Hurricane Jack
by Shrift

He isn't the last person Jack Sparrow expects to see walking through the door of The Three Tunns, not that Jack ever expects to see anyone, really. He prefers not to, as he'd rather be pleasantly -- or not so pleasantly, as the case may be -- surprised by the ebb and flow of people of his acquaintance.

This does not mean that Jack is unprepared. Except when he is, and when he is, it's usually in some fabulously spectacular fashion that results in a short-lived marooning or being not-quite-hanged. (Should he ever have the miserable misfortune to hang in chains on Deadman's Cay, Jack firmly believes that he will hang there more fabulously than any pirate who has been hanged there before, simply because everything Jack does is fabulous.)

Numbering among the last people Jack expects to see inside The Three Tunns, if Jack were to expect anyone (and we have established already that he most certainly would not), are the son of God the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Jack's dear departed mum, the Duke of Devonshire (whom Jack has never met, although rumour has it the Duke has a healthy appetite for scones), and one Captain Piet Heyn, owing as the good Dutchman had been torn apart by cannonball fire before Jack had ever come squalling out betwixt his mother's thighs.

It is due to Jack's piratical profession, perhaps, that if he were to think about it, he could think of a few score more unexpected people before his mind might turn to a certain pretty young blacksmith with more bravery than the sense God gave a dog. But expected or no, Will Turner is standing just inside the doorway, blinking the dark and smoke out of his eyes, skin fair under the sun's kiss, and looking about as defenseless as a newborn pup. On the whole, he's a vision in lightly soiled linen.

Oh yes, this is exactly the reason Jack likes surprises. (Unless, of course, the surprises involve things like an ambush during careenage, for Jack finds it horribly rude for someone to interrupt him whilst he's scraping his barnacles.)

Clearly, the only solution to this new situation is for Jack to cross the room, move straight up alongside, slide his arm over the pretty whelp's shoulders, lean in close with a shimmy and a bit of a sidle, and say, "My, my, Master Turner. What brings a good boy like you to a naughty little place like Tortuga?"

Will turns his head slowly, still blinking too much, and Jack can see something ominous behind his eyes. For a moment, it's like looking at a familiar port of call in the wake of a hurricane.

"I wanted a drink," says Will finally. His dark hair is tangled and damp with sweat, and Jack takes a moment to breathe in the scent of him. He still smells like blood and fire, and this makes Jack beam.

Jack squeezes his shoulder and guides Will to the table he departed from only moments before. "Then by all means allow me to ply you with rum, son."

Will sits upon the stretch of wood and accepts the mug Jack presses into his hand, tipping back his head and taking a healthy swig. Jack watches the boy's grimy throat work with interest. The owner of the not very fine establishment in which they are sitting (or, rather, in which Will is sitting and Jack is standing) thins the rum with water, but Jack doesn't mind because the water isn't rancid and the food has never given him the flux like the fare at The Cheshire Cheese. Despite the watering down, there's considerably more than a dram of rum in that mug, but Will doesn't cough or shiver, and when he puts down his cup, he wipes his mouth with the back of a hand.

"What of your bonnie lass?" asks Jack, and hides his smile behind his drink. The lad looks positively tragic; Jack finds this positively delightful.

"I don't want to discuss Elizabeth," says Will, and swallows more rum in the determined manner of a man attempting to get himself thoroughly pissed.

Jack is never one to do the wise thing, and he's never met a story he didn't like, so the temptation to poke and prod the sordid tale out of young Will is nigh impossible to resist, but his goal for the night also involves the achievement of intoxication, and Jack knows how to wait.

These days, the rumours speak of Jack out-waiting Old Roger himself, and Jack thinks it's all bloody marvelous. The rum will loosen the lad's tongue, and Jack will get his prize before the night is out, or his name isn't Captain Jack Sparrow. (Strictly speaking, it isn't, but Jack fully intends for his given name to be lost in the annals of time, if by 'lost' one means 'all traces erased and utterly destroyed, never ever to be seen again by eyes human or otherwise, and perhaps stomped on with a sturdy boot for good measure.')

