Disclaimer: I do not own Pirates of the Caribbean or any associated components.
A/N:This was supposed to be an instant-gratification thing, no more than a couple of hundred words. Somehow it morphed into this monster of a thing without my permission. It isn't beta read so all mistakes are mine. I welcome constructive criticism whole-heartedly. Anyway, I really hope you enjoy this. :)
Warnings: Slash of the Jack/Will variety, a crude word or two, a small paragraph that earns the 'M' rating but is easily skipped over and perhaps slight OOC-ness. If you don't want to read any of that please press the back button now.
The Loves of William Turner
Will knew love.
He'd loved all his life.
His mother was the first and warmest. His love for her, remembered from when he was a boy, was of the soft and sweet kind; but it was constant and unending despite that. Maybe even because of it. He loved her wholly and without judgement. It was the purest love he ever held.
Elizabeth was his second love, held close to his heart and precious for more than fifteen years. His love for her was of the puppyish kind; a quarter awe, a quarter admiration, a quarter wishing and only the final quarter love. Perhaps it was the love of a victim to a rescuer, morphed through need and loneliness. Maybe it was of kindred spirits, drawn to each other but blocked, not only by outside forces but by themselves as well. Because even as he confessed himself wholly devoted to her, he knew that it wasn't quite the truth.
The third love he didn't even know he had until he was grown and embarking upon crazy adventures with even crazier pirates. It had always, always, been there; flowing through his veins until even his heartbeat somehow resembled the crash of the waves. The sea was a constant, as part of him as the moon was part of the sky. It was perhaps the quietest, longest love he had, because even as he drew his final breaths as an old man he still loved the ocean – in a subtle way that required no declarations or shows of feelings, but was stronger because of that.
He loved many other people throughout his life; friends from childhood, from Port Royale, from the Navy and from pirate ships around the world. He loved people he would never have dreamed of as a boy, and later a man, people he would never have met if certain events hadn't unfolded as they did. Each and every person he met held a special place in his life, and in his heart, even though he wouldn't ever admit it to anyone.
But his greatest love wasn't quiet or warm like he felt for the sea or his mother. Neither was it the blind devotion Elizabeth received, or even the gentle fondness he held for all of his friends. This love blazed; as bright as the noon sun in the middle of the Caribbean, enough to frequently scorch but never leaving him cold.
Loving Jack was never easy, and it was all-consuming in its passion. But in the end it was worth it, because it was whole and perfect and so heart-achingly real.
It started with fascination and a denial that was as deep as the ocean and as wide as the sky – but it wasn't any stronger than porcelain and didn't take much to break.
Rum was a great de-inhibitor and Will had no tolerance for it. A drunken night he could only half remember (but that seemed to include a lot of a drunk Will admiring Jack's hands, or dreadlocks, or even his arse) successfully served to point out exactly what he had been trying to avoid for a good five months; Jack was dreadfully good-looking.
Everything snowballed from there, even if Will refused to do anything about his new-found appreciation of Jack's form. Serving on Jack's ship provided far too many opportunities to admire Jack, even unconsciously, and also demonstrated clearly that it wasn't only Jack's looks that he found attractive.
His manner – the way he held himself, his drunken swagger, his drawl that was half drunken slur and half accent – all of it combined to make an unfairly attractive package that was almost irresistible.
However, it soon became clear that Will was on a very dangerous path. Because in the end Will didn't like Jack's body; he liked Captain Jack – damn confusing, insanely smart, stubborn, proud and all-around good pirate. A damn good friend and Captain that, as he served under him for a year, he learnt to respect and admire.
Oh, that's not to say he wasn't as irritating and infuriating as all Hell, because he was, and Will ended up locked in the brig more times than he could count because he and Jack had wound up in another argument again. They seemed to clash more times than they didn't, or snark at each other whenever in ear shot, but in the end it didn't really matter.
Because as often as they fought they also stood together; at the helm, on the wharves of whatever town they were docked in or against invading pirates or navy or both. They watched the sea in a silence that wasn't lonely or even all that quiet. Or they would share a bottle of rum and speak of things that dropped into the sky like stars; on his part Will collected each and every one and held them close. Jack would grin a quirky little grin that was more real than the one he showed others, or reach over and clasp Will's shoulder in exasperated fondness whenever he did something stupid again.
