Thank you to all who reviewed.
This chapter has vague slash undertones. My head feels kind of dirty.
Norrington stood at the railing of the ship watching the waves crash into each other. The sun reflected golden beams off the water’s surface and he squinted as he thought. It felt like his brain was going a thousand kilometers an hour, struggling to reach a conclusion to his complicated trail of thoughts.
“There is a story,” a lilting musical voice cut into his thoughts. James didn’t have to turn around to know that she
was there. The goddess, the murderer, the spurned lover.
He sighed “what’s the story?”
The look on her face was almost sly as she talked “Tis the story of a brother and sister, the love they had for each other and their loyalty to the sea.”
He supposed it was inevitable that he hear this.
“They knew more about each other than anybody else alive or human. They knew each other’s weaknesses, strengths- they knew everything
.” Calypso looked inexplicably sad as her story continued. “And then came the betrayal, followed by the killing and the widespread destruction. And the people who called themselves her family wanted her gone. Because she knew too much, had seen too much- the blood on her hands was too deeply ingrained for even the sea to wash out.”
Her voice wove a melody around him, a tale of tragedy and love and James felt like he was standing on the edge of a precipice about to jump off. The ship rocked gently.
“She left and wandered the world, she explored and her rage grew blacker. And still she knew that the day would come when she would come back home, because you see- destiny is inescapable
. It is inevitable. And he
had been waiting for her to come home; through madness, through laughter, through the years.”
Calypso fell silent and James pondered.
He turned around to face the ship once more, his eyes searched the wooden expanse for a familiar set of eyes. He saw Elizabeth, motionless, silent as she stood to the right of him. James had seen Will fall and even though he had never liked the other man- it still hurt to see his one time love so desolate. So in pain. Her back was ramrod straight as she stood looking out to the sea. James wondered if she was waiting for Will, for his return.
“What will happen to her?” he asked.
Calypso caught the direction of his gaze, she was thoughtful as she answered “she will get what she deserves. Don’t you fret.”
James frowned “What does that mean?”
Calypso lifted her face to the sun, she opened her arms and murmured “she is no longer your concern Admiral.” His rank sounded like a sneer coming from her, a reprimand, a reminder of his failures to their cause. “What do you you
want James Norrington?” Her eyes were black pools, infinite, wise as she smiled at him “and choose wisely, this may be the only chance you get.”
James thought about his father, the years of conditioning he had undergone as a Norrington, as a soldier. He thought about doing the right thing, about marrying the right girl and settling down to raise the next generation of the Norrington dynasty.
And then he thought about the talk he had with Faith earlier that day. She had approached him when he was cleaning his weapons preparing for the battle. His cabin was small, his bunk took up almost all the space available and it was currently littered with heavy weaponry. She had knocked, surprisingly enough, a feat that he wouldn’t have thought her capable of in the twenty years of their acquaintance.
“Come in,” he called out and almost choked on his tongue as he beheld her fighting gear. Faith had never been proper but this was almost too much even for her. Her leather britches looked painted on, a second skin in a blood red color. Her shirt was leather also, indecently low cut with various straps to hold knives on her person. A fleeting glance told him that she had at least seven blades hidden on her, and that wasn’t counting the two guns strapped to each hip and the sword secure between her shoulder blades.
“Faith,” his voice cracked and he cleared his voice in embarrassment. It seemed that every time he saw her, all his years of training, his stoicism left him. He was no longer the dangerous military man who commanded British ships- he was just James.
“It’s good to see you Jimmy,” she gave him an impish grin that looked remarkably like her six year old self.
He felt something tug at him deep inside as he was reminded of the foul mouthed little urchin that barreled into him when he was six.
“You too,” he flushed darkly “you look good.” And she did. She was leaner than ever and he could see several new tattoos crossing her skin in an elaborate pattern.
Faith grinned “thanks.”
They fell silent. He stared resolutely at his bunk and she openly stared at him.