"Don't fret, love," says Jack. He clinks his mug with Will's and savours the warm, strong burn of the rum. "Drink up."

Will peers at him suspiciously, and this only makes Jack's smile grow wider. "All right," says Will, a line of worry still creasing his brow.

Jack swoops down next to Will and pulls him close. "Now lad, have I ever led you astray?"

And that nets him the incredulous little smile Jack is looking for, the one that makes young Will look alarmingly like his father contemplating one of Jack's slightly-less-than-cunning schemes. Only Bootstrap Bill never gave Jack a moment's worry when he hacked away with his cutlass, and his temper was as predictable as the tide. Steady on, was old Bill, a stubborn cuss and a good man. His son, however, is shiny and new, and burning with the need to prove himself worthy.

Such an impressionable youth, Will is, and Jack just loves making impressions.

"You really are touched in the head," says Will into his mug.

Jack thumps him on the back, and the lad's solid muscles absorb the blow. "Lovely of you to say so." Jack hums a particularly crude shanty under his breath as they drink and they drink, and Will's suspicious eyes grow softer and unfocused. Jack eases things along with a piece of eight for more rum, and a morsel or two about Will's father that he slips into the meandering conversation until Will turns his face to Jack, painfully earnest and his mouth open for more memories like a hatchling.

"I trusted old Bill with my life and my ship," says Jack, "but he had no sense of humour to speak of. I suppose you get that from him." (If, Jack wonders at times, the lad didn't also get a second helping from his dam.)

"I have a sense of humour," protests Will, sloshing a trickle of rum over his knuckles. The lad stares at his hand blearily before licking the rum from his skin with a pink tongue.

"Oh, aye," says Jack immediately, nodding assurance, although his eyes widen of their own accord, and a grin lives close behind the gold caps of his teeth. (Anything that gets a man through the day, Jack often thinks, ought to be encouraged, so long as Jack isn't put out in the process.)

"I do," says Will. He fiddles with his mug and nearly sends it over the edge of the table before clutching it closer to his chest. "Some things just aren't so amusing when they're happening to you."

"Hello," says Jack, flinging his hands wide and sending his trinkets jangling, "rope around my neck when you saw me last, remember?"

"How could I forget?" says Will, his expression turning dreamy for a moment, and Jack has no doubt that Will is ruminating on his spirited young lass. "I taught her to fight, you know."

Jack drops his chin into his hand and makes a humming noise, waving at the lad to continue.

"I taught her the sword and she taught me to sail," says Will, shoulders hunching 'round his drink. "She's the most beautiful creature, with a blade in her hand. I thought we were happy."

Jack can't resist, and doesn't even try. "She found you out as a eunuch, didn't she?"

"I'm not a eunuch," says Will. The denial is instant and almost without heat, and it's obvious that Will has something else occupying his thoughts. "She said I was stifling her."

Jack drinks before saying, "Were you?"

Will looks aggrieved. "I don't even know what it means!"

"Then how do you know you weren't?" says Jack.

"You don't even know --" says Will, strangling on his words until he swigs more rum. "She sold all her things and bought a ship. She said she wanted to see the world before she settled down."

"A lass of uncommon spirit, that Elizabeth," says Jack. "Merchant vessel, you say?"

"I think she plans to obtain a letter of marque from her father," says Will absently, and then his eyes narrow. "Don't consider it for even a moment!" His gaze is so fierce that Jack inadvertently makes a fig hand beneath the tabletop. (Jack is a pirate, and therefore he believes in superstition. But unlike most pirates, Jack's belief in the supernatural is rooted in actual and extensive contact with the accursed living dead, which Jack will grudgingly admit, when in his cups, has had somewhat of an effect on his landscape.)

"Pirate!" says Jack.

"Well, then consider it unconsidered!" demands Will.

