Oceanbound @linwood
The Gift

"….All of them, fateful hands before the mast, every man worth his salt…And crazy to boot."

Will frowned as he picked up Gibbs' remark while he was approaching the man and his captain, crossing the rather busy pier that was swarming with pirates preparing their respective vessels to cast off, including the apparent crew Gibbs had promised to provide them with, and whom now stood at the end of the said pier. Being inspected by the first-mate and their new captain, who by the looks of it was far from impressed…Although anything less hardly was to be expected in a place such as this, island inhabited by all manner of dregs of society from drunkards to common riffraff of the most heinous kind…Which in itself would've been a perfect requirement for someone aspiring to lead a life of a pirate, if it weren't for the overall sleazy look of those men Gibbs had discovered, clearly not appreciated by the man in business of enlisting them.

Will gave the mermaid in his arms a brief look as he dodged a group of passing pirates busy loading a collection of crates and barrels aboard a nearby vessel, discovering that dark look in her eyes to have not disappeared and that she in fact appeared even further morose from before the closer they'd gotten to the docks and the more people they'd come across during their short walk. Will however not blaming her wary and downright hostile way of peering at the people they passed, cringing at every turn whenever even one of them had steered too near, as she probably had never been this close to so many humans in her life…Not to mention to be carried by one after almost having herself slaughtered by a number of other men didn't help, so although Will felt more than apprehensive of bringing her out in the open like this, risking her to suddenly going off in a rampage in her evident dread of being surrounded by swarms of people, he however still only walked forward. To have managed to coax the mermaid into following him, who had been extremely relunctant to do so nonetheless, even she had let him to carry him out of the room of that inn all the way to here due to the very fact of her being quite depended on him for the time being if she wanted to survive. So after eyeing at her a bit, to make sure she was at least somewhat calm enough for him to go through with his plan and join Jack and the others Will bettered his hold of her after noticing her to gasp for pain, his movements now more gentle Will shifting his attention back to the group of pirates. Watching Jack to lastly focus his gaze onto a man who reached not farther than his waist, and his expression encouraged Will to then speak his thoughts out loud in place of him.

"So this, is your able-bodied crew?" he spoke up, drawing all the attention in turn as every single man turned to him at the sound of his sardonic notion. After exchanging a remarkable look with both Jack and Gibbs Will coming to a halt beside the duo, to examine the cluster of sailors well past their prime. Jack taking notice of the mermaid in his arms, and after giving her a rather taken aback look upon finding her in such good shape compared to the state of her from last night he simply shot a skeptical look at the young man after eyeing at her in suspicion. Shifting his eyes back to the row of pirates once the mermaid scowled back at him the instant his gaze settled back onto her for a bit.

"William, good for ye to have joined us…with such comely company", Jack mused, dismissively however as then passed Will and walked by the men waiting to be evaluated. Jack's focus soon fixating onto an elderly man with a vibrant parrot on his shoulder, narrowing his eyes at first at the animal until cast his gaze down to the man himself.

"You sailor!"

"Cotton, sir", Gibbs clarified, Will looking past Jack as also cast a wondering look at the man once the pirate began to question him, to question his resolve.

"Mr. Cotton…Do you have the courage and fortitude to stay true and follow orders in the face of danger and most certain death?"

There was a brief silence as the sailor simply looked over to Gibbs, vexing Jack who then made a grimace. Leaning close to the man upon leveled a grim look in his eyes. "Mr. Cotton! Answer man!"

"He's a mute, sir. Poor devil had his tongue cut out…So he trained the parrot to talk for him", Gibbs hurried to explain, indeed the sailor's tight-lipped manner making then sense as he opened his mouth for the three men to see what remained of his missing bodypart in question. Causing Will to frown uneasily where the grotesque sight had a greater impact on Jack, the pirate sticking his own tongue out for disgust that however only seemed to amuse the sailor as Gibbs continued.

"No one's yet figured how."

"Mr. Cotton's parrot…Same question", Jack asked then, somewhat hesitant at first as after a second thought faced the sailor again, looked up to the bird that instantly straightened in attention and pegged him straight in the eye. Fascinated Will craning his neck to follow as the parrot then let out an affirmative squawk, raising its wings, causing Will to arch his brows in surprise.

