honorat: (Will Turner by Honorat)
[personal profile] honorat
By Honorat
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Well, then, I confess, it is my intention to commandeer PotC, pick up the characters in Port Royal, raid, pillage, plunder and otherwise pilfer my weasely black guts out!

Summary: More angst alert. Welcome to the ongoing path to destruction. Fasten your seatbelts. Please keep your arms and head inside the vehicle. The end of the story of Will and Master Brown. We will rejoin our regularly scheduled movie for the epic fight between Jack and Will in the next installment. More movie novelization and missing scenes. Still entirely off the edge of the map.

Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] geek_mama_2, for the wonderful beta work; I’ll buy you a hat—a really big one.

Links to previous chapters:
Prologue: To Miss An Appointment
Ch. 1: Pirate Attack
Ch. 2: Unrestrained Piracy
Ch. 3: Canticle for a Blacksmith, Part 1
Ch. 3: Canticle for a Blacksmith, Part 2
Ch. 3: Canticle for a Blacksmith, Part 3
Ch. 3: Canticle for a Blacksmith, Part 4
Ch. 3: Canticle for a Blacksmith, Part 5
Ch. 3: Canticle for a Blacksmith, Part 6a
Ch. 3: Canticle for a Blacksmith, Part 6b

* * * * *


Once more, the fire in the forge was re-kindled. The hammer blows rang their anthems again and the smoldering coal breathed its incense. Will ignored the doctor’s advice to begin slowly and attacked his work as though in molding steel, he could remake his world. He was aware of the day Elizabeth sailed for St. Kitts, but he made no request for time off to see her departure. Elizabeth looked in vain for him, long after the waving crowd on the docks had shrunk to a blur.

The burden of reviving the business fell heavily on the young blacksmith’s shoulders. Work had not rejuvenated the mastersmith. Will scarcely recognized his master now. Joe would have a terrible home-coming, he reflected. He would find his mother and sisters gone and his father a mere husk of a man. Will found himself counting the days until Joe’s return. Then surely Master Brown would come back from whatever far country he had withdrawn to.

But that longed-for day passed and then weeks went by. The Gabrielle, on which Joe was to have sailed, was already a month overdue.

Will was straightening the smithy at day’s end when the news came. Master Richardson, the sail maker, whose shop was down by the docks, entered the dim shop near closing time. “May I help you?” Will asked politely.

Richardson stood there, twisting his hat in his hands, the muscles around his mouth working strangely. Finally he croaked, “Is your master here, boy?”

“Yes, he’s in back. I’ll get him.” Will turned, but the sail maker stopped him with a hand on his shoulder.

“No. That’s fine. I’ll go myself.” The man headed to the back of the shop looking stooped and somehow older than Will remembered. Something about the look in his eyes sent a shiver of memory through Will’s heart. That was a man who was carrying bad news. Half-heartedly, he continued replacing tools, one ear strained to the back room.

“Joseph.”

“What is it Henry?”

Silence.

“Joseph, it’s the Gabrielle. She was attacked by pirates. I’m sorry, Joseph. Your son . . . Joe Jr. . . . is dead. The pirates killed him. They killed them all.”

* * * * *

Will, who had learnt very young that everything and everyone he loved would be taken from him, merely bowed his shoulders under this new weight of loss and threw himself against his work like a wounded animal against the bars of its cage. The forge became the sanctuary where his soul revived. He experimented with the techniques about which Joe had written, feeling that the only way he could memorialize his friend would be to achieve that goal for which he had gone away—to make the name of Brown famous for its blades. It would never now be Brown and Son.

One morning, he came down to the shop to discover that Master Brown had preceded him. The fire was already built up, although the smith was gone. When Will walked over to the forge he discovered the flames slowly consuming the new sign, prepared so many months ago for Joe’s homecoming. The “& Son” had almost completely burnt away. Will stood dry-eyed with an aching throat and watched until the last of the wood had been reduced to ashes.

