This has been incredibly slow going. So sorry. The story should pick up in Chapter 4 though, so don't worry. grin. I had to get inside Jack and Will's twisted little minds, and now that I have we can finally get going!
Love and Freedom
Part 3 - Stupid Effin' Questions
Was this the day?
That was what Jack thought the minute he woke up everyday without fail, and for almost three weeks now at that.
Was this the day? The day Will would leave, that is. The day Jack would make him. The day they’d start to fall apart, like a rudderless ship left alone to drift until it destroyed itself. Was this the day?
Every kiss - would it be the last? Every touch... aye, touching Will was something Jack would probably still do. He was quite a physical fellow with his friends, and not having the best balance all the time might have something to do with his tendency to throw an arm around a mate’s shoulders. But would this be this last time he would touch Will so tenderly? The last time Will would be his lover instead of just his friend, just another member of the crew?
Then there was the question of how it would happen. Whether Jack would be so foolish or become so drunk as to kiss someone when Will was watching. Whether he would say or do something to drive Will away. Or would Will be the one to break it off? It was always possible. Will was honest. Honest about everything. And you could never tell when he was going to do something incredibly... stupid. But was it stupid or smart to end this now? Was it really anything at all? Did Jack even want to break it off? It was the smart thing, wasn’t it? Wasn’t that what he had decided? He wasn’t the sort to be tied down, not in any way.
But even a ship had to be tied down so it wouldn’t drift away.
Jack shook his head. What was he thinking? He wasn’t a ruddy ship! He was being a bloody idiot, that’s what he was. He was obsessing, that’s what he was doing. And why?
Love and freedom. His constant battle. Always had been, ever since he was a child. Do you think Jack’s mother wanted him to be a pirate? Of course not. Even Anamaria would want something better for her children, though Jack flinched at the thought of the ragamuffins dear Ana would produce. Jack’s mother had wanted him to settle down and make something of himself, but the call of the sea had been greater than that of her love and so he’d left. He did visit her from time to time, late at night when no one else could see. She’d sit in her chair by the fireplace, sewing, and then the spanish moss near the window would lift up and away, and with years of practice Jack would step inside. He was always very careful to be only the tiniest bit smashed every time he came. At first his mother had been strained, unused to seeing her Jackie covered in ink and his fine hair wrapped with beads. She had instinctively recoiled from the scent of rum and the sword on his hip. But he had been happy and that was enough for her.
His father had been long gone by then. An ex-soldier who’d spent his days unloading cargo down at the boatyard and his nights telling Jack of the places he’d seen. Places with names like Haiti and Africa, cities like Bordeaux, Valencia, and Bangalore. How he’d always wanted to see the Far East and had never gotten to, but he would tell Jack of the things he’d heard. Jack made sure to visit the East every few years. Not for pirating, but for the memories. Both his parents were gone now and someone else; a butcher, a sausage-maker had bought the house he’d grown up in with, and the poor man had three holy terrors as daughters. Jack wished him luck, and hoped for the butcher’s sake that the daughters would never discover you could climb out the bedroom windows and down the oak tree, and then back up again. Perfect for those midnight trysts.
And no matter the faults or problems of this – Jack hesitated to call it a relationship, but he did have to call it something – relationship, one thing that Jack wholeheartedly loved about Will was that the boy had sense enough not to try to change him. Not to wrangle promises or secrets out of him. Will knew when to back off and when to press forward, like any good swordsman. Jack had met many a girl who’d tried to change him. As though pirating was his escape from having a family and a brick house. Even whores were not above their romantic fancies, he supposed, but it was not bloody likely. When Jack became too old or injured to properly wield a sword, he was buying a tavern in Tortuga and stocking it with the best rum, ale, brandy, and whiskey to be found. Lord knows how he’d ever manage to turn a profit, but he planned on being filthy rich by then, so what the hell.
But why was there freedom in that, and not in being with Will? If he couldn’t even come up with a straight answer himself, how was he to ever decide anything? And why couldn’t he stop asking himself all these bloody questions?
Jack looked up to see Will holding out a bottle of rum out towards him, a wry smirk on his face.
"You looked like you could use it."
Jack grasped the bottle and set it down beside him, taking time to admire Will’s burnished skin, a burnt on tan that came from so many hours in the sun you’ve no need of clothes anymore. A fact Jack quite relished, thank you. "It’s not quite what I was in the mood for."
"Well then," Will answered easily. "Why are you out here on deck and not back in the cabin?"
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