "You have three too, but only in the left ear. Does everyone have piercings?"

"Only sailors," said Alexander.

"Oh, well, why?" wondered Jack.

The three young men shrugged in the same manner, palms up and head tilted to the side.

Jack laughed as he pointed at them. "You three did that at the same time in the same way."

"We do that," replied Alexander and Christian simultaneously.

"Are you two brothers?" Jack asked curiously.

"No," Alexander and Christian once again replied.

"They are pretty much considered brothers wherever they go," Will told him.

Christian nodded. He grabbed Alexander and pulled him in his lap then kept him close to his body. Alexander looked up at him with a smile and when he did, Christian pressed his lips on his forehead. More content, the two of them sat there.

Beside them, Will couldn't help but notice they were not just sitting there. It appeared as though they were cuddling. Christian was holding him close and Alexander was holding onto his arms. They looked a little too close for friends. Subconsciously, Will turned his eyes to Jack for a moment. He shook his head and smacked his palm to his face as he wondered what it would be like to cuddle Jack. No, stop it Will. You're not like that. You don't want him; you're just lonely. Why are they cuddling? This is wrong. What's happened to this crew? Does this just happen or it just them and me? Help!

"Are you all right Will?" Alexander's voice asked.

"Yes," replied Will distantly as he pressed his palms to his face. He shook his head. "I'm losing my mind."

"Will, you don't know losing the phrase losing your mind until you're welcomed into my world," Jack told him.

"I was once remember?" reminded Will.

"When you were eight years old," said Jack.

"How is it you can remember everything I've ever told you when you can't remember a single day of your life?" wondered Will.

"I've been trying to answer that question too," admitted Jack. "And Will, I was wondering if you wanted to do something for me. Well, you can help me do something."

Before Will had the chance to answer, Jack grabbed his arm and led him into the main cabin and back to the room he slept in the previous night. He sat Will on the bed and waited a moment before speaking.

"I want you to help me look normal," Jack told him, a breath nearly after every word.

"Normal?" Will asked, not quite sure what that meant.

"Get rid of this!" Jack cried, pulling at his hair. "And I don't want the beads anymore. I don't need the rings. I don't need all this stuff on me. I just want to be normal. This," he made another clear gesture to his hair. "is not me. It may have been Jack Sparrow, but I'm not Jack Sparrow anymore. I'm Jack Teague. This isn't me. It doesn't feel right."

"You want me to try to pull out your hair?" wondered Will.

Jack nodded.

"One moment," said Will, hopping from the cot and out of the room.

He walked on deck to where the two were a moment ago and found that they were not there. Following a quick walk around the upper deck, he took a quick walk around the main cabin and found only Jack smelling different soaps and playing with separate oils he found in a cabinet.

"I don't suppose you have seen my uncle recently?" wondered Will.

Jack shook his head.

Will walked back on deck grumbling.

"If you're looking for your uncle he and Christian went below deck. Just walk down and go to the stern of the ship. They usually go there when they feel like being alone. It's a small room."

"Thank you," replied Will.

Doing what he said, Will walked down the stairs to the middle level of the ship. A few of the men confirmed they did see the two of them wander down the hall behind him. That was good news indeed and so he walked down the hall. He had to make note that the upper deck was nice and tidy, but below deck was spotless and cleanly, which truly did not surprise him. Everyone always said if Alexander was not at home he was on his ship and he would never marry a woman because he was married to his ship.

At the end of the hall was a pair of French doors, like the entrance to the great cabin above. Red curtains covered the windows. One of the doors was not completely shut and he was going to open it, but the second his hand reached out he heard an interesting sentence.

"It's only a matter of when they try love," said Christian.

"You say that like it's a bad thing," Alexander noted, turning his back from the open window at the end of the room to look at Christian with a small glare.

"I didn't mean it like that Alex," said Christian. He stood from the chair and walked over to him where he wrapped his arms around Alexander.

"Then how did you mean it?" wondered Alexander as he walked away from him.

Christian grabbed his arms so he couldn't walk too far from him. He pulled Alexander back toward him then set his palms on his cheeks and pressed his lips onto Alexander's forehead for longer that a moment. "I just don't want to see them have to do what we have to do." He kissed his cheek. "I don't want them to have to hide it."

