Pairing/Characters: Will/Norrington, Jack/Elizabeth mentioned
Word Count: 2000ish
Genre: Willington, savvy?
Summary: Norrington reflects on the strange chain of events that brought Will into his life, and the scars that tell the story...
Disclaimer: Disney owns, damn it all.
Spoilers: Very post-DMC. Here they be spoilers, mate.
Warnings: While I’m a huge Jack-lover, this one could be a wee anti-Jack and Elizabeth, but it just had to be. I don’t mean it, luv! But Norrington does ;)
Notes: There were a million different stories and different characters I wanted to write for this one, so maybe someday I’ll work those ideas into something...I so wish I had created Jack & Co. - I would publish countless novels about them!
Special Thanks: My beta, as always, estelendur
They’re his - his scars, his story, hidden deep - that I uncovered unintentionally, not knowing then what effect they would have on me. I never would have guessed that Will’s story would forever mark me. As his, his confidante, his lover, his friend, his. But I will never forgive them for what they did to him, no matter the strange chain of events their betrayal set into motion, eventually bringing my William to me. If I were to see either of them today or tomorrow or twenty years from now, I would leave upon them my own mark, one to never be forgotten, always felt, forever staining, revealing them both for what they are:
Oh, I don’t care if William has pirate blood; his is of a different sort. Together we have done our fair share of pilfering and pillaging, but it has only been to secure the honest life we now live again. That man doesn’t have a base bone in him. I’ve never met a more passionate, kind, or genuine person in all of my life. Even if he stole from me once. He didn’t really steal anything anyway; she was never mine to begin with, and she’s the one who gave herself away. We both should’ve known then, Will and I, but men are stubborn beasts, and we’ll be beaten and bloodied before we learn our lesson and admit defeat. Sometimes, I’ve found, losing isn’t such a bad thing. Not when what you gain far outweighs what you relinquish. What you don’t even miss.
I thought I’d lost everything once. My fiancé, my respect, my job, my life. And for a long time I thought I’d stop at nothing to get it all back. I tried to kill the one man whose life I’ve now sworn to protect. I succeeded in killing a few others whose names I never even knew but whose faces I won’t ever forget. I literally stole a man’s heart, for Christ’s sake. Well, Davy Jones could hardly be called a man, I suppose, but that doesn’t change the fact that when I sold his heart to Beckett, I sold out Will and Elizabeth. Didn’t really care at the time that I’d betrayed Jack, but nonetheless, whatever my feelings might have been at the time for any of them, they took me in when I was a drunken, shit-covered mess. I didn’t know what I was doing then. I was just trying to stay alive. Hell, I was just trying to be alive - I’d felt as heartless and cold as Davy Jones for quite some time.
So I took the heart and left them all on that island to die, leaving them to think I was helping them. I was just as bad as Jack then. I’d heard later what had happened to him, and I laughed, unable to imagine a more appropriate demise for the man. It wasn’t until later that I found out about the kiss. Ah, the kiss. The kiss of death that changed all of our lives forever.
I tired of working under Beckett soon enough. I thought I could just go back to my old life, but it simply wasn’t the same anymore. It wasn’t enough anymore. So what did I do? I went back to Tortuga, drank myself into oblivion once again, and tripped over a body in a gutter that turned out to be Will Turner. I’d like to say that the rest was happily ever after, but that would be lying. And that’s one thing William and I try to avoid at all costs, quite understandably.
We tussled drunkenly for a while, accumulating some of the more visible scars that night that I mentioned earlier. Curses and accusations echoed throughout the alley, and any passersby might have managed to piece together a rather interesting story; entertaining enough for anyone not involved, I’m sure. Will swung at me and managed to slur out that I was a traitor, a coward, a cutthroat, worse than a pirate, for running away and leaving them as I did. I, in turn, reminded him in fists and words of what he had once stolen from me, and that’s when the fight grew the fiercest, and it was fortunate we were as drunk as were, as we collapsed from exhaustion and inebriation before either one of us could kill the other.
Waking up with a hangover in one the seedier sections of Tortuga (which is saying a lot, I can tell you) is by no means a favorable manner in which to find oneself, and I think that the two of us were somewhat glad at that point for the company. I struggled to my feet first and extended a hand out toward William, which he took with a sigh and a glare. We half-carried each other to an inn, slumping shoulder to shoulder as we staggered down the street, and we bought the cheapest room possible. Which, of course, only had one bed.
