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Title: Follow in our Footsteps
Author: Miss ‘Drea
Pairing: Jack/Will
Rating: NC-17
Warning: Major character death(s)
Summary: “Our entire relationship, as it were, started in our letters, so I follow in our footsteps.”

The line snapped and the heavy, waterlogged chest slammed into the deck with a crunch and an ominous shudder. “What the hell!” Marina swore. “I checked that line ten thousand times!” She rushed over to the chest, and finding it in one piece, relaxed and turned to the captain of the schooner they were on.

Ica stood there, her arms crossed over her chest with a jaunty grin. “I know you did, I watched you do about half of those times. Don’t worry about it, my deck can handle it.”

The marine biologist rolled her eyes and clicked on the radio without replying to the blonde captain. “Hey Terry,” she said into the communicator, “its up.”

There wasn’t a verbal response, but they all heard the excited shout that came from somewhere below deck. Ica held up one finger, Marina held up two, and when they both put up three, they turned to look as the door to the cabins flew open. The marine archaeologist raced towards the sea chest and– “Hold it!” barked Marina. He screeched to a stop a few feet away.

“What?” he asked with a hint of a whine in his voice. “I’ve been so patient!”

“Let Lewis get to it first,” Marina cautioned. “We don’t want to break anything.” Ica glanced subtly at the dangling line that should have been holding the sea chest immobile. “Break anything else.” Making a face, Terrence subsided, leaning against the railing on the starboard side of the ship. “What do you think is in there?” Marina asked, changing the subject.

“Treasure, maps, old rum?” Terry spread his hands. “It could honestly be anything.”

Lewis took that moment to step out of the cabins below deck, grinning widely at them. “The scans don’t show anything big, so that rules out treasure.” He moved in front of the chest, kneeling before it. “The lock is...complicated. It requires at least two keys, yes...” He clicked his tongue in thought. “No visible padlocks or external mechanisms...” He changed position, sitting cross-legged on the wet deck, taking out a soft, silky looking white towel. Gently he began sponging away some of the slime. “Hmm...it might be possible to pick the locks.”

“We have a few keys that we found,” Terry ventured. “They’ve been sitting in solvent to dissolve rock and calcification.”

“Yeah go get those,” Lewis said, distracted. “I don’t want to break anything. Yet.”

Terry radioed down to the lab and told them to bring up the case of keys. A student brought them up, Sara, holding the plastic pin against her hip with one hand. In her other hand she held something that glinted against the light. “Hey boss,” she called over to Terry. “Found something in with the keys. It’s a watch.”

“Ooh!” Terry abandoned his sulky perusal of the chest to take the watch from Sara. “Now this is lovely. Or it was four hundred years ago.” He brushed his fingers over the top of the latch. “It reads, To Jack. You know, the captain of the ship we’re trying to find is named Jack. This might be his.”

Sara handed the bin over the Lewis and shaded her eyes against the brilliant sun. “Hey,” she called over to Ica. “How’s tricks?”

The Captain laughed dryly. “Terry is foaming at the mouth, Lewis is distracted and it’s hot as balls out here. Another day in Paradise.” Sara chuckled. They’d been on her ship for months now, and while Ica had named her ship ‘The Journeyman’ she had started calling her Paradise for the last week, and the student wasn’t sure if she was joking or not.

The ship they were looking for didn’t have any known name, their only clue was a bit of a map found on another ship called ‘The Interceptor’ which had an etching of an entirely black wooden ship with the name “Captain Jack” on it. Sara wasn’t part of the organization at that point, but Terry had been, searching ships across the Caribbean for the mysterious black ship and her Captain Jack. They’d found a ballast cannon a month ago, it was rusted and green with age, but the wooden pieces near it were black wood. Now this, a watch, and the sea chest buried too deep for diving.

They’d finally gotten it up on deck. “None of these keys work,” said the disappointed Lewis.

