after.midnight // v.naked
Rating: R - angst, angst, and more angst.
Series: Sharing Will Turner
Summary: In which the inevitable happens and life must change accordingly.
Disclaimers: Pirates of the Caribbean belongs to Disney.
Distribution: If you've got the series, go ahead and add this. If you want it, email me and we'll discuss.
A/N: The muses do very strange things. This series has gotten so completely out of hand it's not even funny. It needs one of those disclaimers that say, "This series does not reflect the views or opinions of the author. The muses have minds of their own. The author merely writes what they dictate."
It was supposed to be a celebration.
Elizabeth was having a baby, something she wanted more than anything. They'd been married for almost a year and Elizabeth had started to give up hope that she would ever conceive. They had never discussed children, not really, they'd been far too busy learning to love each other and then, after that, finding Jack and adjusting to life aboard the Pearl. When they'd finally gotten through that, things had changed between the three of them and they'd been too busy loving each other. But he had always known that one day children would factor into their lives. Elizabeth had hinted enough about it, wanting a little girl with Will's dark chocolate eyes and curly dark hair, and he could honestly say that the thought of Elizabeth bearing his child was a good one.
He should be happy, and part of him was, the part of him so in love with Elizabeth he would do anything to make her happy, the part of him that wanted to create a family with her. He wanted to know what kind of mother Elizabeth would make, wanted to know which one of them their children would resemble most, which one would have their father's love of the sea and their mother's fiery spirit. There was a part of him that wanted that so much, was happy that finally it was happening.
But there was another part of him, a part of him that loved the feel of the wooden deck beneath his feet, the spray of salty sea air on his face. As much as he wanted a family with Elizabeth, he also wanted the excitement raiding a ship brought him, the rush of satisfaction he got from going after the treasure Jack said he was so obsessed with. As happy as he was being Elizabeth's husband, he was equally happy being Jack Sparrow's partner. He craved the danger life with Jack brought him, the adventures he had following in his footsteps. As dedicated as he was to making Elizabeth happy, he was equally dedicated to guarding Jack's back, to being that one person the pirate trusted more than anyone else in the world, to loving him like no one else had.
He loved Elizabeth, more than he'd ever thought possible, but he also loved Jack, loved him more than he would ever be able to express. And he was torn, torn between the necessity to leave and the desire to stay.
"We're going to have a baby," Elizabeth said sleepily, and the awe in her voice hadn't diminished from the first time she'd said the words hours earlier.
Will smiled, leaned down to place a kiss on her brow. "We're going to be parents," he said softly as he gently stroked her hair. "We're going to have to settle down now."
Elizabeth nodded. "We'll have to leave," she said, a hint of sadness in her tone. "Leave the Pearl. Leave Jack."
Will sighed, not wanting to think about what the immediate future would bring. "I know," he told her, but he couldn't disguise the pain in his voice. "We can't raise a baby on the Pearl."
Elizabeth looked up at him then, her eyes clouded with sleep and sorrow. "I'm sorry, Will," she told him sincerely. "I know how much Jack means to you."
"No more than what you mean to me," he told her with a smile. "And yes, part of me doesn't want to leave, but I distinctly remember promising to follow you wherever you went."
She smiled. "And I promised you the same," she replied. "Two months later we caught up with Jack."
"It's my turn to follow you now," Will told her. "And I will."
Elizabeth did not look convinced, but she said nothing, instead she curled up tightly against him, rested her head on his chest. "I love you, Will," she said softly, sleep getting the better of her. "More than I've ever loved anyone."
Will stroked her back, his fingers brushing gently over the lace of her gown. "And I love you," he whispered, his lips brushing gently against hers.
And, as he promised, he would follow her, back to Port Royal, to their old lives, even if in doing so he broke his heart.
Elizabeth did not get seasick. Stronger than almost any woman he knew, save AnaMaria, Liz turner had faced more death and danger than anyone of her station should. So when even the slightest lurch in the ship sent her scrambling for the nearest rail, Jack knew something was wrong.
"She can't be more than a few months along," Ana said and there was a hint of sympathy in her tone.
Jack ignored it, focused instead on the important bits. The part where Liz and Will were having a baby. "You're sure?"
