The sun beams down, hot on his back. It’s hot, his boots are filled with increasingly annoying sand, and he’s been forced to lead a crew across this bloody beach to find William bloody Turner because bloody ‘Captain’ bloody Hector bloody Barbossa wants him for some bloody plot. And, of course, darling Elizabeth wouldn’t dream of giving them a heading any more accurate than “one of the hidden coves two miles up from Port Royal, I’m sure you’ll find it easily enough”.
Two miles where? Up where? This bloody woman captains the Flying Dutchman, of all ships, you’d think she’d have learned to give proper direc-
His train of thought is interrupted when he looks up, and sees only waves and the distant sun and horizon. It would appear that they’ve run out of beach to trudge along. Discontented muttering fills the air behind him, and Jack hears Gibbs call out for a break. He offers no protest, throwing himself down onto one of the smoother rocks at the water’s edge. He stares, unseeing, in the direction of the open ocean, fuming and ignoring the crew. The waves crash on, uncaring, uninterrupted but for the occasional dark blot of a seabird or seal.
Jack’s eyes focus on the dark shape bobbing under the waves – dark fur, or darkened hair? He makes as if to turn, call to a man with sharper eyes when…
What the bloody hell is this?
Jack is dimly aware that the men behind him have fallen silent, but he’s a little preoccupied with the miniature human beside him, a lad that has somehow sneaked to his side in the brief time he’s been sat on this rock. The child also stares out over the waves, blond hair wind-tousled and shirt untucked and spray-dampened. Jack closes his eyes. This is hopefully some drunken nightmare, and when he wakes he won’t be on this sweltering hell-strand with a resentful crew and some miniature apparition.
He’s most disappointed to be proven wrong when he opens his eyes again.
The child is looking away from the waves now, turned to face the distant cove where the Pearl is anchored. A pointed cough sounds behind the two of them, but Jack ignores it, crab-stepping away from his rock to crouch beside the boy. He doesn’t usually like children – far too many women have tried to claim they belong to him (he knows for a fact at least two-thirds of them were lying). This one is especially odd, however, staring intently at his beloved ship and…
The child raises his arm, one chubby finger pointed at the far-moored Pearl as he beams up at Jack.
This is the final straw. He’s suffered the indignity of sailing under Barbossa’s rule, aboard his own ship, no less! He’s part of some plan that he has no knowledge of, and therefore no method by which to manipulate it. His crew aren’t speaking to him, there’s this truly awful business with the Turners (again.), and now this gremlin has the audacity to insult his seafaring lady?
His hands raise, fingers twisting uselessly, eyes bugging, when-
“Jack Sparrow, what the HELL are you doing with my son?”
William Turner emerges from the waves like some pretentious sculpture in a Greek temple, face thunderous as he strides towards Jack and the child. Jack looks down. The boy’s now tottering towards Will, face lit up as he holds up his arms to be picked up.
That’s William Turner’s son.
That’s WILLIAM TURNER'S son.
Jack looks up, flabbergasted.
“He’s YOUR son?
Does Lizzie know?”
Will rolls his eyes, the boy now clinging to his neck like a limpet.
“Well, Jack, considering he’s also Elizabeth’s son, I’d think so!”
This is the son of William Turner and Elizabeth Swann, captain of the Flying Dutchman and King of pirates. The grandson of ‘Bootstrap’ Bill Turner, one of the finest pirates ever to share a deck with Jack. This is an outrage.
“Then why the HELL haven’t you taught him what a ship is?”
Will raises a disbelieving eyebrow in his direction, and he’s sure he can hear a few muffled sniggers behind him. He doesn’t care. In fact, he can feel a smile twitching at his face, further confusing Will.
This is an unforeseen complication, a rather significant issue. This will rather throw a spanner into any secretive plans concerning one dear William.
And it’s not. His. Problem.