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by Dove


Fandom: PoTC    Rating: PG    Pairing: Jack/Will    Full Header   Histories - 1


What he can never understand, what always makes him grope for the rum, is the way they need to make it something else.

The truth is never enough for them; it leaves them hungry and so they embellish it. He and Bootstrap were lovers. He killed Bootstrap himself. Anamaria is his daughter. Anamaria is Bootstrap's daughter, and Jack took her on out of guilt. He and William--well, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

The truth is simpler, of course, and in his mind, that takes nothing away from it. Although Jack enjoys a bit of embellishment as much as the next person, it seems a bit superfluous when the truth involves an Aztec curse, the walking dead, and a living ship.

He and Bootstrap were friends. Bootstrap was a man of divided loyalty, and when push came to shove, it was Jack who fell. He is not bitter. He hasn't had time to be bitter, has been too busy reclaiming his life. When he took Anamaria on, it was because he needed a crew, and Gibbs brought her. He keeps her because she's that good, and because the Pearl likes her.

He took up with William because he needed a way out of prison. Then he needed a way out of Port Royal. Then he needed a way out of the noose, and by the time he'd gotten back to the Pearl, he'd realized that he needed William. Nothing so odd about that, except for the Bootstrap issue, and hell. It wasn't as though the boy were Jack's son.

It's not as though the embellished tales aren't useful. Men who believe he can read their minds are far more likely to surrender. Half the Navy's afraid to give chase to the Pearl, knowing that she'll mark their faces and haunt them, if she should ever go down. Still, it's wearisome. Being a living legend takes a lot out of a man.

It's a good thing, then, that Jack's not a fool. He understands that the shame lies not in having weaknesses, but in failing to acknowledge them. You must know where your hull's most likely to be breached if you hope to shore it up, and Jack knows every minute defect. He covers his weak spots with his crew.

He has Gibbs for diplomacy, when even Jack's considerable charm isn't enough to smooth negotiations. He has Anamaria to take the helm (and command) on the disturbingly more frequent occasions when he feels every one of his forty-two years. He has not only Anamaria, but also Cotton to tell him when he's crossed from brilliance to madness.

And William. William to tell him he's wrong, William to tell him what's right, William to ease the weight of Jack's years, William to remind him that some men are to be trusted--honestly. Always William, who knows what's true, and what's gilding the lily, and when it doesn't really matter. The simple, unvarnished truth of Jack Sparrow is enough for William, and that's enough for Jack.


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