Jack leans closer, Will's body a warm press at hip and leg and shoulder. "I'll consider it unconsidered if you will consider that as a pirate, it's in my very nature to consider it."

Will frowns. "You do that on purpose."

"Do what?" says Jack, spreading his hands. Will makes a frustrated noise in his throat.

"I would very much like to strike you right now," says Will.

"Why don't you?" asks Jack.

Will blinks. "I can't decide which one of you to hit."

Jack pats Will's thigh. "That's all right then."

Will peers at his lap with the intense concentration of a man seeing rather more legs attached to his body than strictly belong. "You have nice hands."

Jack's grin at this quite possibly resembles the expression of a shark scenting blood in the waves. "What does bring you to Tortuga, mate?"

"Elizabeth set me down here some time back, and I signed on as a gunsmith with the Revenge," says Will. He upends his mug. A drop or two rolls from the bottom and lands on his tongue.

"Mm," hums Jack. "Tried to catch up with her, did you?"

"I didn't want to believe she was gone," says Will. His aspect is bleak. "She was everything I ever wanted."

He waves his hand. "Ah, young love. So tragically stupid and stupidly tragic," says Jack, and then pulls his face into a moue.

When they first met a year past, Will would have already drawn his sword to defend his wounded honour. Now he simply puts back his head and laughs. This son of Bootstrap Bill, it seems, is finally growing up, and in Jack's opinion, it's about bloody time.

"I think I've actually missed you," says Will. "I must be very drunk."

These words are a siren song to Jack's ears. (Excepting, of course, the being-lured-to-one's-death part, although Jack certainly wouldn't say no to a little death or two before the night is out.)

"Tell me, Will Tanner," says Jack, "would you be interested in signing a new set of Articles?"

Will turns to stare at him quickly. Too quickly, because Will overbalances and drops his head and shoulders onto the table, peering up at Jack. "You want me aboard the Pearl? Why?"

Jack drops his head to the table, too. "Why what, love?"

"Well, it sounds suspiciously as if you're helping me, that's all," says Will.

"Helped you before," says Jack.

Will nudges Jack's shoulder with his own. "Yes, but that was to regain your ship."

"Very well, then. I'm helping you because I like you," says Jack.

"But you're a pirate!" exclaims Will.

"Pirates can't like people?"

Will frowns. "Past experience suggests that it's uncommon."

"I am an uncommon pirate," says Jack with a flourish.

"You're an uncommon everything," insists Will exasperatedly, but his eyes are fond.

Jack feels uncommonly flattered. "I do like you. I liked your father, too, although I like you how I liked your father, but I didn't like your father how I like you. Savvy?"

"Words came out of your mouth just then," says Will, nodding, "I'm fair certain of it."

"Up, up," says Jack, standing and hauling Will to his feet. The lad is tall and lean, and always stronger than he looks. "And you have also helped me twice, if you'll recall," says Jack. "You must like me, too."

Will sways against him, his body warm and loose as he hooks his arm around Jack's neck. "I do believe you're more coherent than I am. I ought to mark the occasion."

"You like me," says Jack.

Will sighs, and his breath is humid with rum. "To my eternal shame, yes."

"And do you know why?" asks Jack.

He presses his nose to Jack's temple and laughs quietly. "Because you're Captain Jack Sparrow?" mocks Will.

"For once, love," says Jack, "you have the right of it."

Walking out of the tavern proves difficult, as Jack has a sway to his walk, and now so does Will, causing a tangle of legs and caroming hips. Clearly, the sensible thing to do is to separate themselves and attempt to walk freely, and clearly, Jack thinks the sensible thing is utter bollocks.

They make it through the door, something which Jack considers a smashing success, and stagger out onto the cobblestone street. Some lengths down the street betwixt a step and the next, Will matches Jack's rolling gait, and the odds against them actually reaching the harbour are less daunting almost immediately. Jack enjoys having someone sturdy to lean on, as he's never felt entirely comfortable on land since he first shipped out as a boy. (In fact, the only times the land feels as comfortable to Jack as does the sea is when the land is quaking, and when the land is quaking, Jack is rather too preoccupied with avoiding imminent death and destruction to savour the feeling of comfortableness.)