Ana smiled gently. "As sure as I can be," she told him. "The sickness starts after the first few months."
"So that's it then," Jack said on a sigh. "Liz is with child and in a few months time, the lad will be a father."
Ana sat down in the chair across from her captain. "You know what this means?" she asked unnecessarily. "Elizabeth can't have that baby on the Pearl."
Jack nodded. "We'll have to take them back to Port Royal." Ana nodded. "And I should probably talk to Will."
Ana watched him for a moment, her dark eyes intense on his before she sighed. "Given a choice, he'd probably stay," she said softly.
Jack shook his head. "No, he wouldn't," he countered with a smile. "He loves her, more than anything."
"We both know that's not true," the female pirate said, irritation creeping into her tone. "He doesn't love her more than he loves you."
"That may well be true, luv," Jack said, his eyes on hers, "but he belongs to her. They have matching silver bands that announce that fact to the world." When Ana opened her mouth to protest, Jack held up a hand. "It doesn't matter who he loves more," the captain said angrily. "She's his wife. Her claim's greater. And he won't leave her alone, not now."
Ana nodded, knowing it was true. The last thing Will would ever do was hurt Elizabeth. She needed him now more than she'd ever needed him before, and he'd follow her anywhere, even if where she led him was away from Jack. "At least now he won't have to choose," Ana said cautiously. "I don't think you or Elizabeth were looking forward to that."
"Have you and Liz been talking, luv?" Jack asked, his curious tone belying the anger in his eyes. "I wasn't aware you and Mrs. Turner were on such friendly terms."
"We're not," Ana admitted with a shrug. It wasn't that she didn't like Elizabeth, they got along extremely well considering. But it was Will she felt closest to, Will with whom she'd connected. "But I have eyes, Jack. And I'm not the only one who's noticed that the number of people in the captain's bed has dwindled from three to two."
Jack's lips curled slightly, but he refused to comment. "Where is Will?" he asked, changing the subject.
Ana looked annoyed at that, but she didn't press. "He's with Elizabeth, of course," she informed the captain. "Would you like me to fetch him for you?"
Jack shook his head. "Give them some time together," he told her softly. "I suppose they're celebrating."
Although it was against her better judgment, because she was sure any empathy on her part would only be met with amusement from Jack, or dismissal, Ana got up from her seat and rounded the table to stand in front of the captain. "I'm going to miss him, too," she said, giving him a smile. "Not the same way you will, probably not even as much, but you won't be alone."
To her surprise, Jack just nodded. Taking her hand in his, he pressed his lips to it briefly before letting it go. "Tell Gibbs to set course for Port Royal," he told her. "No sense in dragging out the inevitable."
Ana nodded and took her leave, giving the captain one last smile before she exited the cabin. When the door was firmly shut behind her, she sighed. Life on the Black Pearl had been surprisingly peaceful the last year, despite the friction between Elizabeth and Jack. She knew that once Will left, things would change.
She wasn't quite sure she was ready for that.
Will's second celebration of the day was going, if possible, worse than the one before.
The blacksmith pirate sat at the table in the captain's cabin, watching his captain drink himself into a stupor. It wasn't the first night Will had watched Jack get spectacularly drunk, though it happened less often then most people thought, but watching him now wasn't exactly the same as sitting across from him in some tavern, as whores and pirates laughed and played around them. Watching Jack now, burying his sorrows in bottle after bottle of rum, was depressing, bringing his spirits down to a level he wasn't sure they'd ever been before.
He was supposed to be happy. His wife was having a baby; he was going to be a father. Will poured more of the alcohol into his glass and took a healthy swig. He'd never been more depressed in his life.
Jack took a break from his drinking to look up at the man sitting across from him. "And how 's Liz?" he slurred, though his tone did not hold the interest it usually did.
Will shrugged, not knowing what to say and, for once, not really caring. "She's fine," he said after a moment, making an effort despite his mood. "Sleeping. Excited about the baby."
Jack nodded and returned his attention to his drink. "And you?" he inquired softly. "You as excited 's she?"
There wasn't an easy answer to that, at least not one he was sure Jack would want to hear. "Maybe not as much as she is," he replied as truthfully as he could. "I'd never really given any thought to children. I always thought that having Elizabeth would be enough."
