Sunset. A sight Jack had always taken for granted and never thought he would miss. While they sailed along the calm seas, finally back among the land of the living, he found himself fearing whether the dawn would come just the same. Though, he supposed it was better than the endless days he spent lying on the deck of the landlocked ship, watching and waiting to see whether or not the scorching skies would bleed to black or if a single cloud would appear to shield him from the sweltering heat.
There had been no concept of time in the locker. Day would come but it never went, hours bleeding into eachother unending. Now the Pearl was back on the waves, no longer trapped on a sea with no water, the days switched to night as normal as any living world. The unbearable heat he had been punished with had broken the moment they set sail and now he could look over the rail of his beloved ship content as he gazed with wonder at the darkened sky.
With the waters calm and the Pearl sailing on the set course for the nearest island to resupply their food and water, the ruckus of the crew had finally died down as many of them had been dismissed for the evening, though not by his orders. Jack sneered as he recalled Barbossa giving orders to his crew while wondering if anyone would notice if the traitorous cur were to suddenly disappear during the night if Jack threw him overboard. They'd not long since been pointing pistols at eachother some hours ago after all.
He hummed to himself, amused with the thought before taking another swig from the bottle in his hand, meanwhile trying to forget he was technically in the older pirate's debt for pretty much saving his hide from an eternity in Hell. What had really gotten under his skin with Barbossa taking over his duties as Captain was when instead of defending him, Gibbs as well as the majority of his apparently loyal crew had suggested he take the time to rest and heal. Jack had chosen not to heed to his first mate and had stalked off to the lookout rather than his quarters, if anything just to spite the man.
He didn't need to rest. He knew where he was, where he'd been, where they were going and all that. He didn't need his companions treating him like he was mad. He'd heard the crew whispering amongst eachother during their time in the locker, thinking old Captain Jack had finally cracked beyond repair, what else was new? He didn't need the support of that pack of cockroaches to defend his honour anyways. He thought to himself as he drank heavily from the bottle. As long as the rum kept on coming and his ship kept on sailing, that's all he needed.
The land the whelp had pointed out on the map would be well within sight by sunrise on the morrow. Until then, he had more than enough time to have another look over those charts. After all, a map which lead to the end of the world couldn't only lead to one destination, now could it?
Jack slunk down from the lookout, all the while trying to avoid being caught out on deck by the few men still awake. Not that they would care if they saw him, he merely wasn't in the mood for conversing with any of them if they caught sight of him. He hadn't had nearly enough to drink for that.
The chartroom when he arrived before it was left with the doors wide open for any man to walk into. Upon his first glance inside the darkened room, Jack would've thought there to be nobody there. The muffled chattering coming from within the room was what alerted the Captain. He could hear a man's voice, no make it two. The appearance of a flame causing him to hurriedly hide behind the door as the current inhabitants lit a candle and cast a dim source of light into the room.
Peeking through the gap in between the hinges, Jack saw the flame reveal the face of one William Turner, and as he cast his eye to his right, he caught sight of the leader of the Singaporean crew they'd brought on board with them. Though they'd been introduced, the name of the man escaped Jack.
Turner fraternising with the new recruits? A curious thing. Curious indeed.
At the sound of their whispered voices, he turned his ear in their direction to try and catch what they were saying. He barely picked up a thing until the latter of the two men began talking in a harsher tone of voice in his native Mandarin. What he said, while spoken in a different language made his eyebrows raise with concern and intrigue. Jack was not a man fluent in Mandarin by any means, but he had been to Singapore enough times to piece together most of what the man had said.
When the Singaporean had seemingly calmed enough he spoke again in a whisper, "This Island you speak of, it will grant enough time for The Empress to catch up to the Black Pearl?"
Will responded in his soft voice, "Yes. Both Captain Sparrow and Captain Barbossa have agreed to go ashore while several of the crew will resupply. I already conferred with Sao Feng regarding where we shall meet. I reckon by now, he won't be too far behind us." Jack noticed the sly edge that creeped into the whelp's tone of voice as a bitter smirk crossed the Captain's face.
"How do we trust you? A man willing to betray not one but two captains?" Tai Huang questioned, his suspicion not wavering still.
"I have already explained my intentions to your captain. With Jack and Barbossa out of the way, who will stop your men from taking the Pearl?"
Jack almost laughed out loud before remembering he was the one eavesdropping in on them.
That's it, whelp. Feed their pride so they remain loyal to you. Seems I underestimated you after all, you're pirate through and through. More so than your father ever was.
He listened to them bicker back and forth for a few minutes more before walking away. The irony of it all was remarkable. William Turner, son of Bootstrap Bill Turner, a man of honour, a boy raised to resent pirates, yet not only did he sail among them but planned to betray an entire ship of them.
It didn't come as a particular surprise to Jack that the boy had other ambitions to achieve on this voyage. Every man has his own ends to achieve. One pirate cant expect another to do more than what was right by them.
I taught you well, eh Turner? You wish to make profit from one pirate by betraying other pirates. Your darling murderess would be proud.
