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Tempting Fate

by Dove

 

Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG-13    Pairing: Jack/Will    Full Header  Proprietary Rights - 7

 


Lying with Will is like lying with the sea, he thinks, not for the first time.

When Jack sails, he is as much at the mercy of the sea as any mortal man. She affords him no special protection, and he wouldn't take it if it were offered. What sets Jack apart from other men is not immunity to the whims of the sea, but acceptance. He knows that she could turn on him at any moment, and he welcomes the possibility. He can do no more than rise to her challenge, and so far, he's managed that well.

Will is not so very different. Neap tide, and he's drawn away from Jack, glaring at land unseen beyond the horizon, mumbling about Elizabeth, and leaving, and home. Spring tide, and he's crashing back, hungry and desperate, clinging to Jack like a drowning man.

Jack rides Will's mood the same way he navigates a restless sea, and more than half his skill lies in knowing when it's safe to push his luck, and when to furl his sails and wait for the storm to blow over.

The first time Will slid between Jack's sheets was fumbling and hurried and bookended by tears. Jack let him have that one for free, but the next time Will came to him, weeping Elizabeth's name and looking for comfort, Jack stopped him dead with one fine-boned hand steepled against the muscled chest.

"Can't have that," he said, "gnashing your teeth and blaming me after. You come back when you want to be here."

It had been one hell of a gamble, and Will had left, angry, without a word. If he wants to be honest, Jack has to admit to having been a bit nervous. Fortunately, he has no such foolish desire. He'd played it cool until Will returned, days later, with Norrington's apologetic smile on his face.

"Didn't miss her so much as you thought, eh?" Jack, being Jack, had been unable to leave well enough alone, and Will, being Will, stiffened and grew immediately distant.

"Don't tease, Jack. You don't understand. Elizabeth--her children will have a father."

Carefully, Jack nodded. "It won't be you."

He'd lain awake for hours, after, and never got an answer.

In the morning, he'd quietly ordered Anamaria to sail for Port Royal.
 

 

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