This Beautiful Skin
By: Missfortune
Disclaimer: I do not own them, 'cause if I did they'd be wearing collars with my name on them ^_~!
Rating: PG13
Pairing: sweet and awkward Norri/Will, platonic Jack/Will
Notes: I didn't feel like writing the shopping trip or the following night, so we skip straight to Will's preparations for the ball. Hope it works and I didn't screw up. P.S. Please forgive any mistakes you find as in my rush to post this anywhere near valentine's day I did last minute editing at 3 am with my eyes closed -_-

The gown they'd purchased was a very pale pink silk confection that shimmered in the light and took Will's breath away every time he glanced at it. There were delicate roses embroidered into the cloth, but they were almost invisible until they caught the light. It seemed that it had been looked over by the other patrons, because they hadn't had the time to really appreciate the material and all had their gowns custom made from red velvets and lace. Will was secretly glad that Norrington hadn't purchased a gaudy red gown for him, then he really would have felt like a tart. As it was he didn't feel that he should even put this dress on because it was just too beautiful. They had gotten all the needed accessories. Will had a fine new pair of shoes, a new pair of silk stockings, long satin gloves and a pink cameo for around his neck. He'd laid them all out on the bed and was studying each item carefully. Soon, he would have to slip into the garments because they were expected to arrive at the ball around sunset.

Will fingered the soft pink material as he looked up at the light coming in through the open window. It was getting closer and closer to the time that Norrington promised to come by with a carriage. Originally, he had wanted Will to get ready at his house. Will had to refuse. The memory of his last visit was still too clear in his mind and he knew he'd definitely loose his nerve if he had to get ready in the Commodore's home. Norrington had grudgingly agreed to let Will get ready elsewhere, but had explained that they really couldn't send the carriage to the Smithy, it would be much too suspicious. In the end he had taken Will to an inn and gotten him a room. Jack had snuck in later in the evening and they'd spent the night talking and teaching Will how to dance. Will had gone to sleep dreaming of the ball that was to come, but now that the event was swiftly approaching, he was getting cold feet.

Jack was sitting at the table nearby with his feet propped up and a bottle of rum in his hand. "Why aren't you getting ready?"

"I can't do this Jack," Will frowned.

Jack pushed his feet off the table and stood up, setting the rum aside. "Of course you can. It's what you wanted wasn't it? Wanted to look all pretty? Now here's your chance." Jack threw an arm around Will's shoulder.

"I'm too nervous. And what if someone recognizes me?" Will fidgeted.

"No one will recognize you. I hardly recognized ye myself and Norrington, well, that was a fluke. And now look, he's takin' ye to a ball." Jack nudged Will.

"But Elizabeth is going to be there." Will shook his head.

"Yes, but you'll be the prettiest one there. Ferget Elizabeth. She didn't have the sense to realize what she had in you."

Will looked over at the pirate. "I don't care if we marry or not anymore. She was moving away from me. I knew this would happen and I'm relieved that it did really." Will admitted. "I'm just afraid that she might recognize me."

"Trust me Will, she'll be so busy being jealous of ye, she'll never guess it's you." Jack assured him.

"But what if-"

Jack cut him off. "None o’ that. Let's start gettin' ye ready. Norri Porri will be comin' fer ye soon and we don't want to keep the Commodore waitin' do we now?"

"I guess not," Will shook his head.

"All right, then let's start gettin' ye in your pretty dress." Jack grinned.

Will nodded and allowed Jack to help him into his gown. Jack had brought things from the Smithy and somehow charmed one of the inn's maids into lending him a curling iron. As soon as they had him clothed, he sat in a chair before the small vanity table brushing out his hair. Jack brought over the hot curling iron and Will looked at it warily.

"You're going to burn me." Will said.

"I'm not going to burn you. I'm jus gonna give your hair a little curl."

"I'm not sure I trust you with that thing Jack," Will said, leaning away from him.

"Jus' sit still and there'll be no problems, savvy?" Jack advanced on him.

"All right." Will closed his eyes as Jack began to fiddle with his hair. He could feel the heat of the iron close to his skin, but good to his word, Jack didn't burn him. "Give us that brush, luv." Jack requested. Will lifted the brush over his shoulder, but refused to open his eyes. Jack chuckled as he began brushing Will's hair up. "Now give me those pretty little combs the Commodore got you." Will cracked his eye open enough to find the combs in question and hand them to Jack. After a few moments of artful arrangement, Jack made a sound of approval. "All right, you can open your eyes."

"I still have all my hair right?" Will teased as he nervously opened his eyes.

"'Course ye do, I said I wouldn't burn ye and I didn't." Jack fixed a curl that he had left out of the arrangement near Will's temple. "Now look at yerself in the mirror."

Will turned and looked at his reflection. "Oh...where'd you learn to do hair?" Jack had twisted Will's hair up and fastened it with the combs, but some of the curls he'd put in the hair draped down, including the two stubborn locks at Will's temples that refused to be tamed.

"I've seen enough ladies messin' with their hair to get a few ideas," Jack grinned, admiring his handiwork.

"Thank you," Will smiled, also admiring they style.

"Ye still got a ways to go. Need to get that nice powder on and such."