Jack took a moment to ponder the possibility of whether or not his dearly beloved knew of her fiancee's intentions but quickly squandered the thought. She was no less a pirate than Turner true, but the lass had made her intentions to accompany them to Shipwreck Cove perfectly clear. Not to mention, the guilt she felt over her last betrayal was evident given she still refused to look him in the eye. So what was the whelp's intentions for his bride-to-be in this little plan of his?
At that moment, he spotted Will exiting the chartroom to head below deck like nothing had happened.
So your plan is mutiny, eh?
The word hung in the air like a bad smell. Never had a word sounded so foul to his ear. The memory of his previous experience with that word made him sneer with resentment.
The boy who once called him a good man, the words were no more true from his mouth than they had been from Beckett's. To call someone a good man must have the means to judge another man as good. As a man who had been betrayed very often in his life, Jack had yet to meet a man who qualified to make that judgement.
Surely, the whelp would realise the stupidity of this plan. Making a bargain with a pirate was one thing, making a bargain with a greedy Singaporean pirate lord while under the impression he won't expect bugger all in return was laughably simple-minded. For a man who was smart when need be, he was being unbearably naive.
With bitterness creeping into every crevice of his body, Jack wondered what to do with what he knew was to come. Informing his unwilling Co-Captain was out of the question, after all he didn't want the boy keel-hauled, yet. No, he would keep that little bit of information to himself for the time being. He would confront young Turner, but he would wait for the opportune moment. It wouldn't be long until dawn. He could wait until then.
If I were you, I would worry less about what Sao Feng has in store for you and worry more about the fury of a patient man. And anyone who has crossed me before will tell you, Turner, I can be very patient.
The morning that followed was bleak with the skies painted a light grey, the daylight awakening the crew before Gibbs barked orders signaling all hands on deck.
Jack payed no mind to his crew, Barbossa or Tia Dalma, the latter of which bid him good morning as she sauntered by him. He kept his eye looking out to sea, trying to find any sign of land within their radius. Still nothing. There was no sign of any other ships in his field of vision either. They had yet to make it to the island and Sao Feng was nowhere in sight. Elizabeth made her appearance on deck, walking past the deckhands scrubbing the floors and heading straight past Jack and up the stairs as if she didn't notice he was there. He didn't care. He let her go.
The Captain of the Pearl kept his eyes fixed forward across the deck, waiting to see if and when master Turner would grace them with his presence. The traitor among them had yet to show his face. For the most part he ignored the Singapore crew as he knew they wouldn't act unless the whelp gave the order.
He was so lost in his train of thought that he didn't even notice Gibbs coming up behind him until the hand his first mate clapped on his shoulder startled him so much he had to refrain from leaping ten feet into the air. His reaction seemed to have startled the poor sod just as much.
Jack shrugged it off, "Bloody hell, Gibbs! Warn a man, will you?" He berated.
Gibbs held a hand over his heart from the sudden shock. He caught his breath before replying sheepishly, "Apologies, Cap'n. I didn't mean to startle ye. I can assure ye, won't happen again."
When he was met with only silence in return, Gibbs noticed his captain appeared to have his attention focused elsewhere and tried to follow his eye, only he couldn't spot anything interesting enough for Jack to be staring at it so intensely.
"Everything alright, Sir?" The first mate asked cautiously.
Jack's eyes didn't break contact from where they were fixed but he tipped his head slightly in the other man's direction. "Hm?"
Gibbs didn't like the look in Jack's eye. A familiar feeling of dread stirring in his gut. "Ye seemed vexed, Captain. Did something happen that we are unaware of?"
The older man's brow quirked when Jack finally turned to face him. His mouth opened like he had something to say before quickly closing it again. The captain was silent a few moments longer as he seemed to contemplate what to say.
"Nothing, Master Gibbs. Nothing at all for you to worry about." He flashed a signature smirk at his old friend while Gibbs looked completely unfazed at his answer. Jack seemed to gather what that expression meant and he looked away before looking back at his first mate.
"Just keep an eye on our guests, aye?" Jack tipped his head upwards in the direction of Tai Huang and his men conversing with each other in their native language while Jack strung together pieces of what they were saying.
"You know what they say, you can't trust a man from Singapore." Jack winked.
Jack's words sounded truthful yet his eyes betrayed him as always. Nevertheless, it told Gibbs all he needed to know. Something was about to happen or would happen very soon at least and he would keep an eye out for any sign of trouble.
Never one to press matters with the captain unless it was something he was willing to share, Gibbs left Jack to head to the lookout.
Glancing back down at Jack, who was leaning with his back pressed against the doors of his cabin, Gibbs found himself even more on weary at the grave look in the Sparrow's eye. He watched as the other raised his hand to his chin, running his fingers over his braided beard.
He had noticed moments ago whilst talking to him, the colour of Jack's eyes had turned from a gentle brown to almost black. It was a rare sight to behold. Based on past experiences Gibbs knew that when Jack's eyes turned that colour, that something weighed heavy on his mind. Something bad. That he was about to do something. He had seen the same darkness in his irises after the Kraken attacked the Pearl, it was a darkness that resembled loss, anger, dispair. There was no doubt about it, when Jack's eyes were that dark, that never boded well for anyone and Gibbs dreaded what it could possibly mean this time.
