strode out onto the deck of the Interceptor , wearing just the Pink
Hat with its slightly sticky ostrich plume. In the moonlit water below, his
Captain splashed and scrubbed. Honey from their earlier exercises among the
sheets still coated Will's body.
"Looks like you're the Syphilitic Simian, lad!" Jack called from the lagoon.
"That means you get to row the dory in to Tortuga." Jack floated on
his back in the water. With each stroke of his arms, he seemed to be
surrounded by thousands of faerie lights. "I, on the other hand, will merely
bask beneath tonight's lunar loveliness!"
The waters of the lagoon pulsed with a magical aura of turquoise pinpoints.
Will was thunderstruck by the sight of the pirate, enveloped by the
phosphorescence, and he wondered if the Sea always welcomed Jack so.
Will doffed his hat and bowed, carefully not touching it to his honey-coated
chest. "Yes, my Captain. Whatever your orders, you may depend upon me." He
set the hat on the nearest post, and with a running start, vaulted over the
rail and plunged the nearly two fathoms distance to the water's surface.
Will struck the water feet first. The sea surrounded him with the warmth of
blood, even this far past sunset. Silver lagoon lapped at the edges of the
tiny sandy atoll, circling them with a quiet pish-pish-pish. The very waves
were suffused with an eerie, greenish-blue glow. As Will broke the surface
of the water, his eyes were dazzled by lights from above and below. The
stars were unobscured by any lights from a town, and the sea in which he
Will felt he had been plunged into some sort of fantastical fairy-tale. One
where a pirate and a blacksmith could have wild, passionate sexual
encounters. One where the beautiful-yet-unobtainable damsel could be rescued
from the clutches of Evil, and thus could realize and return the love of a
poor-but-honest young man. One where contradictions such as these could be
readily glossed over.
"Hurry it up, mate," Jack called, after ducking his head one last time,
wringing out his headcloth and reapplying it to his brow. "We have a tide to
Will rowed the small boat under the waxing moon. The exertion left him with
little breath for conversation. After rounding the headland of their hidden
cay, Jack directed the blacksmith to row towards the lights of Tortuga. The
pirate seemed lost in his own thoughts.
Still, Will had questions, and no idea how to go about asking them.
"Hmmm?" Startled from his reverie, the Captain pushed his tricorne off his
brow and gazed at Will.
"May I ask you a question?"
"No." Jack slouched down in his seat again, and settled his hat back down
over his eyes.
Will rowed on, silently. The tips of the waves glistened with more
phosphorescence. Maybe it was just a trick of the light on the sea. The
helpful current between these islands was a swift one, and Will pulled the
oars briskly; his shoulder muscles rippled with the strain. Jack enjoyed the
fine view with a silent appreciation, as he peeked from beneath the shade of
his tricorne. They made good time towards the flicker of lantern light
across the channel.
The stars overhead stepped through their slow, elaborate Pavan.
Finally, Will's curiosity drove him to speak again. "What was in the blue
Jack appeared to be dozing, but was alert in an instant. "Pardon me?"
"The blue flask with the cork," Will explained. "You brought the jar of
honey and a blue bottle from the galley. What was in that bottle, Jack?"
A slow smile slid from Jack's mouth to his eyes, but he remained silent.
Will was irritated. "Fine!" The oars splashed on the water, and the breeze
ruffled the edges of his salty, drying curls. Jack leaned back and pondered
the myriad lights overhead.
"Nirvana." Jack's voice was quiet, barely audible over the sea. "But...I
doubt you're yet prepared for that level of...enlightenment."
Then it was Will's turn to sit silent, pulling the oars, and pondering the
possible implications of the captain's words.
*Imagine here the scenes of Night in Tortuga from the Film*
The stench was slightly less outside the taverns than inside them, Will
noted, as he walked behind Jack and Gibbs through the deep night in this
town of brigands and doxies. But the licentiousness and outlawry was, if
anything, even more evident outdoors than in.