I sank against the door almost immediately upon closing it behind us, so Will opted for a seat on the dirty excuse for a mattress. We faced each other silently, simply staring for a while, unsure of what to say or do at this point. Finally, I asked him about Jack. Not about the kiss, but about his supposed return from the dead. I wondered if such a horrible thing could possibly be true. And it was, as William explained to me at great length, as were a number of other things I didn’t want to believe.
I heard the story in full at last. Jack had all but sold Will’s soul to Davy Jones in order to save his own, and he’d risked the lives of his friends and crew in an impetuous attempt to outrun the Kraken. Elizabeth had put an end to this by chaining Sparrow to his own ship, leaving him to the mercilessness of the beast, but not before she left him with a kiss. A kiss I knew was coming; I had seen them ghosting around it on the ship just days before. I had told Elizabeth then that I once would have given anything for her to look at me as she did at Jack, and I would have. Once. I remember how disgusted I’d felt toward her at the time, even vaguely pitying Will in the back of my mind, but the emotion that overcame me as William told me his story was of a different sort entirely. Her betrayal was boundless. Not only had she forsaken Will when she kissed that blasted pirate, she betrayed Jack himself, leaving him to die. Then she lied about it, imbuing Jack with a heroism he would never have otherwise managed, and so the whole crew set off to rescue him from the claws of death and all of that rubbish, and they did. How beautiful the reunion must have been - the pirate and his wench, together again. Yes, she left Will for him, and the idiot took her in too. And that’s about the time Will ended up in Tortuga. Jack and Elizabeth had sailed off into the sunset to God knows where, and if I had a chance, I’d truly like to ask God where. I would find them and tell them this story; undoubtedly they would never have thought they could have written such a thing.
Well, they have, and they are the only ones who have not suffered for it.
I was angry when Will told me about it all, sympathetic. We drank again and succeeded in not pummeling each other that time, and we somehow managed to end up in the same bed without too much awkwardness. These were our days and our nights for a long time, and sooner or later the inevitable happened, and we shared more than the scant blankets on the dingy little mattress. It didn’t even take an overabundance of rum to make it happen, actually. But it was so hard for Will to trust me. Not just because of what I had done to him in the past - given, I did once sentence the man to death - but because of how many people in his life had hurt him and lied to him. When I first discovered the scars on his back and he told me about his father, I literally felt a shiver run through me, and it took all of the old Commodore in me not to cry openly. And this man, William’s father, was probably the kindest of all of the man’s loves - How horrid is that? Me, I had no one. No family, really - I’d lost track of them a long time ago, lost in my own selfish ambitions. So William and I had each other, in the bed and out, and eventually, we learned to love one another without holding back, scars and all.
William tries to tell me that none of it bothers him anymore. He says that he’s happy working at the smithy again, living with me; oddly enough, it is attached to the inn we first made love in, which I now own and run. The beds are a little less seedy, if I do say so myself. We’ve made a fair life for ourselves, here on Tortuga, of all places. But sometimes, I watch Will pounding out the steel, testing out a new sword with a crisp cut through the air, and I see something in his eyes that is pained, that pains me. He has not forgotten. The scars have not fully faded. I lie awake nights wondering if I have it in me to ever truly bring him healing. Is what we have enough, or is what lies in our past too much? But then Will turns over in his sleep and nestles against me, smiling contentedly, and I relax a little. What we have might not be perfect, but it’s ours, and he is mine and I am his, and at last I’ve found my place - this is where I want to be.
But if William is mine, so is his story. So are his scars. I won’t forget them any sooner than he will; perhaps I’ll hold onto them longer. Despite all that William has taught me, I’m still one to hold a grudge if I ever was. I swear on every scar on William's back and on his heart...
If I ever catch a glimpse of even the slightest shadow of sparrow or swan, I will set my mark as sure as any hunter. And a pirate is an animal I would kill in a moment; there is still enough Commodore in me that such an act would leave no scar on my conscious or disrupt my sleep. Jack and Elizabeth may have begun our story, but they are not the only ones who can decide how it ends. No matter what the cost, William and I will have our happily ever after yet.