Title: "Merry Christmas, Jack"
Author: Pirate Turner
Dedicated To: My beloved, wondrous, and always inspirational and amazing Jack, and our darling babies -- Merry Christmas and Happy Solstice, my loves!!!!! This is the eleventh story in my 12 Days of Solstice/Christmas for my beloved Jack and our darling babies of the year 2011.
Warnings: Slash, Alternate Universe, Established Pairing
Date Written: 19 December, 2011
Word Count (excluding heading): 3,219
Disclaimer: Captain Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, the Black Pearl, Barbossa, and the Pirates of the Caribbean are © & TM Disney, not the author, and are used without permission. Everything else except the public domain characters used within belongs to the author. The author makes absolutely no profit off of this work of fan fiction, and no copyright infringement is intended.
The sounds of deep voices snorting and something digging in the ground near him stirred Jack awake. His dark eyes blinked open, and he quickly shut them again with a half-hearted, silent snarl against the brightness of the full moon. What night was it? He had no clue. He'd lost track of it long ago. Bells jingled, and he emitted the first sound he had in days with a soft growl.
His head pounded. Weakness fluttered through his body. He was starving and thirstier than he could remember being since losing his family in a ship wreck as a child. Something was pawing the ground just a few inches from him. Whatever it was was big and strong, and Jack hoped the beast would snuff out his miserable existence quickly and with preferably little pain. He'd already been through far too much.
Rum drifted through his mind. He tasted its golden sweetness and bitter bite again on his tongue. He hadn't had any rum now for months. He'd never forget its succulent taste, however, and he clung to its memory as he waited for his end. It didn't come, and he opened his eyes again as he heard a jolly voice calling his name. "Jack? Jack?"
The stranger sounded so happy that Jack's fingers arched against the sand beneath him with their desire to strangle the man. No one should be that happy, he thought, growling inside but lacking the strength to produce another proper growl aloud, especially not when he was more miserable than he'd ever been in his life. The single shot Barbossa had left him was looking better and better, but first, he'd deal with this fool.
He squinted against the silver moonlight and watched a hulking frame come closer to him. It was the man's silhouette he saw for as the stranger approached him, the calling of his name grew louder, clearer, and closer. "Jack? Jack?" There should be a Captain in there somewhere, Jack thought sourly. He tried to speak, to tell the stranger to address him properly, but his dried tongue could no longer produce even the slightest syllable.
Then, at last, he saw the man, and if Jack would have been capable of speaking before, words would have surely failed him now. He stared at the approaching man dressed all in red, save for his black boots and belt, in growing shock. His mind was playing tricks on him now, he knew, for sure, and he managed to groan aloud as he looked pass the fat and jolly man and spied nine reindeer, the first with a glowing nose, just behind him. He'd been without his cherished rum for far too long, and this was exactly why he drank! Salt water did things to the mind and was surely the cause of the hallucinations before him. He turned and spat on the sand beside him, but he'd gone so long without even drinking the sea water lapping onto the shore that even his spit was dry.
"Now, Jack," the jolly man spoke, reaching him at last and offering him a hand, "that's no way to greet a friend."
Jack glowered up at him. He wanted to tell him he didn't exist. He wanted to tell him that he knew he was just a trick of his mind. He tried to do just that, but still his tongue refused to form words. The big man before him gave a heavy sigh. "I don't often do this," he said, "but you're falling apart on me. Christmas almost came too late this time, didn't it?"
Jack just continued to stare at him, and then his mouth dropped open, his gold tooth sparkling in the shadows, as the man before him produced a bottle from inside his thick, red coat. "Here," he offered, thrusting the bottle at him, "but tell no one from whence you got this drink." He touched the index finger of his free hand to his round and red nose and winked at Jack.
