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Fic, Crossover, POTC/IOS Norry/Jack, Norry/OC, PG-13 at most
yay buttsex! by kittie
rispacooper wrote in sparrington
A Respectable Future (Is Not What Commodores Dream Of)
By R. Cooper
Summary: James Norrington after POTC:AWE is a lonely, bitter man.
Warnings: I was, and am, still angry with Jack for treating Norry that way in DMC.
Disclaimer: Etienne is mine. Norry and Jack are not.

AN: I realized the other day I never posted this here. It probably won't make sense to anyone, but... A long time ago, someone challenged me to back up my joke about Etienne Saint-Cyr (a character from an original slashy pirate epic of mine, Ideas of Sin) and Commodore (Admiral) James Norrington. This is the result. It was written way before AWE was released, back when I was guessing at the ending and pissed off about DMC.

Ideas of Sin/Pirates of the Caribbean, all Three Films; revised slightly after seeing AWE. Spoilers are vague but they abound, matey. Also set in the same universe as my Sparrington story, Moves and Motion. If you haven't read either Ideas of Sin or Moves and Motion, don't worry, just regard Etienne has a slutty weirdo and know that Jack and Norry once had a very strange relationship. :)

Um…so yeah. (Continually puffing away on ma’ crackpipe). Please ignore the many impossibilities of this (such as time and place and plausible chronologies in either canon).

I apologize for any name misspellings and my French sucks.


It was not as though he did not have other things to attend to. Many things in fact, the whole island of Jamaica seemingly thrown into chaos by recent events and left with only himself and some new upstart Governor to keep things under control.

Actually, keeping the peace was surprisingly easy enough—his new, embarrassingly heroic, nearly mythical, reputation assured him loyalty where he had never expected it, and there were few pirates left in the Caribbean worth bothering with, clever enough to even be called pirates. Only one pirate in fact, and he was doubtless long gone. There were, after all, no curses or promises to keep such a man around any longer, no obligations at all no matter how many nights Norrington might catch himself lying somewhere between dreams and sleep, and hoping.

His lack of sleep of late could easily be attributed the sheer amount of paperwork that Lord Cutler Becket had left behind him, or the business of reorganizing the parts of the fleet that were left, or the work in reminding the world that Port Royal was no longer a haven for buccaneers.

A respectable town with a respectable future, that is what it would be appear to be from now on, and welcome though the thought was, Norrington found himself frowning as he walked, glancing out to the sea to watch the wind call up blue waves.

He frowned because he did not need this distraction. But the Governor had begged the favor of stalling…that is, entertaining, the recently disembarked French ambassador while he settled his home into order and went through a few months worth of forgotten messages, trying to determine their diplomatic guest’s exact purpose in coming to Port Royal.

James strode past the newly recruited midshipman, standing guard outside Becket’s old office for shortage of surviving—of trained Marines. The solid oak of the doors should have been comforting, but his gaze did not see the smooth, polished brown, or even the signs of wear lingering about the edges. He had taken the symbols of the East India Trading Company down, but it did not stop him from wincing at the signs of where they had once been, making it seem to him that the name had been burned into the wood with a hot branding iron.

The guards’ bright, eager faces turned to him as he moved, and he left his frown where it was, sliding his gaze away from their youth and walking into the room without a word.

They closed the door behind him almost noiselessly, knowing that much at least, and yet Norrington paused once inside, the afternoon light streaking through the closed windows behind his desk and setting fire to the few specks of dust stirred by his entrance.

His hand went to his sword out of habit, his fingers just resting along the hilt as he observed that he was not alone, blinking just once. His eyes skimmed up over the shining silver buckles and spotless white stockings to the startlingly dark blue silk of short breeches before he raised them, glancing around the room only to notice that the ambassador had been left here alone to wait.

He had once rather vaguely thought that only the dishonourable Lord Becket could have achieved that level of formal dress after a long, uncomfortable sea voyage. But he had not counted on the French.

His lips curved into a cool smile at that, a smirk that would have shocked the man he had been less than a year ago. He would not have thought it possible that he would not have even attempted to recall his place when in the presence of acknowledged nobility—for that was who this man was, judging from the passenger list and papers sent with him. The king of France’s personal envoy, standing and waiting for Admiral Norrington in his office, and yet Norrington was only grateful that he had not fully bared any steel.

