Title: Mirage of Blue and Green
Author: Thrift Store Junkie
Pairing: Jack/Will
Rating: PG?
Summary: Will becomes bored and hungers for the ocean.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Author's Note: Minor movie spoilers, if you want to avoid them. Though I can't imagine why.


Jack did not know why he looked back. When it is night and he is staring up at the stars from the ship, his ship, he thinks it might have been to see if they were laughing at him, joking amongst themselves about his escape. During the early morning, when the sun is just seen rising to heat the sea, he thinks it might have been to ensure that they weren't coming after him, jumping into the water with a noose to finish the job. In between the days and nights, when he is lost in the smell of salt and the feel of study wood beneath his feet, he thinks it might have been to give a silent goodbye.

Regardless of the reason, the image of Elizabeth Swann pressing her lips against William Turner's did not leave him, even long after he boarded the Black Pearl and rode away.

The message was not long in coming: William was bored. The words carefully scrawled the paper did not say that, exactly - instead claimed that he desired to know more about his father's lifestyle - but Jack could read between the lines. He had thrust a blade into a cursed skeleton and grinned when it fell before him, held a pistol to his neck with shaking hands and every intention to use it, and tumbled away from the governor's guards with a pirate at his side. Today, he crafted blades in a dusty shop and met his wife every day at half past.

Old Bootstrap Bill's son had tasted a bit of the sea, and now he wanted more.

Jack tipped his hat to the sun. It's a pirate's life for me.

"Does rum make an appearance in every aspect of your life?"

Jack had not heard William board the Black Pearl, but the voice was unmistakable. It had deepened a bit, perhaps from a new confidence of being on a turf he'd already lived through, and the thought of William taking charge intrigued him enough to entertain him for a bit.

"Yes, it does," he said, almost cheerfully, holding back the bottle in offering without turning around. "Great thing, rum. The best can't be the best unless it has a bottle with it."

After seconds passed and he was still holding the bottle, Jack turned around and found William staring overboard at the same spot he often looked at - an unholy place, one he'd used to spend hours trying to catch as he was a kid, where the sky and the sea met in a mirage of blue and green and clouds reflecting the ripples in the water. Almost more worthy of attention was the one person watching it. William's hair was as dark a brown as the day they met, and his eyes the same shade, but he had abandoned the bow Jack hated and let it limply lay almost to his shoulders. Pink tongue resting at the corner of his mouth. Clothes plain and white, with black and brown dust stains crisscrossing over his stomach.

His throat was dry. He took another swig of rum. "You might not want to gaze too long out there. It's said to be hypnotizing."

"Said to be?" William repeated, turning his eyes to meet Jack's. "Surely you've looked."

"Might have, once or twice, but I don't much enjoy wishing after things I can't have." Liar. "Pirates, royalty, commoners - they all go insane trying to grab hold of something they know they can't get. I go after what I already have, like," he slowly counted off his fingers, "women, ships, and rum."

William tried not to smile. "It always comes back to the rum, the drink that turns respectable men into - into men that aren't respectable. Nothing of that sort for me."

His eyes narrowed. "I wouldn't have believed it ten years ago if you told me," Jack said. "Bootstrap's lad refusing to drink. Waste of the pirate blood in you."

A pause. Then: "Give me the bottle."

"Knew you'd come around."

The next morning, Jack awoke to what he decided was the worst to wake up to. "Boy," he called from the floor, with his eyes still tightly shut, "Don't vomit all over the edge of my ship."

Sunlight beating its reflection into his eyes from the edge of his sword, sticky air clinging to nape of his neck and beads flying wildly, stick out your tongue and have your tongue glossed with heat, pouring and collecting and everywhere. Dancing somewhere between what felt like flames and icy wind, Jack noted that three hours a day were improving William's skill, though he had fumbled less with swords made by his own hands than by the one Jack had thrown at him this afternoon. Never show fault from a golden handle simply because it was new, he resolved to teach that one later.

"Better," Jack observed, over the clash of his sword against its brother.

William brought his down, sharply, against the side of Jack's. "I wish I could say," he said against gritted teeth, twisting around a barrel only to meet again, "the same for you." And his opponent's smirk was enough for him to continue with renewed vigor.

It ended some minutes later, with no definite victory for either man, as they had both picked up stray objects to bring into play at the same time. "Most interesting," Jack held up a curled finger under his chin, "that an honest man resorts to the same methods of winning as a pirate."

"I'm finding myself more of a pirate in these few days than I have in my entire stay at Port Royal." William wiped sweat from his forehead with his sleeve.

Jack raised an eyebrow. "Do you?"

"Yo-ho," William said, instead of answering.

Rain beat against the windows of his cabin; great, hard sheets of it pelted the glass and occasionally strayed aside when the wind pushed and the ship took a rather abrupt turn. Thunder failed to give it any tremors, but lightning illuminated its inside with a single candle and an empty cup laying on the bed. The flicker and dropping wax offered a warm sanctuary to the storm inside.

Not that he would sit inside his cabin during the rain. Captain Jack Sparrow hit his greatest stride when he was soaking wet, rocking with his ship at the steer, tipping his head back to catch some of the drops in his mouth. He imagined that the ocean water came from the rain and vice versa, and for as long as he could remember, he felt as though he were catching bits of the sea water on his tongue when the clouds opened.

"Tastes like rum, does it? That's why you can't stop drinking it," William said darkly, not quite recovered from his past experiences with it.

"Nay," Jack shook his head, checking his compass briefly. "Nothing tastes better than rum." And he looked at the water, which had turned itself upside down, with rough waves that made the crew regain their footing and crashing showers that drenched them even more.

A sudden crash brought William falling to him, and absorbed with the darkness, Jack failed to notice until a warm body had collided with his. He turned, a "wh - " forming on his lips, and then he leaned back against the wood of the steer

William's hands had grasped his arms to regain his balance but it didn't feel like that at all, it felt like stripes of fire had contacted with his skin, and there was breath on his cheeks that smelled of warm wine and something foreign, something that drove him mad, something that made him press forward and put his lips to William's while the storm was still raging and the water was still crashing against the ship, but he wasn't cold anymore.

and deepened the kiss that tasted of sea water.

END