* * * * *

Master Brown had always spent an hour or two of nights at the local tavern with some of his fellow master craftsmen, relaxing over a pint of ale. The occasions had been pleasantly social and had never interfered with his duties. But now, he began staying later and later, leaving Will to lock up the shop for the night. Then the drinking began to follow him home, gradually increasing. Will would find his master in the smithy with a bottle at his elbow, tipping it more and more frequently. The mastersmith began drinking seriously earlier in the evenings and later in the mornings until he was almost never completely sober.

The alcohol may have numbed the pain, but it was showing in the man’s work. Customers who had never had cause for complaint began returning goods with polite and not-so-polite remarks, pointing out flaws and breakages. They objected to having “apprentice work” passed off as the work of a master craftsman. Will always bit his tongue and flushed.

One terrible day, an angry shipwright barged into the smithy demanding to know why he had been sold a gear that had fractured under the stress and had struck one of his apprentices. The lad would be lucky if all he lost was a hand. Master Brown was profuse in his apologies, taking the man into the house where he apparently managed a settlement of some sort. The shipwright left the shop gripping his payment, eyeing Will hostilely. But Will and his master stared at each other in horror and dawning surmise. It had not been “apprentice work” that had shattered.

“Will.” The smith looked at him from red-rimmed, pleading eyes. “Please don’t let me kill anyone.”

Will opened his mouth to protest. Then, innately honest, he closed it again. He gave a short nod. “I’ll check the work before it goes out,” he said simply. If part of him condemned the smith, part of him wished only to ease the terrible burden on the man.

Master Brown stumbled to the loading dock stairway and slumped down with his head in his hands.

“Flaw in the steel, son,” he muttered brokenly, no longer speaking about the ruined gear. “Flaw in the steel. I never, never meant to be this way. It’s just . . .” He couldn’t continue.

Will laid a hand on the older man’s shoulder. “I know.”

But the steel in Joseph Brown had not been flawed, Will knew. It had been shining bright and cutting-edge hard. However, his wife had been the iron heart of his steel blade. She’d given him the resilience he’d need to spring back from life’s blows. With her death, he’d lost that flexibility, become brittle and bitter. And the loss of his entire family had been a blow that had shattered him utterly.

* * * * *

After that incident, Will took on all the tasks where an error could be fatal. And he quietly re-did any work his master turned out that was beneath his standards. Customers ceased to complain about “apprentice work.”

He thought the problems were solved. The first hint that anything was still amiss at the smithy was so small he scarcely noticed it—just an unpaid bill. The cooper had not liked to bother the mastersmith on the heels of the tragedy and had approached Will. Will settled the bill with coin from an earlier customer’s payment and thought no more about it.

Then one day, he was accosted by an irate iron merchant demanding to know how many more times Joseph Brown expected to have credit extended if he was never going to pay. “You tell him from me, boy, that if the bills aren’t cleared by the end of the month, nary a pig of that iron will I be delivering!”

Will hurried home in a turmoil of new worries. He was relieved to find Master Brown was not yet down to the smithy. Going to the cupboard where he knew the ledgers were kept, he unlatched the hasp and opened the door. A rain of crumpled paper tumbled onto the workbench in front of him. Smoothing one of the wrinkled leaves, Will rapidly scanned the text. Apparently their supplier of coal was reluctantly forced to take legal action to retrieve his due payment.

The words were polite but the meaning was clear. A dunning notice. Rapidly, Will shuffled through the shocking pile of paper. These were all duns! Some of them considerably less than polite. All of them making it very obvious why Will had been noticing shortages in the smithy’s supplies.

With a sinking heart, Will pulled down the leather-bound ledgers. Dust rose in an ominous puff. He flipped through the most recent accounts, no longer surprised that, from the date of Mistress Brown’s death, the entries grew more and more haphazard, and after news had reached them of Joe’s murder, there were no more entries.

The afternoon passed without the mastersmith ever appearing. The long evening light faded to dark, and the night candles burnt on into morning as Will struggled to make sense of the mess in the bookkeeping. He sorted all the work orders he could find. He listed all the jobs he could remember doing and all those the mastersmith had done. He added up the bills. When he totaled the figures, he was relieved to see that even if he’d missed some entries, there should be enough to cover the smithy’s debts, although he greatly feared there would be household debts for which he hadn’t accounted.

