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Title: At an End
Author: Miss ‘Drea
Pairing: Jack/Will vague mentioning of Will/Elizabeth
Rating: PG16-Rish
Warnings: MAJOR character Death
Summary: It would be simply easier for him to push the pirate aside instead of dragging him down with him.

*

And are you wondering how things could be?
Just staring at the surface,
When all the walls have tendencies.
But it's not your fault when no one taught you how.

And now the one you once loved is leaving.
You're so sure that I'd be just fine here.

- “Now the One you Once Loved is Leaving” by Lydia

*

They lay together in the darkness, a single candle illuminating the small room. The flame was sputtering, the wick no longer long enough to hold too much fire, the wax had built up around it as it melted. It barely lit up the bed they laid on. Fingers trailed over the warm planes of his smooth chest, catching here and there on scars. Twin bullet holes, a curving line over one hip, a nick just under the left rib cage.

A rumbling sigh filled the room above the smithy. “William...” Jack murmured, waking slowly with the tender touches. “What’s the time?”

With his lips pressed against the sweat damp skin at the back of Jack’s neck, William answered, “early yet.” The pirate groaned and rolled into William’s waiting arms, burrowing closer to his warmth in the chill January night.

“What’d you go and wake me up for, lad? Don’t you know its bad luck to wake a man when he’s sleeping?” It had been a joke for years, since Gibbs had retired and left Jack’s crew - if only because he kept falling asleep on the job.

Will’s lips found his and cut off any further protests with a skilful kiss. Jack moaned into it and slipped his legs between the blacksmiths. With a sharp inhale at the sensation, Will pulled back to focus on Jack’s hazy brown eyes. “You’ll...we’ll have to leave soon,” he murmured and waited for his statement to penetrate the pirate’s lust fogged brain.

When it did, shock bled into his features and Jack jerked back as though bitten. “You’re coming with me?” he whispered, clasping Will’s free hand with his. “This time you’re truly coming with me? What about your bonny lass?”

Light brown eyes softened into stolen chocolate and Will kissed him again, too gently. “No Jack,” he said quietly. “The Governor put a condition on our marriage. If Elizabeth is to marry me, I am to participate in the war.”

Jack drew back sharply, practically falling off the bed. “By...making weapons?”he asked, but Will shook his head. “William!” he gasped, fear curling his toes. “They want you to fight?”

“Aye,” Will murmured. “I ship out in the morning. One year or until the war is over.”

Jack gripped his shoulder, his nails digging into Will’s skin, a biting sharp pain. “You’ll be killed!”

The blacksmith scowled and pulled away, getting out of the narrow bed with a huff. “Thanks very much Jack,” he snapped, pulling on his breeches. “I can fight just as well as you.” He turned and poked the supine pirate in the chest. “Probably better because you cheat!”

Sparrow scrambled out of bed and stood, regardless of his nakedness. “That is not what I meant, William Turner and you should bloody well know that!”

But Will didn’t relent, pulling his shirt on over his head and not sparing Jack a glance. “Then what did you mean, Jack?” There was a bright light in his eyes and his handsome face was set in a disappointed moue.

“How can you go so blindly?” Jack demanded, hands on his hips. “I am more than used to the dangerous life at sea, Will but I am not so foolish to think I could survive war. William, please,” he begged quietly. “Consider your own life.”

Will was silent for a moment and Jack thought for one hopeful moment that he was considering what he said. Then he said, very, very quietly, “I am.”

“You are not!” Jack exploded. “War kills! The sea kills!”

The blacksmith crossed his arms over his broad chest. “Yet you go to sea! You survive.” Jack looked away, unwilling to admit that his lover of four years had a point. “This isn’t even the real issue,” Will said, with some degree of exasperation. “I’m to marry Elizabeth. You knew this from the start. Why is this different?” William looked genuinely confused and Jack cleared the room in two steps to press a desperate kiss to the other man’s lips. “No,” Will protested, “this will not be like all the time other times we disagree!” He pushed Jack firmly away and held him at arms length. “What is different?!”

