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Squaring Accounts - Epilogue

by Melusina


Fandom: PoTC    Rating: NC-17    Dramatis Personae: Jack, Will, Elizabeth, Norrington    Full Header


Epilogue: The World

Six months had passed since William had come to live with the Governor. The Pearl was in Port Royal often and Will and his son had become fast friends, although with every visit Will was astonished to see William looking less like a baby and more like a little boy.

Will had suffered through an interminable luncheon with the Wallaces, sustained by the thought of a visit with James once the guests had departed. He hadn't planned to take William, but the boy had tugged on Will's coattails and begged, "Me go!" until Will didn't have the heart to deny the request. Now they were sitting by the fire in James' parlor, William bouncing on Will's knee as he and James discussed Jack's most recent coup.

"A nun?"

Will couldn't help but laugh at the dumbfounded expression on James' face. "Oh yes -- he shaved his beard and mustache for it -- they never guessed he was a man."

"I suppose he does have a rather pretty face," James said slowly, shaking his head.

"The Spanish thought so -- the captain told Jack it was a damned shame he'd married Christ, as otherwise the captain would have made an offer!"

The talk turned to the value of the fine galleon and the treasure trove she'd been carrying. James smiled. "Not that I believe the Governor needs any convincing, but his share of the prize money should erase any lingering doubts he might have had about giving Sparrow a letter of marque."

William had finally bounced himself to sleep. Will cradled his head in the crook of his arm, rocking him gently and feeling the child's lethargy seep into his own bones. The fire had faded to a few embers, and beyond the circle of lamplight, the room was dark and hushed.

"Your own share should be quite tidy." Will said softly, so as not to wake William.

James' profile was thrown into sharp relief by the dying firelight. He spoke lightly, but there was an undertone of bitterness in his voice. "Enough to make a marriage on, if you believe the gossip."

Will felt James' loneliness as a pain in his own chest. He was reminded of how fond James was of William, and of the shadow of envy and sorrow in his eyes when he watched Will with his son. Looking from William to James, Will said, "William admires you already, you know. He showed me the wooden sword you gave him."

The edge of James' mouth curled up in a reluctant smile. "He'll be ready to start footwork before we know it."

"You have no idea how much it means to me to know that you are watching over him."

"It's a pleasure, truly," James said earnestly.

Will didn't doubt James' sincerity, but as James stared off into the darkness, his face fell again and his shoulders began to sag. No matter how kind he is to William, Will thought, it must hurt to think that he has no son, no family of his own.

Will had an inchoate desire to offer comfort, but words failed him. With no idea of what he meant to do, he carefully laid William on the settee and went to James; Will only knew that he must reach out to James in some way.

Kneeling beside James' chair, Will had a piercing, heady memory of kissing him. Shame mingled with the desire that the memory evoked. He'd called James his friend, but he'd used him for his own ends, to punish Jack and Elizabeth, and to assuage his lust, with no thought of James' feelings.

Confusion flitted through James' green eyes, even as he leaned in closer and licked his lips. The naked longing in his eyes was excruciating. "Will--"

"Shhh. . ." Will kissed him then, knowing it was the right thing to do. Everything was different now; he felt this instinctively, although he couldn't yet articulate why.

James' lips were tightly closed, but Will kissed him again and again, with infinite patience, until his mouth opened beneath Will's. For a time, they were both lost to it, exchanging languid, wet kisses and clutching at one another like drowning men. Then William cried out in his sleep, and James jerked away.

"I shouldn't. . .We can't. . ." His eyes were wide and frantic.

"Yes," Will insisted, "We can."


Will shook his head, anticipating the objection, and trying to put his fumbling understanding into words. "Jack and Elizabeth won't mind. They don't. . .begrudge us this, not now, not now that we've worked out our differences."

Realization dawned on Will -- it was because things were right between them now, and whatever he shared with James was not taking away from what the three of them had. It was in addition to, not instead of, and that made all the difference in the world. But how could he explain that to James? Reaching in vain for the words to explain this, Will kissed James again, teasingly, persuasively, putting all that he could not explain into his kiss.

A fine tremor ran through James, and Will could see his resistance crumbling. "But. . .William. . ."

Will stood and grasped James' hand, pulling him to his feet. Their bodies thumped together, James' heart pounding wildly against Will's chest. "He'll be fine here. Is there somewhere else we could go?"

James nodded, in a daze. Wordlessly, he turned and led Will to his bedchamber.

He opened the door and gestured that Will should enter first. Will had shrugged out of his coat and kicked off his shoes before he realized that James had not yet entered the room. He was hovering in the doorway, watching Will with a hungry, hopeful look, as if he couldn't quite believe that this was happening.

Deliberately flaunting himself, Will slowly pulled off his breeches and then his stockings, keeping his eyes fixed on James' face. When he was completely undressed, he gave James the lazy cat-like smile he'd learned from Jack. His voice was quiet, but it brooked no disagreement. "Come to bed, James. Come to bed."


Notes: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by Gore Verbinski, Ted Elliot, and Terry Rossio, various studios including but not limited to First Mate Productions Inc., Jerry Bruckheimer Films, and Walt Disney Pictures. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.



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