He would have to corner Master Brown when he finally came to work and shake him upside down until the coins fell out! Will vowed he would tie the man down until he was stone cold sober and force him to cough up the payments.

He was so tired.

Will ran his fingers through his mop of hair and stretched his cramping shoulder blades. An entire day of beating steel couldn’t make him this stiff. He’d just catch a little sleep before the day started again. Then he noticed the dark between the slats of the smithy walls was actually a lighter shade. Dragging himself to the door of the shop, he looked out on the pre-dawn gray sky. It was already morning. He’d have to begin his chores immediately, and he’d have no time to practice with his sword. Work must be completed if the smithy was to survive. Resigning himself to the inevitable, Will brought up the fire and fed the donkey.

That afternoon, when the smith at last staggered down the stairs into the shop, Will confronted him with the execrable state of the smithy’s accounts. When pressed, the man admitted he’d been paying little attention to either the money he owed or the money owed him. He also confessed he didn’t know how much money was left. Unspoken between them was the knowledge that rum and ale were not free.

Will, at age eighteen, held out his hand to his mentor, the closest thing to a father he’d ever had. “The key,” he said, low and firm.

Slowly, Master Brown drew the chain off his neck and handed his apprentice the small key to the chest where the smithy’s income was stored.

In that moment their roles finally reversed. There were still two and a half years left of Will’s apprenticeship, but the two of them knew who was now the mastersmith.

* * * * *

The financial situation had been even worse than Will had feared. The medical expenses of the last year had eaten all of the reserves. The time lost from work had sent them into debt. The fact that Will was the only full-time blacksmith now working was preventing them from regaining ground. And Master Brown had been drinking up any profit that came in. The rest of the smithy’s income appeared to be still owed by customers taking advantage. They would have to retrench with a vengeance.

Will’s life began to resemble a nightmare of the kind where he ran and ran and never seemed to move. Master Brown descended further each day into drunkenness while Will gritted his teeth and set about hauling the business back from the brink of destruction by main force and backbreaking work.

For the sake of the past, for the family he had been given, for the gift of the skill that now lived in his hands, Will bore with patience the burden Master Brown had become. He arose early and worked late to keep up the necessary output of the shop. Days stretched into months. Will could no longer remember the last time he’d taken his half-day off. Since he was prevented from seeing Elizabeth—Miss Swann—there was really no reason for a holiday.

When Elizabeth returned from St. Kitts, she immediately became the toast of Port Royal. Will only caught sight of her once in a long while, like a glimpse of fresh water in a desert. She was every inch a fine lady now, elaborately gowned and coiffed, surrounded by billows of young ladies of her own class. The hordes of fine gentlemen paying court to her had none of them worked a day in their lives with their velvet, white-skinned hands. Will shut his eyes and his heart with a clash of bolts and chains.

His only relief from unremitting labour was his daily three hours of practice with the sword. During this respite, he fought with all the pent up fury of his thwarted life until there was no one at the fort who could match him. Even Captain Norrington had been intrigued enough to try a few rounds with the blacksmith’s apprentice. Will had bested him two times out of three. The victories mattered nothing to Will—only the fighting itself was a relief, whether he won or lost. In the violent action, in the clash and scrape of steel, he could forget.

He kept the smithy’s books in the dusty ledger in his careful cramped hand. In the last year of his mother’s life, he’d had to take over much of the household accounts, but he’d never had to deal with unpaid debt before. He forced himself through the agony of confronting the customers whom Master Brown had let punt on tick for far too long. He visited the irate creditors, arranging repayment schedules, his sensitive soul raw with the shame.

He grew resigned to awkward questions and adept at fielding them. Carefully, he guarded his master’s debilitation from his neighbours and associates. He told them that since the business would in all likelihood pass to him now, Master Brown was involving him more in its administrative elements. The lies never got easier, but he managed. In uncharacteristic charity, the townspeople accepted the fiction with nothing more than sympathetic glances at the driven young man. Joseph Brown had been well liked. It had been such a tragedy—almost made one think of Job. Will was a fine lad.