Jack was still staring at him, but the bottle drew his attention slowly and steadily away from the face of the impossible being before him. He knew the bottle was there to serve as a temptation. It would disappear the moment he reached for it, and yet he was so thirsty. He couldn't think straight, he told himself. That's why all this was happening and also why he could not ignore the pull of temptation as he dove for the bottle. He clasped the bottle in his hands, and his surprise grew as it didn't vanish the moment he touched it. Instead, it felt hard and cool inside his dirty hands.
It would disappear any second now, he knew. The hallucinations never lasted long, and although this was the weirdest and felt the realest of them all thus far, he knew it was no closer to reality than any of the times he'd dreamed of his beloved rum since being marooned on this Gods-forsaken isle. Still, he thought, best to act while it seemed real. Maybe the fake rum would at least taste better than his memories. He wasted no time in popping the cork and raising the bottle to his cracked and bleeding lips.
Golden amber fell from the green bottle labeled in red onto his seeking and yearning tongue. Jack tingled from head to toe in delight as the taste sang inside his swollen mouth. He turned the bottle up and drank the entire bottle of rum in a single gulp. Only when the bottle was empty did Jack reluctantly lower it. He was still tingling, his very soul singing his delight, but all that came crashing to an end when he saw the jovial face smiling down at him. "Damn," he muttered the first real word he'd spoken in at least a month. "Ye are real."
The man smiled down at him, and Jack found the corners of his lips twitching in response. The being before him was so happy that just being around him seemed to lighten the air and make Jack want to smile. He wiped his lips with the back of his hand as he told himself sternly, *Stop that!* This couldn't, shouldn't, be happening, and yet, just like so many other things he'd come across in his journeys across the seven seas that were not supposed to be real, he was once again seeing the unbelievable living! Santa and his reindeer did exist!
But, then if they really were real, why had he never seen them before? Why had Santa never came to him when he was a lad? Anger flared inside of him; he jumped to his booted feet and squared off against the jolly, old Elf. "Why?" he demanded, waving the emptied bottle of rum around in the hot, Caribbean air.
Santa blinked, clearly surprised at his sudden influx of anger. "Why what?" he queried.
"Why not?" Jack demanded. "Why wait me entire life before makin' yeself known? Where were ye when I was a lad, aye? Where were ye when all th' other boys an' gels were gettin' presents on Christmas Eve? How come I never got any?"
Santa sighed heavily. "I tried, Jack."
Jack's dark eyes flashed. "There should be a Captain in there somewhere," he interjected.
"I tried. Honestly, I did. You were always moving around. It was hard enough to find you, and on the nights that I did locate you and tried to come closer to the ship you were on at the time, your Pirate friends shot at me!" He pulled himself up to his full height and looked at Jack quite indignantly. "Imagine! People shooting at me, Santa Claus, after all the good I do and all the children I make happy! It's happening more and more you know, though." He shook his head sadly, and the bells on his cap and belt jingled with the movement. "This world isn't what it used to be."
Jack looked around at the island surrounding them. "Ye're tellin' me," he groused in agreement.
"I'm sorry I was never there for you before, Jack, -- "
Jack again cut him off. "There should be a Captain in there somewhere," he reminded him.
"I'm here for you now," Santa told him, once more offering the young Pirate his hand.
Jack eyed his outstretched hand; his gold tooth gleamed. The beads strung throughout his long, jet black hair jangled slightly as he cocked his head in thought. "No one's e'er goin' t' believe this."
Santa smiled, his eyes twinkling. "Then make up a story. You're quite good at that."
"Am I now?" Jack studied him intently. Had this man really been watching him as the legends said he did? Did he know everything he'd ever done that was good and all the wicked deeds he'd performed in his life thus far? If he did, he knew he was naughty and shouldn't be on his list of kids to receive presents. Not that he was a child any more. No, those years had left him behind long ago.
"I especially like the one where you single handedly saved those stow-away children from that ship full of Zombies." Santa smiled secretly as he watched the young teenager trying so hard to be a man studying him with the intent gaze of a scrutinizing disbeliever. He knew Jack had seen magic before. He'd swam with water nymphs and fought against mermaids. He'd heard bones speak and seen unicorns race on islands long forgotten by time. He'd watched a dragon fly above his ship and almost lost another ship to a sea dragon. He knew magic existed, and yet he had such trouble believing in him.
