Author's Notes/Summary: Jack musing. First person Jack Sparrow P.O.V. Anyhow, who is he talking to? That's up to the reader to decide: it could be Elizabeth, a crew member, some stranger on some drunken evening, even The Black Pearl as he stands behind her wheel looking into the horizon.

A Pirate's Musings, or, Why God Made Rum

By flameboi

When young Will asked me about his da' I told him; the basics, and truth, just not all of it - that I knew Bill better than most, that he was a pirate, and a good man both. Could have told him more, plenty, but. That don't rightly concern him. It's mine. Like I told him, not all treasure's silver and gold; the rest of that tale is booty I share with none but as I choose. 'Sides, he didn't want to believe Bootstrap a pirate; damn sure he wouldn't believed the rest.

Still, much alike, the two of them, for all the son barely knew the man. I asked him how far he'd go for the girl, and he said he'd be willin' to die for her. Bill never said aught so pretty soundin', maybe, but he did it instead of sayin', too, is what it comes to. And, Captain Jack Sparrow or nay, happy here where I bloody belong on me lovely Pearl or nay, I carry that, for what it's worth; mostly naught but drownin' of sorrows. Aye, but that's why God made rum, eh mate?

Ten years ago it was we met, me and Bill; I was Captain of the Pearl for all a month, she newly commandeered from a Spaniard merchant, and me, well, I was younger then. Maybe a little foolish, y'see? New to it, leastways. William, he wasn't so new to bein' on the account; tired of slavin' for the merchanters a few years back, he'd turned his hand to somethin' more profitable, savvy? Anyways, he were part of the crew I took on to replace some as I'd lost. It happens, part of the life. Look at Will, and yer lookin' at his da', right enough; a few years older and harder than the lad, may be, but as alike as a mirror's show to it's mistress, still.

The life at sea; there's not always some port nearby, least nots as anythin' but suicide for the likes of us, an' Pearl with not one lass aboard her, savvy? That don't hardly make desires die, so, you make due as can. Bill was only the goldenest of m' men lovers, not the first nor last nor only. Golden, shinin' like fullmoon on dark waters, sweat sheenin' his skin as he lay in me bunk after a good tumble. One of the only, though, as I let ride me same as I'd rode him. Somethin' about him, eh; somethin' 'bout his kisses, salt and rum, like tastin' me own self maybe; the taste of him elsewheres, too, salt, delicious, skin and prick and seed. Or his hands, an' those not like mine atall; he had hands like Will's, big, strong; mine are strong enough but fool everytime for lookin' at. Maybe jest the way he talked, Bill did, talked to me like we was best chums, and not a reason on earth or sea to be mistrustin' one another, like we weren't both dishonest men and pirates when we lay together, an' after. Sometimes, he'd talk a bit 'bout his boy, what a fine young man he was goin' to grow t' be, with the money he'd be sendin' back home from his share of Cortez' lost treasure, once we had it.

And then there were the mutiny, Barbossa and his filthy dogs. They thought Captain Jack was weak 'cause I don't hold with random murderin' when ye can get the booty all the same without none; well, they got whats coming, so it matters not, now. They knew me an' Bill was close, too, right enough, so they said nothin' to him 'bout it aforehand. What was he to do, once I was held and it was over, get himself marrooned with me? He maybe was stupid later, a little, but I b'leive that was guilt. Still, the way he was lookin' at me when they got ready to chuck me over the scuppers, if I wasn't so damnable furious, I think might've broke whate'er heart I got, savvy? Like he was the one likely dyin', almost.

The rest, mostly is what ye know already: me marooned, and Bill, less'n a year later, when they first begun suspectin' just how bad the curse was, sendin' that one coin off to his boy back in England, sayin' it weren't right what they did, an', what that bastard did to my William for it. That's the part that .. Eh, you ken what I mean? No? Alright, then: Bill, he wasn't so stupid that all said an' done, before the guilt, like I said, started eatin' him from inside, I suppose, that he didn't take the gold too. He did; he was cursed same as the rest, savvy? So when they heaved him, an' that anchor in, he didn't die, no more'n any of 'em could. He didn't manage to free himself, neither- much as I might like thinkin' so, he'd've heard I weren't dead after all, he'd've come found me, or, he'd've gone back to England. Neither happened, so I know Bill never got free. So he's dead now, soon as the curse broke, sure as the sun rises east. Dead, and died over me, sure as that, too.

That's somethin' big, savvy? Dyin' for someone else, and it's somethin' to carry if yer that one lived, too, 'specially if it all happened maybe cause you were stupid. If maybe you loved the person as died an' never told 'em as much when you should've or could've. I know, I know, 'Take what ye can an' give nothin' back,' eh? They have a sayin' maybe that applies, read it long ago, far and away: 'Cold comfort 'tis, in the wee small hours of the night.'

But, that, mate, is why God made rum.

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