On Board the Interceptor
They'd been out on the open sea for almost 4 hours
when the seasickness struck Will. He leaned over the
rail to vomit, recognizing that he would probably be
the one to swab the deck should he make a mess there.
Within seconds, he felt Sparrow's left hand on his
left hip, the pirate's right hand on his chest to help
support him. When everything he'd consumed for the
last 24 hours was gone, he tried to straighten up but
only did so with Jack's help.
'Are ye feelin' well, lad?' The pirate asked, his
kohl-rimmed eyes burning into him with concern and
something else that made Will feel unsettled.
'I'm not much of a seafarer,' Will muttered. In
standing upright, their positions had subtly shifted.
Jack, who Will realized was an inch or two shorter
than he, now had one hand at the small of his back,
the other had slid down to rest on his lower abdomen.
He straddled Will's right leg and was so close that
his groin rested against Will's hip. Heat and firmness
in combination told Will that the pirate was
definitely excited by the proximity. A voracious smile
broadened across Jack's face as he understood that
Will was awakening to some new concepts.
Will broke away after a moment, moving to sit on
the steps to the quarterdeck. Jack followed with that
maddeningly feminine swaying that Will had no choice
but to watch. Jack had removed his coat and hat, a
concession to the rising heat of the day. Will himself
was feeling rather warm and longed to remove his vest
or shirt. Something stopped him though. Somewhere
inside him, a voice said, 'Less layers between you.'
The predatory smile was gone now, replaced by a
look of fondness. 'Ye just need to get yer sea-legs,
mate. Ye'll get the hang of it soon enough. Yer father
was the one who got me through my first bout of the
Jack paused and put a hand to his chin. 'I wonder.
Wait here, lad, I'll be back.'
Then Jack had gone below. While the minutes passed,
Will thought about the look he'd seen in the pirate's
eyes a bit ago. Lustful was the only word for it. It
had been the same expression he'd worn after
'caressing' his sword with his own blade. At the time,
Will had assumed he'd been lusting after Elizabeth.
Now, though, the thought teased at the back of his
mind that _he_ might have been the one inspiring that
look. He drew a deep breath, partially to ward off the
nausea, and sighed heavily. Something seemed wrong
'Here, whelp,' The pirate's hands captured one of
Will's and pressed a ginger root into his palm. 'Chew
this but don't swallow. It'll help yer stomach
Feeling as though he were about to revisit the
rail, Will obeyed the pirate without question. Jack
moved around to sit beside him on the stairs so their
bodies brushed lightly as the ship rocked from side to
'Ye know, yer father was skilled with his hands
too. He would ha' made a fine baker in another life.
That man had a talent fer kneadin' things that was
Will chewed the ginger root steadily. Despite the
fire it engendered in his mouth, his stomach was
calming. He turned to look at Sparrow and realized the
pirate was staring at him with fervor. That light was
back in those dark eyes and it made Will gulp hard
then lean back. The pirate cocked his head and
regarded him for several minutes.
'Aye, ye do look like ol' Bootstrap. But ye fight
better'n he ever did. How's yer skill wi' a whip,
Will shook his head, smiling slightly. 'Aside from
the occasional tap with a riding crop to get a
reluctant nag to move off me, I've never had call to
use a whip. Why?'
'Yer father used one and did so well. It came in
handy t' discipline the men on occasion. Used it t'
save me life a time or two.' The pirate sighed and
turned to gaze out to sea. For a moment, Will thought
he was going to speak, to tell him more, but there was
'Captain Sparrow?' Will asked.
Abruptly, the pirate stood. 'Jack, lad, call me
Jack. Ye might as well, ever'body else does. Keep an
eye on the bow, boy. Let me know should somethin' come
up in front of us. I'm goin' below to see if there's
any rum. I'm feelin' a powerful thirst right now.'
Will nodded and did as he was told. The ginger had
done the job and he was feeling much better about the
constant motion of the deck under his feet so he spit
the rest of it over the side. The sounds of the wind
stressing the sails, the creaking of the masts and the
wallop of the hull against the water were oddly
comforting. He grabbed a line and became aware of the
vibration that poured through the rope. It seemed to
set his whole soul aquiver.