Santa sighed, realizing that he himself and the lack of his intervention in his young life were the reasons why Jack was having such trouble accepting him now. That, plus he was trying so hard to leave his childhood years behind him. He was trying to be a man, and his parents would be proud of the man he was becoming. Even if he did have a problem with rum.
"Got any more rum?" Jack asked, at last breaking the silence that had began to settle between them.
"That was magic rum, Jack," Santa advised, "and yes, I could make some more, but you don't need it."
"I want it. Inn't that what Christmas' s'posed t' be about?"
Had anybody else asked him that question, Santa would have scolded them to no end, but Jack hit him with the question with such a serious look and countenance that Santa threw back his head and laughed before he could stop himself. Jack's eyes bobbed up and down as he watched the ancient Elf's belly shake just like the bowl full of jelly he'd heard it described as his entire life. He smiled innocently, his lips quivering ever so slightly with his nervousness.
"No, son," Santa spoke again at last, "that's not what Christmas is about. Christmas is about helping others, magic, and miracles."
"Escapin' this bloody island would be a miracle," Jack agreed, glancing behind Santa to his reindeer who were impatiently beginning to paw the ground again, "but why should ye help me? I knae ye've got a naughty list, an' I know I'm on it."
"Yes, yes, you are," Santa nodded thoughtfully. He picked his glasses up off of his red nose and started cleaning them.
Jack waited, shifting his aching feet clothed only in holey boots in the sand and feeling even more as he was being tried than if he'd been standing before a judge and the gallows. Any judge would hang him. Any supposed do-gooder or upkeeper of the law would hang him. If Santa left him, he'd be hanging him, too. "Santa?" he found himself asking quietly on that magical night.
Santa put his glasses back on his nose. "You are on my naughty list, Jack. You have been for years," he admitted with a roll of his shoulders, "but I've hope for you, son. When you find the right family, and the right love, you're going to become a good man."
"I'm a Pirate," Jack admitted, his gold tooth gleaming. "Always have been, always will be."
"Yes, but not all Pirates are bad."
Jack stared at him. "I thought ye lived on th' North Pole, not another world."
Santa laughed deeply again, and Jack grinned slowly in response. "I do," Santa admitted, "but you'll come to know what I mean. Now," he said, glancing back at his waiting reindeer and sleigh, "what do you say we get out of here?"
"Aye!" Jack exclaimed enthusiastically and ran to the sleigh.
Santa climbed on beside him and started calling to his reindeer. Jack silently mimicked his words and flicked his wrists as Santa flicked the reigns. The reindeer took off galloping so fast down the isle that Jack found himself having to hang on to the sleigh to keep from falling overboard. Santa's deep laughter filled the emptied isle, and then they were off and flying through the night sky. Jack watched the stars passing them by in amazement and knew his life had been changed forever more.
Magick did exist. There was still kindness and goodness in the world, even if it required being brought to life by a jolly, old Elf that wasn't supposed to exist but truly did. No one would ever believe him, Jack knew. He'd have to concoct another story of how he'd gotten off the island, and he would. He'd say he'd done it all by himself, he knew already.
He looked down to the sea they were passing over and saw mermaids, dolphins, and -- He squinted, gawked, and looked again. His mouth fell open; his gold tooth gleamed. Were those turtles he saw down below, each one every bit as big as the dolphins they swam beside?
Santa laughed as, standing next to him, he witnessed Jack's startled expression. "There's magic all across the world, Jack. You've only to look with eyes opened by and seeing from an open heart to find it, and there's goodness in every one of us." Jack looked at him. "Yes, Jack, even in a Pirate." Santa smiled, and Jack slowly answered him with a warm smile of his own. "Would you like to take the reigns for a bit?"
