The Fountain of Youth
I don't own them.Author's Note:
This is, basically, crack!fic, except that when I write crack!fic, it reads like the real thing. I'm not quite sure what to make of that. But it stemmed from a series of conversations that started with tentacle-sex (none of which is in this fic, I promise) and continued on to various fictional kraken, and it turns out that the fic I meant to write just for fun actually, imo, turned out fairly decent. So I figured I'd post it.Chapter One
The Fountain of Youth
They’d found the fountain of youth. Nobody had thought they would, but they had. Jack and Elizabeth and him. They’d all had their drinks, and time had stopped. Or perhaps they
had stopped. Not William. They didn’t want him to stop aging before he was aged enough. They kept a bottle for him, he’d been entrusted with it when he turned twenty-five. He’d stared incredulously at them for a long moment, and then thrown it over the rail into the sea. Even then, after just fifteen years, he’d known enough to realize he wanted no part in immortality.
Will wished Elizabeth and he had been as wise. Jack... well, he hadn’t seen Jack in most of a century, but knowing Jack he hadn’t regretted an instant. He wasn’t at all sure that Jack knew what regret was.
He missed William. The boy, the man he’d grown into, the old man who’d limped through his final years. That had been the final blow to Elizabeth. She hadn’t been able to take his death. She’d started spending more and more time alone. Sometimes he gave he space, sometimes he pressed her for answers, sometimes he tried anything else he could think of, but it never worked. The thing that hurt most about her suicide was that it wasn’t a surprise. He’d known it was coming as well as she had. She hadn’t bothered leaving a note. They both knew why she’d done it.
They’d had grandchildren, but there wasn’t much contact. William hadn’t wanted to explain why he looked older than his parents, and they’d respected that. He ‘ran into’ them once every couple generations, and did whatever he could for them. But they never knew he was anything more than a distant relative, and he never spent more than a year or two with them out of every fifty or so.
After Elizabeth’s death, he’d hunted down Jack, but it hadn’t done any good. Jack had offered the solace of rum and an offer to join a new quest, but nothing ever really hit Jack hard, and seeing his shallow sorrow had driven Will’s deeper. He’d taken to the sea. He’d had them build him a yacht, a small one he could handle himself, a beautiful design. He’d set sail half expecting the sea to take him. It hadn’t. He’d traveled the oceans, visiting the various continents, skipping from island to island. He weathered storms, braved pirates, waited out calms that lasted long enough that he was sure the water wouldn’t last him. But he never died, and he could never bring himself to follow Elizabeth’s example.
Until the last calm, which left him miles from the nearest islet, carefully portioning out a week’s water to last a month, and still the winds hadn’t come. He’d run completely out of water two days before the sea began to boil about him and huge tentacles wrapped up around it. “You were dead,” he muttered vaguely, too exhausted and dry to even try to fight as the tentacles wrapped about him. “They jumped
A sucker touched lightly to his face, and he waited for the pain, for the loss. Wondered if the thirst would be more bearable without a mouth if his face was sucked off. Wondered how long it would take to die. He passed out before he knew any of the answers.
To his amazement, he woke with a cool, damp towel folded over his forehead. He croaked out a vague sound of inquiry, and a cup was held to his lips.
“Drink.” The voice was harsh and rough, but the water was cool and sweet, and he obeyed.
He squinted and managed to make out a figure about his own size with hair and beard trimmed as neatly as any castaway—that is, they fell in a tangled mass to his waist, the skin he could see ragged and weathered to a tough, leathery brown. He was lean and muscular—and wearing ill-fitting clothes which were, unless Will was very much mistaken, his
spares. He blinked.
He tried to protest, but his body was more obedient than his mind, and he drifted off before he could ask any questions.
When he woke again, he was on his yacht, which was carefully moored beside a small island with a spring bubbling up in the center of it. His spare clothes were in his drawer, as neatly folded as he’d left them, and there was no sign that anyone but he had ever been aboard. Shaking his head at dehydration and exhaustion driven hallucinations, he filled his water barrels and set off once more, back to the nearest settled island he knew of, where he could reprovision more thoroughly.
The next time he saw pirates, the kraken ate their ship.