There was one man who would have not surprised to know this, whose dark eyes would have been laughing at him for even being startled into a hand on his sword, had laughed at him to see him speechless at being called back from Death, and Norrington firmed his lips, making himself look straight across at the guest he was being forced to entertain.

Black eyes were watching him, and Norrington felt his lips soften, nearly falling open as he stood there, staring back. He could hear his own breathing heavy between them and realized he was gaping like a fool. The sting of humiliation was there to match the burn at his cheeks, his brows settling into a frown before he forced his eyes away. He made too much noise clearing his throat, the sound harsh next to the slender figure that had not so much as whispered.

The eyes had tricked him, sending him places best forgotten, and Norrington ran one fingertip up along the delicate golden filigree William Turner had laid into his sword, the only bit of shine a redeemed privateer could claim. If he were to touch his fingers to his lips now, there would be the tang of the gold, salt on his tongue—just his own skin—and even the knowledge was enough to leave him in pain, a stabbing ache in his chest and stomach.

If he waited, the sharp cravings would fade, and he focused his mind on the swirls of Turner’s work, so deceptively simple in appearance. When studied closely his sword was more than a match to the decorative piece that the ambassador wore.

That weapon was doubtless purely for show, perhaps the occasional duel, and as his eyes counted the small jewels inset into the hilt, Norrington found himself wondering how this man would fair in a fight between two admitted pirates in a giant rolling waterwheel. Not well, even if his suit showed no signs of padding, the catching fabric of his stockings only showcasing the smooth, rounded flesh of his calves, hinting at the hard muscle of his thighs.

The black eyes that knew his every thought glinted in his mind again, this time defined by long, lush lashes smudged with paint. James clutched tight at his sword and deliberately moved his eyes up to the ambassador’s face, raking an openly disdainful gaze over the ridiculous affectations the man had chosen to wear to Jamaica, knowing it would melt in a matter of hours.

Nothing had been smeared around the dark eyes still observing him, and the long, black hair falling in graceful curls around the man’s shoulders was doubtless a wig. It was neatly arranged to frame the painted, pretty face, not one wild strand out of place, no clacking of ornaments and scraps of old victories tucked behind a ratty scarf. The only colour to be seen was the full, red mouth—and those bloody eyes.

“Monsieur Saint-Cyr?” Norrington kept his words sharp and strode the rest of the way across the room to shake hands. He only hoped the fop spoke English.

Lips thick with rouge slid into an amused smile, and Norrington stopped short, a greater distance from the man then he had intended, extending his hand and feeling an even greater fool when Saint-Cyr dropped his gaze between them and leaned his head to one side.

Before James could pull his hand back, Saint-Cyr was waving one hand loosely in the air, his voice rising with some secret amusement as he at last touched his fingertips to the back of Norrington’s hand, pausing momentarily before slipping his hand into his for a handshake. He was warm and dry when James had half expected him to be cold, his grip firm before he pulled his hand away, letting his fingers trail a line across Norrington’s palm.

“I had forgotten the English are fond of such things,” Saint-Cyr explained with an artlessly elegant shrug and James forced the breath from his chest with difficulty, curling his fingers into his tingling palm and using his other hand to wave the man to a seat.

“James Norrington,” he said shortly, studying the floor for a moment before he walked around his guest and went to his side of the great desk to sit down.

“Of course you are.” The smooth response brought his attention back up, not bothering to hide his slight frown though he was not going to ask this man if his comment had meant anything. Anything other than the obvious that was, recalling his reputation and knowing for himself just how false it was, and James knew his frown deepened as he thought on his own idiocy. It was not boredom that was making him seek out challenges when there were none.

“I…” James licked his lips though he had no desire for rum or tea at the moment, sending his gaze around the room but unsurprised when it went directly back to the man seated across from him. His dark eyes were not darting from side to side and making sly offers, they were not, in fact, doing anything other than regarding him in return. It was strange then that he felt the same whisper of alarm at his back, the prickling of skin along his arms, his blood streaming faster in his veins.

Perhaps it was the cool smile that the other man was allowing to rest on his lips, the waiting arch of his eyebrow, so cold and still when his eyes were as hot as the melted black sand of certain islands far to the west. He could feel them weighing him, measuring his possible use in a way that was far too familiar.

