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Fic: Honor - A Pirate's Life for Me
(Arrrr)
aztecgold
aztecgold
Fic: Honor
Randomness, inspired by (a) watching the movie again, and (b) mimesere. Set after they return to the Dauntless the last time, but before the final scene in Port Royal.

***

"You bloody *idiot*." Norrington's voice is low, so as not to carry to his men outside, but it is sharp, and his eyes are full of fire. "Why in blazes did you come *back*?"

Jack tilts his head, and the crown slips a little to one side. "The Black Pearl is gone," he explains, patiently, like Norrington's a child. "I didn't fancy swimming all the way back." He shoves the gaudy jeweled crown back on his head, with the end result that it slips back the other direction, still at a crazy tilt. "And I think there may be a few sharks out there," he muses, "who are under the delusion that they want to eat me."

Norrington's mouth tightens; he makes an aborted move forward, like he wants to grab Jack and shake some sense into him, but all he does is say, very quietly and very tightly, "You do realize that I'm obligated to hang you."

Jack's eyes are wide, all startled innocence; it's impossible to tell how much of that is feigned and how much real. "Hang me."

"It's what we do with pirates."

"I'm not just a *pirate*," Jack says, aggreived. "I'm Captain Jack Sparrow," as if that exempts him from all rules.

"Not for long." Norrington gives a tight, humorless smile, and looks into Jack's eyes. "You have a pirate brand," he says softly. "I made a pledge once, that I would see justice done to anyone wearing that brand."

"Justice?" Jack echoes, almost mockingly.

Grimly, Norrington repeats, "It's what we do with pirates."

"What'd we ever do to you?"

"Wh--" Norrington stares at him. "Y-- I-- Oh, for God's sake!" Frustrated, he spins away, pacing in a tight circle to compose himself. "Pirates," he says, angrily, "are a blight upon the waters, and I would just as soon see them all destroyed." He clenches one fist, as if it were the hand of God and all pirates in its grasp. "As I do not have the capability to do that, I do what I can, one ship, one person at a time."

"Ah." Jack tilts his head, regarding Norrington with slitted eyes. "But if the delightful Miss Swann requests it, you would turn a blind eye to the... slightly miscreant behaviour of one Will Turner, would you not?"

Norrington's nostrils flare; it is the only reaction he gives. "That is for the Governor to decide," he grinds out, "not me."

Jack's mouth twitches at some private amusement, but for once he doesn't say anything. Norrington takes a deep breath and steps back. When he speaks again, his voice is even and controlled. "Nevertheless. Considering the, ah, circumstances," he says, still in the low voice that no one but Jack would be able to hear, "had you stayed on the island, I might have been able to turn a blind eye to that; but as you returned, you have placed me in a very awkward position."

Jack looks at him for a long moment, saying nothing; his expression betrays little of his inner thoughts. Finally he says, lightly, "If all pirates are-- what was it? ah, yes, a blight upon your waters, and if I am a pirate, I should think you'd be ecstatic at having me in your capture."

Norrington gives him a look like he's grown a third head. "I do not need to explain myself to you," he says tersely.

"Ah, but you are," Jack points out, smug.

Norrington gives an exasperated sigh. "You," he says, "are insufferable."

"Which explains why you're still here," Jack says, again with an expression of wide-eyed innocence.

Norrington takes two long strides that bring him far too close to Jack. "I'm still here," Norrington says, tightly, "because *someone* needed to inform you about what a blasted *idiot* you are."

"Oh, many people have done that," Jack says cheerfully. "You're not the first, I'm sorry to say." The chains that link the irons around his wrist with the wall of the Dauntless' brig do not allow him enough slack to pull away from Norrington, but he doesn't even try, instead swaying forward so that they're almost touching. In a whisper, he says, "But you can tell me as many times as you like."

Norrington is silent for a moment, staring at Jack as if mesmerised; but then he breaks contact, stepping back. "You are *impossible*," he says. Something, possibly laughter, shimmers at the edges of his voice.

Jack inclines his head. "Thank you," he says. His demeanor is almost humble, but there's mischief in his eyes.

"Listen-- Sparrow--"

"*Captain* Sparrow," Jack insists, holding up his bound hands. "Captain. Please."

"--*Captain* Sparrow," Norrington says, practically spitting out the words. "A bit of advice for you, if you don't mind."

"Oh, I love advice," Jack says eagerly.

"Next time you're in this situation, *don't* come back to the bloody Dauntless."

Jack raises one eyebrow. "I'd think you'd appreciate it, being the honorable thing to do and all."

"There is a place and a time for honor." Norrington's voice is quiet again. "As much as I appreciate the gesture, this was *not* the time nor the place."

"Let me get this straight." Jack closes his eyes, as if thinking. "You want all pirates hanged, unless they offer themselves for it, in which case you don't?" He tilts his head back (which makes the crown he'd been wearing since the island slide off and clatter noisily against the wooden floor) and laughs. "Well, then, I shall have to remember that. All I have to do to keep my head *out* of the noose is to put it *in* the noose."

Norrington's mouth quirks in something that's not quite a smile. "It won't work in most situations, Sparrow, although most officers of the Navy would welcome the effort-- and take full advantage of it."

"So what makes this time different?" Jack raises his eyebrows. "Is it perhaps because I helped save the future Mrs. Commodore?"

Norrington takes a step forward, glowering. "Elizabeth hardly needed you to rescue her," he says.

"That's not how I remember it," Jack says, but then holds up his hands in an awkward gesture of surrender. "Fine! fine, I dare say I have a flawed memory."

"That," Norrington says, "you do."

"So are you going to let me go?" Jack asks, almost hopeful. When Norrington shakes his head, the expression is that of a kicked puppy. "But you *said*--"

"What I *said*," Norrington says, all but biting off the words, "is that *if* you had failed to return to the Dauntless, I would overlook it. But the fact is, you didn't, and that has set into motion a sequence of events that I am unable to stop, and that will finish with you at the end of a rope."

"Unable to stop," Jack says pointedly, "or *unwilling* to stop? After all, you could-- accidentally, of course-- let me go."

Norrington's eyes close for a moment, and then he half opens them, looking up at Jack through the dark lashes. "No," he says, very tightly, "I couldn't." He steps to the door of the brig and raps sharply on it with his knuckle, so that the guards outside know to open the door again. "Goodbye, *Captain* Sparrow."

The door opens, and then shuts again, and Jack scowls after him. "You could have told me all this before, you know," he shouts at the closed door, and kicks the crown, which skitters noisily across the floor.

{end. sortofkindofmaybe]
3 bottles of rum gone * Drink up, me hearties, yo ho!
Comments
cmshaw From: cmshaw Date: January 6th, 2004 09:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
mmm -- i like this very much! i do like norrington, but i want that stiff honor still on him, just like this. purr!
(Deleted comment)
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 23rd, 2004 11:45 am (UTC) (Link)

:)

I've just today found your lj, and I must say that I've very much been enjoying your ficlets and snippets. Lovely, lovely!

Also: If you ever feel the need to write any Jack/Elizabeth fics, I would bee overjoyed to read them.

Marci.
3 bottles of rum gone * Drink up, me hearties, yo ho!