"Would I?!" Jack cried excitedly, and Santa handed him the reigns of his beloved reindeer. Jack snapped the reigns, and the reindeer took off flying even faster.
"Ho! Ho! Ho!" Santa called, laughing and holding on to his cap.
A huge grin filled Jack's handsome face as he answered, "An' a bottle of rum!" He sailed them through the night sky, and his heart and soul grew ecstatically happy with the magic he felt all around them. On that Christmas Eve night, Captain Jack Sparrow learned to never again ignore or doubt magic, but it wasn't until many years later that he finally realized just what Santa had meant by there being good even in a Pirate.
He catches Will's warm and loving smile now over the heads of laughing and happy children. His love's enthusiastic and joyful grin is contagious, and Jack's own smile broadens in response. Kittens and puppies still mill about their booted feet as the children race off to play with their new toys. The animals are busily chewing their bones, indulging in catnip, and batting around their new toys as well. They barely notice the men walking to each other and the love glowing between them.
"You can't tell me," Will tells Jack, "that you haven't enjoyed this."
"Wasn't goin' t' try t'," Jack responds, sneaking an arm around Will's waist and pulling him closer.
"Then why'd you argue so much against it?"
Jack shakes his head. "It just isn't what a Pirate would normally di."
"Every one has a capability to be good, even Pirates. You taught me that, beloved."
"So I did," Jack admits, smiling and his gold tooth gleaming. He wonders if Will has any idea how close that statement sounds to another one he heard many years ago when some one first told him a Pirate could be good.
A tiny growl causes him to look down, and his smile grows even more as he sees a small puppy, the runt of his litter no doubt, growling at his boot for it's come too close to stepping on his bone. Jack shoves the bone back over to the puppy, then looks back to his smiling life mate. "Ye knae we're goin' tae have tae keep 'em."
"The animals or the children?"
A look of horror flashes across Jack's handsome face. "Th' animals, o' course. We'll give th' children this night o' happiness, but then they gi back tae their orphanage. We're not bein' fathers o' that many!"
"Not of human children, at least," Will agrees and strokes Jack's cheek lovingly. He cups his hand underneath his chin and pulls him to look at him alone. "Merry Christmas, Jack!"
"Merry Christmas, Will!" They kiss, and somewhere, off in the distance, Jack hears jingling bells, merry laughter, and a deep voice crying, "Ho! Ho! Ho!" He wants to thank him, but he knows Santa already knows how much he appreciates all he did for him that magical night so many years ago. He saved him that night, not just his life but his heart and soul as well. He gave him back a hope that had been beaten so badly over the years that only a tiny spark of it had remained, a spark that Santa had found and reignited.
Now, at last, Jack has his true love and his right family. They're still Pirating. He'll always be a Pirate, but they're taking time to do some good deeds along the way too. He's the happiest he's ever been, happier, in truth, than he'd ever thought he could be, and his life is filled not just with that glowing happiness but with the greatest, most powerful magic of all, that of true love!
He wraps his arms tightly around his beloved Will and dips him though there is no mistletoe hanging above their heads. They have no need of mistletoe; they have everything they could ever want or need right here in each other's loving arms. Jack's tongue slips into Will's heated and waiting mouth as he deepens their kiss. Will arches up against him, and they kiss on as though there is no tomorrow though they both know they'll always be a tomorrow and they'll forever be together. Even after the end of time itself, they'll still be together, and Jack will still be happy, loved, and engulfed in magic for he'll still have his Will and their never-ending, all-consuming love forever more!
Part of him thinks of lifting his mouth from Will's to tell him again that he loves him, but they really have little use for words. Their actions always speak louder than words, and Jack tells his beloved Will, as their crew lead the children away, just how infinitely much he loves and will always love him alone for all eternity and infinitely beyond. Will answers in the same method, kissing Jack senseless and assuring him that he'll always be right here with him and love him, too, forever more!