"Wind in the sails! Wind in the sails!"

Will took now slight, actual amusement in the mermaid as saw her to tilt her head at the sound of the parrot speaking, just slightly that it would've been left unseen had she not been so close to him. Her peering at the bird in honest interest from under the coat coavering her until her piercing eyes moved away, to resume their previous scouring of the glimmering sea.

"Mostly we figure that means yes", Gibbs stated, giving his captain a small grin as Jack glanced at him in agreement, giving the talking bird a pensive look.

"Of course it does!" he mused, next turning to Will to level a quizzical look at him. "Satisfied?"

"Well you've proved them mad", Will agreed, raising his eyebrows again incredulously as scanned the row of men once more in doubt. Truly not seeing much in these wrecks of men, nor finding them to better their already bad prospects of catching up with the Black Pearl and saving Elizabeth…Suddenly the thought of her now causing Will to pause, as he realized that he hadn't actually given her much thought since last night…Since venturing into that auction that had had him momentarily forget all about the reasons that had brought him there.

Will gasped at the sudden hiss that reached his ears, him looking down to the mermaid until hastily turned around, moving her away from one of the pirates who'd just now raised their eyes and taken notice of her once the jacket Will had covered her with fell a little from her face. Him to have managed to keep her hidden from the majority of the passerbies' eyes, but now upon seeing her, givenly drawn in by her beauty the sailor approached them and caused the mermaid to recoil upon his attempt to get closer. Will shifting away from him before she could act on the threat that he could've just now spot in her bilious eyes that demanded the man to stay away. Possibly spearing the man a limb just in time before he'd been able to lay a finger on her.

"And what's the benefit for us?"

Will almost bumped into Jack as during his attempt to continue walking he briefly paused, the distinctly female voice then also causing Will to wonder as like Jack he next peered along the remaining men in the row before finally spotting a certain sailor whose features were mostly concealed by a large brimmed hat. Now suddenly even more hesitant Jack eventually resuming his walk and crept over to the spoken up individual, the truth however dawning on Will faster than it did to Jack even with all his arisen suspicions, as Will next examined that which was visible of the person's face and soon enough found it to point to a woman rather than another sleazy seafearer. Jack giving her a quick-look over until peered under the hat's brim, an uneasy expression settling onto his face as his doubts had been proven correct by that pair of harsh, hateful eyes that were now scowling at him. Somehow that look rivarling even the glare of the mermaid in bleakness as Jack then flashed an awkward smirk, removing the woman's hat and releasing her dark locks that had been tucked under the hat to conceal her identity. Now also Gibbs and the rest of the gathered sailors seeing how she glowered at their captain, not responding to Jack's smile as he then gave name to a face, clearly not happy about this particular development much to Will's wonder.

"Anamaria."

Will gave Jack an amused ghost of a smile as watched his head whip around after Anamaria slapped him, vigorously, ergo not giving any indication things to be any better between her and Jack than it seemed to be with any woman unfortunate enough to have ended up in his favour in any way. Upon recalling their meeting with the pair of wenches Will raising a scornful eyebrow, nodding to the crossed woman currently smiling at the humiliated pirate angrily.

"I suppose you didn't deserve that one either."

"No that one I deserved", Jack admitted, looking actually remorseful for a second until assumed that same carefree mien devoid of any given guilt as faced the woman. Anamaria narrowing her eyes at him while her smile morphed into a poisonous sneer.

"You stole my boat!"

"Actually…" Jack answered, Anamaria however having none of his elaborate excuses that undoubtedly had had something to do with the very event that had led to this apparent feud between them. It entertaining Will even further as she slapped Jack for the second time in response, even harder than before, the pirate avoiding to look at clearly mirthful Will as scowled at the woman's temper. Donning a slightly more contrite facial expression, which Will was however quite certain to be a mere act to soothe Anamaria's anger. And to lessen the chance of him getting slapped yet again, which seemed highly possible when one only looked at the vexed woman who didn't seem to be at all affected by the pirate's following repentant reply.