Jack hums under his breath as they sway along toward the sea, and soon enough the smell of home reaches his nose. The smell of home for Jack vaguely consists of the following things: dead fish, sweat, rotting water, pitch, brine, black powder, pomegranate. (There is no satisfactory explanation for the pomegranate.)

Will doesn't protest when Jack steers them toward the Pearl's berth. Indeed, he even hums along to Jack's rousing verse of "Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho!" Jack takes this for permission even though it's not quite apparent that Will actually knows where they are right now, let alone what Jack plans to do with him once they get to where they're going.

If Jack is in possession of conscience, right now is an opportune moment for it to twinge. (And we may safely say that the conscience is most definitely not located in the places where Jack is currently feeling twinges.)

The air wraps around them like damp velvet when they reach the pier. Jack welcomes the slap of waves, flapping canvas, and the creak of wood and rope. He can see Cotton on watch on the forecastle deck, passing underneath the fore staysail and his parrot squawking out nonsense from his shoulder. Only a few men on his crew are aboard the Black Pearl at this hour, judging by the lack of bodies sprawled upon the gun decks, but it's early yet for the carousers to be returning from gambling and drink, not to mention the women. Jack would still be out there with them and the women, but an overwhelming proportion of the available women on the island still seem keen on slapping Jack's face when they meet, and Will is by far prettier than any Scarlet or Giselle.

In short, Will is a very nice armful of warm flesh, and Jack is not complaining.


It's a chancy business getting over the rails and onto the main deck, and by the time they do, Will is doubled-over laughing, with one hand clutching at Jack's belt for balance.

"I could still let you drown," says Jack.

Will's hands climb up Jack's clothes as the lad attempts to stand up. "I'd take you with me over the side," says Will.

"Promises, promises," says Jack. Everything has righted itself beneath his feet as it always does when he sets foot on a ship, and the world is back to a roll and lift, and a familiar expanse of planking.

Will's still hanging onto Jack, but now his head is thrown back as he stares up into the rigging. "I wasn't aboard for long, but I missed her, Jack."

"Nothing else like her on the seven seas," says Jack, stroking his hand along the rail.

"Nor like you," says Will with a flash of teeth.

"Careful," says Jack, starting toward his cabin. And, seeing as Will hasn't yet released his grip on Jack's lapel, he takes Will with him. "I could take that as a compliment."

"Causing you to think even more highly of yourself could prove disastrous," agrees Will.

Jack is tempted to swing Will out on the main boom again, but dismisses the idea in favour of opening the door to his cabin and squeezing them both through the doorway. Due to their proximity, it's child's play to accidentally trip Will, an action which sends them both tumbling onto the bed whilst thoroughly tangled together.

"Oof," says Will, jabbing his elbow into Jack's ribs.

"I second that exclamation," says Jack, twisting away to avoid the unpleasant connection of Will's knee with his nether regions, yet still somehow ending up with a mouthful of Will's linen shirt. He lies there for some time, the room spinning about lazily, before Jack realises he's uncomfortably warm and still wearing a brace of primed pistols. In spite of the fact that delirium rides Jack's shoulder like a parrot, he is not a stupid man, nor is he desirous of blowing his weaselly black guts out. This situation must be remedied.

Jack flips over as best he can and tosses his hat, because the direction doesn't matter so long as the floor's still there. Next he unbuckles the belt and drops his cutlass with a clatter, although the brace of pistols he lowers somewhat more gently, and follows it with his compass. For jacket removal, however, Jack finds it absolutely necessary to roll back over onto Will whilst he wriggles it off. After all, the bunk is narrow, and Will is not.

"Hello," says Jack, smiling nose to nose with Will, who is regarding him curiously, but not, Jack is pleased to note, indicating that Jack's behaviour is at all objectionable.