Will, after many long moments of waiting, appeared from below deck. The young Turner looked around for a moment, presumably for his fellow traitors. Sure enough once he spotted them, he began making his way across the ship with his head held high.
The stern call of his name made him halt as Jack appeared from the shadows beneath the stairs as he was about to make his way up them.
He stared at the Black Pearl's Captain with disinterest and slight irritation as Jack stood in his path.
"Jack." Will addressed the man coldly, looking behind the Sparrow trying to signal he wanted to get past him. Jack remained unmoving. "What do you want?" He asked, hoping to avoid a conversation with the man. When the captain didn't respond, Will sighed, "Is everything alright?"
Jack smiled a humourless smile, "Interesting. All anyone has asked me today is whether or not I'm alright. If it weren't for the situation, I'd almost say I'm touched." His smile showed his gold teeth.
Will hummed with feigned interest, smiling weakly in response before trying to walk around the captain to get up the stairs, only to be stopped by the sudden blade of a sword stabbing into the wooden rail blocking his way through yet again. The act caught Will off guard. He turned to look at Jack questionably as the Sparrow held the hilt of his sword. Gone was the smile from the pirate's face. There was a look of darkness in Jack's eyes that Will had never seen before this moment.
"What's your rush, Master Turner? One would almost think you were.... hiding something." The words were spoken sharply, Will could hear the accusation in his voice.
Sighing again, the young Turner gave Jack a tight lipped smile. "I'm sorry, Jack," Will shrugged, "I have no idea what you are talking about."
Jack nodded his head feigning understanding, "Ah, I see. So I suppose you wouldn't mind if I were to accompany you to discuss whatever it is you need to talk about with our newest recruits? Hmm?" His sharp smirk returned when he saw the whelp's hands clench and unclench, showing the first signs of panic.
However, his cold eyes kept up the calm facade on his face. "What do you want to talk with Tai Huang about?"
Jack shrugged, "There are a few things that I have discovered, things that I think he ought to know about." He said while running his thumb over the hilt of his sword embedded in the blackened wood.
Will watched his movements, "Tell me. I will pass the information along to him." He smiled a little too wide for it to look convincing.
Jack responded with a subtle shake of his head. Will smirked like that was the response he was hoping for and scoffed.
"See? You don't trust me, Jack." Will took a step closer to the captain. Jack arched his brow. "You've never trusted me. You think I'm a fool."
All traces of humour evaporated from Jack's face faster than a mist.
"It's Sao Feng who thinks you are a fool."
Realisation struck Will hard and it was evident with how wide his eyes became. The boy had the word 'Guilty' written all over his face.
"Next time you try and betray a pirate, mate, maybe try using men who don't announce their plans of mutiny out loud for all to hear, eh?"
Will just stared at Jack dumbfounded.
"Will, what does he mean by that?"
If possible, Turner's eyes grew even wider as he spun on his heel to face Elizabeth, who had been watching them from the moment Jack drew his sword. There was a look of disbelief in her eyes that made any response he may have had stick in his throat. His silence seemed to tell her enough.
"Aye, that's something I'd like to be knowin!" The loud barking voice of Gibbs startled them as he stood atop the stairs looking down at the three of them. The first mate had been listening in on their conversation ever since Jack approached Will and his concern turned into anger as the conversation heated to the point the two pirates were practically at eachothers throats.
The crew stopped in their work at the shouting while a few of them took a few steps forward to try and listen in. Barbossa placed down his telescope, intrigued by the raised voice of the first mate and came to stand next to the man as everybody seemed to be glaring daggers at Turner.
Jack spoke before Will had the chance to, "What was your plan exactly, Will? You ask Sao Feng to take the Pearl for you but what's in it for him? Hmm? You must've promised him something in return?"
Will's eyes narrowed at the condescending tone in Sparrow's voice. "Sometimes people do things without expecting anything in return, Captain Sparrow." He spat the name venomously.
Jack winced at the dangerous naivety of that statement, "If that's truly what you believe, then I'd say it's really too bad you don't speak Mandarin." All eyes burning holes into Will turned questioning to Jack.
"Are you really so daft you believe Sao Feng would simply give my ship to you after you had it's two current captains out of the way on some little island while he caught up to us? He wouldn't have given up the Pearl once he had her, mate. He would've killed you once he had her and taken her for himself."
Barbossa drew his sword at the man no later than Gibbs had as angry shouts erupted from the crew. Even the monkey screeched from atop the older captain's shoulder.
"Ye treacherous rotter!" The first mate barked. "You would betray us? After all the captain has done for ye?" There was a note of sadness in the pirate's words of anger.
"I need the Pearl to free my father. That's the only reason I came on this voyage." Will replied shortly. Gibbs' eyes narrowed even further. How far this boy had fallen.
"SHOOT HIM!" Marty cried from the rigging.
"Throw him overboard!" Came the shout of Pintel, accompanied by Ragetti aiming his pistol at the young Turner.
"Walk the plank! Walk the plank!" Squawked Cotton's parrot.