“Have you been to Port Royal before?” Norrington offered abruptly, wondering how he knew that the sudden, brief twist to man’s lips was genuine, if bitter, and why he shivered when the warmth in that gaze disappeared.

“Oh, yes.” Saint-Cyr turned his face into one of the blinding streaks of sunlight, the effect as good as shadow for hiding what he may have been feeling, and Norrington felt himself recalling that this was the king of France’s envoy. Asking his purpose here, as he suddenly wished to do, would earn him a polite—and doubtless false—answer and only increase the number of foolish acts he had committed in the past few minutes. It was the kind of mistake he would have made months ago with a captured Jack Sparrow, demanding truth from someone who, whatever the reasons, could not offer it. He might as well wish to hold the sea in his hands.

“I’m afraid our new governor is busy at the moment and has asked me to entertain you.” He spoke to fill the silence, and Saint-Cyr nodded, obviously having no more need of diplomatic excuses than he did, his eyes still facing the window as though he could peer through the light.

“You are to entertain me?” he repeated the words as a question, finally turning away from the view of the sea. “I hope there is no problem with my papers…” Saint-Cyr wondered breathlessly a moment later, leaning back in his seat to consider him. Lashes swept down to brush across his cheekbones, lifting to reveal bright eyes, the interest in them growing more obvious when Saint-Cyr again tilted his head to one side and had to continue his study while looking up at him. He had not been small, even for a Frenchman, and yet suddenly he seemed a delicate creature, as light as the silk spread over his shoulders, skin as white as cream, but dusted with a blush that his powder could not hide.

Even across a desk, James could feel the touch of heat at his chest, spreading down his limbs with the same languid ease that Saint-Cyr used to lift one hand, slender wrist twisting as he turned his palm up in a graceful, helpless entreaty.

And Norrington had the stray thought that if that hand had been shackled in irons he would not have felt the danger any more. In fact, he might have felt it less, and had the daring to stand just a little closer. Strange, when he had not felt anything like fear in a lifetime. His heart thudded once inside his chest.

“I would hardly be the man to plead to, were your papers an issue.” The words were slick and sweet on his tongue, as tart as the drinks of iced lemon juice the ladies of the town drank on especially warm days. He smiled as he said them, and only such a careful gaze could have let him catch the quick blink of those dark eyes. He did not let his smile grow any wider—he was a officer once again, even if he had dispensed with the wig—and sat up. It was more than a little like leaning down to sneer into a face that would seem almost too pleased to be the recipient of his attentions, and only later, the shackles gone and his body worn, would James realize that he had been tricked again.

His smile slipped at the exact moment that Saint-Cyr straightened as well, studying him with one coy, sideways glance and then taking the hand that had been so neatly offered to him and waving it in a dismissive gesture that could have meant anything.

“La,” Saint-Cyr clucked his tongue and seemed not to notice Norrington’s wide-eyed stare at the blatantly feminine sound, too busy feigning disappointment to look directly at the man that he had propositioned a moment before, his tone slightly scolding, as though he were innocent when his mouth and eyes had said otherwise. “Perhaps I do not understand how your government works here.” His lower lip was pushed out in a pout that no respectable man would have attempted, even had he meant it. Even Elizabeth’s incessant pouting had still held an edge of defiance, her shoulders back and her chin lifted. This was…

James felt his attention drawn to the round, red circle of the man’s mouth, the full lower lip only just wetted by his tongue, and even as he tried to look away, his eyes followed the perfect fall of the neckcloth to the hint of skin beyond, and the motions as Saint-Cyr swallowed.

This was…coy…and deliberate…and where there ought to have been a taunting dare for action there was instead such a sad acceptance that he longed to reach out, to curve his fingers at the slope of the white neck and tilt the noble head back for a kiss...

A momentary acceptance, Norrington reminded himself with gritted teeth, fighting the urge to get to his feet and cross the desk, his muscles so tense he feared Saint-Cyr would see. The submission in the bended neck was no less a trick then Jack’s easy acquiescence to being clapped in irons, and had to be just as mocking.