"I don't know what I'm going to do when I get home," said Alexander hopelessly. "How am I going to tell Colleen? I don't know if I love her anymore. I don't know if I can love a woman anymore."

Outside the doors, Will's eyes widened and his breathing rapidly increased. He gingerly pushed the door open a hair more than it was to get a better look.

"You know you love Colleen more than me. You always have. You just need love and so do I and I've always kind of been like this," said Christian.

"I know, but you love Josephine more than me," Alexander told him. "Promise me one thing. When we get home, ask her to marry you."

"I don't know if I want to marry her though," admitted Christian. He moved his lips down to Alexander's neck.

Alexander tilted his head so Christian had more flesh to consume. He shut his eyes as shivers went through his body. A smile widened across his face. This felt right. He missed this feeling. The lips worked down his neck and onto his collarbone. He missed this so very much. This was exactly what he needed after the previous month and recent events.

"Chris," he softly called.

"Hm?" wondered Christian, raising his head.

Slowly, Alexander leaned forward until his lips were pressed against Christian's. He pulled apart to look into Christian's eyes wondering an answer to the question he had in his head. The hazel was glowing and pleading for something more. Answering that plead, he set his palm behind Christian's head and pulled his lips tighter onto his own. Two hands not belonging to his person slowly unbuttoned the front of his tunic. His own hands pulled the hem of Christian's tunic from his trousers. They eventually slowly worked up his back, bringing the tunic with it.

Only for a moment, Christian pulled away to lift his arms over his head so his tunic could be flipped off and thrown to the side.

"How is it you manage to get more muscle?" wondered Alexander, gently raking his fingertips along Christian's midsection.

"It's been a month since we were last together Alex. I missed you so much," said Christian.

"I missed you too," whispered Alexander, grabbing his head and intertwining his fingers through the brown hair.

He felt himself being pushed backward until his lower back hit the edge of a table or chair. He sat on the table and let his tunic slowly slide down his arms.

As Christian moved his lips away to gently gnaw on his collar bone again, Alexander pulled his body closer against him. He raked his fingers down Christian's perfectly aligned spine. "Chris, there is something I should tell you."

"Can it wait?" wondered Christian.

"No," replied Alexander.

"Okay," said Christian, backing away.

With a sigh, Alexander began to untie the knot of violet at his side. He slowly unwound the violet cloth until the black contraption was exposed. "The whalebone is in separate pieces on my spine so my spine stays as straight as possible. I can't bend over and I'm constantly sitting up straight unless I completely lean back. It was my brother's idea and Will finally convinced me to do it." Sudden tears spilled from his eyes.

"Oh, Alex, what is it?" wondered Christian, wiping them away with his thumbs.

"Will knows what my father did to me. I told him," Alexander replied, turning his head away.

"Shh, shh. You know it'll be all right," whispered Christian.

Alexander shook his head. "I don't want him to go back. He'll be Lord and he was never meant to be Lord. I don't want that for him. I don't want to go back. I don't want to have to stop this. I love us. I need you not Colleen."

"We could keep us a secret," said Christian.

"I'm not using Colleen as a cover up for our relationship. We have to end it when we get to London," Alexander told him.

Shaking his head, Christian kissed Alexander again. He tilted his head so their foreheads were touching. "Alex, I don't think I can end it. You and I have been doing this for so many years."

"I know and I don't want to stop either," began Alexander. "But what if—"

His thought was cut short when Christian pressed his lips onto his and tightly held. Forgetting the future and knowing it was simply best to live in the moment; Alexander pushed it from his mind. He didn't want to think about what would happen when they got home. He knew he would have to somehow stop seeing his best friend.

Neither of them knew when it started really. It started one night when they were drunk, but being drunk and sober were two completely different things. All they knew was that they didn't want it to end. They loved each other more than two men should have. They were lovers. It was wrong and they knew they would most likely be killed if anyone found out. Everyone on the crew knew they were lovers and said nothing. They were men of the sea and knew this was a typical occurrence between two best friends who were always together. It happened to everyone at one point. Even his father and older brother fell in love with a man and did more than they should have.