“Can I look...now?” Terry asked, bouncing. Lewis waved a hand and backed up. “Hm,” Terry said as he sat beside the wet but now clean chest. “It’s a catch lock,” he murmured delightedly, running his fingers over the sides of the chest. “See these decorations?” he asked Sara and Lewis, “not decorations.” A few minutes of prodding, and the chest snapped open. “I win!”

“What’s in it?” asked Sara and Lewis.

A small hesitation, and then: “letters.”

*

Will,
Found your father. Come to Tortuga.
Jack


*

Jack,

I would like to formally Thank you for your letter Concerning my father’s rather miraculous return. Unfortunately, I am unable to visit him at this time. There has been a Shipment of orders at the Forge, and you know Brown does Nothing but drink. Let me send a Message through you, I bid. Tell him that I Waited. I am still Waiting.

He must know that I will Continue to Wait. I thank you for your Missive to me. It is Looked for and very much Appreciated.

Yours in Sincerity,
William


*


“Somehow,” Terry said as he set aside the second letter, “I don’t get the impression they’re talking about this William’s father.”

Lewis blinked at him, as they settled themselves more comfortably on the deck. Marina murmured an apology as both her and Ica went inside the main cabin. Marina was only there to study the life forms they brought up, and Ica had no interest in letters - she wanted treasure. “What else would they be talking about?” Lewis asked as the door closed behind the two women.

The archaeologist shrugged. “Could be anything, but its not a father.”

“How can you tell?” Sara asked.

“The watch,” Terry said with a grin. “Take a look.”

Sara turned the watch over. “To Jack,” she read, “love William. Oh my God!”

“Were they brothers?” wondered Lewis.

Sara shot him a nasty look. “No way. Brothers might send each other watches but they certainly don’t sign them with love. Maybe father is a pre-agreed upon word they use so they could get together!”

“Gay pirates named Jack and Will? Oh God, I hope not.” Sara pouted. “Besides, these are dated long before such a relationship would have ever been considered or condoned,” the historian added.

She snorted. “Like that ever stopped people. Shakespeare was bisexual, and Oscar Wilde openly admitted he was gay!”

“And look at what happened him,” Lewis countered triumphantly. “He was imprisoned for being sick in the head.”

“You are ruining my fun,” Sara said primly.

“Would you two shut up and let me read the next letter?” Terry asked wearily. Grudgingly, the deck fell silent. “Dear Jack, it has been many weeks...”

...since my Last letter to you and I have yet to receive a reply. I understood your last Message but perhaps I was not quite clear. I should Rectify that. I cannot come to Tortuga, I still have so much work to do and there will be more to be Done. But, if my Father so wishes to see me, he should come Here. In fact, During the month of May, Admiral Norrington and his Wife are Leaving for France, so my work Load will have lessened considerably. Keep that in Mind.

Yours in Sincerity,
William


*

Jack,

You’re being a Git. I changed our Baring and we’re on the Way to Port Royal as you Read this. Whip me for it Later. -Ana

*


“And a new player is revealed!” Sara said dramatically.

“Button it!”

*


Dearest Will,

My most Sincere apologies for the Delay in my Response. I was in the Interim until just Last Week when I suddenly Found myself just Outside of Port Royal’s waters. You can thank Ana Maria for That disruptive bit of Change. That isn’t to Say, I am not glad to be Here, Dear William. Forgive an Old Fool for Tarrying. But I digress, for there is Much you should Know about the Last months since our Last encounter.

We have Emptied the Island of the Dead of its uncursed Gold and have Found a new island for its Home. Of course, I cannot tell you, for then I Would have to Kill you. I will Meet you where we met Last, at Midnight.

I
[scribbled out]

Most Sincerely Yours,
Jack


*


Sara touched the page lightly. “I wonder what this was supposed to say,” she mused. “And who Ana Maria was.”

“Ana Maria sounds like a mate aboard Jack’s ship. And I’m willing to admit you’re right about Will’s father being a cover.” Lewis sighed loudly as Sara beamed. “What’s the next letter?”