Jack bid farewell to Gibbs at the dockside in Tortuga. "Bring me my crew to
this quay at noon on the morrow, and we'll see if we can't come to an
accord." Jack flashed a quick view of the gold on his teeth. "And I'll bring
the transportation. Remember, no fewer than ten, but not more than twenty."
"Better make it a bit past noon, if'n you don't mind, Jack," Gibbs returned
the pirate's smile. "Some of these scoundrels haven't seen a morning in
months. On the morrow, then."
Gibbs turned on his heel and departed into the darkness and pungency of the
alleyways of Tortuga. "Now what do we do?" Will asked from the shadows.
"Now you row this little hull back to the Interceptor , and we get some
shut-eye where we're slightly less likely to get our throats slit and our
pockets picked," Jack replied.
"Why am I always the one who rows the boat?" Will whined.
"Because you're not the Captain ." Jack climbed into the dory, and
passed over the oars.
"What am I, then?" Will took the oars from Jack, fastened them in the locks
and applied himself to the task of moving the small boat over the water. The
tide had turned in the hours they had dallied in the town, so Will was aided
again by the current's flow, this time in the opposite direction.
Jack placed a finger at the corner of his mouth and pondered Will's question
for a moment. Then he intoned, "You are the male romantic lead."
"Yer the boy what gets the girl in the end, mate! Don'tcha know how the
stories always manage to come out?" Jack ticked off the items on his
fingers. "I get me Pearl back, you get the trollop, and Barbossa gets his
corpse nibbled at by crabs! It's lovely, it is." Jack seemed very sure.
"In the stories, maybe," Will snorted. "I doubt if she'll have me. I'm only
a blacksmith, after all."
"Oh, never fear on that score. After all, you had me , and I'm
only a pirate." Jack looked Will up and down lasciviously. "All's needed for
having is a bit of wanting , y'know."
"That's entirely different!" Will sputtered indignantly. "You...you forced
"Oh...I forced you. I see." Jack paused and let the statement
hang for a moment. "Is that what you need to tell yerself? Well, whatever
floats yer boat, luv."
Will blushed, and rowed more vigorously, clanking the oarlocks. The stars
above twinkled mockingly, and made him feel insignificant and tiny on the
vastness of the sea.
After a while, Jack spoke quietly. "I seem to recall someone asking about a
certain blue flask with a bit of... interest , shall we say? Hmmm?
Was I, in fact, mistaken?" Jack took the blue flask out of his coat pocket,
and twirled it between his fingers in the starlight, allowing the facets to
catch the faint glow from the sky.
Will rowed on silently, torn by the warring voices in his head, unable to
speak. Jack watched the play of emotions across Will's face with amusement.
"Funny old world, in'n'it?" Jack laughed.
Jack clambered up the back of the Interceptor , which still lay at
anchor in the tiny atoll where they had hidden it the night before. The
brightest of the stars were now fading in the pale of the dawn, and the
horizon was clear in every direction.
"Just tie her up there at the stern," Jack called down. "We'll get the crew
to hoist 'er up when we're anchored at Tortuga."
"Aye, aye!" was Will's reply, as he shipped the oars and did as his Captain
Once Will had scrambled to the deck as well, Jack said, "We've just about
four hours until we need to set canvas and go to meet my crew in good time."
He clapped Will's shoulder companionably. "Find yourself a bunk somewheres
and give those lids a rest."
Will had had the entire trip in the dory to screw up his courage, and had
other plans. "The Captain's berth seemed quite comfortable..." and Will
placed a hand on Jack's waist. Will thought of the shark bite scar hidden
there beneath Jack's shirt. The white triangular scars, how had they felt
beneath his fingertips?
"Not so fast, boy!" Jack interrupted. " I'm the Captain, and that's
my berth. Go find your own. The other officers and crew must sleep
someplace on this tub."
Will attempted to grin, but it came off as a grimace. "Uh...your bed seemed
big enough for two, earlier?"
"No." Jack's denial was flat. "You probably snore, with a nose like that.