"Borrowed, borrowed without permission. With every intention of giving it back to ye", Jack explained himself, his try to downplay his misdeeds only flaring Anamaria's already fiery temper, and at first Will really thought her to hit him again…As did Jack once she took a step closer while raised her hand to jab an accusing finger to his direction, the pirate brandishing the banana he was holding as a potential weapon to spare him from the woman's wrath which eventually didn't led to anything but a death glare.

"But you didn't!"

"You get another one!" Jack hurried to say, after a brief instant of left speechless by Anamaria's heated response, the banana rising again once the pirate gasped at the woman's forefinger once more coming close to stab him to his nose.

"I will."

Suddenly seeing an opportunity Will came over to Jack's side, locking gazes with the exasperated female pirate as her focus shifted from Jack to him. Will deciding to needle at the man on his expense a bit, just because he could…and as a payback for whatever he was yet to face because of him and his antics. "A better one."

"A better one!" Jack concurred, quick to agree with Will, although had cast a fleeting stunned look at the blacksmith due to his self-assured announcement. At first not seeing the endgame to his intrusion to the conversation and simply smiled at Anamaria sheepishly, until soon watched Will to lean forth and beckon to the faraway silhouette of the Interceptor with a brisk tilt of his head.

"That one."

"What one?" Jack asked, twirling around to cast a quizzical look at Will, still lost to his true intentions, until Will directed now a rather serious look at the pirate. Jack holding back a cringe as he briefly strayed to look down at the mythical being still cradled in Will's arms, and who clearly didn't enjoy having him so close. So with a notable pace back Jack turned to see what the young man and the rest of his crew were looking at, his eyes widening once he noticed the way Anamaria's anger was swiftly replaced by satisfaction as her eyes scanned the magnificent Navy ship. Despite of his outrage Jack however next finding himself the only one against the just struck bargain, with the sole exception of Gibbs, who was equally stunned by Will's unexpected ploy as he was.

"That one?" Jack contested sullenly, his eyes drilling into Will briefly, but as he only stared back at him matter-of-factly and soon angled his head in an encouraging, or almost coercing manner, and as he then began to receive rather dour looks from both Anamaria and a few other members of the crew at the thought of him going back on his word he forced a gleeful smirk on his lips. Facing Anamaria again.

"Aye, that one. What say you?"

Anamaria as well as the rest of the men were quick to shout out their agreement, and without a word more they then began to gather up their assembled supplies in means of heaving them over to the awaiting longboats. Even the parrot squawking his approval to the just agreed deal until it skulked away along with his owner, with a final scowl Anamaria next snagging her hat from Jack's grip before joined the rest of the sailors preparing to load the goods aboard their ship. Upon watching her storm off Gibbs finally expressing his concerns over allowing her to sail as one of their crew, coming up to his captain, who to say the least seemed as doubtful of this as did he…And Will understood his concerns perfectly taken the way all the women the pirate knew appeared to treat him.

"No, no, no, no…It's frightful bad luck to bring a woman aboard, sir", Gibbs announced, despite of his smile his mien consumed by worry that spoke volumes of his constitution as a sailor…That he was one of those superstitious kind who believed firmly a woman's presence to bode ill to any sea voyage, but although Will couldn't tell did Jack actually agree with that, he did then observe the pirate to cast rather pensive looks towards the horizon behind them. Somewhat not quite responding to that which his first mate had taken into discussion as answered.

"It will be far worse not to have her…" Jack stated, Gibbs giving in then with a hardly audible sigh, but his and Will's attention was then drawn to the island and the apparent murkiness that seemed to loom above its rocky slopes in the faraway distance. Giving other kind of weight then to Jack's words and with a more concerned mien Gibbs then inclined his head, sharing a brief look with his captain until gave his decision an approving nod.

"Aye. Fell wind and rough waters in the horizon as come this voyage", Gibbs murmured, to himself mostly before then took off. Will trailing his steps with his gaze and listened to the man shouting out now notably more pressing commands for the pirates to hurry with the yet to be transported cargo. Soon enough however him bettering his hold of the mermaid yet again after blocking her view of Jack with his own body, her to have once more looked like ready to jump at him after her eyes had interlocked with Jack's for a curt instant, although he could tell by the look of her her to be too weary to actually do so. The pirate however having other plans of letting him leave as he tried to pass him, to follow Gibbs.

