Rating: PG (probably actually G, but, well… pirates!)
Characters: Will, crew of the Dutchman, Will/Elizabeth mentioned
Summary: They fished the bottle out of the sea one day, and it had some very important news for Will inside.
Author's Notes: This story is actually a version of something that LOTS of authors have already done- but I wanted to do it anyway. So, ladies and gentlemen and pirates, it is four months after AWE, and here is the story…
Captain William Turner of the Flying Dutchman frowned in thought as he watched his crew at work.
After four months, they and he had finally moved past all the problems that had been caused by his hasty, not entirely willing, and needed act of stabbing Davy Jones' heart. It had not been easy the first few months. The least of their problems had been Will's inexperience.
But now things had settled down, and they were working together efficiently. "Captain?"
"Is something wrong?"
"No, nothing's wrong," Will smiled. "I'm just thinking about the past few months."
The boson winced.
"We made it through, Jimmylegs," Will said. "And as a crew we are probably stronger for it."
"Aye Captain," Jimmylegs said. "I'm surprised you kept us as crew," he admitted.
Will shrugged. "I was new to all of this," He broke off to gesture at the ship, "and I didn't need a new crew on top of that," he said. "I did offer to let you go."
"We owe you, Captain," Bill Turner called from behind the wheel. "You set us free from Captain Jones and the curse."
Will sighed but smiled. It was a familiar argument, one that was rapidly becoming a joke.
There was a commotion on the starboard side. Will rolled his eyes. A Captain's job was never done. He motioned Maccus over to see what the problem was.
Within a few moments Maccus returned, carrying a bottle. "Mail, Captain," he said with a wry smile.
"Mail?" Will repeated blankly.
"Aye," Maccus held up the bottle as proof. "The letter is addressed to Captain William Turner."
"Who would…?" Will interrupted himself and held out his hand for the bottle. He glanced at the letter inside and his eyes widened at the handwriting. He smiled. "Elizabeth."
"Your wife?" Maccus asked.
"Aye," Will said as he smashed the bottle and unfolded the letter.
My Dearest Will,
I don't know if this will reach you, but I must try. I miss you beyond what I can believe, but I know that you are doing necessary work.
I have wonderful news, Will. I am carrying your- our- child.
Will froze in shock. His legs gave way and he sat down hard.
"Captain!" Maccus, Bill, and Jimmylegs clustered around him.
Will didn't move, just stared at the letter. A child! How- this- he looked up at his father. "What happened, Will? Is Elizabeth fine?"
"Was it bad news, Captain?" Maccus asked.
"She's expecting," He managed to say. His voice sounded detached, as if it wasn't coming from his mouth. He wouldn't be surprised if that could happen, really. "I'm going to be a father."
Bill inhaled sharply.
The nearby crew was just as surprised. Maccus smiled. "Congratulations, Captain," he said.
Bill helped his son up. "Captain?" Hadras asked from down near the mainmast. It must have looked pretty bad if the crew was that worried.
Will closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "I'm fine," he said as he opened his eyes. "It was a bit of a shock. Luff the sails," he ordered. "Bring us to a stop, Mr. Turner."
His crew did as ordered, though they looked confused. Even those who knew what the letter had said weren't certain what was going on.
Will had Maccus call the crew together. He watched as they assembled, a small smile on his face.
The crew was talking to each other, trying to figure out what was going on. Will smiled. "Gentlemen, I have some good news," he announced. "It seems that I am going to be a father."
Several members of the crew froze, before Hadras cheered. "Three cheers for the Captain and his lady!"
Will grinned. "We'll take the rest of the day off, everyone!" He announced over the cheers. "Mr. Turner, I'd like to see you in my cabin."
Will turned to Maccus. "If you want to break out the rum, I won't mind. Just make sure someone stays sober enough to warn me if there's a problem."
"Will do, Captain."
Will sighed and went to his cabin. Once there, he looked down at the letter and started to read it through again.
I am carrying your- our- child. Oh, Will, this is a wonderful thing, but I am still in shock! My crew and I have only just figured it out. I was quite uncomfortable for the first few months, but that is normal, and it is starting to ease.
My crew wants me to return to land to have the child, but I will not. I want to have our child at sea, so that if you are able, you will be there. Tai Huang is none too pleased with me, but I believe we have reached a compromise. I'll have the child at sea, but we will be anchored just outside the port of Singapore.
I hope you will be there, six months from the time I write this letter, Will.
All my love,
Will took a deep breath and closed his eyes against the tears that threatened. "Captain?" Bill asked.
Will shook his head. "I'm fine," he said. "And I'm not… don't treat me as your Captain. Heaven knows I couldn't act like a Captain if my life depended on it right now." He turned to face his father. Bill had apparently snagged two bottles of rum before joining Will in the Captain's cabin.
"Will, what's wrong?" Bill asked softly.
"I didn't know I could still have a child," he said. "I never even thought it was possible…"
"Are you upset?" Bill asked.
"No!" Will exclaimed. "I'm… I'm not sure how I feel."
"I was so sure I'd never be able to have a child now," Will said.
"Why not? You are still alive, Will."
"I was dead," Will said. "Dying, at least. And the curse…"
"Obviously, that wasn't an issue."
"Aye," Will sighed. "I… Father, I'm not ready to have a child of my own!"
Bill held out one the bottles. "Here, son," he said.
Will took it. "I don't quite know what to do," he admitted.
"You drink it."
Will shot his father a dirty look. "Not that."
"I know, lad," Bill said. "No one is ever ready. I know I wasn't."
"And yet, here I am," Will said.
"An' your child will be here in five months."
Will nodded and took a drink. "Aye. And may that child never know the pains of the parents."
Bill smiled. "Aye. That's a toast worth making." They brought the bottles together and drank.
Will lowered his bottle after a moment. "Let's join the crew," he said.
The Turners headed out of the Captain's cabin to celebrate. Will smiled. He might be stuck here, but at least he hadn't left Elizabeth completely alone. And he would see her in five months. He would be there for the birth of his child.
Gah- sap. I really don't know where this came from, honestly.