And sleep is what ye need now, an' myself as well." Jack gave Will a small
"But...I think I might be getting tense, again!" Will lamely grasped for an
"Then go jerk off, ye bloomin' idiot!" Jack exclaimed. "I need some peace to
think, and some sleep before we fight the storm tonight." The pirate captain
strode deliberately to his quarters and slammed the door behind him. "Bloody
Hell," he murmured to himself. "Not another one. Not again."
On the deck, Will stood disconcerted. "Storm? Tonight?" He peered at the
cloudless pink and gold of the dawn light.
Hours passed, and the light changed from pale gold to sunny yellow to the
warmth of the forge and the brightness of the flame. It was nearly two hours
until noon, but already the heat of the day was oppressive, even floating on
Jack's mouth hung open and a slight snore emanated from between the
mustachioed lips. He lay among the captain's still rumpled and sticky
sheets, fully clothed but for his boots and jacket; his hat sloped low over
his forehead, shading his eyes from the morning light streaming through the
eastern windows. Jacket, boots, and an empty rum bottle lay on the boards
beneath the bed.
The pirate didn't stir as the door to the cabin opened. Will tiptoed across
the wooden floor, carefully balancing a tray of bottles and jars in his
hands. His bare feet were reasonably silent. He wore the pink beribboned hat
atop his head...and nothing else.
Will gazed at Jack, unsure what to do next. He couldn't explain, even to
himself, what it was that drew him here. Like one of the moths drawn to the
light of the forge at night, Will feared his attraction to Jack might lead
him towards mortal danger. But he couldn't help himself. All those years of
telling Elizabeth that he must refer to her as "Miss Swann" one more time,
of keeping his proper place as an orphan and an apprentice, the bottled-up
anger and sorrow and need that he felt, those parts of himself that no one
had ever seen.
No one. No one until Jack.
Jack had seen his pain, and seen its solution. A tender caress, a passionate
embrace, and then glorious release.
Will hardened with the memory. Will wanted Jack. So the moth approached the
He had brought most of the jars and flasks he could find in the galley, to
aid in his attempt to seduce the pirate. Jack had seemed willing enough the
first time, but now was flatly rejecting Will's attempts to continue on.
Maybe he wasn't being enthusiastic enough, Will thought. Or maybe...that
first time had been a disappointment for Jack.
"What's this? Breakfast in bed?" Jack's eyes had opened under the brim of
his hat as Will dithered.
"I...uh..." Will said eloquently.
"I see ye failed to take care of your problem." Jack gestured towards Will's
erection, which began to wilt under his scrutiny. "Sit, sit." Jack patted
the bed as he sat up and tucked his barefoot legs under himself, akimbo.
Will placed the tray on the bed between them and wordlessly joined Jack
there. The bright morning sun slanting in the eastern windows was high
enough to catch the bottles and jars in its beams. The dust motes danced and
the glass gleamed, bronze and brown, green and blue and clear-white.
Jack leaned over to his coat, and pulled the last of the previous
afternoon's biscuits, battered and stale, from one of the voluminous
pockets. He tossed one of them to Will.
"Jack...please?" Will was not above begging for it.
"Hmmm?" Jack was deliberately obtuse. "Oh, look! Ye found a couple I had
missed!" Jack grabbed the flask labeled vanilla , and upended it in
his mouth. "That's one of me favorites!" He took a biscuit, and using his
fingers as a spoon, dipped some jam from the jam pot to spread on it.
Will watched hungrily as Jack licked his own fingers. Jack glowered. "Eat
first. Jam or honey?"
"Honey?" Will replied, and Jack passed him that jar from the bedside table
Jack polished off his three biscuits with alacrity, and Will chewed and
swallowed his own as well. His beard still spraying crumbs, Jack inquired,
"Have you slept at all, then?"
" I couldn't sleep. I tried," Will stated defensively, and hung his head.