“Looks like its from Will to Ana,” Terry said and began to read.

*


Ana,
Thank you for your Previous disobeyment of Jack’s Orders. He Mentioned you had Something to do with his Visit to me Last night. I very Much appreciate it. However, don’t feel as though you must Continue to keep our Captain in Line. I couldn’t sleep for Worrying that he’d punished you unduly for your Meddling. Truly, I cannot but Wonder if not for you, he would have Even have come? I know he sent the First Letter but it was Almost like he changed his Mind.

Have I become just another Burden to him?
Will

*


Jack,
I fear we need to Talk. And though Norrington isn’t here to filter my Post - whatever did you send to him to make him Check so Diligently? - I will not Speak of what. Only that our Arrangement continues only so Far you Like. If our...arrangement is a Burder, then I will Willingly release you from your Bond. I do not Wish to become something else you Hide.

I
[scribbled out]

It’s been a year since Elizabeth married Norrington. Perhaps we should Rediscuss our Terms.

I
[scribbled out]

Always Yours,
William

*

Joshamee,

Keep an eye on the Captain for me. I’m to Shore to settle this Idiocy. And do not Start on how I should Mind my own affairs. I care very Little for it, and I will Stick my neck in when Due.

Ana


*

“I think I like this Ana,” Sara said at the end of the letter. “She’s very...progressive.”

“Or nosy,” Lewis added.

“Possibly both.”

“Hey Chowerheads,” Ica interrupted. “We’ve got a storm watch coming in strong on our bearings. Move it inside,” she barked and went back into the main cabin. Sara rose unsteadily to her feet, shaking out one limb to regain feeling.

“I’ll get someone to help me with the chest,” she said. Lewis handed her the bin of keys and she wrapped the watch around her wrist rather than putting it back where she found it.

Terrence carefully placed all the papers in the solvent to keep them from drying out and getting ruined. “To the lounge,” he announced.

*

Jack
Ana’s to shore. Didn’t say Why. Stop drinking, you old Fool.

Gibbs

*


Dearest William,
We are quite the Fools, young William. You for your Youth and I for my Age. I do not need to Renegotiate terms for our Clandestine arrangements. I am Perfectly Content to...


Terry broke away. “This is ridiculously hard to read, I think he’s drunk.” He caught Sara’s smug look. “What’s that face for?” he asked with some trepidation.

“Clandestine arrangements,” Sara quoted. “I so very much told you so.”

Lewis grunted, rolling his eyes. “That could mean anything. Jack is a pirate captain, remember? A notable and wanted criminal. Any liaison with him would have been clandestine.”

“Killjoy.”

“Pervert.”

“...perfectly content to continue as we are.”

Unless you Wish to Change something, Dear Will. We should perhaps make the time between our visits less...Long. I cannot Stay so Close to Port Royal, not without getting Caught. You should come with me. There is Nothing for you here, Will, nothing but Unappreciated work that you don’t even Get Credit for. Come with Me.

All yours,
Jack

*

Jack,
When you’re Drunk, your legibility is horrendous. But if I Read your offer Correctly, then...I thought you would never Ask. Meet me at our Usual place. I’ll be there with Bells on.
Will

*

My Dearest Elizabeth,
By the Time you read this, I will be long gone. After your Marriage to Norrington you knew that one Day I wouldn’t be Here anymore. Jack has Invited me to sail with Him. There is Nothing for me Here, and please don’t Blame yourself. You did only what you Must to please your Father. I accepted that Long ago when you Chose him over me.
I forgive you, Miss Swann, just as I hope you’ll Forgive me for Leaving this tiny island and All it Represents. I will Write you, you have my Promise.

Forever with my love,
William

*

“The plot thickens!” Sara proclaimed. “Clearly this Will loved Elizabeth but she chose Admiral Norrington over a tradesman. So Will, desperate for affection, falls for a friend of his fathers, the dashing male pirate captain!”

