Author: Eleanor K.
Fandom: Pirates of the Caribbean
Summary: Norrington gets a long awaited letter.
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be.
Notes: This was done for a Livejournal meme where people pick one
of your icons and you write a ficlet based on it. Here's the icon
The letter came this morning. I have it in my hand now, as well
worn with travel and age as I find myself to be these days.
I am to take ship for England. There are hints of a court martial
in the air, weaving through the scent of salt and hot tar. The letter
says nothing overt. It is a good sign that it comes from Admiral
Hart, whose ship I served on as a boy and who has never forgotten
me. He would fight for me as well as he could if I only gave him
There is something else in the air today. I smelled it before the
letter came, the moment I opened my window to the white and blue
and blurred green of the Caribbean morning. It smells like hot,
wet wind through palm leaves; like seaweed left behind by the tide,
baking in the sun. I think it's change.
This is the most beautiful place I have ever known.
In my thirty-odd years, I have loved three things. I fell hard for
the glory and grandeur of the Royal Navy as a child and have been
faithful all my life. It was never a love of the sea so much as
of order and ropes and gleaming wood and the power of man over his
world, the power of my country over her empire.
I came to the Caribbean eight years ago and lost my heart again.
The sea here is unlike the sea anywhere else in the world. It smells
different, feels different on your skin, and I have come to love
it. White sand and glass-clear water have worn me smooth, and the
sun has softened me.
The last gold of evening slants across the stone arch beside me,
across the side of my face. The stone is warm to the touch, and
I suspect I am, too. Fevered with knowledge of the future.
The letter shreds easily in my hands, and I let the bits drift over
the edge to the sea.
The walk back to my office is short, and the work waiting there
is easily disposed of. Groves is overdue for promotion and will
make an admirable replacement.
It was my intention to stop by my rooms afterwards, but in the end,
I pass them by and keep walking, taking nothing but the clothes
I stand up in. This is not a journey I know how to pack for.
I walk along the curve of the coastline, around the point of the
bay and down to another, smaller beach. I sit on the sand and watch
the sun set. Red and gold and purple, with that green flash as the
sun touches the horizon that you don't see anywhere else in the
I won't go back to England.
I close my eyes, knowing I have a long wait. Sleep comes easily.
It's full dark and the air is cooling when I wake. And there is
another body next to mine.
His hand is on my thigh, his head on my shoulder. Oiled hair falls
across my chest, smelling of salt and sweat and some spice I can
never place no matter how often I sleep surrounded by it.
"Is it time to go?"
His hand fists in my shirt, no doubt leaving streaks of dirt across
"S'time to sleep. S'dark out."
"Time to be away, I think." The sky is darkest blue now instead
of black. Dawn is coming. "Do you have a boat?"
"S'not a boat. It's a ship."
"A boat to get to the ship."
He sighs, as he does when I'm being difficult, and stretches. Peers
up at me mournfully, eyes nearly covered by kohl-smudged lids.
"Is this how it's going to be then, mate? You bossing poor Captain
Jack around from here to old age?"
"You know what I am."
Teasing smile, glint of gold teeth. "Commodore."
"Yes." Uniform or no, desertion or no. Some things don't change.
I've been expecting the letter. It galls a bit that the Admiralty
took so long to realize that my repeated failure to capture Sparrow
had nothing to do with incompetance. Even now, they might believe
me innocent and foolish, if I hadn't let him walk away from me the
A day's head start. I should have gotten the court martial for that,
but the reports were spotty and confused--necessarily, as I could
hardly tell them the specifics of our battle with the undead. Jack's
escape was probably the least of their concerns over that incident.
"My commodore," Jack says. Narrow smile, quick snatch that steals
my wig from my head and sends it flying out over the sand. "My first
I stand and pull him up with me, press a hard kiss to his mouth
that quickly turns soft. He tastes like rum. There were nights I
spent alone, nights I drank myself stupid just to have his taste
in my mouth.
He laughs and pulls me toward the row boat.