The personal care the mastersmith now required was no less arduous. Until the accounts balanced, Will could not justify hiring any help. So in addition to his duties as blacksmith, he tried to keep up the household. Never had he appreciated the sheer hard labour involved in the most simple of meal preparations and cleanup, in the laundry and mending of ill-used blacksmith’s clothing, in fighting back the chaos of dirt that seemed determined to coat every surface in a smith’s house. Mostly, he lost the battle, but he struggled on grimly, aware that to give up would be fatal.

The alcohol itself assumed an almost personified demonization in Will’s mind. This creature had kidnapped his mentor and friend and replaced him with this changeling child, dependent on Will for nearly everything. He had to help the man to his bed when he would stumble into the smithy in the early hours of the morning, waking his exhausted apprentice. Sometimes Master Brown would not come home, and Will, who needed to be working, would have to comb the alleys around the taverns in the chill, gray light of morning for the unconscious smith. When he found him lying in some filthy corner, Will would cart the man home, clean off the effluvia, the vomit, the bodily waste, as though his master had been an infant, and put him to bed. Then would come laundering, which Will tried to accomplish in brief moments between tasks in the shop. Some days it seemed more than he could bear.

The months stretched into years. Years in which the smithy regained some of its former prosperity. Years of loneliness as Will spent almost every waking hour in the dark, fiery heart of the forge. Years in which he drove himself in desperation to master his art with surpassing skill and speed. Years in which he watched all the credit for that skill given to his master. The blades of J. Brown were indeed becoming well-known, as Joe had dreamed.

For the sake of what he owed Mastersmith Brown, for the love and the home that had been given him, for what the man had once been, Will endured his master’s drunken, childlike dependence. He cared for the shattered man with the tenderness of a son. Some days were better than others. Sometimes Master Brown would come down to the shop, red-eyed and haggard, but almost sober, and they would work together in silence as they had in the past. But such occasions were vanishingly rare now. And the laughter was gone.

* * * * *

Reaching the square on which the smithy was located, Will paused by the solid double doors, took a deep breath, squared his shoulders, and laid his hand on the latch. He would deal with whatever awaited him behind that door. Then he would go to the fire and let its heat on his face burn off whatever dross of resentment might remain in his soul that the wind had not blown away. The steel and iron in his hands would absorb the energy of his banked emotions. The song of the hammer on the anvil would drown out the fretful noise of the world. The rhythm of creation, the music of the forge would empty him and fill him.

As he forged the steel, so the steel would forge him, folding his grief into his courage, giving him that hardened edge of strength combined with the gentle resilience that would allow him to bow almost to the very dust without breaking.

TBC
Ch. 4: Drawn Steel

I adore The Canticle for a Blacksmith!

Date: 2006-02-04 06:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] classics-lover.livejournal.com
I absolutely love it!

The slow change in command in the smithy, of which Governor Swann is utterly ignorant, is executed with an anguish and sorrow that really lend themselves to Will's testament. And yours.

The request that Will not allow his master to kill anyone reflects his "Civic duty" comment in the film. No matter how low he may go, he still has a good heart.

You capture the insidious, destructive, all consuming nature of alcoholism beautifully, and I understand very well now, why Will is still quite deferential to his sotted master in the film.
The "personified demon" is quite possibly the most apt euphemism for alcoholism I have come across in fiction.

The burning of the sign is terrible and beautifully evocative of the rage and sorrow of the Brown household. And the line "And the laughter was gone" is just haunting.

Elizabeth's departure and return pass by without ceremony - for Will, at any rate, which also fits in with his character at the beginning of the movie. And Elizabeth's also, as we see her try to overcome the barrier between them.

I think it is the last paragraph, and even more, the last line, which best set up Will's character for the start of the film.

This is just truly excellent writing at its best. I applaud you and your talent for investigating so deeply into Will's character, and making me like him so much more now than I had before reading this.