"Well, that was stupid," Jack shook his head sadly. "And you'll be lucky if
you're strong enough to stay aboard in the storm tonight, with your wits
addled like this." Jack seemed genuinely pained at the thought of Will,
washed over the side of the Interceptor and lost. "Well, there's nothing for
it now. This isn't what I'd planned on doing, but I suppose if it's what you
Will looked up hopefully. Jack was fishing the blue flask out of his jacket
pocket from the floor, and Will got his first clear glimpse of the label; it
read olive oil in a spidery script. Carefully unstoppering it, Jack
poured a bit in the fingers of his left hand, and felt the slippery
substance. "Mmmm hmmm...that ought to do."
Will trembled slightly. What was Jack going to do? Why oil? Will though
perhaps he might have some idea. He'd heard a tale once, of men on a long
Jack opened the drawer of the bedside table, and rifled through the items he
found there. Razor, comb, wig powder, "Ah! Here we are," Jack exclaimed, and
drew out the ball of shaving soap. "This should do the trick."
Will was becoming visibly aroused by the preparations that Jack was making.
He wanted to speak, to say something, anything, but found himself powerless
to verbalize any of his thoughts at the moment.
Jack carefully set the tray on the floor, but not before taking one final
swig from the last drop in the vanilla bottle. In the motion of replacing
it, he masked the act of palming a second small glass flask, this one with
"This is a little something I learned in my time in the Orient," Jack
explained. "I think it will be highly beneficial to everyone concerned."
Jack's gleam became faraway and dangerous, but Will missed the shift in the
pirate's mood. "Doesn't always work out exactly the way it's supposed
to...but if you're willing to give it a try, mate?" Jack awaited an answer.
Will's was immediate: "Yes! Yes, of course!"
"Very well then." Jack lifted the blue bottle ostentatiously. Then he paused
again. "Are you very sure? Really, really sure?"
"Yes! Jack, for God's sake, get on with it!" Will's pain flooded his voice.
"Alright, then. Lie down here." Jack shifted to make room for Will to
stretch the length of the bed.
Will was still wearing the pink plumed hat, and had to shift it on his head
to lay back on the pillows. Jack poured more olive oil on his hands, and
rubbed them together. The fragrance permeated the room, already redolent
with the honey from the previous evening's escapades. Jack's teeth glinted
ferally in the bright heat of the captain's cabin. He reached over with a
slippery hand, and brushed Will's already straining member.
Will leaned further back into the pillows, and closed his eyes. "Ooooooh..."
He lost himself in the moment, Jack's hands touching him where he longed to
be touched, needed to be held and stroked and teased and...
Will's eyes were closed. Will didn't see Jack pour more oil into his hands,
increasing the lubrication there. He didn't see the oil on Jack's hands
change color from pale golden to a firey orange. He didn't notice the subtle
change in the scent of the oils, to a more pungent capsicum odor.
Jack stroked, and Will moaned, but gradually, the moans changed character.
Will's eyes flew open. "You BASTARD!!! What did you DO?!? Get it off me!"
Will shrieked, and wiped ineffectually at his privates with the sheets.
Jack smiled. "You need a lesson in manners, mate. When all's you want is an
itch to be scratched, you either take care of it yourself, or be honest
enough to pay your partner."
Will was frantic, wild-eyed. "GET IT OFF ME, YOU FUCKING DOG!!!" He looked
ready to kill.
"Alright," Jack relented, and handed the shaving soap to the writhing young
man. "Take this and go jump in the water, then. Should wash right off and no
harm done." Jack chuckled as Will snatched the round, waxy ball from his
hands and dashed for the deck. A splash immediately resounded.
Jack set down the tiny glass bottle which still held the dregs of a
vermillion oil, one whose label read Cayenne. "While you're washing
up, lad, best make friends with yer palm." Jack muttered. "That randy prick
of your'n is getting to be a right nuisance."
But then Jack spoke to Jack, as he was sometimes wont to do: "An' were ye
any different at his age, Jack? Hmmm? Aye, and worse, weren't ye?"
Jack stood and slid into his boots, and went to wash off his own oily hands.
The small wounds and cracks were beginning to burn painfully.
But at least a little pain comes, with any of life's lessons learned. Even
those learned by others.