Elizabeth stomped over to her fiancee, looking beyond devastated, "Why didn't you tell me you were planning this?" She sounded desperate, like she was searching for any sign that he was still the man she knew and loved, like her previous actions hadn't taken him from her completely.
Will regarded the girl with a cold stare, "It was my burden to bare."
"Curse ye for a bleedin blighter!" Barbossa bellowed, his sword clutched tightly in his hand to the point his knuckles turned white. The boy was no less infuriating than his spineless father and he had been aching to run the little cur through for months, only this time, he would happily finish the job of sending one William Turner to his grave.
"One woulda thought I'd learned my lesson the last time a Turner stabbed us in the back. I'd say we ought to do the same to ye, send you down to the depths where you can say 'Hello' to old Bootstrap for us when you reach the bottom of the sea. Just pray you don't hit a reef of yer way down, or God forbid the sharks get to ye first!"
Much to the surprise of the crew, Will didn't cower at the threat and Barbossa's murderous grin and straightened his back, the older captain's words lit a fire in the whelp, Jack could see it in his eyes.
"And who are you to talk of loyalty?! Every one of you has betrayed this man at some time or other!" Will looked around at the entire crew before pointing at Jack. "I won't be treated as lower than the likes of you Captain Barbossa, the man who broke the code by committing an act of mutiny not once, but twice! You know nothing of honour!"
Barbossa looked ready to throttle the boy and as Jack noted, given that Turner had decided to bring the entire crew into this, it wasn't likely anyone would stop him from doing just that. Nevertheless, the lad needed to learn his place before he was dealt with.
"And this is your act of righteousness and honour is it Turner?" Jack tried to sound as impassive as possible. "To carry out a plan that was doomed from the start to betray a ship full of pirates and face the wrath of another when you fail to carry out your end of the bargain? That's a double edged sword if I've ever seen one."
Will huffed at Jack and the latter smirked.
"It seems I didn't teach you as well as I'd thought. Pirate may be in your blood, lad, but liar certainly ain't, though for the sake of the promise you made to your father, I suppose that's a good thing on his part. Daddy would be proud indeed." Sparrow sneered, only for Will to step closer, leaning into the other man's face practically seething at the Captain.
"You have no right to speak of my father. Don't forget it's because he defended you that he is where he is."
Jack carefully pushed the boy into taking a step back, the glare he cast at the Turner contrasted with his signature smirk.
"You sail on my ship, boy. Under my colours. What in Calypso's name can bargaining with the likes of Sao Feng possibly give you that the likes of us can not?"
Will's voice lowered as he hissed, "Sao Feng sees the merit in what I have to do. He admires a man who can keep the promises he makes. He respects me." Jack gave the man a dubious look. "Not like you, Sparrow, you always treated me like shit. You tricked me onto the Dutchman to settle your debt with Jones. It was only by my father's hand that I was able to escape. Because he is a good man, a better man than you can only ever dream to be."
Jack's eyes lowered at his words, filling Turner with a sense of what he believed was satisfaction.
"And what are you, huh?" Will questioned.
The Captain of the Black Pearl failed to hold in the gasp of shock that escaped as the younger man thumped both hands into his chest sending him stumbling backwards, almost losing his balance. He lost his grip on his sword however, as it clattered to the floor. The angered shouts of the crewmen around them ceased at once as their jaws dropped onto the deck, stunned into silence.
Gibbs' eyes lit up with concern as he saw the dark shadow cross his Captain's face. The man's hands were fisted to the point they were trembling by his sides. His jaw clenched and mouth screwed shut in a tight lipped scowl. He elbowed Barbossa before nodding down to Jack. This wasn't about to end well.
Jack's back was to Will but the younger took it as an opportunity to advance on the pirate again.
"Sad, poor, Jack Sparrow!" Will jeered.
The boy's mockery of the captain was cut short as Jack spun around with a rage filled cry. His arm swung out from his side, belting the younger man across the face. Will let out a yell as pain exploded down the left side of his face. But he didn't go down. Will caught Jack's wrist, pulling him forward before pushing his other hand against his back and forcing Jack to the floor.
Jack lay stunned as his back hit the hard deck of his beloved ship.
"Will!" Elizabeth cried in anguish, trying to make him hear her for once.
Instead Will's eyes landed on the Sparrow's lost sword lying forgotten on the ground and stepped towards it like he intended to take it.
He cried out in surprise when Jack grabbed hold of his ankle and rolled over, forcing the man off his feet as Jack tackled him to the ground. Both pirates wrestled on the deck before Will made it on top. Drawing his fist back, Will struck Jack under the jaw, only to be met with the same in return from the other pirate causing his head to snap backwards as fist cracked against his nose.
Gibbs wanted to step forward and break them apart before one of them did something they may regret, but found himself frozen to the spot. Elizabeth's pleading cries for them to stop fell on deaf ears, while some of the crew began to chant and cheer for the fight to continue. This was unlike any other fight they'd had before where they aimed to gain something from beating the other. There was no pace or form to their strikes with both men growling at eachother, reminding him of something like an animal.