"…But when it comes to her", Jack spoke up, stopping Will from crossing the rest of the pier to go over to the boats. After a curt confused frown him seeing Jack to move his eyes back to the mermaid, this time not recoiling at the sight of her glowering back at him but viciously. "...She's not coming."

"What?"

"Ye heard Gibbs. It be enough trouble having one woman on board, yet alone another who is a far greater of a risk to have around…I won't have me men gobbled up or any way mauled until we've reached the Pearl and she…she'll definitely become a bloody hellion in that sense. Even more than she already is."

"Jack, I'm not leaving her here. She's coming with us", Will argued, trying to push past the pirate, but was taken aback as Jack suddenly drew his sword. Also causing the so far mostly calm remained mermaid to jolt as he leved his blade in the way of Will's passage, locking grim gazes with him. Will directing an uneasy look down at the creature as her whole body tensed, him only hoping she wouldn't act out…But after a while he could feel the way her claws drew out, curling against the creases of his shirt as Jack spoke.

"As yer captain, I rule otherwise. I allowed ye to waste yer reason in helping her, but as mesmerized of her charms as ye may be I'm not having the likes of her on me ship, lad…As there's too much at stake not only for me but to ye as well to allow you to act on yer arbitrary, manly proclivity of losing yerself into her deceitful appeal…which may as well kill us all."

"Jack I already told you…I can't just abandon her. I won't."

"Just sayin', mate…I won't have me crew's resolve shaken by a feral beast ye've decided to take pity on…against the better judgement of all one would call sensible. Ye did help her, lad. Now just dunk her over to where she came from and be done with this unavailing charity that aids no one."

"You keep saying so…But so will I keep telling you that I'm not doing that", Will countered, locking determined gazes with Jack as then said nothing. For the great chagrin of the man.

Jack let out a dramatic sigh at the young man's stubborness, his gaze shifting from the adamant Will to the mermaid and back in at first grave disbelief and then dismay, until he put away his weapon. His eyes now latching onto the tear he then noticed in Will's sleeve and soon enough spotted the bandages wrapping the wound the mermaid had inflicted, even further doubtful the pirate next raising his gaze back to Will in honest confusion. Despite of to have asked this before and gained an answer, still not understanding.

"Why mate? Why do ye care so much of her even she must not give a rat's arse of ye in return? Even ye have someone in mortal peril who undoubtedly does, enough to have ye rush to her rescue at the cost of yer precious integrity and perhaps freedom?" Jack questioned, causing Will to end up at a loss of words in his lack of an immediate answer as he stared down at him with slightly narrowed eyes. As he tried to fathom that himself him then spotting the mermaid to stop gazing to the ocean and shift her head a bit, as a sign of her to be perhaps also listening in to their conversation and his eyes briefly drifted down to her. After a moment of thought Will soon sighing in turn, him thinking back to the slight exchange he'd had with her once she'd also put his reasons to help her in question, but despite of being sure him to have wanted to help her he still didn't know exactly why…Even it was true that because of the tie that existed between them, as little and trivial as it was, he couldn't just walk away…He just couldn't. So he then replied honestly, not any more aware than Jack was as he met the mermaid's gaze curtly…To also respond to her, although he'd already explained himself and his reasons to her as much as he'd been conscious of them.

"I don't know."

Will couldn't prepare himself as in that moment the mermaid suddenly shot up in his arms, but not to attack him or Jack who was standing a couple of paces away as was their first assumption, but to fling away the jacket that had kept her concealed from the majority of the outer eyes. Revealing herself, but before Will could understand what was happening he could feel how her claws made contact with his already injured arm again, however barely scraping his skin, but still enough to have him let her go. Will and Jack then watching taken aback as she flopped down to the pier, but before Will could as much as take in her intentions she'd already hauled herself over to the edge of the pier and dropped into the water, escaping. It taking a moment for Will to realize what had just happened but soon enough he was mostly taken over by worry as he instantly thought of her injuries, realizing that by what he'd learned of her last night he knew she wasn't able to swim in her condition as he saw the shirt she'd been wearing to rise up to the surface a few meters out to the sea…Not long after clear ripples emerging from the depths and the water began to slosh, a quick flap of a tail then confirming his fear to be correct.