Alexander and Christian had only one problem. They were two men in love with each other. They were in too far with each other to back out. One was married and with two children and the other was practically engaged to a girl he loved since forever. They loved each other like they loved their women if not more than their women. While all the men went ashore to find the women, they stayed on the ship alone and with each other at night. It was a habit to sleep in each other's arms at night. They had to be together. They were too close not to be touching in some form. They literally loved each other more than once.

Every day they were together they had to be with each other. Sometimes being in each other's sight was enough, but other times they had to be in each other's arms and other times they had to be completely touching each other to feel satisfied. That was the problem. They had to be touching to be happy. Both of their pasts were similar and their souls craved love. In the beginning they only loved each other because they craved love. Now, they craved love from each other.

Alexander knew exactly what Christian liked. The young first mate was a simple lover. He much more preferred gently kissing and light caresses. A simple bit of love went a long way for him. Holding hands and playing with their fingers gave him the satisfaction he loved and needed.

Christian knew his Alex needed a bit more than a gentle kiss and holding hands. His life had been rejected of love and compassion that he craved it horribly. He needed fierce love to keep him alive for lack of it when he was younger. He knew exactly what Alexander had been doing since he was fifteen years old to get love. While the rest of the world loved his sister and his brothers, he was the one that was left out of the pile. Because of his past, he needed love. Love was his escape from the horrors. Love reminded him that the scars were just scars and not who he was and that his back injury wasn't determining who loved him and who didn't.

Simple did not describe what Alexander enjoyed and Christian didn't mind pleasing him. He never did. The smiles and comfort on Alexander's face was worth every second of it. When he was a teenager he questioned his preference and he still did. When he was with his Josephine everything was fine and he loved her, but when he was with his Alex, things were different. There were different sensations and feelings of love that a woman couldn't give him.

The second Alexander slowly began pulling Christian's trousers down his legs and Christian pushing Alexander on his back on the table, Will shut his eyes and quietly closed the door. Without a word, he walked back up the stairs, across deck, and into the quarters he and Jack were sharing. He stared blankly into the distance with nothing in his mind. After watching that one would have thought to have some sort of thought in mind, but there was nothing in his head. It was only emptiness.

"Much better," Jack said as he walked in the room dripping wet and a towel wiping his hair and that happened to be the only towel on his person, or rather not on his person and in his hand.

Will watched a little too closely as Jack walked past him to the other side of the room. As Jack's backside was exposed to him, Will couldn't help but make a silent note that Jack had a very cute tan butt. The very second he realized he just thought that, he groaned and fell back on the bed. This was not happening to him.

-)(-

I had to stop the story right here to simply shake my head and hide my face. Unfortunately, I still remember seeing the two of them and thinking that about Jack. No one was happy that I had told several children that event. In fact I told two four year olds ,a seven, an eight, a nine , and a twelve year old. They were all children and I couldn't believe I had told them that.

As I looked at them, they were looking at Alex and Chris awkwardly. Alexander and Christian were not looking at each other.

"How did you do it anyway? You don't exactly—how did you?—I mean, you two are men so—don't answer that. I don't want to know," Thomas said.

"Thomas, I am never going to tell you," said Alexander.

"Do you two ever want to again?" wondered Thomas softly.

All eyes, including mine, turned to Alexander and Christian. They looked at each other. I saw the answer in their eyes and I saw that they didn't know how to respond, but I did and so I told Thomas "when someone has loved another like they loved each other once, a long time ago, the feelings never change and neither does the desire. The mind changes, but not the heart."

The two nodded.

"Okay, so what about you and Jack?" wondered Thomas. "Did you two?"

"Yeah," replied Jack. "More than once in fact. That I do remember of the few things I remember when I didn't have my mind."

"Little One, it's nothing to be ashamed of," Father said, trying to comfort me again, but the thought just never left my head what Jack and I did. "It happens to all men who are on the sea with no women. You fall in love with your best friend because he is your best friend. You need love and you know your best friend can give it to you because he needs love. It has happened since men sailed the oceans for months on end."

"You do realize, Jack, you told everyone who we didn't want to know," I said. "I never told her."

"And I never told Ana that sometimes I wish she would love me the way you did those few times," said Jack.

"You and Jack?" Elizabeth asked and I knew she didn't know what to think of that. "And you got mad at me when I kissed him."