All the men in the room stared at her. “Where do you come up with this shit?” Terry asked.

She gave him a one shouldered shrug. “I have a good imagination.”

“You have something,” grumbled Lewis. “It’s late, I’ll make coffee.”

*

Will,

I am Completely sober for the First time in days. I write you this Now even though I am Fully aware that you are Outside on deck. But our...relationship, as it were, started in our Letters so I will follow in our Footsteps. Unfortunately I only managed to save the last few Correspondences that contributed to how we Came to Be.

Ana has been Nursing some sense into me, and I find that Without you beside me, I Cannot Sleep. I have Never been very Good at this sort of thing. I know Joshamee, whom I Trust implicitly, told you I keep things Close to the Vest. The only person to truly know me...is You.

And as I have All Others, I successfully managed to Push you Away simply by being Myself. So if you can stomach it, allow me a Single Chance to explain myself. I am forty years old. Half a life time ago, I married a Fine English Lady, and when I could not Give her Children, she left me in Disgrace. When I was small, my father Beat my mother and I until he killed her. Betrayal has been well Known to me from Childhood all the way to what Hector did. Simply put, Will, I do not Trust easily. But I do trust you. You have never truly betrayed me, though there have been Times when I’ve Thought you have. But it wasn’t you I Doubted. It was Me.

And Now, here we are at Opposite ends of the Ship because I am seeped in Doubt. You left Everything behind for me. Your forge, your woman, the place you called Home. In these Dark days, I can admit how much it Means. But I have never given you a Reason for you do these Things. What’s the Promises of Riches, Rum and fantastic sex when you can’t even tell if there’s love Behind them...

I am sorry Will, that you feel like a paid Catamite, that I made you feel as One. You are my Lover, not my Whore. I can only try to be Better, for Promises from a man like Me are worthless. I can, However, say that when asked what I want, my Compass always very firmly points to you. Because I
[scribbled out] Because I [smudged]

I love you, William.

Jack

*

Ana,

Thank you once Again! I don’t know How you do it, Truly. But Jack sent me a Letter and...well...thank you Annie.

Will

*

William,

You’re quite Welcome. Do try and Keep it down after 4th Bell. All our ears would appreciate it.

Yours Truly,
Ana Maria

PTO. Stop calling me Annie you daft Fool of a Man

*


“Go on,” Sara said. “I’m waiting.”

Lewis rolled his eyes but dutifully said, “you were right and we were wrong?”

“We?” Terry said sharply, “what is this we?”

Sara ignored him, tossing her hair over one shoulder and beaming. “Thanks very much.”

Terry took the entire thing in the good humor it was, and yawned expansively. “Should we take a break? It’s like six in the morning.”

Lewis and Sara snorted in tandem. “Hells to the no,” the student said. “We’ve still got a bunch of letters left to read!”

Terry sighed, stifling another yawn. “Oh Captain, my Captain,” he said dryly.

*


Jack,
We seem to be Making a habit of this, don’t we? Long Letters instead of heartfelt talks. Honestly, this Suits us, I Believe. I suppose it is my turn to Divulge a Past Secret.

I have none. To Most, I was just a blind, naive orphan. Yes, my mother died in the same house as I because we could not afford the surgeon. I was shipwrecked at sea at ten, and virtually ignored my whole life. But I was Never truly hurt or Betrayed.

So my Secret is that I have a difficult time understanding Why it is so laborious for you to Tell me something as Simple as I Love You. I left Port Royal behind Long before you ever seduced me. I left it in my Heart even when I didn’t Realize you had become the holder of it. Elizabeth was a Dream, a foolish dream. What I did Have with her was sweet and special...but not Built to Last.

Even when we are ready to Kill each other, I still feel deeply for You. Even when we Fight...I still follow your Orders unequivocally. This is it, Jack. I will die with You, or without you, and if it Must be the latter then Know that I will always be With you. I haven’t said it yet, but I love you too.