"Well good. Saved ye the trouble of throwing her in like a heartless dastard", Jack remarked, turning away with a swift glance given to Will, but frowned as saw him to dash to the pier's edge. Staring at the spot the strong splashing was coming from in alarm, his brows drawn into a grim line.

"She's drowning", he stated back, dismaying the pirate until Jack simply leveled another incredulous look at him.

"She's a sea creature, mate. She can't drown."

Will didn't hear him, as without a second thought he dove in once he saw the ripples to lessen and then disappear, his concerns taking the better of him and he began to swim. Searching for the mermaid with his gaze and didn't have to search for long until her flailing figure trashing helplessly in the water caught his eyes. As much as he'd gathered her seeming to be unable to stay afloat, the sight of her futily trying to use her bruised up tail to stop her from sinking to the seafloor confirming that she was indeed unable to swim. Her arms doing little to support her as her body continued to drag her downward, clear fear visible on her face as she couldn't understand the sudden frailty that had rendered her so weak, unable to survive in an environment she'd lived her whole life in.

Will hurried his strokes to get to her, but instantly as he took hold of her arm to help her to the surface she flung around, even through her locks that drew a curtain between them Will seeing her to flash her fangs at him. Pulling back, and even with her tail so battered she still used it to tackle him away from her, Will however releasing her just in time to dodge it before it smacked against his torso. Him then simply staying put as after rejecting his help she continued to sink towards the bottom, no matter how much she tried to use her tail to reach the surface on her own, her efforts coming to nothing as then her strength failed her. Will now casting but a compassionate look at her as she gave in, finally reaching the seabed and then simply stayed there, casting her mangled fins downright dismal gazes as her hand then rose to caress the sensitive ulcers, tracing the numerous cuts and jagged gashes that had left her utterly crippled. Blood once more coloring the water around her as after a while Will dared to approach her, slowly diving down to her and resumed his previous hold of her, and surprisingly this time around her reaction to his touch wasn't as aggressive, although she did try to draw away with a new flash of her fangs. Will however not paying heed to her warning, not retreating this time around as after leveling a soothing look into her callous eyes that once more should've just frightened him he only nodded towards the surface. With one more glance given to her injured tail conveying his thoughts to her, that she couldn't stay down there…That she needed to trust him like before. And despite of the wary glances she gave him she didn't pull away after all once Will now reached down, first taking hold of her other arm to pull her higher until wrapped his arm around her, kicking himself off the bottom until began to swim to the surface.

Jack followed as Will resurfaced with the mermaid, giving the pair an utterly baffled look as noted the way the creature seemed practically docile while so close to the young blacksmith as he then grabbed the shirt that was still floating right beside them before continued to ladle over to the pier. Hardly surprised in the end as the moment Will managed to carry the mermaid by the docks the pirate observed how she instantly flinched away from him, with a notable hiss bolting away from Will with a glare to accompany her instant retreat. However neither all that taken aback Will then sighing as he gazed at the creature as she grabbed onto the boards, eyeing back at him as distrustfully as ever, not displaying any sign of the previous feebleness that had required a human to rescue her. So as she simply returned his gaze with that same proud, icy stare he'd become familiar with Will then hauled himself out of the water, but upon sitting onto the edge of the pier he noticed how Jack looked over to the mermaid. Laying witness to her injuries then himself as her tail could be clearly seen through the crystal clear water, and by the shift in his mien Will could tell the pirate wasn't quite as immovable in his earlier resolve as he now could see the state of her himself…While aware of the fact that they simply couldn't dispose of her by returning her to the ocean, as the very sea was now what would become the end of her.

"If she stays, I stay", Will announced, rising to his feet to face the dithering pirate whose hesitation wasn't however noticeable but for that brief istance as he now locked gazes with the young blacksmith as adamant as ever. But so did Will as he stared at Jack, certain the man to be unable to deny him, as after overhearing a piece of his and Gibb's conversation from last night he knew this pirate to need him for something, and therefore to be unable to leave him behind as well…Taking advantage of that, and indeed after a while Jack dropped his gaze to the mermaid before spotted a piece of torn sail that had been used to cover a patch of bananas a small distance away, yanking it over before threw it at addled Will's feet.

