Author: Kat Lee
Dedicated To: My beloved Drew, who never gets enough Wick
Fandom: Pirates of the Caribbean
Character/Pairing: Jack/Will, past Will/Elizabeth
Word Count: 1,176
Date Written: 19 November 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
He tugs him closer against his body as they watch the horizon explode in vibrant colors. The Pearl rattles slightly with the force of the cannons as they explode, sending more lights into the sky. The crew feels it’s a waste of profit to be celebrating this way, but Jack couldn’t care less. Finally, he has his Will, and it’s time to celebrate!
“Jack,” Gibbs announces as he walks closer, carefully carrying three wooden tankards. “Crew’s comin’ ‘round. Thought you might like to know.” Jack smirks, but before he can retort that he doesn’t care, the man who’s often been a father to him as well as a friend adds, “We’ve all wanted to see ye happy for a long time, boyo.”
He can’t argue with those words or the kindness he sees in Gibb’s old, caring eyes. They do want him to be happy, and this time, they’ve stood with him. In fact, most of them have stood with him as long as he’s been fair. He can hardly blame them, if he’s honest with even himself, for not showing loyalty to a Captain who didn’t earn their trust. But he has it now and has a loyal crew because of it.
Gibbs has been with him since almost the beginning. Marty’s been a mostly loyal hand since his first trip to Port Royal, where he first met the man beside him. Both of them have seen them through some rather crazy adventures as have Pintel and Ragetti, who are back in their lives now and more crazy and in love than ever before. Emotions stir in Jack’s heart, but he doesn’t speak of them. He only smiles instead, the rising breeze causing the beads in his long, dark hair to jingle a little.
“Ye’ve got a keg of this new holiday brew,” Gibbs tells him, “from th’ crew an’ me.” Sitting down his own tankard, he hands the other two to his boy and his lover.
Jack takes the offered tankard, but he doesn’t gulp down the rum-spiked eggnog as he once would have done only months ago. He sips it instead as Will carefully, almost daintily sips his own.
Gibbs smiles at them again and tilts his grey head in a respectful nod. “Merry Christmas, Jack, Will.” Nodding to the other man, he walks away, but not before Jack calls back to him.
“Merry Christmas, Gibbs, an’ thank ye.” There’s so much for which he wants to thank him, but he doesn’t want to get too emotional or too reflective, especially on this day, his first Christmas spent with the man he loves. Hopefully they’ll share many more holidays in the coming years, but Jack learned long ago to never take life for granted. The lives of Pirates tended to be far too short, and although his luck hasn’t run out yet -- it’s actually better than it’s ever been before now that he’s got Will back --, because of that same very reason (the man he has at his side), he’s not about to risk wasting the rest of his time.
He wonders, not for the first time, if he could have ever managed to have freed Will from the Flying Dutchman if it had not been for the loyalty of his crew, particularly Gibbs’ loyalty. He’d been the one to find the spell to send him there without actually dying and the one to bring him back. He had stood beside him throughout all the craziness that had ensued, and now here they are at last, free and safe upon the Pearl’s beautiful deck and with Will where he belongs, his arms around Jack.
Will chuckles suddenly, startling Jack out of his reflection on the past. “You don’t have to hold back on my account,” he comments, looking at Jack’s barely touched tankard. He sits his own down on a nearby keg.
“I have better things to drink now,” Jack replies, his dark eyes sparkling mischievously. The rum doesn’t hold the same appeal it once had for him. He still enjoys the taste -- he always will --, but he no longer wants to forget. He’s proud of who he is and what he’s accomplished, what he’s accomplished with the help of his loyal crew, and prouder still to be the man who gets to love the man beside him. His past needs to be forgotten, but there’s nothing about his present or future that he wants to miss even a little bit.
He puts his hands on Will’s hips again and brings the younger man closer to him. His eyes gaze with love and adoration into the chocolate brown pools that have haunted his dreams since almost that very first moment back in Port Royal, back, so long ago, when he’d thought Will could never possibly love a Pirate like himself -- and the former blacksmith had thought the same. “God, I’ve missed ye,” he breathes, his voice shaking with the emotions his memories evoke.
“I missed you too,” Will answers without hesitation, coming closer and wrapping his arms once more around his Captain. “All those years I spent chasing after Elizabeth and you were the only one I’ve ever really loved -- I was so afraid I’d never get the chance to show you.” He shakes his head in wonder. “I still don’t quite understand how you managed to reach me, let alone save me and bring me back to the living with you.”
Jack raises a hand and caresses Will’s handsome face, drawing his thumb softly across the stubble on his cheek. “It doesn’t matter,” he whispers. “What matters is that you’re here now.”
Will closes the distance between them. “And I always will be,” he vows, his breath warm against Jack’s smiling lips. He presses his mouth to his in a kiss so passionate that they barely feel the next round of cannonfire. The setting sun is beautiful as are the makeshift fireworks set off by the cannons, but neither Pirate notices them. All they see in this moment, and all they need in this or any other, is each other.
Jack moans softly against Will’s lips as he forces himself to withdraw. Now cupping and caressing both sides of his face, his forehead leaning slightly against his, he whispers, “I love you, Will!” For a man who once would have never said those three little words even if the person demanding them of him had had a gun trained on him, he says them now many times every day and always freely.
Will kisses him again, softly and quicker this time. “I love you too, Jack,” he breathes, and for once, Jack doesn’t remind him that there’s a Captain in there somewhere. “Merry Christmas!”
“Merry Christmas, my luv!” Jack answers, knowing it will be for him every year that he shares the holiday with Will, no matter where they are, even if, as now, they’re in the middle of the ocean with the British fleet trailing behind them. He kisses him again as the cannons once more light up the darkening sky.