Turner couldn't shake the dream, the dream of himself, together with Jack,
and Jack undead.
He no longer slept easily or well, for fear of the arms of Morpheus. He had
tried the remedy that Old Brown preferred, but drink only worsened the
nightmares. No, he would find no solace in rum or gin or whiskey.
Even when the dream did not haunt his nights, wakening him
repeatedly, he startled at the slightest sound, found himself looking over
his shoulder. Flinching at the slightest clang was not a habit of
great use to one who worked a smithy, and Will had several injuries and
minor burn scars to show for his jittery nerves.
The sleep deprivation was making the situation worse. He had woken too many
times, shuddering and sweating in terror, and...
...and in need of a good fuck.
And his dear wife was frankly sick of it.
He needed to take action, to do something about it, or die in the trying. He
was being killed by this obsession, slow or quick, and quick was a less
Will knew he shouldn't. But as everyone said, Turner was rash. Even a few
more years behind him, a bit more maturity, and a happy and affectionate
marriage to a good woman had not been enough to "settle" the young
So when the nightmares woke him once again that dawn, he kissed the still
slumbering Elizabeth, and went out. Pirate again, he was; he'd pay
reparation upon his return. When he returned.
If he returned. The boat was rather small.
Will had heard their names...Quetzalcoatl and Yacatecuhtl, Teoyaomqui and
The tiny boat bobbed on the sea, and the island shrank behind it, creeping
gradually below the cerulean horizon. Will knew he had no hope of finding
Jack is this vast expanse on his own, but he had seen it firsthand; the
Heathen Gods were just as real as the One worshiped more openly in the
Colonial Caribbean. They held powers that the priests said they could not.
Will had no idea how this sort of thing actually worked, had not experience
of any of the murky devil-worship practices carried on in the vicinity of
Port Royal. He had been christened, baptized and married in the Church of
England. But his prayers to the Lord and His Divine Son had gone unanswered.
His nightmares gripped him more strongly than ever. He was a desperate man.
And so he called on them, Quetzalcoatl and Yacatecuhtl, Teoyaomqui and
Lashing the tiller and cleating the sail, Will set his attentions to his
task. He took a small bowl, a broken piece of a wine cork, and a steel
needle from his pocket. Dipping the bowl over the side, he filled it with
water, and set the cork to float in it. Then he took the needle and sliced
it across his palm.
Damn. His hand was too calloused. He couldn't draw blood.
He tried further up his arm, but then hesitated. He remembered Jack. Jack
and his Sparrow. On his arm...right about *there*. Will thought of Jack, his
hair, his scars, his eyes, his smile...
His bones, bare of flesh, immortal, hungry, ever lusting, never sated.
Will stabbed. Blood welled. He coated the needle in the red fluid, saying,
"Blood. My Blood. Seeking Jack. Seeking to find him, wherever he be."
He set the needle on the floating cork. "Bring me to Jack. I have need of
him. And he of me."
The needle and cork spun for a moment, then came to rest in a single
direction. West Southwest. Just the direction in which Isla de Muerta lie,
Will could feel it. He sailed on, under cloudless skies. The wind quartered,
shifted, and drove the little boat forward to its requested goal.
The spars and masts of the ships' graveyard hove into view. Supernatural
doings seemed fitting in this foggy, desolate location. Would he find peace
in finding Jack? Or did merely damnation of a different flavor, a new
texture of Hell await him here?
The midday sun beat down on Will. Was this truly insanity? He scanned the
water for other vessels. There was no sign of the Black Pearl, and
Will wondered if his mad dash across the sea had been in vain. The winds
died in the little sails, after rounding the rocky headland at Isla de
Muerta, and the heat became oppressive. The blacksmith removed his shirt,
exposing to the sunlight the recent scars of his inability to calm himself
at the forge.
Will paddled the tiny vessel into the sea-cave, awash with emotion: fear,
excitement, wariness, anticipation, hope...and sheer abject terror. But
which did he fear more, he wondered to himself, the possibility of meeting
Jack again, or of finding the cave empty and all his efforts come to naught?
Will had not long to agonize over the paths through the various futures. The
Pirate Captain's voice called to him as soon as the oar's splashing was
within earshot of the treasure cave.
"Will! What kept you, mate? I've been calling for nigh on a year to get you
in that boat!" Will redoubled his efforts. Soon, Jack's hands grasped the
gunwale and the little ship was pulled up the rocky scree to rest on the
Will's heart leapt into his throat at the sight of the pirate, as if the
intervening years had never occurred. Jack was just as Will had pictured
him, practically unchanged by the years that had passed since he had sailed
away that day on the Pearl. The way his dark eyes glinted, the way
his hips swayed when he walked on land, the flamboyant hand gestures, the
way the gold glinted in his teeth...unhidden by any lips or skin.
Jack was undead.