He was being teased, deliberately so, and a whisper told him that even Jack Sparrow could not have done it better. But then, Jack had been after something more than papers, and had been gone once he’d had it.

He coughed, letting his scowl speak for him as he considered a possible answer.

“I think you will find we have quite a different way of doing business here, Monsieur Saint-Cyr.” It was impossible not to keep frowning, to purse his lips together at the idea of that same pleading gesture being offered to some anonymous clerk merely for the sake of some travel documents. “The King’s personal ambassador shouldn’t concern himself with such things.”

His voice rang out in the quiet room, echoed only by a softly indrawn breath from the man sitting so far from him, and James put a hand on the edge of the desk and held it tightly, clenching his jaw and looking down at his lap to hear such harsh disapproval from his own mouth. As though he had never known the depths of degradation a man could drown himself in.

You smell funny. He had known by then he would not be granted a warm welcome, his own actions in the tavern guaranteeing that. And he would have been pleased, he had thought, to see Jack Sparrow hanging from the nearest yardarm. Even now the thought was almost pleasing. Yet he had not been expecting such casual cruelty, even from Jack Sparrow. It had hurt when he had thought himself numb to pain, that deliberate mention of the man he had once been, and he could only wonder if Jack’s crazed, cowardly mind had known this would hurt him the most, if Jack had been trying to drive him mad, or simply away, by reminding him of what he had once had.

He had vomited instead, humiliatingly sick in front of Jack, and the others of course, and been more than happy to blame the agony in his middle on weeks of rum and no food and sleeping in places that a dog wouldn’t have lifted a leg to.

He had not touched rum since and had not wished to in the time after that moment. Rum and Jack Sparrow, both his undoing, and yet now he thought distractedly of offering Saint-Cyr wine, if it would the man would find it amusing to watch him swallow down as many bottles as it took to ease the tightness in his throat. It was the way of love, to wonder at questions with no answers, at least no adequate answers.

There was a bottle of something in a cabinet nearby, but James did not turn to seek it out, or rise from his seat. He lifted his eyes across the neat piles of papers to study the pale hand that had fallen flat on the desk, so still it put James in mind of a bird shot from the sky. Strange when the other hand was moving, blue silk shimmering as he slid a hand back to his side, to where he wore his sword.

The thought was startling enough to make James glance up, only to feel the need to drop his eyes once more when he found Saint-Cyr in a similar pose, intent on the many unnecessary documents spread out between them. He was offered a glimpse of the rich black eyes before the lashes swept down to hide them, and then Saint-Cyr’s mouth twisted into something cold that did not belong on a fop’s pretty, painted face. The smile was gone before James could think to say anything.

He shifted in his seat and fought the urge to uncurl his fingers from the edge of his desk, holding until his skin was stretched and white.

“It is more than likely that, at this moment, the new governor is tearing his home apart, looking for any information about your visit.” He nearly whispered this admission, ducking his head to acknowledge the truth of this visit even as he longed for rum now. He was a fool and learned nothing at all from his time with Jack Sparrow.

Next he would be painting strange figures on the ship the ambassador had arrived in, and no amount of commendations from the Crown would save him from his own disgrace.

“Wou…would you care for some wine?” A semblance of good manners forced him to lift his head, his eyes growing wider to find Saint-Cyr sitting up and waiting, his sadness apparently forgotten, the bright, black gaze flicking to him and then away.

“How considerate you are.” He purred the compliment, tossing his head slightly and sending Norrington a smile that, though small, held none of its earlier coolness. “English hospitality. It reminds me…”

James’ breath seemed caught in his chest while he waited, but Saint-Cyr did not finish his thought. At least not that one, his smile growing wide even as his brow arched up to express disbelief. “Even with death around you, you will remember your manners.” His tone was not bitter, not precisely, and while James was struggling to think of the word for it—and then wondering why his mind dwelled on such an unimportant matter so—Saint-Cyr pulled his lower lip between his teeth and frowned carefully.

It looked more thoughtful than angry, unlike Norrington’s own scowl, which he knew was due to confusion at the myriad of emotions on display for him now. They were a distraction too, diversions to keep him guessing, and yet he could not seem to stop himself from trying to seek out the truth, the same need to find and hold that had sent more than one bird flying from him. It was not the nature of the bird to stay.