The first mate had known that out of the two of them, there had been more hostility on Will's end than Jack's in the time they'd known Bootstrap's boy. Alas, it was a rare occurrence for any man to push Jack Sparrow hard enough to lose his temper. He could see it in his attacks, with each strike carrying what may have been months worth of pent up frustration and anger. He could say no different about Turner, the rotten blighter he was. Gibbs wasn't blind, or daft for that matter. He knew that the boy was ambitious shortly after meeting him. Though one thing he'd never counted on was the man going as far as to turn his back on them. For now, he would let them duke it out between them.
Jack's fist made contact with the underside of Will's jaw again, blood and spittle flying from his mouth as the whelp groaned in pain. The force of the hit caused Will to lean his weight off of Jack, giving him the leverage to slip out from under the other man's body. The captain's vision blurred and his head spun with the several blows to the face he had taken. He could taste blood in his mouth from where an uppercut made him bite his tongue. He could feel it running from his nose and dripping over his chin. Making use of the chance he was given, Jack leaned on his elbows as he tried to crawl away.
Recovering from the strike, Will shook his head vigorously to try and stop the ringing in his ears. Seeing the Sparrow trying to escape, he caught Jack by the foot in an attempt to pull him back. He wouldn't allow him to get away. He should've killed him before when he had the chance on Isla Cruces. He had been waiting for an opportunity to do this for a long time. He intended to free his father, a coward like Sparrow wouldn't get in the way of that.
Jack flipped onto his back as Will grabbed hold of him, drew back his other leg and kicked him in the face, forcing him to let go. Will grunted in pain at the impact as blinding pain erupted up his nose. If it wasn't broken before, it definitely was now, he noted as more blood filled his mouth. Sparrow yelled in frustration as Will latched onto him yet again.
Damn whelp never knows when to quit!
He wrestled out of Turner's weakened grip on one of his legs as the man tried to trap them both before kicking him again. Will let go instantly, the blood pouring from his nose almost black from how much of it there was. Jack stood clumsily to his feet before he could be pulled back down again. He stared down the whelp as he spat blood onto the deck.
"You want to fight me, Turner? Fight me then!"
He seized Will off the floor. Turner didn't go without a fight as he struggled in the other pirate's grip before he was thrown against the rail and socked in the stomach. With his arms pinned, Will kneed the man in the gut to free himself.
Fire blazed in the young Turner's eyes. He'd kill him. He'd kill him!
No sooner had Will drawn his sword, Jack cocked and aimed his pistol back at him without an ounce of hesitation to be seen in his darkened eyes.
Will's sword had only been in his hand for a moment before it found itself in Gibbs' grasp. His hands were held back from reaching for it as the crew's hold on him prevented him from going anywhere.
Not a moment later after Will was disarmed, Jack's pistol was wrestled from his hand with one arm reaching across his chest to keep him grounded. Unlike Turner, he didn't need an entire crew restraining him to bring him back. Jack glanced over his shoulder to look at the man who stopped him. While he was no longer armed, Barbossa's grip on Jack's wrist didn't let up as the lingering traces of the rage fueled adrenaline left his body at once.
"Enough! Let it be, lad." The strange soft edge to Hector's voice made his shoulders tense with uncertainty while Barbossa kept his grip on the lost bird, who looked like he was waiting for the moment to fly away. As several moments of silence passed with the only sounds coming from the whistle of the winds and the harsh pants of breath from the two men, Barbossa's eyes wandered and found that sure enough they had every man on the ship crowding around them. Many of them looked frozen stiff with shock, while others had amused and somewhat dark grins on their faces which soon vanished after the older captain fixed them with a deadly glare.
"Back to work, ye feckless pack of deckapes!" The crewmen stumbled over their own feet in a rush to obey his order that left no room for argument unless such a fool wished to meet his own death. Hector then craned his head to face Gibbs, who was looking back and forth between Turner and Sparrow with caution as if either one would lunge at the other at any given moment.
"Master Gibbs!" Barbossa barked.
It didn't go without notice that Gibbs had never once responded by or addressed him as Captain, but with the way he was staring at the younger captain like he was trying to figure out what was going on in the man's head, he decided to let it slide. His gaze instead travelled to the first mate's left so he was levelling with the battered face of William Turner, tilting his head backwards ever so slightly so that the sun would illuminate the dangerous gleam in his eyes.
"I trust ye can show young Master Turner the way to the brig." He flashed the whelp a nasty smirk which quickly twisted into a scowl.
Gibbs nodded, "Aye, with pleasure."
It didn't go unnoticed that Will seemed to look to Elizabeth for help as Gibbs dragged the boy away with the help of Master Pintel. The lass remained silent and tried her hardest to make it seem like she was oblivious to the pleading stare she was receiving from her dearly beloved by looking elsewhere. He looked above her, presumably to try and communicate with his fellow traitors. Tai Huang stood proudly in front of his men, a smug grin splitting his lips, all but confirming that the Turner was on his own as the slimy man literally turned his back on him.
The moment the three of them disappeared below deck, Barbossa's attention turned back to the Sparrow he still retained a tight hold on. Loathe as he was to admit it, the fact that the man wasn't even making any form of attempt to free himself to wander off elsewhere was a rare thus concerning sight. The lack of struggling from Jack invoked some form of pity from the older pirate as before he knew it he'd released the Sparrow from his caging grip.
