(PG) Norrington/Elizabeth

He looks older than he is, James knows this, but chooses to blame it on the responsibilities of his station rather than the gravity of his work pulling at his features. His smile, once so spontaneous, is all too often severe now, a thin ghost of sincerity, mock amusement. James feels as though the joie de vivre he knew as a child and even as a young officer has vanished along with the occasions where it is appropriate to laugh from your belly, the real kind of mirth that leaves a man buoyant.

In fact he can't remember ever expressing such merriment until Elizabeth, three days married, dressed up in his discarded uniform and immitated Gillette at his most flummoxed. James was surprised then enchanted at the sound of his own laughter and promised himself to laugh more often, if only in her presence. He was certain he'd pulled something in his gut and she'd tended to that particular part of his anatomy with devout care and more than a little interest. It wasn't the last time she had made him laugh that night.

Jack Sparrow's smile, for all its deviousness, had a certain melancholy to it, one James first associated with the temporary loss of the Pearl. He hasn't seen the pirate since he'd become her captain again but he is certain those gold teeth shine in the sun now, projecting Sparrow's happiness to the world.

By his side, Will Turner most probably has the same smile he's always had; naive and that of a reprimanded puppy, no matter the circumstances. If Will has wisened up after the Barbossa debacle, it's unlikely to have made vast enough a different to alter the way the boy grins at the world, a mouthful of perfect teeth, eyes used to the shadows of the forge squinting in the bright Caribbean sun.

Elizabeth, she has a smile that wants to be a grin. Even the most proper curl of her lips threatens to burst, her eyes crinkling prettily with the effort. James dwells on the idea for a moment, finding himself smiling again, lips stretching into a smile from his own youth. Her presence beside her father was requested in England near a month ago and James now finds himself able to say, were someone to ask, exactly how many days until her return. He is not a particularly religious man, but he prays to the sea for her safe passage.

Against the cliff below, the ocean breaks friskily, murmuring its promise for one of its little tin soldiers.