And inevitably, without realising it, Will fell in love.
But by that time it didn't matter because loving Jack was like breathing; a natural function that could neither be denied nor altered. It just was and Will just kept on being.
Things probably would have continued on that way indefinitely if Jack hadn't gotten them in another mess that could have, and should have, been avoided.
It started with a gold ring with a ruby easily double the size of one of Jack's larger beads, one of his infamous crack-pot plans and slightly too much rum. It progressed in a manner that involved running from armed redcoats and Will desperately trying to keep up with Jack (who was always one step ahead of his enemies, both physically and metaphorically speaking). It ended with the two of them crammed into a cupboard in one of the taverns they'd run through in an effort to lose their pursuers, pressed up together in such a way that neither could fail to smell the sea and rum that they both smelled of, or feel every inch of each other's bodies.
Eventually quiet fell (relatively speaking) as the men chasing them left the tavern to its rowdy occupants and the two pirates were left in a supply cupboard, sharing space with a dirty mop and bucket.
Will found himself thinking, in a wildly inappropriate manner and at a highly inappropriate time, that Jack looked crazy in the dim confines of the cupboard. His eyes were half-lidded and the whites of them seemed to glow faintly in the darkness, boring into Will's in a manner that made his stomach jump. Jack's golden tooth glinted as it was revealed by the soft smirk he wore.
Jack was undeniably crazy, and it was all his fault that they were now situated in a supremely uncomfortable cupboard, but Will still found him sexy as all hell and himself unaccountably fond of the pirate.
Somehow they wound up kissing – Jack's lips soft and his tongue sinful – though Will wouldn't be able to tell you later who initiated it. He had a horrible feeling it was him, because he seemed to do a lot of stupid things without thinking, so why should this be any different?
The stupid thing was that later that night in the Captain's cabin, after activities that left them both sated and lethargic, Jack had reached over to his discarded clothes and pulled out that stupid ruby ring, grinning like the cat that got the canary.
Will didn't know whether to hit him, throw the ring overboard or storm out in a righteous sulk. In the end he did none of those things, instead huffing and rolling his eyes before placing a small kiss on Jack's tanned, scarred shoulder, insanely grateful to that stupid ring.
It wasn't as simple as that, of course, because for a few weeks after that instance they reverted to being awkward around each other, Jack snarking at him because he was confused and unsure and he hated to be either of those things. Will, on his part, took it all silently, saying little more than "Yes Captain," to Jack, and silently angry and confused and heartbroken.
They docked in a port and Will knew Jack went to be with women, and had bitten his lip hard enough to draw blood in an effort to say nothing and pretend he knew nothing. It worked until Jack came back to the ship, empty but for Will and a couple of crewmen passed out drunk below deck, morose and angry, and smelling of rum and a person who wasn't Will.
Will lost his head then and they ended up in an argument that turned into a fistfight that somehow wound up in the Captain's cabin with clothes flying and lips clashing.
The lovemaking was hard and rough, over quickly, but there was a moment when Will was on top of Jack, his arse filled with Jack's cock, and their hips moving together in a brutal rhythm. Will had growled "Mine," in a harsh voice that was barely his, and had the pleasure of seeing Jack's eyes rolling up into his head as he clenched his arse to reinforce his words.
Jack passed out into a drunken sleep soon after, but not before wrapping Will up in an embrace that didn't lend itself to movement.
In the morning Jack kissed him in silent apology, and Will let him.
Things seemed to go smoother after that, Will joining Jack in his bed on a semi-regular basis, and their friendship a steady, dependable thing once more. Of course, they still had rows that would have the entire crew betting on how long Will would be kicked out of the captain's bed, or Will pointedly not seeking Jack out, and Will still seemed to end up in the brig at least once every couple of weeks.
But despite that their relationship seemed to be progressing, and Will found himself relaxing into it and the steady warmth Jack offered.
They didn't talk of love, even though Will was so deeply in it he didn't think he could ever escape it, and even though he thought Jack might reciprocate those feelings, even a little. Once or twice Will had caught Jack staring at him; not in a lustful way, but in a fond way that made his stomach warm, and Jack had even wrapped an arm around his waist when they were talking once for no other reason than that he could.
He wasn't sure that Jack loved him though, so held his silence and enjoyed the gestures for what they were.
Will still had a hammock in the communal sleeping quarter of the ship even though at least every second night it was left empty.