Barbossa roughly spun Jack around to face him, the man turned so easily it was like a sail in the wind. Jack stared at him blankly while Barbossa blinked as he took in the lad's bloodied form. While it wasn't a patch on the damage he'd done to Turner, there was blood smeared all up the right side of his face both from the sizable gash on his cheek and where it had run from his nose and there were bruises already beginning to form around his jaw.
Quickly growing uncomfortable with how close the other captain was studying him, Jack's eyes travelled elsewhere as he struggled to think coherently. The repeated punches to his chin and jaw had begun to make him feel disorientated. Wasn't Turner standing there a minute ago?
"Jack?" The man's voice was not unkind. When Jack only blinked in response, Hector sighed heavily and grabbed him by the arm and pulled him along towards the cabin while barking orders at the crewmen. If he weren't feeling like his head were about to split in two, the man's actions would've infuriated Jack. But since he didn't think he was able to open his mouth without vomiting, he was more than happy to let Barbossa do it for him, this one time anyway. Still not saying a word, Jack allowed himself to be hustled into his own private quarter's where the door was shut behind them.
Down below, Will groaned at the rough treatment from the two men grappling him as he was shoved inside a cell, turning around in time for the cell door to slam shut.
"Here ye'are. Ye can chill yer boots down ere for a while." The statement was cold.
Will scoffed, "Look at me, Gibbs." He gestured upwards at his pitiful bloodied form. "If this is the punishment I'm to receive from your captain for keeping my word to my father, then I don't regret the choice I made. I need the Pearl, the only ship that can outrun the Flying Dutchman, where he is imprisoned due to the actions of our two current captains. I intend to free my father, Gibbs and I will. With or without Jack's help."
Maybe he was getting soft in his old age, but he couldn't deny the morsel of pity he felt for the boy. His gaze however remained firm as not to portray his sympathy.
"Aye. And you'd do well to remember what happened the last time someone took the Pearl away from her captain, Will. Betrayal don't sit too well with Jack Sparrow, as Barbossa found out the hard way." Gibbs reminded him as he leaned against the bars. Looking at his face, he made a note to himself to get someone down here to see to that nose before it began to heal.
Will's expression turned dubious, "While that is true, Barbossa captained the Black Pearl for ten years and last I checked is now very much alive, not that Jack has done anything about that. And need I remind you, Master Gibbs, it wasn't too long ago that he was willing to take the Pearl and run from the brethren and the East India Trading Company in order to save his own skin and leave us all to die. It seems like an awful lot of trouble to care so much for a ship he can barely keep ahold of."
While the boy's mocking voice had irked him, Gibbs snapped following Turner's words against his captain and grabbed him through the bars, yanking him forward.
"And who are ye to talk as if your own actions are justified, boy? Who are ye to preach as if you've even the slightest idea of what that man went through in order to keep hold of that ship for as long as he has? Who are ye to whine as if ye've suffered half as many terrors, tortures, losses, demons, a man who has spent his entire life ashore, shielded and ignorant of the true horrors of life that men like us have had no choice but to endure since before ye were born?!"
To see the normally calm, wise and somewhat friendly first mate to the Black Pearl bellowing words of rage and dispair left Will at loss for words completely. His mouth opened to respond several times but nothing came. He was well and truly speechless. The look of anger and devastation burning in the man's eyes told him he was reminiscing memories brought forth by his words that he hadn't wanted to remember.
Gibbs' eyes narrowed, he took a deep breath and sighed heavily before roughly letting Will go making him stumble backwards.
"Ye know nothin of Jack Sparrow."
His solemn voice left those words to haunt him.
Meanwhile, after sitting Jack down in the captain's cabin, Barbossa began impatiently rummaging through the dresser to find anything to help clean Sparrow's wounds. He called Ragetti in to fetch a pail of seawater as they'd long since run out of fresh. The salt would help heal the gash on his face anyhow. Besides, the man's condition while unsettling wasn't exactly life threatening.
With his frustration with the situation as a whole, Hector gave up and decided to make do with the single rag he'd found. When Ragetti returned with the water he sent him away but he himself remained. Whether Jack was aware he was still there, he didn't make a smart witted remark or ask him to leave. He still had yet to say a word. Barbossa sat silently watching as the other captain dunked the rag into the water before rather harshly scrubbing the dried blood from his face. His brow quirked with anticipation when Sparrow hissed the salt of the water must've stung as it bled into the cut on his face, and he though for a split second the lad might say something.
When minutes passed in a not so awkward silence, Barbossa decided to be the one to speak. "If what Turner said be true, tis only a matter of time before the Empress will be comin up hard to starboard."
When he gained no immediate response, Barbossa was ready to give in and leave Sparrow to his thoughts.
"Let them come."
Jack's voice was quiet and cracked but his voice held so much weight to it. Any protest that instantly came to mind died on the older man's tongue as he simply waited to see if Sparrow would continue.