Jack looked up at that, his eyes narrowing in question. "But it wasn't?"
Will shook his head. "No," he answered, "it wasn't. Because then I wanted you, too."
And maybe that was the problem, Will thought, as he watched Jack drain his glass and pour more rum into it. Maybe he had wanted too much, had been given exactly what he wanted, and now the gods were taking some of it away, lest he forget who was really in control.
"You aren't supposed to get everything you want," Will continued softly, his gaze resting on Jack. "When I was a boy, the only thing I wanted was to wake up everyday and know my father was asleep in the room across the hall. When my mother died, all I wanted was for her to just be there again. I left home, found a ship, and was determined to find my father. For a while I was content, if not happy, and I thought maybe things would get better. Instead, we were attacked, and everything I'd ever known was destroyed again. I still don't know how I made it off that ship alive, for a while, I wished I'd died with the rest of them." He paused as he lifted the glass to his lips and drank deeply, the alcohol burning pleasantly on the way down. "When Elizabeth found me and I came to Port Royal I just wanted to belong. I never got any of those things. My father never came back, my mother was still dead, and though Elizabeth and I were friends, I was still that orphan child who lived with the blacksmith and his wife, the child who had survived a pirate attack when everyone else was killed. But it didn't make me special, just different."
He looked up at Jack then and smiled sadly. "I suppose after everything that happened, I thought I was due," he admitted sheepishly. "Guess I was wrong."
For a while there was silence. Will was almost certain Jack was trying to process everything he'd said. He'd spent nearly a year on the Pearl, but he could count the number of times he'd opened up about his past on one hand. He'd told Jack more in the last ten minutes than he'd told him in an entire year. He knew it was a lot to take in.
It was easy for people to forget his life before Port Royal. Though he'd lived with Mr. Brown and his wife, the Governor, thanks in part, no doubt, to Elizabeth, had taken a special interest in him. At the time, he and Elizabeth had been inseparable. Elizabeth took her promises seriously, even then, and when she'd vowed to watch over him that day they met, she meant it. They had done everything together, from exploring the island to sitting the schoolroom. But as they got older, they'd drifted apart; Elizabeth becoming the woman a Governor's daughter was supposed to be, him to fulfill his legacy as blacksmith's apprentice. And until the day Elizabeth had been kidnapped and he broke Captain Jack Sparrow out of jail, people had thought him just that.
But he'd learned a lot about himself in his time with Jack, learned he was more than what Port Royal had made him, and he hadn't been able to forget it when he returned to the port. But it was coming back to the Pearl that he learned that while Elizabeth held a large part of his heart, Jack held the largest portion of his soul. Jack, like piracy, was in his blood, and the last thing he wanted to do was leave that behind. Not now, when he was just starting to realize how very important it was to him.
He heaved a weary sigh and Jack focused his attention on him once again. "I don't want to go," he said, softly, his tone laced with sadness and resignation, because he knew he had no choice.
He didn't remember getting up from his seat, didn't remember moving at all really, but the next thing he knew he was lying naked on the bed, Jack's familiar weight and heat atop him. Their kisses were frantic, desperate, lips and teeth and tongues clashing together with bruising force. There was the taste of rum and blood in his mouth, the sensation of Jack's fingers ghosting over his skin as if he wanted to touch all of him but couldn't quite decide which spot to focus his attention on first. Jack's mouth on his, Jack's fingers on his skin, Jack's cock sliding against his own. It was just too much in too little time and the reality of Jack thrusting hard and deep inside of him, the sound of his name a mournful plea on Jack's lips was just enough to push him over the edge.
"I'm going to miss you," Jack whispered softly. "So much."
Will nodded, holding on to the tattered strings of his emotions by sheer force of will. There was so much he wanted to say, things he wanted Jack to know. Instead, he pulled the pirate close, laid his head on his shoulder, and told him what was more important than anything else.
"I love you."
Jack's arms tightened around him and his lips brushed his lightly. And for the first time in the year they'd been together, Jack replied, "Love you, too."
Four days later, Will stood on the dock in Port Royal and watched as Jack and the Pearl sailed out of his life.