William


*

“This looks like it was torn out of a book,” Terry murmured. “And it’s not a letter. It’s a Captain’s Log.”

“Why would a captain rip something like that out? Aren’t the logs used for future generations?” asked Sara, sipping at her cold coffee.

“Something like that. It was an account to keep things straight,” Lewis answered. “All captain’s wrote in it and re-read old entries, like CarFax or some such.”

Terry snorted. “Carfex for Captains. Brilliant. Maybe Will wrote it?” A quick glance over told him otherwise.

“Nope, its definitely Jack’s handwriting.”

“What’s it say?” Sara anxiously.

The archaeologist eyed the paper and a few key phrases popped out at him. He blushed hotly and put the paper down with a thump. “I am not reading that.”

“My turn then!” Sara cheered, oblivious. She picked it up, deftly avoiding Terry’s grabbing hands and began with luster. “Will is a natural at sucking c–whoa.” Terry covered his face with one hand and Lewis choked on his coffee. “Dude! 18th century sex!”

“You ah...don’t have to read it,” Terry said.

“Fuck that.”

*

Will is a natural at sucking cock. Before, when visiting him at Port Royal we had to keep our Coupling quick, quiet and in the Dark. Now that he shares my Cabin, I keep the oil lamps lit to their Highest. It embarrasses him, Hiding himself in Pillows. Here, in my Cabin, he can be as loud as I want - and I Want him loud. Loud, desperate and begging. It takes him very little Time to be Prepared, many days all I must do is Watch him and he will Stammer, blush and hide himself behind something to Avoid my stare. It is very gratifying to have him Come apart from a Look.

But Last night, we went a step Further than dark rubbing against a wall. I Possessed my dear William in the only way I Knew how. The most amazing part is, he Suggested it. He Desired to go that one step further, though he did not Understand how to do so. I nearly spent myself the Moment he mentioned it!

He wished to know me. This was, of course, how we found out Will’s talent at...oral fixation, shall we say. That boy has the most Versatile tongue. He was my eager Student...the boy took every breathless order I gave him, expanded on every sigh, murmur or cry. I was Undone.

And once he’d finished taking me apart, joint by joint, to leave me Sated and Boneless, he rolled to his back and Offered his sweat gleaming flesh at my perusal. He was already Wanting, a shade away from Desperate, the flesh of his cock an angry purple. So of course, being myself, I left it Alone. I bathed his chest until he was twisting against my Lips. His hollow hip bones are particularly Sensitive, and he Writhed when I gave them the Attention they deserved. When his member was so Ready it lay flat against his belly, only then did I pity him and take him in my mouth. He didn’t Last long upon my tongue.

When he fell back, completely drained and panting his Exhaustion, that was when he surprised me Utterly. I will Remember his words for as long as I live. “There must be more,” he’d said, murmuring against the skin of my Shoulder, “I want more. I want it all.”

The speed with which my Interest rose once more was surprising to the both of us. To be asked to breach so, William certainly knows how to set the Mood. He rolled over on my Command, rubbing his hips into the sheets. I pulled him Up, for as Enjoyable a pastime it is to watch him Spend himself, I had something far better Planned.

He was already whinging about the lack of Stimulation, so without giving him a chance to Change his mind, I spread him open and laid my lips against the skin I found There. His startled Shout must have alerted the crew, it was so Loud. My William never uses Oaths, he is as clean mouthed as a noblelady, but the Profanity that spilled forth only made my Lust for him grow.

As a general Rule, he is a very clean young man, sometimes taking ablutions in usually very icy Sea water. Before this I thought him Foolish, but now, with a Clean taste upon my Tongue, I thank him for his Unknown Foresight. Twice I had to counter his desperately questing Hand from the column of Flesh between his legs. I needed him loose and wanting. I craved his submission, the slackness in his features, the half-lidded Lust. He was writhing into me before Long, as I speared him with my tongue. He didn’t begin Begging until I added my forefinger. More, he chanted, biting at the Pillow in agitation when I slowed down my Pace. He cried my name, whinging and twisting and I gently teased him, asking him what he wanted.