Re: I adore The Canticle for a Blacksmith!

Date: 2006-02-05 04:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] honorat.livejournal.com
Oooooh! Such a lovely comment! Thank you. Thank you. I'm so glad you've liked what I did in this run-away chapter.

It seemed obvious to me in the film that Will had to be the one running that smithy, so I wanted to explore why and how that came about, and also why Will is willing to let Brown take the credit for his work.

I'm glad you see Brown's continuing goodness in spite of his addiction. I can't imagine a person like that doesn't at times hate what he has become. Alcohol is pretty much a demon for me, hence the metaphor. I know too many people who've lost family to it. Just this week another student was telling me how her father was killed by a drunk driver. Such wasteful, unnecessary tragedy. It is a thief that steals people's minds and then they do terrible things to each other. Will's attitude in the movie was really amazingly compassionate to such a man as his master appeared to be. I wanted to show him hanging on to the good that remained and the memories.

Since Will and Elizabeth seemed to have both a close relationship and an estranged one at the beginning of the movie, I tried to show that happening. Will has too much to do and too much humility to test that barrier. Elizabeth has the time and the sublime indifference to hammer at it.

I'm glad you liked that last paragraph. That image came to my mind the minute I read how steel was folded. You must have flexibility in order to have strength. Brown breaks, but Will bends.

I'm honoured that you found a new appreciation for the blacksmith's apprentice through this canticle. He's had a rough life and deserves a little credit for making something so fine out of it.

Date: 2006-02-04 09:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ref-1985.livejournal.com
What classics_lover said.

Date: 2006-02-05 04:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] honorat.livejournal.com
What I just said to [livejournal.com profile] classics_lover :D Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Date: 2006-02-05 04:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] veronica-rich.livejournal.com
I'll say it again and again - I am a Turrow whore, but in your story, I can actually be glad Will ends up with Elizabeth ... and, more importantly perhaps, the regard of the governor and the (even temporary?) respect of James.

Date: 2006-02-05 04:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] honorat.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for commenting. I'm glad you were able to suspend your disbelief long enough in this story to appreciate the canon pairing. I wonder if we'll find out in the next movie how the governor feels about his son-in-law to be? And I'm sure the relationship of Will and James will be an interesting one.

Date: 2006-02-05 11:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/elizabethswan_/
I maybe turning into a Turrow whore! *gorgeous picture btw* But I can never deny the chemistry that is Willabeth. sigh sigh sigh

Date: 2006-02-05 05:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thekestrel.livejournal.com
Whaaaaaaaa - suck in breath on a sob, - grope for some kleenex. Okay, enough of that. God I love your work. Perfect fill in background on Will and Mr. J. Brown. A broken man seeking oblivion in a bottle. No prozac or the like to be found. How does one mend a sundered heart? Can some how it be reforged? Will on the other hand has forged himself well. He thinks he's up to anything the world can send him - but then he's never met anyone like Jack now has he? I love that Will is at a place, that he's seeking all of life in his craft. Chaining himself there, by choice. Blinding himself to other choices. Oh - how bright the sun is, when the blind fold is ripped away. Kept this one too. :)

Date: 2006-02-06 03:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] honorat.livejournal.com
*Hands you a tissue* Thank you so much for dissolving into tears over this. There were not any support groups, detox centers, or drugs to help an alcoholic in those days. Mr. Brown has definitely broken under too much strain. I wonder whether the movie will ever explain what happened to him.

Jack does introduce Will to a whole new range of choices. I'm glad you enjoyed this and honoured that you kept it.

Date: 2006-02-11 06:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] torn-eledhwen.livejournal.com
Okay, so that wasn't cheerful. That was more along the lines of "heartwrenching". Powerful stuff, Honorat.

Date: 2006-02-13 12:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] honorat.livejournal.com
No, not cheerful at all. I did warn you about that one! This is the point where Will comes into the smithy and finds a pirate to kill. Since "heartwrenching" was the aim, I'm glad it succeeded. Thank you so much for commenting.