Inevitably he often accidently left stuff in Jack's room, whether it was one of his knives or a shirt or a bandanna. Gradually, so subtly that he didn't really notice, he ended up leaving many of his things there; whether it be because he forgot them, because it was more convenient to just leave them there, or if Jack successfully distracted him if he made to retrieve them.
There came a time, months into their relationship, that Will went looking for one of his spare knives by his hammock only to find nothing there. He'd gone to the captain's cabin and commented bemusedly to a working Jack that it seemed like all of his stuff had relocated without his knowledge.
Jack had only grinned in a way that said he had known what was happening all along, and successfully distracted Will before he could think further on what basically translated to an invitation to move in with him – minus the actual asking.
Eleven months and three days from the very beginning of their relationship – the whole ruby ring fiasco – the Black Pearl docked in Tortuga so the crew could spend their hard earned spoils on rum and comely wenches.
Jack consumed more rum than was normal for him, and by the time midnight rolled around he was smashingly drunk. Will hadn't drank more than a few sips, knowing that anything more would have him rolling around on the floor, insensible.
Jack was drunk enough for the both of them, he thought exasperatedly, as Jack blew rum-laden breath across his neck as they attempted to make it back to the ship.
They made it, eventually, and Will pulled off Jack's boots and weapons as he lolled drunkenly on the bed. Jack had then, arms flailing wildly, grabbed onto Will's collar and pulled him down, clinging to him and mumbling unintelligibly into his neck.
Resignedly, Will had toed off his own boots, awkwardly wriggled out of his own weapons and arranged himself more comfortably around Jack.
Jack was already asleep, but Will smiled, because Jack had stayed with him all throughout the night, his eyes hadn't wandered, no strange women had come up and slapped him from the last time they were in Tortuga five months ago, and Jack was now happily snoring into his living pillow smelling of no one but Will.
And Will thought maybe, just maybe, Jack did love him after all.
They didn't speak of love ever. Not in relation to each other.
Will only got his confirmation when they had, in a Chinese port, ran into Elizabeth.
She had blossomed in the years Will hadn't seen her. Her skin was rougher and tanned, her hair pulled up into a messy knot, and her clothes were that of men's; but she stood straighter, held herself more proudly, more fiercely than he could remember, and with a wistful sort of longing he remembered what it was like to love her, how easy it had been.
She had smiled at him hesitantly, unsure of her welcome, but Will had smiled fully back. He loved her, he knew, but it was still the puppyish kind that shouldn't be taken seriously at all, and was faded from the time and distance that had separated them. He knew that it would quickly morph into the fondness he held for all his friends if given half the chance.
His grin only grew when he saw her surprise as Jack laid a possessive arm around his waist, ringed hand covering his hipbone in a gesture that was as protective as it was propriety.
His heart had jumped and his eyes had turned to Jack's chocolate ones, meeting in silent love that Will recognised fully.
The arm around his waist screamed to everyone; "Mine."
And as Will leaned back into his lover, hand moving up to link with the one resting on his hip, he silently agreed; "Yours."
Will knew love.
He'd loved all his life.
His mother was his first and warmest love. Elizabeth had been the second; precious for all that the love was false in its nature. The sea had been the longest and quietest love, the love that didn't need to be said. The friends he made through his life filled his heart with a warm fondness that never failed to make him smile.
But his greatest love, the love that eclipsed all others, blazed like the noon sun in the middle of the Caribbean, and was communicated not through words but gestures. It roared in the crash of the waves, and could be found in the salty tang of the sea or the creaking boards of the Black Pearl. It was hotter than the love he held for his mother, more passionate than the devotion he held for Elizabeth and deeper than the affection he held for his friends.
Loving Jack was the greatest love he ever held.
It was whole, and perfect, and so heart-achingly real that it filled him up and threatened to consume him, but somehow never did.
It was so beautiful that it broke his heart, for in the end he died an old man, filled with love for someone who had died years before him.
A/N: ...Yeah, that ending there? Totally not planned. It was supposed to be happy and fluffy and the whole fairytale ending sort of thing. It didn't come out that way. ^.^;; Sorry, but I hope you enjoyed it anyway.
Authors Request: Please leave a review. Constructive criticism is highly appreciated, but so is a short one liner. :)
Thanks for reading!