It was my name he Screamed when I crooked my finger and pressed it against the Sensitive muscle inside of him. Preparation has never made me shiver so with Anticipation. I added a second Finger, and nearly lost my grip as he thrashed and wailed. I did not linger Long, and added a third. On every inward stroke, I Curled my fingers to scrape against the sweet, delicate spot inside him. He was muffling his screams against his palms, Writhing, Bucking, unable to even speak. I rested my free hand against his bollocks, reveling in their Tight heaviness. I withdrew Completely, reaching across him for the oil in the Table by the side of the bed. He let Loose the most needful of sounds yet, and skittered back until the Heated Skin of his arse rubbed against my leg. It was hard to concentrate while Will was so Wantonly Thrusting against me.

I coated myself with the Oil and drizzled the rest on the hole I’d spent such Precious time Preparing. He froze completely, clenching and relaxing the muscles in his back and buttocks. It took some doing, but Finally, Finally, I slid In, skin to skin, bone to bone. I rolled my hips and Will’s arms gave out, changing our Angle and making me see Stars.

It didn’t take either of Us long to spend, him going first and I followed a Moment after. For a Spell of pure Ludicrous sentimentality it felt like Coming Home. I would have thought that Will wouldn’t have had the Strength to move but he curled in close to my side, resting his damp Forehead against my upper Arm. He was close to sleep but whispered that he loved me. For once, my repeating the words after he fell asleep was not an act of Cowardice. It was Inevitable, for he was asleep before he finished Saying it. I will have to tear this out of the log, but now I will have a Memento of the first moment I truly was trusted by My Will. Now he is that.

Mine.

Captain Jack
[smudged]

*

Lewis was studiously not looking at anyone in the room, peering forlornly into his empty coffee mug. Terry was blushing, shredding a napkin into little pieces. Sara fanned herself with the other napkin Terry had yet to destroy. “Hot damn,” she swore. “If all written porn could be that hot.”

“I cannot believe you read that entire thing out loud,” Lewis said miserably.

“Why? Did it turn you on?” The student asked sassily.

Stammering and flushed, Lewis shook his head in a negative and busied himself in finding more coffee. “What’s left?” Terry said wearily.

“Just a few more,” Sara said brightly. “Ana to Will.”

*

William,

I write this to you now, Quickly read it. Jack is Amassing a plan to Rescue you. Stall them as best you can. We are Coming.

Ana

*


“Oh no,” Sara murmured. “I wonder what happened.”

“Read the next letter!” Terry demanded.

*


Jack,

Sorry. Couldn’t wait. They’re Coming now. Love you.

Wi
[smudged]

*

To Whomsoever Finds this Chest,

My ship is burning. We plodded into the bay, avoiding the other ships and keeping the blaze contained. The Blaze is too great, too Strong, and I’ve sent the Crew off in a longboat. Most of them. Some died. My ship is burning.

Will is dead. They killed him in that damn Gaol sometime after Annie got her Letter to Him. Gibbs retrieved the two Letters on his body. We were forced to leave him there.

My ship is burning. Whoever finds this chest, however you do, save my letters, for they will all that is left of William. My legacy is here. My ship is burning. I am the Captain and I...-


“Oh,” Sara broke off, and put the parchment down. “Oh how sad. These aren’t dated. They could be days after the log entry.”

Lewis gave her a one armed hug. “It could have been years too, Sar.”

She nodded mutely and put the pages back in the chest.

*

They never found the remnants of the burned ship. They never logged their meager finds with the Jamaican government.

And for years Captain Jack’s words haunted Sara. I am the captain...and I... When she got back to school, she changed her major and never stepped foot on a ship again. I am the captain...and I... Because nothing could erase his last words from her mind.

Not even time.

...I will go down with my ship.

*End
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