"Cover her up and load her to the longboat. Wait for the crew to have cast off before bringing her over", Jack said, after a curt surprise Will then looking towards the more busy part of the pier, thanking their luck to be at the head of the docks where it was more quiet and less cramped. Without a word more Jack then taking off, sauntering over to the boats himself while Will knelt to raise the piece of sail. Understanding Jack's meaning and was swift to spread the sail onto the pier's edge, raising his gaze then to see how the mermaid was eyeing at him in askance. Him however ignoring the averse looks he was given as then reached out to her, for her to let him hoist her from the water.

"Come on. Let's go."

"Go. Leave", she snapped back, reverting back to that but scathy self who'd first spoken with him back at that inn. The mermaid that had been nothing but suspicious of him, of his motives, and his display of kindness.

"I already told you that I can't. Even if I would want to and it would be wiser, I can't. And you just saw it yourself that you can't go anywhere with your tail so damaged…And if you stay here, what if that auctioneer or those hunters come upon you and capture you again?"

The mermaid said nothing, but from the way her eyes narrowed he could tell her to agree. Him then slowly extending his hand towards her forearm that was clutching to the pier's support beam, carefully circling his fingers around it to signal her to still have nothing to fear. That he would be the last person to be afraid of.

"If you want me to stop helping you…Then you'd better not give me further reason to. At least as long as you're better", Will continued, the mermaid's eyes darting up to him, and he imagined her to be perhaps surprised by his words and the compassion they hold as he then offered his other hand to her. For her to make the choice to take it. "Please. I can do that much, so let me. Once your wounds have healed and you are able to swim again, I let you leave. I promise."

After a curt deliberation that however seemed to be throughout and plagued with utter hesitation the mermaid did then take his hand, still as stoic as ever once with a small smile Will instead then helped her out of the water. Upon turning her over threading his arms around her carefully to place her onto the spread sail, wrapping the fabric around her tail, being careful to cover her fins before handed the drenched shirt to her. Nodding down to it for her to put it on, her however simply pressing it against her chest as peered up to him tensely. Supposedly her to have conformed to his desires enough without putting on any clothing again Will then shaking his head until glanced around, making sure none of the bustling people behind him saw him as he then picked up the fallen coat and placed it over her shoulders, lifting her from the pier. Starting to carry the mermaid towards the end of the pier he spotted to have been emptied of Jack's crewmen by then, leaving the coast clear for him to smuggle her on board.

"It will take some time until we get to the ship. The sun should dry you so that you get your legs back by then."


Naturally upon arriving to the Interceptor Will gathered some odd but after awhile also deeply fascinated gazes as the pirates caught a first actual glimpse of the mermaid the moment he stepped onto the deck with her. Will however needing not to do anything to keep those too curious and entranced away as she was swift to keep the sailors at bay with her frigid scowls, the men simply satisfying themselves from watching from afar as Will carried the mermaid over to the ship's bow and settled her against the gunwale, however unable to look away as so bewitching of a sight she was until Gibbs arrived and ordered the men back to work. The mermaid clasping the jacket around herself more tightly, to have opted not to wear the other constraining piece of clothing that was completely alien to her, and Will had left it at that. As long as she at least had that coat to cover herself with, which was also part of the reason why the surrounding pirates had difficulties to concentrate to their work. Despite of that Will still nodding towards the shirt in her possession, raising his brows to her remarkably.

"You should really put that on. You're attracting more attention than what is probably to your liking like that…wearing practically nothing."

Will found himself then come close to actually blushing as upon talking he'd cast a significant look down at the mermaid's body, not completely covered by the jacket that was barely long and baggy enough to hide her slender, distracting, bare frame that did stir rather notable unrest amongst the men in form of practically each and every one of the sailors stopping their doings time and time again to ogle at the alluring woman in Will's presence…Like he'd noticed himself do at times.