"I know, I know," I told her. "I know. You have every right to be upset with me. I should have told you. After Jack got his head back, we decided it best not to share what we did because it just happened and things were set right again."

"Are they?" Father wondered.

I nodded confidently. "Yes, they are."

"Athair?" Liam's voice asked. "I no understand."

"I know you don't," Jack said. "And a lot of people don't understand. I'll tell you when you're a bit older."

"It makes sense," Felicity softly said.

"Love is love," agreed Colleen. "And, for those of you that are wondering, I have always known about the two of them. I understood because I knew Alex needed love more than I could give him. All I can do is thank Christian for being there. I don't want to know what would have happened if he wasn't there."

"Well, at least Father sleeping with another man meant he couldn't get a girl pregnant and I don't think I would have wanted a dozen half siblings," noted Thomas.

We looked at him and, of all people to find that amusing the most, Alex was the one that burst laughing. Of course, my uncle thought that was funny. He would find that amusing really and only he was laughing.

And back to the story so I can get this off my mind, Jack was somewhat clothed wearing trousers, but I remember thinking that he still was quite small for his height, but I was glad there was still muscle there. Unfortunately, I knew, at that moment, that I was in love with Jack. At the time, while I was soaking his hair in water and oils I could only wonder if Jack loved me back.

-)(-

With a sigh, Jack looked at Will concerned. "So, you've never done this before?"

"No," replied Will.

Jack's eyes slowly searched around the room and found everything particularly interesting all of a sudden. Thoughts circled the caramel brown pupils. They finally settled on Will in a curious manner. "Then how do you know what you're doing?"

"I asked my uncle and he had a friend on the ship who once had dreadlocks. Pretty much after we're done soaking your hair I have to pull them out piece by pieces and hair by hair. Hours and hours of combing and a constant coating of oil are required to get them out in the most painless manner. I must warn you this is not going to be painless," said Will.

"Make my hair like yours. I don't want it this long. I want it shorter," Jack told him.

"All right," said Will. "That takes half the problem away. Can I ask why you want me to do this now of all times?"

"I want people to see just Jack and not Captain Jack Sparrow. I'm not him and I probably never will be. I don't think I'm going to get my memory back at all Will, and I just want to be me and stop pretending to be someone I'm not anymore," replied Jack.

Will nodded his head as he cupped the oil in his palm and smoothed it into a dread. "I know, you mentioned that earlier. What I mean to say is why now as in this very moment and not before?"

"I simply feel like now is a good time. No one knows me on this ship accept for you and Alexander of course and when the rest of them who knew me before see me again they'll see me as a I am and not as I was," replied Jack confidently. "Besides, perhaps with me away from them they can get me off their thick headed skulls and see me as I am."

"Understandable," said Will, his firm tone of voice ending the small conversation.

With Jack's hair dripping in coconut oil and well slicked, Will had him sit in a more comfortable cushioned chair. Jack himself wanted to sit in front of the window and mirror to both watch the sea and Will. Silently, Jack wanted to do a little more than just watch Will. He knew Will thought it was odd how he wanted a mirror in front of the window. His excuse was simply "I want to watch myself become who I am. I've had quite enough surprises thank you." No, it was much more than to just watch him pull out the dreads; he wanted to watch Will's every move.

Something about Will made his heart flutter and beating difficult. At times, he found he was unable to breathe around Will. The young man's brown hair was beautiful, especially with his light brown highlights shining in the sunlight. His smile was pearl white and gorgeous. Curls soft to the touch and beautiful to watch. Somewhat tan skin giving him a gentle glow. Small body most likely fitting perfectly in another's arms. Asleep, he was a beautiful angel and when the moonlight shined on him, Jack found himself doing nothing but staring at Will and watching his chest rise and fall with every breath.

Unknown to Will or any other soul in the present world, Jack was playing the part of Wills guardian angel. Nightmares were setting in for Will at night in the middle of the darkness. The darker the night the darker his nightmares became. Jack sat up sometimes at night watching the stars in the sky waiting for his companion across the room to root around and softly call out in his sleep. His body would tense and shift uncomfortably. Below their closed lids, his eyes darted back and forth. While his brow wrinkled his eyes squeezed themselves shut as if he himself was trying to see further. His arms sometimes bat at the air as if he was trying to ward away the cause of his horrible dream and his legs shifted uncomfortably as if trying to run. Altogether, he would shift about and call for various names, "Mum", "Gabe", "Dirk", "Father", "Elizabeth", "Cutler", "Beck", "Harry", "Theo", "George", "Weatherby", "James", "Grandfather". "Daddy", "Alex", "Elizabeth," and "Beck" were the most popular names called out softly from his lips. There was one name that, in recent nights, was becoming more and more popular.