"Am I to sleep here, then?" asks Will, grunting as Jack rolls off him and then levers himself up with a hand pressing against Will's flat belly.

"You're welcome to bunk with the rats, mate," says Jack, "but word of warning, we both bite."

"It's absolutely manky below," murmurs Will as Jack wrestles with the knots on his sash. "Even your odour is preferable."

Once Jack unwinds the long length of cloth from his middle, he makes short work of his vest. Jack strips off his shirt, trinkets jangling in his hair, and turns to see Will staring avidly. He forgets at times, does Jack, that the shiny scars and the inky whorls worked into his sun-dark skin are exotic to an orphan boy like Will, shut in for years with nothing but steel and a snoring drunk to keep him company. As a lad, Jack had seen so little unmarked skin that for a time he had believed men possessed tattoos from birth. His logic was rather sound for a boy of three, considering tattoos didn't wash off when one was given the heave to. (In point of fact, Jack still believes men possess tattoos from birth, only they don't show up right away, until one day they do, accompanied by a determined and often very large man armed with both needle and ink.)

Jack lets Will to look his fill and contemplates removing his boots, forearmed with the knowledge that come morning, he may not remember to check them for scorpions. Their sting hasn't managed to kill him yet, so Jack bends down and begins tugging at his boots whilst Will traces a tattoo on Jack's shoulder with one work-roughened finger. Will's curious hand trails to where Moses' Law is written upon Jack's back. Will doesn't ask about those scars, and Jack doesn't tell. (Although the tale of it isn't quite so dire as it could have been had the quartermaster delivered the required number of lashes, rather than the number of lashes he was capable of counting to, and to Jack's good fortune, that number had been something less than fifteen.)

Jack drops his boots to the floor and turns to see Will sprawled across the bunk, his limbs loose, and watching him closely. Sweat beads on Will's upper lip and at his hairline, and if Will isn't inclined to remove his clothing, Jack feels more than capable of performing the task for him. Jack rolls and ends up sitting on Will's belly, reaching out to untie the scarf knotted around his throat.

Will peers down at Jack's hands with a frown, and then reaches out to help. "You needn't undress me like a child."

"Oh," says Jack, batting away Will's fingers, "that certainly isn't my intention, love." The knot proves stubborn, so Jack swoops down to have a go with his teeth. Will makes a noise like a gasp, and for a moment, presses one warm, broad palm to Jack's shoulder blade. The knot finally loosens and Jack tugs it free from around Will's neck. The fabric is damp from its contact with Will's body. Jack tosses it somewhere behind him and dares to swipe his tongue over the hollow of Will's throat, tasting the sweat collecting there. The lad is salt and sting in his mouth.

Underneath him, Will very carefully stops moving. Jack sits up and makes a strategic shift downward to unbuckle Will's sword belt, nudging the belt and short sword off the edge of the bunk with his knee. He tackles the buttons on Will's vest and shirt next, slowly uncovering the smooth expanse of skin beginning to turn bronze from living in the sun. Jack ponders the situation for a moment before coming up with a solution to something of a logistical problem.

Jack rolls over onto his back, and brings Will with him, sending him sprawling between Jack's legs. Will looks dazed, and Jack takes advantage of the moment to pull off Will's shirt and vest, and then turns them 'round once more so Will is again on his back.

Will stares up at him. His large eyes overflow with questions, but his mouth is unable choose which one to ask. This makes Jack want to touch him like Jack touches his Pearl, and so he strokes his fingertips down the curves of Will's strong arms. Will's breathing kicks up a notch and his hands open and close on the bedding, so Jack licks a stripe down the center of Will's chest, his trinkets chiming and dragging behind his mouth.

Jack can feel Will's muscles contract beneath his tongue, and he presses his grin against Will's navel.

"What are you doing?" asks Will faintly.