"We know their aim and we've already foiled the treacherous little cur's plan of mutiny. If Sao Feng approaches us with hostility and decides to attack us regardless, well, it goes without saying that there are many men aboard my vessel and his that will suffice if the South China sea is in sudden need of another pirate lord to take his place, savvy?"
The growl that rumbled low in the man's throat did not go unnoticed by Barbossa.
"I think it would be wise for us to go along with Turner's plan however, we go ashore and leave the crew in the charge of Gibbs and the lovely Miss Swann. It would leave us with the element of surprise when good old Sao discovers his pawn is licking his wounds down in the brig and his mates are nowhere to he found."
His signature devious smirk was weak and the lost look in his eyes did him no favours in convincing Barbossa his mind wasn't elsewhere. Nevertheless, the plan intrigued him.
"And what are we to do with our would-be mutineers?" He questioned.
Sparrow raised a finger, "Ah well, on the one hand we could keel haul each of them. As per the code, it would only be right."
Barbossa sensed a contradiction in said idea. He was proven correct with the next words from Sparrow's mouth, "However, that would most likely only make Sao Feng even more determined to take our ship. If he has chosen to answer the call of the brethren then our safety is pretty much guaranteed either way. The same can't be said for the Pearl and her crew."
The older pirate walked across the room to stand in front of where Jack was sitting.
"So we let em live? Is that it?"
This time the Sparrow's smirk had a little more life in it.
"There be plenty of boats to leave em on. Besides, their captain will be here to pick them up soon enough. When we've resupplied the ship, there will be less mouths to feed and more rum to go around. Everybody wins." Jack said coolly with a shrug of his shoulders.
Barbossa watched as Jack sauntered away with a wobble in his step, leaving him alone in the cabin. He could admit, albeit grudgingly, that Sparrow's plan had merit to it, as desperate as he was to line all of them up, Turner included, and shoot them one by one and put each of them out of their misery. It would serve them better in the long run to leave them alive for the time being, if anything to keep Sao Feng off their backs.
While Jack may be right in presuming their safety was more or less guaranteed from the other pirate lord, it was that point he made exactly that made him think. Did this mean Sparrow had seen sense and was willing to honour the call of the brethren despite his earlier arguments? He didn't hold out too much hope that he'd be as willing to go along with his ultimate plan to free Calypso and appease the she-devil into granting him his freedom, but he'd cross that bridge when he came to it.
As he stared at the retreating form of the enigma that was his former captain, Barbossa couldn't help but wonder; had the fool finally accepted that fate cannot simply be outrun? Would he continue trying to avoid the inevitable changes happening in their world and run away? Or would he stand and fight with the rest of them?
Jack leaned over the rail observing with a bitter smile while the Singaporean pirates were bound and lead down into a long boat by Cotton and Pintel. He had ordered each and every one of them to place any weapon they had on their person into the hands of Master Gibbs before being forced to climb down into their temporary ride before Sao Feng finally caught up to them.
Tai Huang remained as the last of them to be escorted down below but he stopped in his tracks, much to Pintel's annoyance as he was the one leading the foreign pirate. His head turned to Jack fixing him with an icy glare while the captain looked unimpressed, arching a questioning brow at the man.
"See how long you last once our captain gets ahold of you, Captain Sparrow. Davy Jones himself would've granted you a kinder death." Tai Huang spat.
Jack pursed his lips in thought, striding two steps forward in the other's direction. His expression remained even, if not slightly amused.
"Been there, done that. Death is death, mate. How people die is just how people die. No matter how painful or peaceful it may be, there's only one place where people like us end up. Now get the hell off my ship."
He gave Pintel an approving look and the deckhand hustled the man over to the rail without question before he could say another word and threw him over into the boat waiting for him below. While the worst of it was yet to come, Jack kept the men in his sights when the boat was cut loose and didn't step away until he'd deemed them a long enough distance away to call safe.
The cautious and kind voice of his ever concerned first mate brought a genuine smile to Jack's face and he answered with a nod of his head before placing his arm around the other.
"Come, let's have a drink. I'd say we've more than earned it." Jack said before Gibbs' resounding chuckle.
The two of them went through the last bottle between them in the captain's cabin, not nearly enough to get them drunk, but just about enough to cause that familiar warmth in the pit of their stomachs which somewhat succeeded in calming their nerves. Barbossa even joined in their conversation after informing them that the island was within sight and they would need to drop anchor soon.
At the mention of the island, Jack decided now would be as good a time as ever to check on young master Turner and accompanied by Gibbs while leaving Barbossa at the helm to bring them to their destination, he wandered down below.
Just as Jack suspected, Turner was already formulating his escape plan. Will had placed a wooden plank under the bars of the cell and was trying to lift it by pressing down with his foot. While the cells did have half barrel hinges, the actual weight of them was a tad heavier than those he had crafted himself down at Port Royal no doubt.
Watching the young whelp with somewhat fascination, Jack decided to let the boy be for a moment ushering Gibbs behind him. The first mate's heavy footsteps mustn't have gone unheard by Will as he suddenly paused in his ministrations looking like a startled deer.
"How long have you been standing there?" Came his slightly timid voice.