Faith lifted her head suddenly as if hearing something in the distance. “We don’t have much time,” she announced softly and her gaze turned resolute. “Are you staying?” The with me was silent but no less present.
James swallowed “what about Jack?”
Faith picked up a dagger from his bunk, holding it up in the air she began twirling it with nimble fingers. “My brother likes you Jimmy,” she leered at him “and he only likes himself.”
He felt a flush traitorously working it’s way up his neck “What about you?”
me?” Faith arched an eyebrow.
“Doesn’t he like you?” he fidgeted. Strange, yet another occurrence that most often came about in her presence.
She smiled slowly “me and Jack are forever. He doesn’t have to like me.”
Faith stepped forward into his personal space. The ship lurched and to his everlasting horror he was thrown closer to her. She smelled salty and sweet, like cinnamon and sea salt convalesced into a scent completely her own.
“If you come with me,” Faith licked her lips “you’ll be coming with Jack too.” She stepped away and the cabin felt a little cooler. “You want to come with us,” Faith said “you should know that me and Jack share everything.” She smiled and left, shutting the door behind her.
Everything. What do you want?
James thought about his history, his love for his duty, his desire to stand out. He thought about family, obligations- responsibilities that he had. And as he considered everything, he finally saw Faith and Jack. They were sitting together in a shadowed corner of the ship, Faith on a stool behind Jack. He had his shirt off, dark skin wet with perspiration and blood. She had a bottle of rum in one hand that she was pouring on his wounds and a roll of white bandages in the other. She was disinfecting his wounds, but they couldn’t use any of the cabins as they were all taken up by the severely wounded.
James watched her pour the liquid on her brother’s back. Jack must have hissed something particularly colorful because Faith gave him a slap upside the head with a muttered curse and a scowl. They looked happy together.
‘What do you want James Norrington?’ The answer to that question was simple like all the great things in life. He felt carefree, almost boyish as he smiled at Calypso “I want to be free.”
She nodded her head “Good choice.” There was a silence as Calypso breathed in a long gulp of the seasalty air “freedom is everything” said the seagoddess.
But James didn’t hear her. He was striding away towards his destiny.
They were all older, wiser and infinitely more damaged than they had been when they first met. But inside they were still the same kids they had been on that day at the pier. Cocky Jack and his violently mouthy shadow and the only heir of a military dynasty. They were the opposite of each other and yet so very alike, like twisted branches of an old tree reaching for different paths of the sky. But ultimately connected, destined.
“Hello,” James scratched his neck and tried valiantly not to shuffle his feet like a recalcitrant child.
“Hi Jimmy,” Faith smiled warmly while her brother watched him warily.
“Faith,” he grinned back like a fool, he then turned to the silent man between them “Jack.” Everyone was aware of the importance of this moment.
He knew that they weren’t blood relatives, but staring at them at that moment- both dark haired, tanned dark bronze with rum colored eyes- he could have sworn that he was looking at the same person.
At the periphery of his vision, he could see Elizabeth running into Will’s arms. But not even the sight of a suddenly resurrected rival could have turned James away from the two people in front of him. The moment felt monumental, like fate being decided.
And then Jack smiled the usual quirky grin of his and purred “So I heard that you might be joining us love.”
James caught his eye, the infinite possibilities for danger and a hankering for madcap adventures was everpresent. “If you’ll have me.”
Faith was smiling at the two of them, a smug, vaguely satisfied grin lighting up her dirtied face with a glow. She and Jack looked at each other, silently communicating in that awfully freakish way the two of them had.
They turned away to face him after coming to some kind of silent decision.
Jack nodded and turned back to James, he got up from his seat- a magnificent creature of legends of old, the promised son of a sea goddess an the lifelong partner of a prophecized warrior. He held out his hand “welcome to the Black Pearl mate.”
James thought that he heard Calypso laughing in the background as he shook Captain Jack Sparrow’s hand while his sister stood near them.