"Jack".

Jack turned his eyes from Will's reflection in the mirror to the sea. He was being called in his friend's horrific sleep more and more. One part of him told him to shake the nightmare from him as he was presently doing. Another told him to keep Will in his sleep. Even dreaming nightmares, Will was still dreaming of him. He must have been sorting the good and evil in Will's sleep. After calling the name "Jack" over and over several times, Will finally settled into his hammock. What was it exactly that he was dreaming anyway? Jack thought about asking every time he saw Will in a waking day, yet he believed that cause would merely turn in to a lost cause. Knowing his fortune and the manner fortune was treating him in recent months, it was likely the past haunting Will and he wouldn't understand any of it and ask questions only making the nightmares more and more vivid.

Sudden chills going through his body, Jack shut his eyes and shuddered. He swallowed hard. Vanilla filled his lungs. Will's scent. Will always smelled of vanilla and the sea. Gentle fingers were combing through his hair. He delighted in the manner Will was pulling at him. One hand gently, yet firmly kept the clump of hair in one place and blocked the pain while the other pulled and removed the knotted hair. At the present moment, Will was pulling the clumped bangs apart. His chest was nearly pressed against Jack's face as he was attempting to remove the matted hair as gentle as possible. Vividly, he recalled when Will had the tight muscle occupying most of his chest and body instead of the bone thin appearance he bore. Yet, the smaller Will got, the easier it would be to hold him.

Discreetly, Jack leaned his head into Will's chest to inhale the sweet scent of seawater and vanilla. The scent intoxicated his lungs with pleasures that he didn't know were possible. Being so close to Will took his breath from him. Breathing was once again difficult to manage and shivers consumed his bloodstream.

Hands once again touched his head in a gentle manner, tilting, combing, caressing when hair was pulled too hard. Caressing. Jack so very much wanted Will to caress more than just his head. His friend's hands were rough and intimidating, but, at the moment, the intimidation was all but there. Finger pads brushed the crown of his head and down, taking hold of a single brown snake on the back of his head marking the completion of one side. The pads gently applied pressure at five small places throughout his head and gently pushed forward guiding his head downward.

The right of Jack's vision was blocked with brown, smooth strands that kinked. The left hung heavily. Unfortunately, Will was halfway done which meant the hands would soon be no more upon his body and the vanilla seawater would scent so strongly.

His eyes turned to Will. Concentration, Will's brown eyes were narrow and his face tightly fixed into a gaze. A small tip of a pink tongue poked through the lips in complete focus. His face was set and the features of Will's face came out, especially his cheekbones and soft jawline. A few curls fell onto his shoulders, and his brown eyes were suddenly more golden.

Fingers pressed more oil into his hair dreadlock by dreadlock. He couldn't find himself straying away from Will's hands. A person's hands were a person's hands, but there was something about Will's hands. They felt good on his head. If they felt that good on his head, he wondered what his hands would feel like on the rest of his body.

Pleasure faded from Jack as he swallowed and lowered his eyes. Will had Elizabeth; he knew that. He was already claimed by another person. Jack wanted Will, and the want was not just for companionship. There was a fire building in his heart and soul that craved something he did not know of. He heard Will talk about Elizabeth before and made note Will mentioned he couldn't breathe around her and his heart fluttered and stomach knotted. Those were sure signs of being in love.

Jack's breathing was unable to keep up with his pounding heart and his stomach was flying from within his person. Only one thought was on his mind; he was in love with Will. He must have been in love with Will. From somewhere within, he felt like this before and relished the feeling. Since Will had Elizabeth he knew he shouldn't want him, yet he wanted Will. He was torn in two pieces. Should he let Will keep Elizabeth? Should he take Will for his own? Yet, he had to ask himself, "does Will love me like I love him?" If there was no love in return there was no need for him to take such concern on the matter.