“Not always.” It was his turn to look away in discomfort, setting his shoulders before he turned back. “You also remind me of things best left unspoken.” He did not explain, no matter how Saint-Cyr arched his brow or sat in silence and waited. He would have his bloody secrets too and would not pretend otherwise. And if his clenched jaw gave away the ferocity of his thoughts, Saint-Cyr did not remark on it, merely sitting back ever so slightly. The slight inclination of his head a moment later could have been imagined, and yet somehow, James did not think it was, and blinked, his lips parting to expel a short breath.

He took his hand from the desk and put it to his chest, and held it hard over the flesh that felt tight over his thundering heart. It was almost frightening to feel the force of his blood racing, reminding him that his heart still beat within him.

His eyes were too wide, he knew, giving away too much and still he looked up, to the figure that may as well have been carved in ice for all that it moved. A ridiculous figure of fun, a blue silk peacock sent here at a king’s bidding, he reminded himself, and then slid his eyes down and continued his thought—a slender, beautiful man studying him with interest before he sent his gaze decorously away as Jack would never have done.

It went again to the light, the lifted chin all Norrington could see of the face, and yet he knew the gaze was sliding back to him, and that if he dropped his eyes he would see the rapid rise and fall of the lace at the white throat.

He had kissed Jack there in their last real encounter, there at his throat under his ear, foolishly believing that the quick fluttering of Jack’s pulsing heart at been excitement for his caresses and not knowing as he did now that it had likely been only fear of the approaching curse of Davey Jones. How could he have known, with a lover that had told him nothing, even when it was more than clear to all the Caribbean that their chases had been all for sport and never in earnest? Jack had left him without a word, choosing to try to fight the horrible fate he had bargained for himself all alone.

Only that grin, slashing gold and white into his vision as Jack had dashed off, disappearing in shadows and hurricanes and too much rum, only to reappear with no shame and Elizabeth Turner in his sights, out to capture a man’s heart for his own purposes once again, looking only quickly at Norrington before his eyes would slide away, as though he could not allow his gaze to linger.

James had pushed aside the memory until that moment, and his gasp brought Saint-Cyr’s eyes back to him, full of open and cruel amusement, his smile as sharply edged as a pirate’s blade, and for the smallest moment, James dreamed he could see this fop at the helm of a great ship, the smoke of a hundred firing guns curling around him, though of course he had to be mistaking this man for another even if he did not know who.

James raised his head, his brows drawing into a frown that even Davey Jones himself had taken note of as he bit out his words.

“Something amuses you, Monsieur?” he wondered in icy tones that had once made Captain Jack Sparrow squirm for him, made the Jack Sparrow who had bargained with Death itself hum a madman’s love song and beg for him, and then James nearly forgot himself when Saint-Cyr’s mouth fell open and his breath reached his ears, low and heavy.

“What we wish would stay in the past never does…” The sad knowledge in the remark was perhaps undone by the attention so firmly fixed upon him now, the hint of rapid breathing that left his voice so soft, and James blinked, before his lips curved into a cool, pleased smile that he did not bother to hide. Strangely, Saint-Cyr smiled back to see his smug amusement, a cool grin of his own that flashed as silver as the moon.

“…But it does not mean that the present cannot be…enjoyable. And the future…” If Saint-Cyr had truly forgotten to the proper words to finish his sentences or was simply drawing them out to torment him, James could not determine, but he swallowed, his mouth far too dry.

There could even be motive in this if it was truly being offered, a need beyond a longing for flesh that he could not see, and James wished suddenly that were not the sort of man to care about what lurked in men’s souls. Even a pirate’s drink had not been able to slow his mind that much and he cursed it now, watching the same dark thoughts strike a spark in the glinting black eyes across from him.

His recognition of Norrington’s show of regret was too long in coming, but the Frenchman nodded at last, his head tilting to one side just as it had before, considering…patient…and then he closed his eyes. When they opened again, they were simply amused, and Norrington’s lips quirked even as he frowned, knowing the sort of control it took to bury what the body wanted.

His limbs were twitching, forcing him up from his seat and he stood for a moment, blinking at the brightness of the afternoon sun. It was afternoon in Port Royal, and there were a thousand duties to attend to. A respectable man would not have even paused to consider…what he was considering even now.

