About This Story: This is, if you will, a one-shot divided into three chapters. They all, in essence, examine the same thing: their relationship with Elizabeth Swann, yet this differs, as do the three men's opinions of each other. None of these men know who Elizabeth belongs to, really. The first chapter is centered around James Norrington, the second: William Turner, and the third: Captain Jack Sparrow. I am tempted to do a chapter from the view of Elizabeth herself, but I do not think that I will. It will rather ruin the effect I am attempting to create. So perhaps this will be a way for you to determine which relationship you support, or strengthen your support for your already favored relationship. Please remember, that thought I am a Jack/Elizabeth fan, I try not to express this in my writing. Any relationship hints that are there exist because that is how these three men see it. Now, without further ado:
I suppose I always knew she loved him, though at first, I blinded myself to the extent of her affections. That Turner, the man who has nothing to his name but a warrant of arrest: the man who caused my ruination. He's the one that took her away from me, but I can see in her eyes that she was ready to be taken far before I stepped into the midst. Indeed, I thought that I could deny this; how foolish I was, and still am. I have tried to ignore her eyes, for they are what take away the little hope that I still have left.
When she accepted my proposal of marriage, my mind was fogged with the happiness that she would soon be mine. And I had the right to be arrogant, with my esteemed title, yet it was my arrogance, among other things, that brought about my downfall. When I asked for Elizabeth's hand, well… That was the first step toward my descent.
Being who I was, you might expect that she would have become like a possession to me: a beautiful trophy to boost my position in society. A governor's daughter, after all, is born a sought-after prize. But this has always been but a trifle to me, and is even less important now after what that blacksmith has forced her into becoming. When I requested her hand, her status and beauty were but a bonus. I loved her then, and I still do.
You might seem surprised, but as I still attempt to be an honest man, there is no lie in my words. I told her, indirectly perhaps, that such is no longer what I feel. Somehow, I can grasp tightly onto what little dignity I have left when I tell her this. Besides, I am disinclined to believe that she would suspect, after all the anguish she has put me through, that I harbor feelings enough for her to light a thousand fires. Even after she has followed her heart, I still follow mine. I have become a cliché, a man torn asunder by a woman.
But then, she isn't really just any woman, is she?
I admit that the last person I had hoped and expected to see in Tortuga was the one that saved me at the same time she doomed me with her touch. Is God so unkind that he will send her to me once more, just when I have at last drunk her away from my memory? To my utmost humiliation, I was to be she, kneeling beside me in the grime that also dripped from my shamed face. She is no longer the refined young woman that I knew—and meant for her to become—and undeniably, this attracts me to her more strongly than ever. I remember how my eyes widened at the sight of her, undoubtedly betraying such a sense of vulnerability that I wish I did not possess. Call me a fool if you must; I will not deny what I know that I am.
In many a way, I am not the only one that has been ruined. And the sea is the least of the things that have claimed her soul as their own. She has become untamed, and in this state, her heart, too, has become just as such.
At first, I thought only that she had been taken from me once, and one mark against me is not as terrible as what pains me now. For I have lost her twice over. Though I have helplessly watched her retreat into the arms of the inferior Turner, I have seen her eyes flicker to Sparrow on more than one occasion. The way she looks at him is a way she never has and never will look upon me. The deepest expression of emotion that I have felt from her is pity. Pity for what I have become when she cannot see what has become of herself. Yet when she looks at him, a drunkard pirate with no honor at all—who really is now not so very different from me—her eyes are soft and filled with longing. Admiration even, though for what I do not even pretend that I know. And so, if she can have them both at once, why cannot I be graced with a chance as well?
Elizabeth Norrington, wife of a commodore. My wife. What a fine prospect that would be, if a commodore I still was. But I'm not, as you undoubtedly have noticed. I have become almost like a pirate; nay, in all technicalities, a pirate I have turned out to be, the moment I was hired onto Sparrow's crew. And a pirate I am still, if truth be told, for I have pilfered the heart of the sea in exchange for something that I could not have otherwise regained on my own: my honor. A man can be defeated only so many times before drastic measures must be taken. I have taken these measures, but I must wonder if such things will really help.
Perhaps now my plight has become almost something comical. Laugh if you must, I suppose I shall soon become accustomed to such things.
I was a wanted man, but in ways no more than one, thus I am wanted by no one at the present. I have salvaged what dignity I can, and I am free. Or at least, as free as I can ever hope to be.