Title: Freedom
Author: Fajrdrako (azurite@rogers.com)
Pairing: Will Turner/Jack Sparrow
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Anamaria and Will have a talk.
Disclaimer: Disney owns. I borrow for temporary use.


It was clear, Will thought, that Anamaria didn't like him. He couldn't guess why, but knew better than to pester her with conversation. He was prepared to live and let live. Since coming on board the Black Pearl, he'd learned to leave pirates to themselves, but to remain open and friendly when the opportunity presented. Anamaria would eventually accept him - or she wouldn't.

On those terms, Will found he could work with her comfortably enough. She knew what she was doing. She taught him what she could, and if she was cool to him, he was careful not to react in kind.

She didn't talk to him of her own accord until one evening when he had the helm, and the sea spread out forever around them to a clear tinted horizon. Captain Jack Sparrow was standing on the quarterdeck, silhouetted against the sky like a figurehead, his gaze fixed on some distant dream. Will's gaze was fixed on Jack.

"So Will Turner," said Anamaria conversationally. She had crept up behind him silently, like a cat. The hostility in her voice was like velvet. "Are you the Captain's new fucktoy?"

"What?" The suddenness of his reaction was a slip: it revealed too much. He covered with a curl of the lip. Will was used to pirates now, if not to Anamaria, and he knew how to handle provocative conversations. He raised his eyebrows in what he hoped was casual amusement. "Is that what they're saying?"

"What they're saying, Will Turner, is that he's either had you already or will have you soon, and the crew's evenly divided in their opinions on the matter."

"In that case you can tell them," Will said, striving for just the right tone of sarcasm, "that I am sorry to say he hasn't laid a hand on me."

"Yet," said Anamaria. She looked smug, leaning her elbows on his wheel as she faced him. "I'm one of the one's betting he'll take you soon."

Will glanced across the deck at Jack, whose back was turned to them. He felt the skin prick on the back of his neck, though it was absurd to think Jack could hear them from that distance, or that he might want to. "How much?"

"A crown."

"Jesus!"

She shrugged. "Well, there's not much to bet on just now. Times are slow. You think Norrington's coming after us? That's the other gamble. Not quite such a sure thing. Some say Norrington's a coward. Others think he can't sail a ship out of his bathtub. Me, I think he's about a day behind us, coming right after us like doomsday with an eye to feeding his gallows."

"I'm sure he is.... Anamaria, have you ever slept with him?"

"Norrington?" Her eyes flashed with black humour.

"No. You know I mean Jack Sparrow."

"Good, or I'd call that an insult to my honour. Aye, Will Turner, I've been to bed with Jack Sparrow, and precious little sleeping came of it." She ran her finger along the fresh-painted wood of the wheel as if it were a part of Jack Sparrow's body. "I was young and stupid and he was so pretty."

"You regret it?"

"Course not."

"So why the long face?"

"You don't know yet," she emphasized the word, "but he's magic in bed, Jack Sparrow is. He's gentle and strong and smart. He's got no shame and he never gets tired."

Will hoped that his heightened colour could be attributed to the setting sun. No shame. Jesus! "Sounds like a good thing, I'd've thought."

"Good for him, yes. And good for me, at the time. But afterwards it spoils a person for other men." She gave Jack a glance through slitted eyes. "It's like a curse, Will Turner. The getting of it's sweet but afterwards there's no escaping the longing that gnaws at you forever."

"Are you saying I'm better off without him?"

She laughed aloud in scorn. "Am I a fool? It's way, way too late for that, Wilddog Will. You're hooked already. You're his, body and soul, even if he's yet to touch you. You may pretend you joined us because you need to be free, but it isn't that at all. You belong to him. I can see it in your eyes. You'll never be free of him."

Will looked up at the figure on the quarterdeck, who at just that moment turned to look in their direction.

"I don't ever want to be free of him," answered Will.

END