He didn’t move from his seat; only knowing the last time he had felt anything this strong he had been staring into Davey Jones’ repulsive face, knowing that a man with a broken heart would not hesitate to lash out at the innocents around him, knowing that the great well of bitterness in his belly could only be filled with vicious acts and that of all who had sailed from Port Royal, he was the only one who did not fear a lonely, miserable fate. He could have cursed Jack for rescuing him.

There was an odd fluttering in his stomach now, to find himself here in position of pirate-turned admiral, wishing to be anywhere else and yet remaining here, needing to be left to himself, continuing to hope that he would not be alone for long.

It was not the first time that he had allowed himself to wonder about his life if not for the hurricane, if his foolishness had not led to the loss of so many of his men for the sake of Jack Sparrow. Without that, the realization after his survival that it had all been for nothing, that he had been left for cowardice and cowardice alone. And knowing that without the truth of Jack’s intentions heavy in his middle and the memory of his dead men that had driven him to drink every barrel of rum on Tortuga, his thoughts might have been clearer. He might have determined earlier what Jack had been running from, saving him from, might have stopped the whole mess before it had begun.

There was no way for him to ever know if his actions afterward were even truly known by the others, if one good act had been enough after all. No good can come of wonderin’ now, love, when it’s all over and done, Jack might have said—if he had been around to say anything. But if he had been there at this moment, glaring suspiciously at Saint-Cyr from behind him and curling his fingers into his shoulder, he might have simply reminded James that a single act was also enough to condemn a man. As though that fact did not ache in his bones on cold nights, and pull at the jagged scars across his chest.

“Such dark thoughts you must have, to frown so. Should I be curious?” With a cluck of his tongue Saint-Cyr brought James back into the room and the present, the vaguest of amusement crossing the pretty features as he accomplished what had apparently been his goal—getting Norrington’s attention back on him. Why he should wish that and seem so pleased with this present, James could not guess, but Saint-Cyr shrugged off Norrington’s forbidding gaze before James could do more than glare.

“Perhaps I have caught you on an unfortunate day, Monsieur Norrington.” Hearing his name drawn out to each ridiculous syllable, the middle ever so slightly slurred, James let out a sigh of his own, surprised at the intimacy of Saint-Cyr saying his name and not his title. He wished suddenly that he knew this man’s first name, and firmed his lips.

“And what is your purpose in coming to Port Royal?” That he was curious at all was irritating, and he could hear it in his voice, the anger roughly threaded through the silken question. The seams were showing, and he thought briefly of the effortless barbs he had tossed at a wayward pirate, long ago, and how that pirate had delighted in them, answering back until his voice would sound as it did now, and an outright insult would be taken as an invitation to share his bed. And still he would have said it if he’d had the chance again; his tongue hummed with the words now though he had not had any wine.

His flesh was stinging as though he had tried to reach through a patch of rosebushes, and he curled his fingers into his palms and waited for the direct question that would follow. His courage had yet to fail him, and he kept his gaze steady, linking his hands behind his back and standing much as he had when first given the rank of Commodore, when duty had been his strongest concern.

“A man of mystery? How romantic!” Saint-Cyr sounded positively delighted at his question if Norrington was to believe the arch, flirtatious tone. It was ludicrous to find himself once again talking to madman—or a man others might have taken to be mad and scandalous—and to be, despite appearances and his own efforts, flirting back in return.

“Perhaps we all have questions we cannot answer.” With one motion, Saint-Cyr was on his feet as well, pausing for a moment to pose as easily as a dancer, one toe pointed out, one hand extended with the fingers curled with hinted invitation. Norrington felt his eyes traveling down over the body displayed for him before he could control himself, the well-starched cloth of his uniform harsh on his skin where he inhaled too deeply. Saint-Cyr’s suit would be cool and slick, stiff only with embroidered patterns on a jacket all too easily removed.

He looked up quickly and saw the slow curve of the lips, as deliberate as the first carefully placed step, followed by another, bringing them closer. There was a daintiness that wild Elizabeth could never have attempted, that he would have never wished her to, and none of the swagger and swish of Jack Sparrow’s artfully artless saunter, but he could sense the same intent, the same distraction and calculation that his soul would crave always despite his wishes.