And just as in his dream, Will closed his eyes, pressed his body against
Jack's, felt the cold hands trace over his skin. He felt Jack's ribs beneath
the shirt, touched hair and familiar beads and headcloth.
Will kissed the lipless mouth deeply, pushed warm tongue past icy
gold-bedecked teeth, slaking a long-held passion in those skeletal arms
surrounding his torso.
One thing was different from his dream, he realized after a moment. He
opened his eyes, and looked into Jack's.
And Jack's beautiful black eyes stared back.
A boney hand left his back, and rose to the cadaverous cheekbone. "Oh,
these?" said Jack. "Aye, I'm still getting used to seeing out of them again.
Just got 'em back, after ages of wandering blind. They returned to me when
you set sail from Port Royal, as near as I can figure. Now, the way I see
it, our next step is to figure out what it will take to get the rest of me
back. Now I've got me peepers again, I'm missing having eyelids." Jack's
head did a little bob and twist, as if he were winking, but the lack of skin
on his skull made the motion a travesty. A painful reminder of what Jack had
Suddenly, it dawned on Will. It was midday. They stood in a darkened cave,
but there was certainly no moonlight to be seen. "Jack? What manner of curse
is this?" Will was baffled by this shift in circumstance.
"Oh, you thought this was that thing with the Cursed Gold of Cortez?!? What
do you take me for, lad, an imbecile?" Jack laughed, and the sound echoed
deep in his hollow chest cavity. Will shivered slightly. "No, no, I ran
afoul of a madame whom I will not term a lady, in a brothel in
Nassau. She and I, we had a bit of an altercation over whether her charges
were free to give away their favors voluntarily." Jack chuckled and
his teeth parted at the memory. "The curse was delivered in Portugee
Language, and I only managed to catch about every third word, but it clearly
involved something about becoming the 'walking dead' and 'finding what was
lost' or perhaps it was 'what went missing.'" Jack seemed unbothered by his
status as one no longer among the living. Perhaps he had had plenty of time
to become accustomed to the situation.
"What went missing?" Will struggled to make sense of this new information.
What had Jack lost? He'd regained the Black Pearl, what more could he
Jack continued with his tale. "And also some weird bit about 'affection
without any conditions placed upon it' that I didn't quite understand. What
woulds and coulds and shoulds have to do with this, I fail to see."
Slow understanding grew within the blacksmith. Affection. Without condition.
The silence stretched between them. How much affection did this curse call
for, to break it? A curse made in a brothel? Will thought he probably had an
inkling what sort of affection was necessary.
Will examined Jack, looked him straight in the eye. "Why did you call me,
then?" Did Jack really not understand the nature of this curse? Was he
really that na´ve, when it came to matters of love and curses? Will thought
it likely...no, rather, Will knew exactly why he was here.
"I missed ye, mate!" Jack was all cheer and goodwill.
"And glad I am to hear it." Will smiled genuinely. Jack really didn't know.
This wouldn't be so hard, he reassured himself. He could manage this. Even
if he had to live with the nightmares the rest of his days, he could do
this, give this gift to Jack.
Will entwined his fingers in Jack's hair again, the most life-like aspect of
this wasted corpse-like body. Again, he brought his mouth to Jack's, and
drank in the cold and hard and lifeless passions that coursed through them
both. He had to admit it, if only to himself; the thought of touching Jack
was incredibly arousing, even in his current state.
Oh well. He was probably already damned to Hell for his earlier prayers to
the Heathen Gods.
Gooseflesh rose on Will's skin at the thought of what those skeletal fingers
might feel like on certain, very sensitive portions of his own
anatomy. He also wondered if Jack even still possessed...No. Best not to
think too hard at this point.
Could he do this? Could he do this, even for Jack? He could, he
decided. Will could give Jack this gift. Give him back his life.
"Come." Will took Jack's metacarpals and carpals and phalanges in his own.
One hand, robed in warm flesh, the other not. "Show me how much
you've missed me," and so as not to be mistaken in his meaning, he gave Jack
his best leer, and licked his lips. Then he raised one of Jack's fingerbones
to his mouth, and passed it within, sucking, pulling, warming the calcified
part until it nearly reached the temperature of natural skin.
And he felt the change.
And the love became flesh, and it dwelt among them and between them and
beside them, and then...remained.
Jack rocked back on his bootheels for half a second; then he fairly skipped,
leading Will back to a more secluded and comfortable corner of the treasure
Will suppressed a sigh. He hoped Jack would be willing to help him erase
these memories, when the totality of flesh returned and the curse had
lifted. But the curse only required Will to provide unconditional love to
Jack, not the other way 'round.
Jack could easily choose to leave without providing Will with the more
pleasant distractions he would need to survive the years ahead; the years
ahead with memories of this event rattling around in the chambers of his
This had better work, damn it all to Hell, thought Will.