Date: 2006-02-20 09:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] solitaryraven.livejournal.com
Hi, I found this story awhile ago over at ff.net, but figured it would be easier to comment over here since I've never actually used my subscription over there. I just wanted to say that this story is absolutely amazing and I love how you've been able to completely get yourself inside Will's head, heart, and past. Will has always been my favorite character because it's always been obvious to me how much his past has shaped who is has become, and I hate it when many people completely push that fact aside and call him a flat character, uninteresting, weak, etc, so I love seeing how you've really been able to bring out the truth of his character. Amazing story. I look forward to the coming chapters. :o)

Date: 2006-02-20 09:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] honorat.livejournal.com
Welcome to my LJ. I like commenting here as well, because it keeps the conversation where I can refer back to it so easily. Thank you so much for dropping by. I'm glad you've enjoyed this journey into Will's character and motivations. I love all the PotC characters, and like you I've noticed a lot of people dismissing Will as the least interesting of Elizabeth's choices. I tend to write from the perspective that given what happens in the movie makes perfect sense, why would it be that way. Will always seemed to me a character who has had to fight against overwhelming odds. He tries so hard to do the right thing. He's so passionate. I realized I'd have to explore his history in order to write him in my on-going, never-ending attempt to novelize the movie. Hence this little detour. Now that I know the character, I can feel comfortable writing him in the context of the movie. I do appreciate your kind words.

Date: 2006-03-25 02:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hendercats.livejournal.com
Another chapter that's rough on the reader, but so good ... so very good.

hammer blows rang their anthems again and the smoldering coal breathed its incense
Back in Will's church of steel.

Joe would have a terrible home-coming Ack! Ack!! Foreshadowing, methinks. ... She was attacked by pirates. Poor Will! Insult to injury, this is.

But the steel in Joseph Brown had not been flawed, Will knew. It had been shining bright and cutting-edge hard. However, his wife had been the iron heart of his steel blade.
Beautiful. Unpretentious, perfectly fitting, lovely. Sometimes when writers want to weave a theme through all parts of a story, it feels like being bludgeoned. Never, never with your writing. Bits like this are ... uh, toffee in my ice cream (and you have no idea how much I like caramel toffee ice cream).

An entire day of beating steel couldn't make him this stiff. ....
Will, at age eighteen, held out his hand to his mentor, the closest thing to a father he'd ever had. "The key," he said, low and firm.
Slowly, Master Brown drew the chain off his neck and handed his apprentice the small key to the chest where the smithy's income was stored.

Will's steel being hardened in a different kind of fire now.

the gift of the skill that now lived in his hands
Ooooh, pretty! *wonders if [livejournal.com profile] honorat would notice if this pretty phrase went missing*

billows of young ladies
Hee! Billows! Poofy-skirted dresses! What a great picture!

His only relief from unremitting labour was his daily three hours of practice with the sword.
Yes, of course we know this from canon, but my first thought on reading it here was that he doesn't have three hours to waste being away from the forge. Immediately on the heels of that was the next thought: that he probably needed every second of those three hours in order to keep from exploding from everything he needs to keep locked inside.

punt on tick Now *there's* an interesting phrase! Context makes meaning obvious, but must remember to look up origin.

The alcohol itself assumed an almost personified demonization in Will's mind....
From here to the end of this section, I just sat gaping, amazed by how masterfully well you've written it. Words fail. *is awed*

laid his hand on the latch. He would deal with whatever awaited him behind that door.
Oh! Is it time already? Izzit time??

Date: 2006-03-25 04:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] honorat.livejournal.com
You made it to the final act of the runaway chapter! Congratulations.

Will's church of steel
What can I say? I'm terminally faithful to my metaphors! :D

Insult to injury, this is
Yes, I had to give Will one last reason to really HATE pirates.

toffee in my ice cream
Mmmmm. Toffee. I'm glad you're surviving the imagery! I'm pretty sure I have only one last time to use this metaphor in this novelization. :D

Will's steel being hardened in a different kind of fire now.
This is the crucible where all the impurities are being burnt away. The amount of responsibility he has to shoulder is staggering.

if this pretty phrase went missing
Pirate! I think I've also lost several phrases to [livejournal.com profile] virgo_79's sock drawer. At this rate, I'll be left with some rather nice haiku!

he probably needed every second of those three hours
Yes, Will has honed repression to a fine art. He would need that outlet or he would certainly be doing himself some serious psychological damage. Besides, he's got that obsession with never being the victim again. Obsessions don't have to make sense.

