Disclaimer: Don't own them, just play with them a little now and then :)

Author's Notes: my take on Commodore Norrington's thoughts after Jack escapes at the end of the movie...

Jack: Aren't ye supposed to be writin somethin else?

Me: I'm having a day off

Jack: Ok then missy, just don't forget t' go back t' the other story...

Me: don't worry, I haven't forgotten

One Day's Head Start

One Day.

In the space of one day, my entire world had unravelled around me. Elizabeth had been rescued, only to turn around and accept my proposal... as long as we went looking for young Mr Turner. A bold move, little more than blackmail really, but it had worked nevertheless. I had indeed ordered my men to set sail for the hidden Isle, guided by the disreputable pirate Jack Sparrow. Lives had been lost during the battle that ensued, but my crew and I had won in the end. I, James Norrington, Commodore of the British Navy, had believed that to be the end of the little adventure. We had returned to Port Royal, weary but victorious, and the pirates whom we'd captured were going to the hangman. I had know there was a good chance that someone would try to rescue Sparrow, but I had never believed it would come in the form of Will Turner. The lad's declaration of love to Elizabeth had been little surprise, but when she had stepped to Turner's side, to stand between myself and Sparrow, I knew I had lost.

One Day.

In a single day, everything I cared about was gone. My dearest Elizabeth, the woman I had hoped to marry, had chosen someone else. Not only was he a blacksmith, he was also a pirate. And he'd stolen the heart of my fiancé. But, he was a good man, I have to admit that to myself. The sword he made for my promotion had been an exquisite piece and I knew he would take care of Elizabeth. He had, after all, risked his life to save hers. And she loves him, as much as he loves her. I guess he can give her the excitement in life that is, due to my position of authority, denied me. I know it is the logical thing to do, let her live her life the way she wants, with whom she wants, but logic doesn't make the pain any less. It doesn't make the loneliness any easier to bear. And it was all thanks to Jack Sparrow.

One Day.

In one day, Jack Sparrow, the bane of my life, has ruined everything. My nemesis. The man who had stayed one step ahead of me, all my adult life. I had tried to catch him, even had him within my grasp several times, yet he had always managed to evade me. Most think he is crazy, a mad pirate without morals or honour. How wrong they are. I know Sparrow is not crazy, no more than I or Turner. He plays on that belief, so that he can do outrageous things without facing the consequences of those actions. A smart man, and a worthy adversary. One day he will slip up and I'll catch him again; maybe he'll even let me so he can try to outwit me again, and escape as he has just done. But he has escaped again, and now it's time to make a choice... Do I order my men to follow him? Or do I allow him to escape? Do I hunt him down, as I have always done, or allow him to disappear with his beloved ship?

One Day.

On this one day, I've been bested by a pirate; I have to see the amusing side of the situation. My men are hungry for the blood of the pirate, desperate to follow him immediately. They won't stop until he's safely dead and buried, but somehow, that thought is no longer as comforting as it used to be. The thought of killing all pirates is no longer the driving force in my life, and that fact scares me. That one man, Sparrow, can have such a profound effect on my very soul is disquieting and disturbs me greatly. I am certain, however, that one day I will be the one to take the life of the greatest pirate in history. That fact saddens me a great deal, but it will be inevitable... if I do my duty... and one day, I will have to do that duty.

One Day.

But not today. For the hunt will begin again tomorrow, and I'll just have to see who is the best. Yes, one day we will meet again, of that I am certain. I have no doubt that we will cross paths again, many times, and that one of us will eventually lose his life in one of those meetings. One day, I will either kill Jack Sparrow, or be killed by him.

One day, but not this day...


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