His hands were fists at his back, but he said nothing as Saint-Cyr approached him, looking for all the world like a cat balancing on a narrow fence, only the hand resting atop his sword hilt to remind those watching of his claws.

He balanced well, so well in fact that most would likely not notice that he was fighting to stay up at all. Norrington himself was dizzy with it, his shoulders aching as he kept his head up at his desk, allowing himself only glimpses of the sea as he waited, and he was sighing even as he had the thought, his hands falling from his back to his sides.

But there was no point in attempting to do anything else, not yet, with duty so heavy and nothing coming on the horizon. There was merely to do what had to be done, to go on and wait for a chance, for that moment.

If he searched hard enough, if thick eyelashes would lift to let him, he might see the same thought reflected in the dark eyes of Saint-Cyr, even if they were placed there only by his own fancy. Hard or soft, the choice had been given to him, to take what was offered while it was offered when there would nothing else later. Jack would have.

Norrington sucked in a breath.

Jack had, James reminded himself, relishing the sharp whip-crack of pain through his chest, and if he had regrets James had yet to hear of them.

“There is time for a drink.” He did not ask, swallowing when his mouth grew dry, and Saint-Cyr slowed to a stop before him, looking up to meet his gaze while keeping his neck slightly bent. Somehow the pose managed to make a mockery of Norrington’s earlier thought, that it was his choice what he wanted this to be if he wanted it to be at all, and yet he could still feel the expectation in the other man’s stillness. Whatever he wished, he could have, for whatever reason, and James could feel himself frowning as this occurred to him, that Saint-Cyr would even think it of him.

“That is, if you wish it,” he paused on the words, inclining his head despite his disapproving frown, and Saint-Cyr blinked, looking startled for perhaps a heartbeat. The lush mouth fell open, the eyes widening in such a way that made James momentarily wonder at just how old the man was underneath the paint, and then the eyes narrowed, sweeping down over his body and then back up in a way that a man might have done to a woman on the street, lingering over his chest before openly and quite leisurely returning to admire his face. He darted out his tongue once to deliberately wet his lips, and James felt himself mimicking the gesture mindlessly.

He could feel the heat of his ridiculous blush at his cheeks and under his neck cloth, spreading out along his skin to pool at his loins, creating a heavy throbbing and sudden tightness along his breeches.

“Même un cru amer peut être adouci par la compagnie,” Saint-Cyr spoke fluidly in his own tongue, far too quickly for James to even attempt to use his meager French to translate, and then he was nodding, as though knowing he would not be understood. “I find your offer quite pleasing.”

“I…indeed.” He froze at his own agreement, praying that he did not sound as foolish as he thought he did, and turned to stare blankly at the cabinet holding the bottles. “I’ll just…”

At the sound of the loud knock James swallowed his words so quickly it left a knot in his chest, his shoulders tensing and then falling when he forced out a long breath. He did not look next to him, but heard another heavy exhalation and then a soft laugh.

“Governor spank?” Saint-Cyr wondered under his breath, and though the words made little sense, James felt his lips twist into a sour smile. “My time is not my own, Monsieur.”

“Of course.” It took no time at all to school his face to reveal nothing, turning politely and waving a hand toward the door. Norrington walked along side him, reaching the door first and swinging it open to study the elaborately dressed footman waiting on the other side.

“The Governor has sent his carriage for the ambassador.” The man addressed him, not Saint-Cyr, and Norrington wondered vaguely if they also assumed he spoke no English. But he nodded for that too, signaling for the man to wait before turning at last to Saint-Cyr, who had stopped across from him, leaving the two of them framed in the doorway. He could feel the solid oak at his back though he could not remember stepping backward.
It was presumptuous of him to assume Saint-Cyr might not wish to leave immediately, there was no reason for him to stay, and his duty called. This whole encounter could have been nothing more than his imagination, the feverish dreams of a lonely officer, too tired of waiting.

“I hope this initial meeting will not take long.” Saint-Cyr remarked idly, taking absolutely no notice of the footman waiting on him. The dark wood nearly matched the gleaming strands of his wig as he too fell back against the doorframe, tilting his head back until his throat was exposed. “But…” the man paused with every appearance of thoughtfulness, and James knew he scowled at the act, but kept silent to see it through. “I do not believe it will be as surprising as this meeting.”

