Jack has returned, triumphant, ragged, weak, and dirty. Sometime after sailing out of a desert and before exploding from the sea, he is alone with the insufferable goody two shoes, William.

Who is now a pirate.

Huh.

Might take a bit of re-thinking that description, wot?

He certainly doesn't look like a harmless, bumbling blacksmith now. His eyes are dark, chest heaving, teeth bared ever so slightly.

He looks like he very much wants to rip Jack's throat out.

A shame it takes more than that to frighten a man like Jack. He had seen more men on the cusp of murder in a rage- hell, had been on the cusp of murderous rage- more times than years this puppy had been alive. He stares back, unflinching, unconcerned. He has survived the hell of Davy's locker and this is nowhere close to the torture he had endured there. The silence stretches thin and hums with tension.

Will caves first.

"She's not for you."

Ah, so this is what has turned the tame little puss into a hissing tiger. Typical.

"I don't want her."

It should have calmed down little Willikins, but instead Jack suddenly finds himself pinned against the rough wooden wall of The Pearl.

"Don't lie!"

Jack sneers ever so slightly, golden teeth gleaming in the faint, bluish light. "Brave man aren't we, attacking men weak and fresh from the locker?"

Guilt flickers in the other man's eyes. His grip loosens. So, still a kitten after all. How… disappointing. Surely he had learned by now to never listen to a pirate?

Jack has Will on the floor in seconds, knees firmly on his arms and hand clenched around his throat. The knife is liberated from Will's belt in moments and it, too, glimmers in the meager, watery illumination of the deep sea along with Jack's deadly smile.

"I'll be saying this only the once-"

"-Bastard!"

The knife is now pressed none-too-gently against Will's neck, snug under the bobbing Adam's apple. Will now has the choice of shutting the hell up or slitting his own throat. The grim humor in Jack's eyes whispers that he has killed countless men this way, and Will believes it.

Jack continues as if he had never been interrupted.

"- and you'll not be the happier for it. You'll be paying the price for a pirate's truth, lad."

Silence.

"You're wrong."

Will snarls quietly, but doesn't struggle. The knife flirts with the thin layer of his skin.

"She's mine. She was mine from the moment we saw each other- and the moment I decide to take her is the moment she leaves you."

Blood streaks the knife from his struggles, and still Will fears to speak, fears the wild, cold, anger in Jack's eyes. He is impotent, and they both know it.

"But- and listen closely, fool- the lady has not yet chosen me. I will not force her- and for the moment, she wants you."

Through the haze of anger, it penetrates his awareness. This is not the coarse, careless ignorance of the Jack he knows, although the pirate lilt is there in full force. The intelligence of the pirate's speech wars with the lack of control on his face. Could it be- finally- that this was the real Jack Sparrow? Will realizes the answer is yes, and he also realizes that he will never breathe a word of it, to anyone. If Jack even suspected that he knew- knew that Jack was living a constant farce, a lie about his origins, he would kill him without hesitation.

"I am not a patient man William. Take your Swan far from me, and never give her cause to stray. Perhaps then, you will be able to keep her. Maybe."

The sharp blade is deliberately pressed down hard, painting a kerchief of blood down the edge, curving a line along Will's throat.

"If not- if she is ever unhappy- I will be there, you will be dead, and she will be mine."

With one fierce stroke, the knife parts the flesh of Jack's hand, and the palm lands on the bleeding gash of Will's neck. It burns as the blood mixes and flows down to the decking, a little into each of their bodies. It is a sick sort of irony. Hadn't Will wanted, that one night long ago, to have just a small piece of this pirate, the cocky confidence that made Elizabeth stare so?

Jack pins him with his gaze until Will meets his eyes and understands.

A blood oath.

It is a promise, and Jack will fulfill it someday if Will is not careful.

He nods.

And suddenly the Jack he thought he had known was back, all wicked smiles and tricky camaraderie.

"Well, lad, I told you that you'd not be liking a pirate's truth-tellin'. Mind now that the price not be too high for ye; no chance of un-knowin' it."

Will nods again- it seems the only safe thing to do.

Jack leaves, wrapping a ragged bit of cloth from his sleeve around his hand. Will takes the time in the silent corridor to wipe the blood from his throat and the floor with his kerchief- he is not trembling; he isn't- and follows him up to the deck.


A/N: Like? No like? Let me know- I am considering making this a twoshot. Can anyone guess the price Jack speaks of? There is a cookie on the line! Don't worry- the next chapter of Revelation will be out soon.