The question soon became "how does one reveal to another he is in love with him?"

Will smoothed the comb through Jack's straight, chestnut hair. Finally, after hours of pulling and tugging and a few small cries of pain from Jack, the dreadlocks were gone and the hair was below his shoulders and halfway down his back. After a quick trim, the hair was below his shoulders like Will's was. One more soak was needed to remove the oils from his hair. That one more soak was quite a few more soaks, but, in time, the oily surface subsided. He towel dried much of the water from within. A light curl was to be seen from Jack's head.

Jack took his own liberties of shaving his face to match Will's facial hair exactly. He also changed his clothes again, this time wearing simple trousers tucked into his boots, warm tunic, dark green vest, and his former slate colored coat. He pulled his hair behind his head with a simple string of cloth. Much more comfortable about himself in every possible means he could think of he smiled at Will.

"Thank you William," he said before walking on deck.

Staying behind to clean the room, Will sighed deeply and relieved. Finally Jack was gone. Finally he was able to breathe. Something was disturbing him greatly. Hector Barbossa's words were correct in their saying. He did want Jack for the reasons he was hoping were not true. Love. He wanted Jack for love. His heart had taken to Jack more than he would admit to any in person. Seeing Jack with just that towel around his arm was the breaking point. He shouldn't have spent any time at all trailing the contours of Jack's bare body and yet he did. What was worst of all was that he thought Jack had a cute butt and he did. For being as small as he was, there was light muscle. The scars on his body were beautiful and gave him his huge, godly appearance.

He trudged on deck and leaned against the helm stairs while looking at Jack. A smile was on Jack's face as he stood by the rail looking out to the open water. Inhaling the air, he lifted his head toward the sky and his nostrils opened. Jack did have wavy hair. Looking closer, Will took note that Jack's hair was slightly curled as well. The curls were loose and flowed beautifully like small waves on shore. Standing in the sunlight, he found Jack rather handsome. He was simply dressed and comfortably. There was a charm about him that was indescribable.

For once, Jack looked like Jack and not something he wasn't. The "Jack Sparrow" image was just that: an image. He always thought Jack Sparrow was played. This man standing a few paces from him was a true person with a past and, more importantly, a future. Oddly, it wasn't hurting him seeing Jack like that. While beginning to remove the Jack Sparrow image, he felt horrible and tears stung at his eyes. Yet, seeing "just Jack" standing in the sunlight, his heart began thundering in his chest as realizations dawned on him. He pulled on Jack's hair purposely so he could caress Jack's head. He purposely stood in front of Jack's face several times. After that first time Jack slightly nuzzled into his belly, his heart skipped a few beats and shivers passed through his body. He and Jack were touching closely and he wanted more than just touching.

Will sucked in his lips. Alexander and Christian approached Jack. What was so wrong about it? Those two were fine. They seemed to enjoy each other despite both being males. Love was love. Love chose the person. The person never chose love. Jack's facial features were no longer hidden. His face was filled with sharp features, especially his cheekbones. Although his eyes were smaller without the black, they were much, much brighter. That smile on his face caused Will to find breathing difficult. He was glowing. Much of the facial hair that blocked his beautiful smile was trimmed. To his selfishness, he never wanted Jack to remember anything. He wanted to keep this Jack for himself.

He only had one question in mind. "Does he love me like I've come to love him?"

In the attempt to figure out his head, Will walked into his uncle's main cabin that night. He stood quietly for a second—

-)(-

My words did not slide from my tongue any longer as the grandfather clock in the distance chimed one. A single bell toll rang. I heard its echo from the hall and into Jack's room. Come to think of it, James had been asleep in my lap for quite a while and Emma was curled against my legs. I noticed Jack was asleep in his father's arms and Edward was simply holding him closely in his blanket.

Anamaria must have put Niamh and Liam to bed because they were gone and she was as well. Thinking, I realized I did watch her walk out holding Liam in her arms. He fell asleep shortly after his last interruption.

Lily's eyes were blinking heavily, but her attention was still on me. Aidan's heavy eyes were hardly open, yet I knew he was still listening because he was looking at me with his golden brown orbs. Elizabeth was looking at me with this set glare on her face. Dirk, Marie, and Joceline were long gone from the room I figured. Gabe and Father were barely hanging onto consciousness, considering both were looking at me with ridiculous expressions of exhaust.