“There was always...a chance, dear William,” Jack said slowly, carefully, “that’d I convince you away.” It was Will’s turn to look away, unwilling to admit how close he’d come so many times before finally being of an age to marry Elizabeth. “War will kill you,” Jack said plaintively. It was the closest he’d ever come to begging.

“I’m to marry,” Will said firmly.

Jack held up a hand to stop him from saying anything more. “Our arrangement, as it were, was to last until the day you wed,” he agreed. “The choice is yours, dear Will. We end this now...and you go to war. Or you come with me.”

Though he’d had weak points over the years of his education with Jack Sparrow, Will would never be a sea faring lad. He closed his eyes and inwardly whispered an apology to Jack. “Why,” he said finally, “would I want to do that?”

A flash of something went through Jack’s eyes. Will couldn’t read it, but it struck something low in his chest. “Piracy kills too,” Jack agreed. “I have buried more men at sea than most people would meet in a lifetime.” Dark eyes met Will’s like it was over a great distance. “But war will kill you ten times faster.”

“War is the only way I can marry Elizabeth!” Will shouted.

“You truly love her so?”

“Yes!” Will cried.

Jack’s face fell. “Come with me Will. I will not ask you again,” he said slowly, painfully.

Will took a long deep breath. His heartbeat was pounding in his ears, he could hear the rushing of blood in his veins. This was it. He blinked once, long and slow, a reprieve from the look on his once-lovers face. “Then don’t,” he said.

Any hope that might have been growing in Jack’s face, died. “You...” Jack began, “you’re saying no?”

“I’m saying no.” Jack took a step back, physically distancing himself from Will. “You never thought we’d last longer than my marriage, did you Jack?” Will asked, cursing himself as each word dripped from his tongue.

“No,” Jack admitted. “But Will, please.”

The blacksmith sucked in a sharp breath. He could count the number of times Jack had said please to him on one hand. “Please what?” he asked, he couldn’t help himself.

“Please don’t do this. Even if you don’t go with me, don’t throw your life away at War.”

It was a rare moment that the pirate was serious, but he was deadly so. Will licked his lips and asked, “Why?”

“Because I love you.”

Before he could stop it, laughter exploded from him. He could hear the edge of hysteria in it, but he reckoned that Jack couldn’t. “You love me?” he made himself say. “You don’t love anything but yourself!” He sniggered again. “Or perhaps merely yourself and the Pearl.” The laughter tapered off and Will finally looked up, his eyes guarded. “No Jack. I will not come with you.”

Jack’s face was so hard it looked as though it was set in stone. “Fine,” he said bitterly. “Then you can burn. You and your bonny lass.”

Unmindful of his nudity, Jack gathered his things silently and left. Will waited, motionless for the bang of the back door of the smithy, then with a long drawn out sigh that verged on a wail, Will’s knees buckled and he crashed to the ground. Pain lanced through his chest, bringing hot stinging tears to his eyes.

All his life he’d done the right thing. This was just one more example. It was simply easier for him to push the pirate aside instead of dragging him down with him.

Jack would be better off anyway.

*

Captain Jack Sparrow, the elegant and refined handwriting said, I regret to inform you of William Turner (Jr.)’s death in the Hollandica Wars. He was killed at sea, during an ambush meant for another ship. The Captain, Stockard Pierce, assures me his death was quick. He was buried at sea, and had left instructions to inform you in case this were to happen. He also left you a letter, but the lady I write on behalf of will not enclose it. If you wish to contact Mrs. Elizabeth Norrington, you may do so through me, her solicitor. Thank you and I am very sorry for your loss.

Sincerely,
Declan Moore, Attorney.



*
How I wish the press were over,
And the wars were at an end,
Then every sailor laddie,
Would be happy with his friend.
Oh, my little rolling sailor,
Oh, my little rolling he,
How I love my rolling sailor,
When he’s on a rolling sea.

- Rolling Sea, 17th Century Ballad

*End

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