Author's note: Angsty ficlet that popped into my brain, mainly because I wanted to make someone play viola. Unrequited Norrington/Elizabeth, unrequited Gillette/Norrington, and unrequited Groves/Gillette if you want to squint. All we need is unrequited Elizabeth/Will and unrequited Will/Groves to finish off a cute little circle of misery. Review!
Groves was used to hearing the music of Gillette's viola in the evenings from his adjoining room in the fort. However, the night after Sparrow escaped, he was struck by the music's sadness. It wailed on the higher strings and moaned on the lower, before cutting off abruptly with a disconsolate scrape, and a clatter that sounded as if Gillette had dropped the instrument carelessly. Groves wondered why his friend was so upset. If he was angry about the pirate getting away, then surely he would have come in to rant.
As if in response to this thought, there was a sharp tap at the door. Groves opened it and Gillette stalked in, barely acknowledging him. Groves sat down on the bed and watched as Gillette paced up and down the small room.
"What is it, Andrew?" He asked finally, somewhat impatient. Two more lengths of the room, and,
"It's James," Gillette replied, the name falling dully off his tongue. Groves looked up attentively. If there was anything that years in Gillette's company had taught him, it was how to listen well.
"Miss Swann—" Gillette continued, "I thought it was simply a good match, the Commodore and the Governor's daughter. But when she rejected him today, the look on his face… I—I had not realised that he cared so much for her." Gillette's body continued to pace restlessly, even as his face betrayed an exhausted weariness of excess emotion. Groves looked at him questioningly, and he swiftly amended his words.
"I sympathise with James so. He won't admit it, but I can imagine how cut up about it he must be inside."
Groves would be a fool not to understand Gillette's unspoken admission. He had known both Andrew and James for years, and knew them better than anyone.
"You will still have his friendship," he said quietly.
Gillette sank down beside him, suddenly deflated of all energy.
"It's not the same," he murmured.