As usual, Jack has no incentive to fight fairly, and so he very much does not. He slithers up Will's body, touching as many places as possible with his hands and mouth. Will's waist just under his ribs, the inside of one wrist, dragging both his thumbs along the soft inside of Will's elbows. With one palm pressed over Will's rapidly beating heart, Jack leans close to one ear.

And then performs lewd acts upon said ear with his tongue, whilst below he grinds his hips against Will's, sparking a whimper from the lad that washes up Jack's spine like a hot breeze. That's no folding gully in Will's pocket, Jack knows, and this pleases him so much that he bites at Will's throat just below the corner of his jaw. Will's breath hitches and his hips rise up like a wave.

"Do you wish me to stop?" asks Jack, when Will's hands grip Jack's waist hard enough to leave bruises in the shape of fingertips.

Will's poleaxed expression turns thoughtful, giving the question a long moment's consideration while Jack continues to cheat. "I -- oh God."

His speechlessness might have something to do with Jack's hands unfastening his trousers and slipping inside, but the whimpering noises sound encouraging, so Jack sees no reason not to continue.

"Don't -- what -- oh hell," says Will breathlessly, and obligingly lifts up so that Jack can tug down his trousers, leaving them in a tangle at Will's knees.

Jack sits back on Will's thighs, and slowly -- because he fully intends for Will to pay attention -- licks his palm. Jack tastes himself along with the faint tang of brine soaked into the leather strap of his wrist guard, and then he wraps his hand around Will's blood-filled length. And squeezes up.

"You're mad," gasps Will, rising up on his elbows, his hips following Jack's hand. His cheeks are flushed and skin damp all over with sweat.

Jack leans close enough to feel Will's hot breath on his face. "Just a little," says Jack, and then kisses him.

It begins as a clash of teeth and tongue, so Jack angles his head to make it something more carnal and wet, his tongue chasing after the lingering, sweet taste of molasses in Will's mouth. Jack threads his fingers through Will's hair, strands catching on his rings, and kisses Will long and deep until the lad is making hurt noises in the back of his throat.

Will's lips are rosy when Jack pulls back, his hand still lazily stroking betwixt their bodies.

"A little participation at this point," says Jack, "would not go amiss."

Jack's aim is, as always, good enough to suit his purposes, and his words hit the lad right where he lives. Bless his competitive little heart.

"Oh, it wouldn't, would it?" says Will, his eyes flaring to life.

"Aye, mate," says Jack, "that it wouldn't."

Will lifts his chin defiantly as his hands struggle to unfasten Jack's trousers, and when he finally succeeds, Will pushes at the fabric impatiently. Jack is about to intervene out of concern for his person when Will instead tugs him down for another kiss, the lad licking into Jack's mouth in a way that proves he's quite the fast learner. Jack, however, is an agile man, and thus perfectly capable of wriggling out of his trousers whilst biting and sucking on Will's lower lip. Jack learned said agility as a boy in the rigging of a sloop, working there in all manner of ill-favoured weather, and a mother would turn in her grave should she learn of the uses Jack puts it to. (Although certainly not Jack's mother, as she never would have made such a spurious claim to virtue.)

One change in circumstance begs for another, so Jack moves swiftly in order to take the quick little bugger by surprise, circling Will's strong wrists with his fingers and pinning them above Will's head.

Will looks worried. "What are you doing?"

"This?" asks Jack innocently, lining up their hips. "'We doubt not now but every rub," says Jack, twisting his hips and earning a moan from Will's mouth, "is smoothed on our way. Then forth, dear countrymen: let us deliver our puissance into the hand of God.'" (Jack's education was less formal and more patchwork, but in his life he was frequently idle and more frequently curious, and as a pirate, not above threatening scholarly types for their books. However, Jack is still a pirate, and it should surprise no one that Jack firmly believes Dante's Inferno is, in fact, a comedy.)

"Will you be quiet?" says Will desperately, the cords in his neck straining, "and bloody move?"

Jack grins for a bit too long, or perhaps it's just long enough, because Will breaks Jack's grip on his wrists and lunges, one hand clutching a fistful of Jack's hair at the nape, and the other pressing hard just below the small of his back. The time for teasing has passed.