Sighing dramatically, Jack walked down the remainder of the stairs making himself visible to Will with Gibbs following behind.
"Not long, I assure you." Was Jack's reply.
Will removed his foot from the wooden plank and slowly stepped away from it. When his head tipped upwards, Jack failed to hold in a wince at his battered face. His nose didn't appear to have stopped bleeding, however due to the fact it no longer looked out of place, he gathered that Turner had probably set the break himself. There was a swelling bruise under his left eye, with blood still staining his teeth. If not for the eyes of his father, his face would be almost unrecognizable.
"I didn't know you were watching." Will remarked quietly.
Jack hummed in thought, "What difference does that make?" He questioned.
Will looked up at him, confusion evident on his face.
"If I hadn't caught you, then the crew would've caught you. It's all the same, mate." Sparrow shrugged stepping closer to Will, "Nevertheless, I no longer have any feeling toward you either way."
Will's face softened at the pirate's cold words that didn't sound right coming from the mouth of a crazy man like Jack. Yet at the same time, he felt as though Sparrow was speaking truthfully as he'd done many times after they first met. His expression was calm, his body relaxed. There was no drink in his hand or crazed gleam in his eye or swaggering grin on his face. Jack wasn't speaking to him, he was speaking at him. He wasn't speaking as Will's friend or ally, he was speaking to him as the Captain of the Black Pearl.
"If you wish to know what has become of your fellow traitors, I imagine the Empress will arrive to their aid at any moment now. Though given that I had them bound, stole all their weapons and left them in a boat with no oars, who knows? Maybe the sea stirred them in another direction. Though I can't say there's any feelings lost for them either." Jack explained disinterested. He turned his attention down to his hands, inspecting them.
Then a feral smile began to cross his face. "I could've thrown you overboard with them. I could have you killed for your attempted betrayal. The crew certainly seems to agree with that train of thought."
Will broke his gaze from the captain abruptly. He scowled, though he wasn't sure whether or not it was aimed at Jack or himself. "Then why don't you?"
The smile on Jack's face dropped completely and the look in his dark eyes was more intense than Will had ever seen it.
"Because, William," Jack began with a gravelly voice, "I am sick of betrayal."
And just like that Will snapped out of his self pitying daze his eyes growing impossibly wide. Before he could say anything however, Jack continued.
"Let me tell you something, Will. I have known betrayal all my life ever since I was a whelp far younger than yourself. Every man I have ever known has betrayed me. As a captain who is repeatedly stabbed in the back by his own sailors, do you think I am the kind of man to trust easily?"
Will remained silent, afraid of any response he may have being the wrong one.
"Not every man wants to betray you, Jack."
Will startled at the sound of Gibbs's voice cutting in having previously forgotten about the older sailor being there. Jack smiled at the man's unspoken declaration of loyalty, however his expression was pinched reflecting his doubt towards the statement.
"Given the chance, Gibbs. Given the chance." Was his only reply though there was a fleeting sadness to it.
"Leave me with the boy for a moment, I'd like to speak to him alone." Gibbs sighed but nonetheless nodded his head and obeyed the order. Once they were alone, Jack turned back to Will.
"Give council against me if you want, mate. If you are that desperate to die and I really hope you aren't, then feel free to make an enemy out of us. You can run away with your charming murderess and find another way of dispatching Jones all by your onesie and see how far you get by with just the two o ye. But I think I have found a way for us both to get what we want, if you're willing to listen that is?" Jack tilted his head waiting with underlying anticipation, ready knowing the answer he would receive.
"And how would you he willing to do that?"
Jack's smirk returned flashing his gold teeth at the younger man. "What say you and I make an accord? I'll support you against Jones if you agree to support me against both Jones and Beckett."
Turner's brow creased, a mixture of emotions showing across his face. But he was interested. Jack wouldn't have offered if he thought the chances of him not accepting were greater than him actually accepting.
"So I would help you clear your debt with Jones and join you in defeating Beckett, but how exactly do you plan to help me?" Will asked. Jack felt comically proud. The boy was asking what was in it for him, he was beginning to sound like a pirate in addition to acting like one.
"Every choice we make is a difficult one, lad. We both have reasons to dispatch Jones, that we can agree on. And as you all reminded me before, the pirates are gathering to fight Beckett and you're a pirate if I've ever seen one. Every sailor worth his salt has reason to kill him. And don't deny it, son, you know as well as I do he will hunt every last one of us down till there be none left. I assume you want to get to know your father when you free him, aye?"
Will sighed deeply before giving a shallow dip of his head, "Aye."
"Well there you have it. We both have ends to achieve and a reason to fight. Can we not be allies?" Jack asked.
The apprehensive look on the boy's face had softened somewhat at the mention of the word. Disbelief was obvious in the way it shone in his far too innocent eyes. The whelp had much to learn, but all Jack knew was he'd rather fight with the man than against him.
"Do we have an accord, Will?" Jack stuck his hand through a hole in the bars.
Will's hesitancy was drowned by a renewed look of determination as he clasped the Sparrow's hand with his own shaking firmly.
"Yes, Jack. We have an accord."