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1) This story is dedicated to captain_molly because her wonderful wonderful story Justice is what inspired this. (completely, and totally) 2) A big, huge, gargantuan thanks to yakkorat who gave me that brilliant last line when my last line was suckin' the huge one.
He Knows Blades
So he throws the blade and it sticks like it should, like he knew it would. It sticks because he may not know much but he knows blades. He knows this blade, just like he knows all of his blades. Blades made of metal, smelt by fire, and forged by his own two hands. He knows how to throw, and he´s good at it, because it´s precision and physics and gravity and velocity and it sticks with a loud thwock and that´s satisfying.
And then he´s moving, blade out at the ready, and yelling for the townspeople to move, his eyes flicking to where Jack´s feet grapple on the sword sticking underneath him in the trap door. For a moment he allows himself a small sense of gratification because for once he knew the person the blade was intended for would truly appreciate it, even if it still wasn´t voiced. He knows Jack will reward him with a wink and somehow that´s enough because he thinks Jack will say more with a wink than anyone ever has to him.
Then he´s up the stairs and sluicing through the air with his blade and contact and metal clinking and sounds of horror and awe from the crowd fills his ears. His muscle memory allows him to predict his opponent´s movements and counteract before he even has to analyze them. They´re dancing around Jack and he´s not winning yet but he knows he will be, and this this is what he´s supposed to do. This is what he´s supposed to be and he hasn´t known until just now, except now that he knows he feels like he´s always known.
Finally he sees the opportune moment and slices Jack´s rope with his blade and catalogs it in the back of his mind to taunt Jack about opportune moments and how finally for once he was starting to see his point, and he runs down the stairs and over to Jack to join him. To run with him the edge of the parapet and jump and swim and sail with the Captain of equal parts madness and brilliance and learn about his heritage because he´s always felt that itch inside of him and now he knows what that means.
But he gets to the bottom and Jack´s not by his side, and he´s not running ahead either. He´s lying on the ground and not moving and for a moment neither can Will. He can´t breathe as his eyes land on Jack and he´s so still and he´s not fighting and suddenly Will realizes he´s been moving this whole time because he´s standing over him and then he´s kneeling and he doesn´t understand.
Because Jack´s not moving, and his eyes are closed, and he´s not breathing. He´s not breathing and Will´s jerking on his sleeve and telling him to get up and to move and that they have to get out of there. And nothing. Not a peep, not a sound, not a whisper, not a wink. Will finds his head spinning and knows he´s not breathing either but at least he´s blinking and he can´t understand why Jack´s not.
But the blade stuck. It stuck just like he wanted it to, just like he threw it to, just like it should have. It stuck and it held, and it was still up there in the trap door where it was to begin with. And Jack was down here, not breathing, and not moving, and not Jack anymore. Because he was dead. He was strangled and he was dead, and it wasn´t supposed to happen like this.
Finally it´s not quiet anymore, and he hadn´t even realized it had been quiet until it wasn´t. There were shouts and screams and scuffling feet. He still clung to Jack´s wrist and he tugged and pulled because he knew he was dead but it still didn´t click. He yelled at him and he cursed at him and it didn´t even phase him that he didn´t talk like this, and he didn´t do it in front of people.
Then he´s stock still because it´s starting to sink in now. It´s starting to dawn on him that the blade was strong and it had flown through the air and stuck in the wood but it hadn´t been wide enough. It hadn´t been wide enough and sometime during the scrabbling around with the man on stage Jack must have slipped and slowly strangled, dangling there while Will told himself about what a good job he´d done.
And there are tears coursing down his face as he leans over and kisses Jack on the cheek because Jack had been a good man and he´d failed him. He´d failed him on his first try out as someone who would do these things because they were right despite how wrong they were according to society. He´d failed him when Jack hadn´t even expected him to try to save him and that somehow made it worse.
So when the red coats grab him by his elbows and haul him up he doesn´t even struggle. His eyes are glued to Jack´s face and it still doesn´t seem right that it´s not moving, because Jack was never still and he shouldn´t ever be. Somewhere in the back of his mind Will knows that tomorrow he´ll probably be hung, despite the protests Elizabeth will probably make, and despite the fact that Norrington will hate to do so.
The only problem with that is that he wishes it could be today, because somewhere-- in the lingering space between heaven and hell-- a kholed beaded pirate would be waiting for him.