Bootstrap Bill Turner has a little talk with the Captain of the Flying Dutchman. Mild spoilers, of course, for PotC:DMC, and watch out for the angst.
It was the guilt that would crush you. It was the weight of your thoughts on a loop through your mind; what you should've and could've done. Where you should've been, by whose side you should've stood. What you could have said to your wife before you left, and given your son more than a pittance of a cursed coin--and, oh he hoped that curse hadn't touched the little thing.
The weight of the ocean was nothing compared to the heaviness of time and the ability to think clearly, despite that your lungs were filled and your bones were crushed.
The ship traveled through that crushing ocean in a way that no ship should. A wind that did not exist filled her sails as she bounced over waves that weren't there, but all logic and natural laws in spite, she sailed to the wishes of her captain.
And he had felt something else that didn't belong there, at the bottom of the sea, and so the Flying Dutchman searched and sailed and finally settled beneath the waves, next to a crushed figure and a half-buried cannon. Her captain, limping and cold, made his way onto the deck, focusing on the pitiful creature there.
"Are you hurting?"
Madness would be a respite, Bootstrap decided. And if this wicked looking creature was the harbinger of that, then so be it. Eyes still light with life glanced up at the monster addressing him, slightly confused. This was the worst his mind could think up to torture him? It could have picked a skeletal captain with a dark red hole through his head. Or a child made of bones and fright. Or a grief-stricken woman... but this?
He struggled a bit, though it did him no good and opened his mouth to speak... some air stuck deep in his lungs escaped and it was all he could do to mouth a sigh with a soft, "It's not so bad," following him.
The captain looked amused. He thought he might have been, a long time ago, by an answer like that. "I suppose you'll not be wanting help, then."
He leaned on the railing, watching this strange undead man more closely. "Shouldn't you be dead?"
With a minute shake of his head, Bootstrap settled his head back onto the sea floor. He wasn't sure if he'd be heard or not, what with the last of his air gone and that roaring crush of the water.
"Not after what I did. Don't... deserve death." It was right, wasn't it? The curse was deserving, just as he'd told--shouted at, was more like it--Barbossa that night in that ghastly moonlight.
Well, that was interesting Davy decided and quirked his head slightly, his tentacles settling close against his chest.
"Oh, really now? And what've you done that's so horrible? That you'll not be wanting my help off of that thing?"
"Mutiny," he murmured, his mind settling back into that loop of aberrent self-loathing. This obscene captain would understand, if he was any monster of the sea at all.
The worst sin a sailor could dream of in any nightmare was that of becoming a mutineer.
"Oh," Davy said with a nod, "that is a horrible deed. But if you're going to get your just punishment, wouldn't it make better sense to be of use while serving it? Rather'n lie here for, well, all eternity?"
"And... what use would that be?" Bootstrap asked, head lolling over to look at the captain again through the murky dark. He wasn't sure how it was he could make him out, as all he usually saw were the ghost lights of tiny monsters floating around him. Still, if this was madness, sight was irrelevant.
"I always need more crew," Davy answered, straightening up. "You don't know who I am, do you, Bootstrap Bill Turner?" It was little more than a shift in the water, a stir in the strange beings of the sea, and then he stood beside the downed man.
"I'd hazard Queen Caroline, but I think I be wrong on that one," he grumbled, not quite sure where his sense of humor came from. Of course, Maggie Turner had always told him he was cleverest when he was angry, as rare as that was....
"You're getting closer," the captain said, with what would have been amusement had he been anyone else. Instead he swirled a tentacle around his neck thoughtfully, regarding Bill.
"The devil 'imself, and that would be proper..."
"I am Davy Jones. And I can free you from this torment, and if it be what you need, bring you into another."
"What d'ye know of torment, then?" Bootstrap said, struggling a bit under the cannon in irritation. It seemed quite obvious, of course, as to what the captain would know of said subject, but he wasn't sure of how deep.
Still, that thought was carried away in an eddy of the water as others moved into their place. Fresh memories of sulking in the former-captain Jack Sparrow's quarters, the smell of Maggie's hair, the feeling of a tiny, warm hand in his own....
"Losing a loved one," Davy answered, his voice as level as it had been all along. "Not to death, nor even to fate, but to her own fickleness. I know she lives still, and where she be, but I'll not go to her. Every day I feel her, yet I stay away. And what torments me I take out on all my crew. Is that enough torment for you, Bootstrap Bill?"
There was a long, dark moment in which Bill Turner could feel each movement of the water, the steel biting into him, the weight of more than a thousand thoughts. It seemed for a single passing second that he would not answer at all.
"Aye. I be your man."
Davy smiled, and it was not a kind smile. "Welcome aboard." The cannon seemed to lift itself and Davy turned away; with the agreement sealed, Bill should be able to get on the Dutchman on his own, and even if he wasn't, he was no longer the captain's direct concern.