"Take her below. She shouldn't stay loitering about here", Jack's voice called out then, Will turning to welcome the arriving pirate with his wondering gaze as Jack walked over. Just after he'd crossed the deck after exiting the captain's quarters to supervise the newly enlisted sailors at work, and cast some grim glances at the pirates obviously neglecting their given duties once again, then joining the blacksmith once the crew had resumed their tasks. Will now leveling a quizzical look at the pirate.

"I don't think she'd feel very comfortable just cooped up somewhere", Will said, in clear disagreement of the idea as he knew the mermaid to have been uneasy enough during her short stay at the inn…Undoubtedly even if not in chains or otherwise bound, still feeling like a prisoner in any place she would be put in if it wasn't out in the open under the sun. Jack however not sharing his such notions.

"She's in the way. She has no business being here once the storm overbears us, unless ye want her to be swept over", Jack answered, his eyes shortly dropping to take in the mermaid until he turned, just slightly to direct his gaze to the horizon, and also Will then got a first profound look of the clouds that had emerged from behind the steadily distancing island. Gibbs to have ordered them to cast off not long after Will had come aboard, and the Interceptor was already making great headway…regardless of the earlier disruptions in labor.

"The storm?"

"It'll soon be upon us. We just need to make most of the wind and gain as much ground as we can before the gale takes the better of our chase…"

Jack now once more cast a remarkable look down at the mermaid, who surprisingly was also eyeing at him. Them exchanging a longer glance until Will took notice of their silent stare that ended in the mermaid angling her jaw and slitting her eyes fiercely, and he gained the pirate's attention. Jack next locking gazes with him as beckoned to the creature in their close vicinity.

"Just sayin'. Yer little secret won't remain as such if she's out here once we're swerving in the swells...and the men catch a real look of her."

Knowing then instantly what Jack meant once Will saw the first thunderbolts to pierce the murky swarms of clouds that by then had fully spread above Tortuga, promising of heavy rains and those blustery waves that upon reaching them would put their vessel in very dire straits. As Will then paid heed to Jack's words and bent over to help the mermaid to her feet him only hoping it to be still but a regular storm instead of an actual typhoon.

Will went below and headed towards the part of the ship he assumed the cargo hold to be, thinking that the mermaid would have more privacy there without a risk of the crew members wandering off during the raging of the tempest and would hence happen upon her while seeking refuge from the storm. Once reaching the hold Will scouring the space until found a more isolated spot, however during his intention of placing the mermaid onto one of he crates changing his mind once a loud assortment of several animals bleating and clucking in fear rang out in the silence. A handful of chickens and a pair of goats protesting, pulling against their tethers and rattling their cages anxiously once the mermaid got too close to them. Apparently sensing the predator that lurked under her human like appearance and in response Will did take note the way her eyes gleamed as she stared at the frightened animals, him however carrying her away from them and placing her on top of another crate notably farther in the hold.

"Stay here. I'll come to check on you once the storm has passed."

The mermaid tilted her head at that, studying Will until her mien was consumed by an emotion he could only decipher as disbelief until against the norm she looked honestly amused.

"I wouldn't be so concerned of me…when it is you out there without the protection of that which I gifted you the last we met…my kiss of life."

This now truly caused Will's cheeks to flush and for a moment he could but stare back at the creature who was now eyeing at him what it seemed like not hatefully for the very first time. Entertained by his reaction her peering at him from under her lashes as a hint of real smile made an appearance on her lips then, until with a flash of faraway memory caused him to clear his throat once the jacket actually fell from her shoulders. To reveal the mermaid's still very much unclothed upper torso, only her locks keeping him from getting the full view he was enough embarrassed to look upon even partly, and he now turned around once as before she didn't even notice it, or didn't care, as he then swiftly left the hold. Thinking that his very human, or perhaps ever so manly reaction perhaps to have amused her too much for her to keep in mind what he'd previously mentioned about attracting attention in her usual state that didn't involve what his kind usually observed as the epitome of propriety, wearing clothing…This fact however then indeed causing Will to turn utterly mortified, over the simple matter of him realizing to have on several occasion bypassed propriety in favour of his good-will, resulting him gazing upon a nude woman and yet alone staying in a same room with one for a whole night…despite of her only looking like a real woman.

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