Oct. 20th, 2007

turned_captain: (I'm thinking of something romantic)
"Then what shall we die for?"

It's unfair to call William Turner stupid - even if it's a favourite accusation of Jack's - but he'd be one of the first to admit that he's simple. Since he left his mother's funeral ten years ago he's been following a trail, first his father's, then for the greater stretch working to earn the woman he loves, and it's only become difficult for him when the two paths seemed to contradict each other.

So he understands Elizabeth's need to avenge her father; he'd do the same. What Will could never do, however, is persuade people to follow his path. He learned piracy from Jack, who taught him to think about manipulation and to work underhand whenever the simple fact of the path wasn't enough for people. But that wouldn't work here: he wouldn't have the slightest idea how to persuade a fleet of ships to follow his course.

But Elizabeth...

"You will listen to me."

Elizabeth learned from the overly dramatic Barbossa, and before that from the books in her father's library. And from something she feels, instinctively. She's storming through the crowded deck of the Pearl, somehow by the very way she holds herself drawing the attention from every member of the crew.

"LISTEN!"

The fog is thickening, and the wind rising fast behind them as she takes two steps to climb onto the railing, steadying herself on the rigging. Will has no idea where that strange outfit came from - is it Chinese? - but she looks glorious, and every face is turned to her.

"The Brethren will still be looking here, to us..."

She looks glorious, and her words are glorious. She has a lady's bearing and a woman's romantic soul, but every single man on the ship knows that she fights like a man and lives like a pirate. And now they're learning that she can lead like a King. She talks of fear, and every man on deck knows how shameful hiding would be. And Will sees how Sao Feng might have been fooled into thinking that she, not Tia Dalma, was the spirit of the sea. She talks of freedom, and as chins around him lift, Will feels his heart soar.

They're going to fight. He can see that now. They're going to fight - spurred on not by greed or tricks or deals with angry gods, but by words spoken well by someone who means them. And oh, she means them. Elizabeth Swann, King of all the pirates, is standing on the side of the flagship of an entire fleet of pirate ships, and speaking of freedom.

(How many times do I have to ask you to call me Elizabeth?)

She's driven by so much more than simple vengeance. She's driven by the need to be free, to live her own way, to escape society's restrictions and expectations of her. 'You like pain?' he once heard her say, to someone who could never have known the bonds Elizabeth shook off to stand here in front of them. And Will, whose entire life has been reactionary, restricted by what was right, or best, he looks up at her, and he understands. Finally. He hears her speak of freedom, and he's aware of the knowledge he's always had - that she could never be the wife of a blacksmith, and it strikes him suddenly that the knowledge no longer hurts.

"...and they will know what we can do!"

He doesn't need to follow his path. He doesn't need to listen to Calypso, or even the tall hooded figure in the garden. he doesn't need to be restrained by his training, by his vows, by Destiny. William Turner can make up his own mind. Or in this case...

"...and the courage of our hearts..."

He can make up his heart.

And more than anything, he knows that he wants that woman standing there, golden hair whipping around her face as she yells into the wind. His love for her has only grown with every day he's known her, and knowing her better as only shown him why he loves her. Will makes a decision standing there. He lets go of one path because every throb of blood in his veins is telling him to follow his heart. Somehow, his father can be freed in another way.

Elizabeth Swann could never be the wife of a blacksmith, but Will Turner can damn well be the husband of the Pirate King.

Silence has fallen, and she's looking at him.

Will nods, and his voice rings out in the expectant quiet as he addresses the nearest crew.

"Hoist the colours."
turned_captain: (got me sword back)
The first thing Will is aware of is a steady throb that's both silent and deafening. At first he has no idea what it might be, then he thinks it must be his own heart beat, because it starts in his chest and seems to fill his every vein with life.

But when his fingers reach up to the hole in his shirt, her remembers that his heart shouldn't be beating at all. Further exploration yields a fresh, red welt where he dimly remembers a knife cutting into his chest, after the sword had been removed.

Then Will realises. That sound that isn't a sound, it's not really a heartbeat at all. It's more the rhythmic waves of a lively ocean. And he notices that the body he feels it pulsing through doesn't end at his fingers and toes. As Will carefully draws the first breath since what was meant to be his last, he realises he's feeling the entire ship as it rocks in the swell.

Cautiously, he opens his eyes.

A crew is standing watching him, apparently apprehensive, and Will recognises his father near the front, a familiar knife in his hand. The man standing near might be Jimmylegs, the boatswain who takes a cruel pride in cleaving to the bone when he has to flog a crew member, but like the men surrounding him, he no longer looks like a hideous piscine monstrosity, but like an awed, hopeful, human man. In his hands he carries a chest Will recognises instantly, even before he hears the faint beat of his own heart within it, audible only in the silence of the watching crew

No one on the deck in this still, stagnant underworld says a word as Will stands, and not even his father offers a hand when he proves a little unsteady. They're all watching him, to see what he will do.

Will takes the chest off the boatswain before he says a word of his own.

"To stations," he says flatly, uncertain of his own authority, and they disperse. Only his father lags behind, but Will can't face him now. He continues across the deck, towards Davy Jones'... towards his cabin.

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Will Turner

December 2007

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