Title: Hard to Starboard
Author: MusexMoirai (psychomk1@yahoo.com)
Pairing: implied Jack/Will, implied Jack/Bill
Rating: PG-13
Category: General, Comedy
Feedback: If it's nice, that's good. If it's useful, that's better.
Summary: Like all pirates, Jack's first love should be the sea. But what does he think of his protege Will Turner, old friend Bootstrap, pain-in-the-butt Commodore Norrington, his own seemingly inability to age, and lots of other stuff in general?
Disclaimer: Not mine, they're Disney's. Savvy?
Notes: Takes place before the end of the movie. Jack's going to England for his hanging.


They’re going to hang me when we get back to Port Royal. String me up tight on the hangman’s noose and let the seagulls eat my face. I’d give them indigestion. Or maybe not. Seagulls aren’t supposed to eat sparrows.

Ah, but I can escape from here. That’s the difference between Captain Jack Sparrow and your average pirate. But I’ll sit and wait things out in the bottom of this lovely, accommodating, damp, dark cage. Such a fine reward this is. I’d ought to give my regards to the governor.

Funny the way things go, huh, boy? I wonder if you’ll hang as well as I and that’s a pity, could have made a right fine pirate. Well…no…you couldn’t. A little too enthusiastic on those ahoys! and avasts! There’s many a good man who’d have gutted you for your mangling of the English language. Never believe stuff you read in books over a good pirate’s words. Too many happy endings.

Well, do you suppose we’ve gotten to the end of our escapades, Mr. Turner? Your fair lady’s been rescued and she’s to be wedded too. Not to you, you idiot. To that commodore who looks like he’s always got something up his ass. At least her father’s happy about that, though it’d probably had been faster if he’d married Mr. British Navy himself. Hence our happy ending. Whoppee-doo-doo.

Mind you, Will Turner, do you have to snore so goddamned loud? And get your leg-off-my-stomach-oof!-there’s a good lad. You, my boy, are loud enough to wake the dead. Never remembered your father like this. You mother must have been one very, well, um, vocal woman.

Though you are the spitting image of ole Billy. Never did ask too much about him, did you? Well, we all have our skeletons in the closet. Pirate blood will out eventually. It’s a shame that you ain’t even curious where he got his name. Fancy bootstraps, one might presume. Was your father a gentleman pirate of the high seas? Nothing of the sort. He was more, how shall we say, a salt of the earth sort of man. But ahh, that bootstrap. Not many people knows what it’ll be referring to.

You see, Billy had once been a lady’s personal slave. Easy to see why, with those looks of his. He’s like you in that, not cut out for a pirate’s life, but forced but circumstances. A mighty good one at that. He had an odd disfigurement running down the length of his back. The shape of a boot buckle branded into the skin and then a long stripe of burned skin. Hence the buckle and the strap. Bootstrap.

Know what burned skin feels like beneath your fingers, young Turner? Smooth and slick as glass. But the flavor only comes out underneath the tongue and when the salt of a man’s sweat spices it like the ocean.

You’re young, Will. Far young and bright-eyed, oh-so-stupid. But I’m old. You never did ask about my looks and I’m insulted. I thought you would wonder how a man like myself could be such a pretty thing while my fellow pirates, Bootstrap and Barbossa are, pardon the expression, locked stock and barrel and rotting in Davy Jones’ locker.

Either I live forever, Will, or I’ve gone mad. Take your pick, but I think I’ve got a lot less to fear than a hanging.

Will, Will, if you sleep like that, you’ll wake with a nasty crick in the neck. And I care what happens to you, same as I care what happens to your bonny lass. It’s this great, big fault of this bleeding heart of mine. Even if the lot of you couldn’t care what if I rotted or not. So I forgive you, if that means anything to you, for leaving me behind and being the biggest bloody idiot to sail the seven seas. Ay, and I forgive your girlfriend for burning my rum. So I’m going to absolve you of your sins with this empty rum canteen.

Like it, Will? I filched it off that fat Redcoat a ways back but he had drunk it all. So if you want it, you shall have it.

You’re very pretty, you know. With those eyelashes, you’d have made a pretty girl. I never could resist fine women… nor fine men either. Don’t mock me now. You spend months at sea and your options will start looking limited too.

But not you, Will. You look too much your father at times. You’re a little too young, though that could be appealing enough. I am fond of you.

But you’re also the closest thing I have to a friend. What can I say, a pirate’s got his own sense of honor.

As I said before, you’re a hopeless, stubborn, moralistic idiot. And a blacksmith. But you’ve got that passion inside you. That’s why I like you, boy. You’ve got your passion for your lady love and I’ve got my passion for the Sea. Because the Ocean is every pirate’s first mistress and last queen. She’ll never marry you but She can’t leave you. And that’s why I feel sorry for bonnie Lizzie because she’ll lose you. You think you’re safe in Port Royal working as a blacksmith and pining for another man’s wife. But one day the other Mistress’ll call for you and your wanderlust will make you follow Her to the ends of the earth. Do you think your affinity for sword-fighting is only an unusual coincidence? Your pirate blood will out and you must be ready for it. Even you must understand that. You savvy, Will?

I’ll offer you a position in my crew, assuming I have a ship and assuming you’ll come. But you’ll have to learn the song. On the other hand… nah. I’ve heard you sing before.

How amusing, you seem to be having some sort of nightmare. Let’s listen, shall we?

No. No. Sharks. Ah. No. Elizabeth. Ah. No. Johnny. No.

Never heard the name Johnny before. That’s…interesting.

Should I wake you up now? You do seem to be in rather a lot of pain. Oh yes, fine.

“Mr. Turner,” Shaking your shoulder, slapping your face, whacking you with the canteen.

“Wha? Jack? Jack Sparrow?”

“CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow.”

“Oh, right. Sorry. What’d you wake me for?”

You snore too loud. “You were having a nightmare.”

“I can’t remember it now.”

Silence. This calls for some good rum. Too bad there’s none. Ah, well, food will do in a pinch and I’ve spotted a nice, fat rat in the corner.

I wonder if bones work better on mice than on dogs. I’m sure I’ve got one somewhere…

“Sparrow? I mean Captain Sparrow?” You say eventually and is that fear in your voice? “Do you think they’ll hang me?”

Think. Pause. Reconsider.

I’m not quite sure but no use worrying the whelp, eh? “If your Elizabeth has anything to say on it, I’ll be betting money not. Your bonny lass ain’t keen to lose you, not after she’s just found you. She’s a shrew and a half, that one. She burned all my rum, you know?” Ah, beautiful rum. That requires a particularly eloquent hand motion.

“You deserve it.” You grin rather slyly and that looks nothing like your father. But it looks good on you.

Looks like you’re not so uptight anymore.

“Even if you do go to the noose, Will, it won’t be so bad. (wave hand) I’ve got the same predicament. (waggle fingers) What say we both go down with the ship (twist the wrist) together? Well, there won’t be no ship but you do get my meaning.”

“Ay, that I do.”

Ay, you would’ve made a fine pirate. One thing more to say and I know it’s not wont a pirate to say this but-

“Godspeed, Mr. Will Turner.”

“Huh? Wha?”

Figure it out yourself. I’m going to sing now.

“Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me! We pillage, plunder, we rifle and loot. Drink up, me 'arties, yo ho! We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot. Drink up, me 'arties, yo ho!”

END