Will nodded and continued with the routine that was becoming steadily more familiar to him. He applied the powder to his skin and added the tiniest bit of red to his lips. The necklace and gloves were next and soon Will had nothing left to do but stare at his reflection in the mirror and marvel at the change. Jack stood behind him grinning like the devil. "What?" Will asked, raising an eyebrow.

"I got somethin for ye."

Will turned. "What is it?"

"Jus' a little somethin' that I liberated."

"You mean stole." Will chuckled.

"Stole, liberated, same difference if ye ask me." Jack dug something out of a pocket and handed it to Will.

Will looked at the silver bracelet laying in the palm of his hand. He turned it over and his eyes widened at the glitter of diamonds that caught the light. "Jack! I can't wear this. Someone might arrest me!" Will looked up, clearly shocked at the expensive gift.

"Don't worry, it was somethin' from me last haul, nothin' from the Port." Jack picked it up, taking Will's right hand he fastened the bracelet on his wrist. "There. It matches."

Will looked down, studying the bracelet. Jack was right. In addition to the diamonds, the bracelet was also studded with small pink pearls that shone warmly between the diamonds and blended perfectly with the rest of his outfit. "Jack, it's..."

"Perfect. It was too pink for me tastes, but it goes just right on you." Jack grinned.

"Thank you Jack," Will looked up at him, his eyes shining with appreciation.

"It's nothing," Jack grinned, setting his hand on Will's shoulder.

"It means a lot to me."

"Glad you approve then." Will jumped as somebody knocked on the door. "Must be Norrington," Jack said. Will tensed up and Jack squeezed his shoulder. "Don't clam up now lad. Everything'll be jus’ fine." Will nodded silently. Jack patted his shoulder once more before moving across the room to open the door.

"Sparrow," Norrington said, inclining his head as Jack opened the door.

"Commodore," Jack replied, motioning for him to enter with much flourish.

Norrington walked into the room and paused. He was dressed in his finest red dress uniform, fully decorated with the sword that Will had made for him at his side. He looked at Will seated at the vanity table and had to blink to make sure it was actually Will and not some stranger. "You look lovely," Norrington offered.

Will looked down at his hands and Norrington just knew that he was blushing even though he couldn't see it. "Thank you," Will murmured. "You look very nice as well."

Jack had to hold back a chuckle at their hesitant compliments to each other. He closed the door and moved back into the room. "Well then, shouldn't you be gettin' going? Don't want to be late for the ball." Jack plopped himself down beside the table and picked up his bottle of rum.

"Yes...but I have something…for Will that is." Norrington said, moving towards the vanity table.

"Oh?" Jack perked up, watching the Commodore.

Norrington took a box out of his pocket. "I bought them after I left yesterday. They matched your dress." Norrington explained as he opened the little box and showed it to Will. Inside, on a little pillow of silk, lay two pink pearl earrings and a choker made of a wide band of pink silk with a silver heart dangling from it and a small pearl set into the heart.

Will gasped. Everybody was giving him such beautiful gifts tonight. He wasn't sure what to do or say.

Norrington shifted nervously. "Do you like them?"

Will looked up, shocked. He nodded. "Yes, yes, they are beautiful, but I couldn't possibly-"

"No, really. I insist." Norrington pressed.

"Lad, just hush and accept the Commodore's pretty gift." Jack called out from the table as he took a sip of rum.

"For once, I must agree with Sparrow, please accept my gifts." Norrington said, holding the box closer to Will.

Will nodded again, the curls in his hair bouncing frantically. "Yes, yes, I will. Thank you very much," Will said in a rush.

Norrington set the box on the vanity table. "Please allow me to help you put them on."

Will licked his lips nervously. "All right."

Norrington carefully removed the choker already on Will's neck and put is aside as he picked up the new one. Will swallowed as the soft satin touched his skin. Norrington made sure the pendant hung in the middle as he fastened the necklace in place. Next he reached for the earrings. They had little clips on them, which he carefully snapped into place, trying not to pinch Will's ears too tightly. Norrington stepped back as the soon as the earrings were in place. Will looked at the dangling pearls in the mirror and then dared to look up, his eyes meeting Norrington's reflection.

"Thank you," he said quietly.

"It is the least I can do," Norrington replied.

Jack grinned. Well, if things weren't turning out quite nicely. "Now now, the sun is nearly setting. You need to get to your little ball."

Will nodded as he slowly stood, smoothing out his dress nervously. Norrington stepped forward and once more offered him his arm. Will took the Commodore's arm and Norrington looked at him. "Shall we go?"

Will nodded.

"Be good now!" Jack called as they walked out of the door.

"I shall be a perfect gentleman, I assure you." Norrington promised.

"Ye best be, 'cause you're escortin' a pretty lady who is very dear to me." Jack gave Norrington a firm look.

Norrington nodded before closing the door and leading Will out to the waiting carriage.

Jack stood up and threw open the window, watching the carriage pull away. Once they were out of sight, he pulled the shutters closed and began to implement a new plan. He would make sure that Norrington didn't hurt Will again and make sure that lad was safe or his name wasn't Captain Jack Sparrow.

To Be Continued...

All that work and I still didn't get to the ball yet! Oh well, aren't they sweet? So sweet *pets them* It'snice...I'm tired, I'm not makng sense ^_^***