Only one person was awake and that was Grandfather. I noticed him follow my gaze around the room at all those sleeping and noting those who were gone. He seemed as shocked as I did when realization came to him as to the time of night—rather, morning it was.

"I'll continue a different night," I told him.

"Will," Father said, opening his eyes. "You're not going to get out of explaining what happens next."

I sighed heavily. This is exactly what I was dreading. I wasn't still in love with Jack like I was before, but there was still something there. What happened ten years ago happened ten years ago. It was never meant to happen, but my head was mentally troubled. Neither Jack or I had intended on that, but it happened.

Even when we thought about it a decade later, we found ourselves disgusted with the memories, but wishing to remember the feelings. It was never the thoughts behind our actions that made it worthwhile it was always the feelings we gave each other. Clearly, I love Elizabeth more than Jack and she needs to realize that. We have three wonderful children and Jack has three children as well. Our relationship was merely because the two of us had lost our minds. From here in the story, I lose my mind further and I was wondering if it was wise to even continue.

"Let's go to bed Will. We can talk more in the morning. I'm tired and you look it also," said Elizabeth.

I nodded. My head was aching from tiredness and the thoughts of recalling these events from a decade prior. "Tomorrow morning in the library?"

"Not tomorrow," replied Edward. He gingerly removed Jack from his arms to lay his son flat on the bed. "Obvious reasons."

I watched him tuck the blanket around Jack's body and Jack immediately subconsciously grabbed the blanket and curled on his side. He favored right side just like me. That was never a difficultly we had while we were in the same bed. Besides, his body is always warm and he preferred to hold me. Looking down at Jack, the feelings of what were came back to me. The feelings Jack brought me were comfort far more than anything I had at the moment. When I need comfort, I find myself searching for Jack Teague even though I know he is nowhere for me to find him. If not Jack then it's father I turn to. But Jack, Jack comforts me. His arms and soft words are comforting. He once told me that when he was upset and needed his pain relieved all I would have to do is smile at him. It wasn't long before I realized that was true.

Never once have I regretted what Jack and I did. I only regret that it had to be Jack and I. It was wrong. It was so very, very wrong. Should any know other than those that do, Jack and I would be hanged and I knew that as I let him love me on those nights. I was always told to do what was right and not smart. Follow my heart. I always have followed my heart and it's never let me wrong before. I did follow my heart and it felt right to follow my heart.

Taking my mind temporarily from these thoughts of Jack and I in the past, I pulled my son into my arms and carried him to his room. Sleepily, he helped me undress himself and slip on his sleeping tunic. Immediately after I tucked him in bed, he was asleep. I kissed his little cheek and brushed a few pieces of hair out of his face. Like always, I told him to have good dreams and that I loved him. He knew he was my favorite as did his siblings, but there was a perfectly good reason why and that was another story altogether.

I myself slipped into my silk sleeping trousers and crawled beside Elizabeth. She fit perfectly in my arms, more than Jack ever did on those nights. I love her not Jack. I love Jack as a brother and comfort. Elizabeth I love as my world. Her condition was what led me to going to Jack for love. I was losing my mind not being able to love her. Every moment I can look at her I find myself counting my blessings and thanking every god and goddess I know that she is still alive and we are together after everything.

Her quiet breathing soothed me deeply. My mind was finally beginning to settle at ease. The moonlight was another comfort, sneaking through the cracks of our curtains and onto the floor. Before I fell asleep I did hear soft feet sticking and pulling from my flooring. I knew exactly who that was. I was thirty two years old and Father still checked on me before he went to sleep. What more could I say? He knows what happened next in this little bedtime story for everyone. Without my father I would have been lost. For now, I think I'll relax my head and try to sleep. This next part is not going to be easy to explain to anyone, especially my love Elizabeth.


A Note from TurtleHeart: well that wraps it up for the first night of the story. i didn't expect this to be so long. since the story is a long one, i figured children weren't going to be awake that long and this would have to occur over a few nights. part two will be up soon entitled Bedtime Story: And then What Happens?. so, what are you thinking about where this is going? like it? hate it? curious? questions that need answering? let me know!

happy readings!