'I'll make a pirate of ye, yet,' Jack said from
behind him. 'Ye're feelin' it, I can tell. The
Interceptor's a lovely maid but she's no Pearl. Wait
'til I get her back. Yer father loved her almost as
much as me.'
Will frowned at the phrase but said nothing. Jack
offered him the dark brown bottle of drink and Will
refused. He grinned, showing just the upper gold
teeth, then tilted the bottle up and drank several
swallows deep. Will felt something in his chest shift
as he watched the Adam's apple lift and drop, lift and
drop, a trail of rum slipping out the side of his
mouth to run down his cheek, then his throat, then
disappear from Will's sight along the matted dark
curls on the pirate's chest. Jack lowered the bottle
with a sigh then moved a bit closer to Will, sliding
an arm about his shoulders.
'Yer father would be proud of ye, lad. Know that.'
Jack sighed, gave a little squeeze to the young
blacksmith, then moved away, back toward the helm.
'Aye, Bootstrap would ha' been proud.'
Turner hesitated then followed the pirate back to
the ladder to the quarterdeck. He watched Jack for a
number of minutes then said, 'You said my father loved
the Pearl almost as much as you. What do you mean?'
Jack turned a bit and grinned over his shoulder at
him, his eyes twinkling wickedly. 'What d' ye think I
Will paused, unsure if he wanted to say what he
thought. If he was mistaken, Sparrow might take
offense and toss him overboard'once they'd made
Tortuga, of course. 'I think-It sounded like you said
that he-my father . . . loved you.'
Jack looked back at him again, a slightly puzzled
look on his face. 'Aye, that's exactly what I said,
whelp. He loved the Pearl almost as much as he loved
'Like a brother, you mean,' Will sighed. 'Now I
Jack laughed suddenly, the sound brazen, harsh but
almost thrilling for Will. 'Nay, lad, no, not at all.
Well, maybe a bit at first but, well, nights at sea
can be awful lonely, especially if ye ain't seen a
lady in a month or more. Truth be told, though, I
preferred bunkin' with Bootstrap t' almost anyone
else. I tol' ye he had excellent hands'kinda like
Jack turned and studied Will, his smile gone. 'We
were lovers, boy. 'Tain't nothin' shameful. Part an'
parcel of bein' a pirate, ye know.'
For a minute, Will looked like someone had put a
sea serpent in his cup. Then, without a word, he left
the quarterdeck and disappeared below. Jack sighed and
kicked himself. Did he really think the boy, raised as
he was by landlubbers, would understand? He tilted the
bottle up again and took down several more swallows.
Jack slumped down to the deck at the top of the
stairs. He sprawled between the two rails and checked
the sails for any problems. Navy ships were usually a
pleasure to steal because they were kept up so well.
The Interceptor was no exception.
'Damn it all, Bill, why'd ye have to go and get
yerself killed? I miss ye, ye crazy bastard,' Jack
sighed and started to raise the bottle again. At the
last minute, he noticed it was empty. He gave the
empty a sharp toss out to sea and settled back to
practice glowering at nothing and everything for a
He jerked awake a while later and scrambled up to
check where they were. Fortunately, they were still on
course and nothing seemed to have happened while he
had nodded off. Sailing a ship like this with an
inexperienced boy for a crew was almost too crazy for
even Jack Sparrow. He made a minor adjustment in the
course and tied the wheel off again. He was examining
some clouds off to the east when he heard the voice.
He glanced back at Will Turner with a gentle smile.
Will came close, his scowl directed at himself the
pirate could tell. 'I want to apologize. I-Every
Sunday when my mother and I went to church, she'd tell
me not to judge the people I saw because that was up
to God alone. I just-I guess it surprised me that my
father-that you and my father were involved. I always
thought he was-well, I thought he was a lot of things
that it turns out he wasn't. I don't know what to
Jack grinned. 'Apology accepted, mate. Take my hand
Will nodded, returning Jack's grin. 'Of course.'
When Jack felt the rough hand in his, he gave a
sharp tug to bring Will into his arms. He pressed his
mouth to Will's briefly and chastely. Then, gently, he
set the boy away, noting with a pleased smile that the
boy was surprised but not terribly offended. 'Thank ye
kindly. We should be in Tortuga by sundown, whelp. I
think ye'll like it there. It'll appeal to the pirate
in ye, love.'