The full phrase is "punting on the River Tick." To be punting on the River Tick is to be in debt. In the seventeenth century, "ticket" was the ordinary term for the written acknowledgment of a debt, and one living on credit was said to be living on tick. "Punting" is a term for rowing.

Words fail
*blushes and bows* Awww! Gee! Shucks! You shouldn't have. I'm glad you liked it.

Izzit time??
It is!!!! Instead of a drunk boss, Will is going to find a very strange pirate. Wheeeee! Jack is back!

Thank you so much for such a substantial comment. My muse has devoured it and is now burping contentedly in the corner. My muse has no manners.

Date: 2006-09-14 04:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] myystic.livejournal.com
I really do think I hate you. Joe Jr. could have just as easily been in London and so not in the film. Brown could have just as easily spiraled because of everything else. Was that really, honestly, truly necessary?

Will, who had learnt very young that everything and everyone he loved would be taken from him, merely bowed his shoulders under this new weight of loss and threw himself against his work like a wounded animal against the bars of its cage. The forge became the sanctuary where his soul revived. *wince*



Will, at age eighteen, held out his hand to his mentor, the closest thing to a father he’d ever had. “The key,” he said, low and firm.//Slowly, Master Brown drew the chain off his neck and handed his apprentice the small key to the chest where the smithy’s income was stored.//In that moment their roles finally reversed. There were still two and a half years left of Will’s apprenticeship, but the two of them knew who was now the mastersmith. I find it tragic yet fitting that, while Elizabeth is preparing to make her debut, Will is going through almost the same process, but his is as private as hers is public.

For the sake of what he owed Mastersmith Brown, for the love and the home that had been given him, for what the man had once been, Will endured his master’s drunken, childlike dependence. He cared for the shattered man with the tenderness of a son. Some days were better than others. Sometimes Master Brown would come down to the shop, red-eyed and haggard, but almost sober, and they would work together in silence as they had in the past. But such occasions were vanishingly rare now. And the laughter was gone. The roll reversal for Will and Brown, beyond master and apprentice to parent and child. I wanted to cry when I read that.

As he forged the steel, so the steel would forge him, folding his grief into his courage, giving him that hardened edge of strength combined with the gentle resilience that would allow him to bow almost to the very dust without breaking. I don't remember saying so before, but the forge provides so many wonderful metaphoric opportunities for Will. Forging a blade, purifying the metal, tempering brittle steel with flexible iron--it's all fits so perfectly! I am in awe of the depth.

Okay, end of the canticle at last. Screw this "buy the characters drinks concept." I need a drink now! Too bad I don't like rum.

Date: 2008-08-05 05:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] honorat.livejournal.com
I am strolling through my journal archives making sure I respond to everyone who was kind enough to comment. I know in the last couple of years, my life has been so crazy that I’ve missed a lot. My apologies.

More hatemail! Yay! I'm afraid the Sadistical Whirlybird Muse insisted on Joe's fate.

Elizabeth is preparing to make her debut, Will is going through almost the same process
Both of them are being admitted into the responsibilities of adulthood, but you're right. Elizabeth will be seen as a marriageable woman, but she doesn't actually have to be grown-up. Will will still be seen as an apprentice, but he has to be the grown-up to survive.

I wanted to cry when I read that.
Tears are the sincerest form of flattery! I'm delighted in a sick, twisted author way.

I really couldn't resist all those forge metaphors. They were just lying around begging to be picked up.

I don't like rum either. How about tea?

Date: 2008-08-05 08:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] myystic.livejournal.com
Oh, tea is lovely.

And OMFGshe lives! *happy squee*
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