PotC fic: Innocence (Will, Jack, PG, 1/1) Title: Innocence Author:shyaway Rating: PG Characters: Will, Jack Disclaimer: Pirates of the Caribbean and its characters are owned by Disney. Summary: A 'deleted scene' set in the Faithful Bride. Jack is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma...
"Take what you can," Jack declared.
"Give nothing back!" Gibbs responded. Their tankards clashed, punctuating the conversation. Will retreated behind the pillar. The denizens of the Faithful Bride, pick-pockets, sluts, and cut-throats, continued their raucous hum as if the sinister exchange about leverage and Will's father and Will himself had never taken place.
Such deals were likely common here. Will saw, more keenly than before, the grime on the pirates, the cold calculating eyes of the women. Ships' timbers had been used in the building of this tavern; they were eaten through with woodworm. He gripped his sword.
Gibbs approached him, his salt-and-pepper face curved in an embarrassed smile. Dissembling came uneasily to him, unlike that dark-haired devil Will had entangled himself with. The sailor clapped his arm in an awkwardly friendly gesture. "Go and sit yourself down, lad. I'm fetchin' us another round." He trundled off towards the bar, a lone figure of amiability amongst the crowd.
There were few people Will less wanted to socialise with at that moment than Jack Sparrow, but mindful of the adage about keeping one's friends and enemies close, he started towards his table, only to be halted by a hand on his sleeve. "Looking for some company tonight, dearie?"
"No," he said sharply, then, looking more closely at the woman who had accosted him, added, "thank you." She was hollow-eyed, clad in rags, lacked the self-sufficient air that the other Tortugans, Jack included, had in spades. She was seventeen at most. He dismissed her kindly. The girl moved off in search of an easier target and soon fastened - inevitably, Will thought, remembering the redhead and the blonde they had encountered earlier - on Jack. She draped herself around him. Will was sickened to see his arm curl about her thin waist, but a moment later the pirate was shaking his head and gesturing her away, and Will mentally absolved him of one sin.
Shorn of the girl, Jack beckoned Will over. "Well, boy," he said with convincing bonhomie, "what do you think of Tortuga now?"
He had to play along to retain Sparrow's help in reaching the Black Pearl and Miss Swann - dear Elizabeth - Miss Swann. He glanced around the tavern before replying. "Lively."
"Not like Port Royal, eh? Dead as a herring by this time of night - and aren't you apprentices forbidden public houses? I reckon I've done you a favour. When you've retrieved your lady," he continued, "you could set up your lovenest with her here. Away from her father's prying eyes. What do you say?"
Will ground his teeth. "Such an arrangement would do no honour to Miss Swann or to me. I would do nothing without her father's consent."
"Her father's consent! Oh, Mr Turner," Jack wagged a beringed finger at him, "you'll never get anywhere with that attitude. Believe me," the black eyebrows wiggled up and down, "it's her consent that matters."
"Don't talk about her like that."
"Like what? She's not a plaster saint. She's got arms and legs same as you and me, and she's got the same things as any other woman, if you'd only - "
A forge-hot blade of indignant fury shot through Will. "Stop that!"
Jack flopped back in his chair. He sighed, shook his head, and - infuriatingly - chuckled at him. "Unruffle your feathers! Look, here comes your beer. Drink up, it'll do you good - and Gibb'll want reimbursing."
Belatedly recalling his determination to remain calm, Will stifled his anger and dug for his purse. The search, during which Jack swung back on his chair legs and ostentatiously examined his fingernails, left him empty-handed. He looked up to see the other man watching him lazily through half-closed eyes. Seeing the search had been fruitless, he abruptly banged the chair back to the floor and flung a leather pouch on the table. Will recognised it as his.
"I got that," Jack announced, "from the young lady you gave the brush-off to a moment ago. Do take care, lad. I'd hate for any mishap to befall you." He smiled, all concern and camaraderie. It was the smile of a man who could once have been friends with Bill Turner. Will wished, even as heartily as he wanted to rescue Elizabeth, that he could believe the pirate to be sincere.