Will pulls Jack into a kiss both sloppy and sharp-edged, their bodies pushing and sliding together in tight, slick circles of pleasure. Jack drags his uneven fingernails down Will's chest, sucking kisses into Will's throat with his lips, teeth and tongue. Will's reaction is wordless and broken, and he breathes in harsh pants. And then Will tilts Jack's head in order to bite his way up Jack's jaw line and down the side of his neck, all sharp teeth and humid breath, and pushing hard and wet into Jack's hip.

Hands shaking, Will begins to clutch and press randomly all over Jack's skin, his mouth so wide and desperate that Jack feels like he's being devoured. Jack raises up on one elbow as Will squirms beneath him, breathing hard and his eyes shut fast. Will's face begins to crumple and Jack takes him in hand, watching avidly. Will's fingers clench around Jack's arm on the up-stroke, with a grip so fierce Jack knows he'll feel it in the morning. Jack can't look away and doesn't want to; he's been waiting to see this since the day they first met in that dingy smithy and Will truly took him by surprise. Will's eyelashes are wet and spiked, sticking to his skin, mouth open and glistening. He looks to be in the best kind of pain, silent now but for his harsh breath, lifting them both off the bunk with an arch of his back, and abruptly back down as warmth spreads over Jack's hand.

Jack rocks against Will lazily and continues to watch as the lad drifts into a loose-limbed sprawl, the expanse of his skin coloured with a sated flush. Eventually Will's eyes slit open and he licks his lips, boldly reaching for him. For a moment, Jack wonders if he's created a monster, because if he has, it's a very neat trick and one he'd like to repeat as often as possible. (Or perhaps, Jack also wonders, it isn't that his luck with women has worn off so much as changed its venue.)

Will's palm is broad and callused, and Jack rolls into it, meeting Will's eyes and seeing a new confidence and satiation there. Jack's body prickles with heat from the knowledge that he is the one who put that sinful, sleepy look on Will's face. However chaste Will purports to be, from this day forth, Jack will know the truth of it. The mere thought of it causes him to ache with want.

The cabin is sultry with them. Jack slides his cheek along Will's and tastes their sweat and sex on the moist skin of Will's neck. Jack presses his face there under Will's jaw and speaks words he doesn't hear over the blood rushing in his ears like a stout wind, words that make Will tighten his grip, and so Jack knows the words must be good ones. He continues to speak until his head spins from lack of breath and his elbow trembles from holding his weight.

"Jack," says Will, and it's time for Jack to give into the sensation that lurks hot and bright just within his reach. His eyes close and Will's hand is tight, and when he comes, he can feel the throb and wave of release from the soles of his feet to the tip of his spinning head; it feels almost as good as the first time Jack boarded the Black Pearl as her captain all those years ago.

Jack doesn't move far, not that there's far to move; the bunk is small and their limbs entwined. Will succumbs to the draw of sleep first, one arm trapped under Jack and his other hand draped over his flat belly. The lad will doubtless wake with a sore head on the morrow, and the sun will disagree with him. It is the work of moments to apply a remedy, and Will's eyelids barely twitch as he smoothes the kohl into place with a finger and thumb.

He never expects to see anyone, does Jack, but he wonders if Elizabeth will return for the lad once she realises the value of a loyal man at her back. He doesn't doubt her ability to privateer, for if there ever existed a girl who could make a go of it, Elizabeth is it. (Jack finds the minds of women to be unwelcoming foreign ports, and does not wonder long. Indeed, Jack often gives thanks that the only female he needs to understand is his ship, and she has always whispered to him all of her secrets.)

Elizabeth would make a fine pirate, but it's Will he has, and Jack in no way regrets it. The lad argues just as much, but also knows when and how to move as the situation requires it, and Jack can't deny that it's exhilarating to fight by his side.

He'll need an earring, Jack thinks, and falls asleep.


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