Norrington made a rough noise in his throat at that statement, not permitting himself to smile when he saw the pleased arch of Saint-Cyr’s brows at his reaction. He feared the blush was still at his cheeks, but did not turn away, letting those around him think what they would.

“It is good to make friends in strange places, yes?” A child could not have better portrayed the innocence in Saint-Cyr’s question, but a child would not have looked at him with those wickedly calculating eyes, daring him to act in a way so like Jack that Norrington could not have remained silent if he had wished to.

“I hope to continue such a friendship.” He bent his head in a show of respect, allowing himself a knowing smile of his own and staring into the pretty face until Saint-Cyr glanced away, his face awash in pink beneath the powder, his breath leaving him in one short, impatient sigh.

When the black eyes swept back up to his face, his own breathing halted. For one moment, and then Saint-Cyr was pushing away from the door and half-turning to face the footman and the two rather obviously interested sailors outside the door. He gestured limply for the footman to move on and even took a step to follow him before pausing and swinging back, his hand extended.

Norrington barely kept himself from flinching at the unexpected glancing touch along the buttons of his coat, ducking his head to observe the white, slender fingers slip under his lapel and then slide back out to swirl slowly around one golden button.

“But we must talk about the cut of your suit,” Saint-Cyr commented loudly, looking at the others briefly and shrugging his shoulders in dismay. “The English…” he went on, a small pout pushing his lower lip out temptingly. The look he gave James from underneath his lashes was anything but dismayed. Those bloody eyes seemed to know his every thought, and if anything, they found them quite pleasing indeed.

Jack had been the only one to dare look at James like this, taunting him by hinting at secrets and inviting him closer all at once. That Jack had been bluffing—most of the time—when he had looked at James that way had not once stopped James from responding to it, rising up to give Jack his answer, meeting the challenge with his heart and his body, knowing Jack was too smart to claim victory when it was Jack who always found him again.

Until now.

James refocused his gaze, studying the carefully encroaching fingers, glancing up to the eyes that sparkled that same offer at him, letting him name the rules of their game while denying publicly there was a game at all. This was for sport alone, but he found himself inclining his head once more, before dragging his eyes away and giving an exaggerated shrug of his own that seemed to amuse the two sailors.

Then the hand was gone, and he was moving away, only the barest whisper of warmth left behind to show that he had touched Norrington at all. His dark eyes also went to sea as he followed the footman down the stone corridor to the carriage no doubt waiting in the street outside, watching the wind call up blue waves.

Norrington waited until Saint-Cyr was out of sight before he slipped back inside and closed the door, clenching his jaw to see the golden rays of light streaking from the window over the desk, illuminating an empty chair.

The End

This totally turned into Casablanca at the end there. Weird, I know. So I had to make a little joke or two. We’ve already acknowledged my insanity. But I’ve always loved Louis Renault.

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I am sitting here trying to breathe like a normal chore having human being rather than someone who was privy to some HOTSEXYSEX all my clothes on but with none of the social inhibitions attendant to a simple meeting in an office. Feels like my blood has gone milkshake thick and the air around me reeks with imagined pheromones

I love adore crave Jack's "twin" and it is utterly amazing how he affects both Norrington and me. Can feel like a touch the weight of his invitation, his flirting, his utter dedication to his own sensual thoughts. After reading your introduction I realize you're right, wouldn't know him if he rode up on an ostrich and that writ, matters not at all becos I know and love Jack Sparrow.

You've writ some fabulous stuff here.

"His hands were fists at his back, but he said nothing ...looking for all the world like a cat balancing on a narrow fence, only the hand resting atop his sword hilt to remind those watching of his claws." Oh my goodness gracious....

You got the physical nature of Jack's adorable habits so pluperfect straight on. And you touched on some stunning new ground for me in thinking about Norrington...that he had lost a ship and all his men would have haunted him to his dying day. He would have lost so much in his pursuit of Jack and the driver on that item couldn't have just been duty.

You done good piratista, you flat out kicked booty and took names... no idea what the hecky do that means but yeah, you created! I've been reading "Crossing the Bar" over in Black Pearl Sails and I love that story as much as this.

Thank you so much for this good story about someone I love and someone he chose.

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