Fandom: Pirates of the Caribbean
Characters: Lieutenant James Norrington
Summary: Before leaving for his posting in the Caribbean, James Norrington goes home for a few days' leave.
Inspiration: I asked for happy bunnies; concertigrossi suggested Norrington in his favorite place in England.
Word Count: 407
Feedback: yes, please! Concrit welcomed.
Distribution: archiving, linking or remixing ok, just credit me and drop me a line!
Cross-Posted were_lemur, pirategasm, potc_fic, potc_canon_fic, norrington_love, one_norrington
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Disclaimer: PotC belongs to Disney. Characters will be played with nicely and returned to them in good condition when I'm done. No infringement is intended, please don't sue me!
On the morning he's scheduled to leave for Portsmouth, Lieutenant James Norrington wakes before dawn. He dresses quickly, eats a cold breakfast, and slips out onto the grounds of his family's estate.
He reaches the lake just as the sun clears the horizon.
When he came here with his sister his first day home, they'd laughed about how much smaller it seemed now; on the second day, his mother had reminisced about how she'd had to have the nurse chase after him so that he wouldn't drown and reminded him how often the poor woman had dragged him home covered in mud.
Alone at last, he lets the peace and quiet soak into him.
Not quite alone, he realizes; in the silence, he can hear birds chirping, the rustle of something small and wild in the bushes. He turns in time to see a pair of swans waddle toward the shore; the larger of the two eyes him suspiciously and he wonders if they are the same pair that chased him off when, as a curious young boy, he decided to investigate their nest. His lips twitch as he remembers his mad scramble to safety.
Though not all his adventures had been quite so disastrous. He'd sailed his toy boats -- named after the ships his father had served on and, later, commanded -- in the shallows. Few of their voyages had been peaceful; he'd sailed them against the French, the Spanish, pirates. Of course, they'd always emerged victorious.
Would that real life always provided us with such easy, bloodless victories, he thought, but pushed it away. He did not know when he would see home again; he would not spend his last morning here brooding.
He closes his eyes, tilts his head back, and lets the breeze play over his face. Then he opens his eyes and looks -- really looks -- at the place for the first time. He memorizes the contours of the shore, the reeds emerging in the shallows, the way the ripples spread in the swans' wake. Storing up memories against the tedium of late-night watches, the terror of battle, the long years far from home in the uncivilized heat of the Caribbean.
He hears someone calling his name, and turns away -- but as he does, he hears the beating of wings. He turns back to the lake and watches the swans take flight, sailing up into the early morning sky.