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.
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
"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
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
"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
"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
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
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
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
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
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.